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Wouldst thou kenn nature in her better parte? 
Coo, seiche the looses, and bordels of the hynde. 

Ciiatterton. Rowley Poems. 






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J. H. DIXON, Esq. 



J. S. MOORE, Esq. 


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



THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq MA , F.S.A., Treasurer $ Secretary. 


Extracts from the Minutes of the Council and Committee 

appointed and empowered by the General Meeting of 

the Percy Society, held 26th February, 1852, to wind 

up the affairs of the Society. 

Council Meeting. 4th March, 1852.- 

" It was resolved that a Committee, consisting of 
Mr. Chappell and Mr. Fairholt, be formed to take the 
subject of the distribution of books into consideration, 
having reference to the numbers and priority of sub- 

Council Meeting. 18th March, 1852. 

" It was unanimously resolved that the third book 
of 'Browne's Britannia's Pastorals' [No. XCIII], be 
issued at once, appending only the Resolutions passed 
at the General Meeting, and a notice that the title- 
pages, list of Members, table of contents, etc., will be 
issued as soon after ..the termination of the current 
year as possible." 

" Mr. Chappell and Mr. Fairholt having reported 
that they had gone through the books and ascertained 
the absolute state of the stock, and the state of the 
Members with regard to the priority of Membership, 
it was resolved that a single copy of each issue should 
be distributed to the now continuing Members, who 
shall have paid the subscriptions for such issues, leaving 
the rest of the stock for future consideration." 

" It was resolved that the Secretary be requested to 
issue a circular to those Members in arrear of their 
subscriptions, informing them of the Resolutions passed 
at the General Meeting, and stating that the 30th of 
April will be the last day of subscriptions being re- 
ceived, prior to the books being distributed amongst 
the Members. 

" It was resolved that the Council be adjourned (to 
meet in Committee) to Monday, May 3rd." 

Committee Meeting. 3rd May, 1852. 

" It was resolved that Mr. Chappell and Mr. Fair- 
holt be continued a Committee for settling the dis- 
tribution of the books, and that they be authorized to 
carry out the distribution on the terms mentioned in 
the previous Resolutions, and that the parcels be sent 
to the Members of the Society, carriage free, as early 
as possible." 

" It was resolved that the ' Interlude of John Bon 
and Mast Person' [No. XCIV], edited by Mr. Black, 
be prefixed to the next and final issue, containing the 
title-pages, List of Members, and accounts." 

" It was resolved that after the payments due from 
the Society have been dischaiged, the Treasurer be 
authorized to distribute the balance in equal pro- 
portions amongst the Members of the late Society." 

Notice was then given of the following Resolution. 

" That the arrears due to the late Society, which 
shall not have been received when the Treasurer's 
accounts are wound up, be granted to the Literary 
Fund, and that a list of the Subscribers so in arrear 
be handed over to the managers of the Fund for the 
purpose of collection." 

" It was resolved that the last Auditors be requested 
to audit the Treasurer's accounts." 

Committee Meeting. 10th June, 1852. 

" Mr. Crofton Croker having stated his inability to 
obtain a Meeting with the late Auditors in time for 
the present Meeting, it was resolved that the accounts 
be audited by the late Council of the Percy Society 
now in Committee. 

The accounts were then carefully examined — the 
Treasurer producing all the vouchers — and the sum of 

£123 : 18 : 1 

appeared to be in the hands of the Treasurer to the 
credit of the late Society on this day. 

A bill for a wood-cut, amounting to £1, was ordered 
to be paid, and 

" It was resolved that a gratuity of £o be presented 
to Mr. Honeyman, in acknowledgment of his long 
continued services to the Society. 

" The balance in hand being ,£123 : 18 : 1, and the 
estimated cost of printing and further expenses of the 
Society amounting to ,£63 : 3 : 1, there remains a 
balance of £60 : 15, which amount being divided 
amongst 162 Members, gives a dividend to each of 
seven shillings and sixpence." 

" It was resolved that the sum of seven shillings and 
sixpence be the dividend so to be distributed among 
the Members." 

" It was resolved that the Treasurer be requested to 
forward an order on Mr. Richards for seven shillings 
and sixpence to each Member, payable before the 1st 
day of October next, and that all further details respect- 
ing this arrangement be left to Mr. Crofton Crokers 
discretion, he having kindly undertaken the manage- 
ment of it." 

" Mr. Fairholt reported from the Committee for 
distribution, that in arranging the sets due to the 
Members, the Compounders have received prior ad- 
vantages, both numerically and as to those works of 
which the fewest copies remained." 

" It was resolved that the few remaining copies of 
the Society's works, being triplicates of those distri- 
buted to the Members, with the wood-blocks thereto 
belonging, be sent to the respective editors of the 
various works, who did not cease to be Members." 

Hon. Secretary of the late Percy Society. 

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Biographical Notices of the Earlier English 
Writers are so very uncommon in cotemporary 
authors, that we are frequently obliged to content 
ourselves with what little information may be 
gleaned from the r .ual allusions made by them- 
selves in their own productions, and which at 
times seems to be as much the result of accident 
as of intention. Barclay is no exception to the 
list of those whose biography is at once scanty 
and unsatisfactory. Not only are notices of his 
life meagre, but hid country has been a subject of 
dispute ; and his claim to be considered a native 
of England or Scotland made the motive for 
controversy. Warton, who has devoted the 
Twenty-ninth Section of his History of English 
Poetry to an account of Barclay and his works, 
says, " He most probably was of Devonshire or 
Gloucestershire." Ritson is of the contrary 
opinion, for in his BibliorjrcqiMa Poetica, p. 46, 
he says : " Both his name of baptism and the 
orthography of his surname, seem to prove that 
he was of Scottish extraction." Park, in a note 


to the last edition of Warton (3 vols. 8vo. 1840, 
p. 419) has brought together all conflicting state- 
ments. He says : " Wood, who designates him 
Alexander de Barklay, surmises him to have 
been born at or near a town so called in Somer- 
setshire; but Ritson owns that there is no such 
town in that county.* Bale, the oldest authority, 
tells us that some contend that he was a Scot, 
others, an Englishman. Pitts admits that with 
some he appeared to have been a Scot, ' but was 
verily an Englishman, and his native country, as 
it is probable, Devonshire.' Dr. Bulleyn, his 
cotemporary, says he was born beyond the cold 
river of Tweed ; and Holinshed positively calls 
him a Scot. He is likewise claimed as his coun- 
tryman by Dempster, who informs us he lived in 
England, being expelled from his native country 
for the sake of religion. This report, however, 
is considered as the invention of Dempster, since 
no religious dissensions had taken place in Scot- 
land so early as 1506. 1 ' This latter remark belongs 
to Ritson, who declares, that Dempster's opinion 
" seems his peculiar invention"; and Mr. Park 
concludes his note with Ritson's opinion of his 
claim to Scottish extraction. However that may 

* " The only Berkeley known, is in Gloucestershire," 
says Ritson, which may have induced Warton to add that 
county to the equally supposititious one of Devonshire, the 
latter being a similar conjecture of Pitts. 

be, it is certain that his youth was spent, and his 
education perfected in, England; for in his First 
Eclogue he mentions, — 

" While I in youth in Croidon toune did dwell." 
His education, Warton says, took place at Oriel 
College, in Oxford;* but Ritson, in his usual 
sarcastic manner remarks, " Warton, who as well 
as Tanner, asserts that ' he was of Oriel College, 
in Oxford, 1 by way of proof, shews him ' to have 
spent some time at Cambridge ;' " a gratuitous 
piece of ill-nature, as Warton merely says, " he 
seems to have spent some time at Cambridge," 
founding his assumption on the lines of his First 
Eclogue : — 

" And once in Cambridge I heard a scoller say, 
One of the same that go in copes gay." 

And which neither proves, that he had his educa- 
tion there, or that Warton wished it to be so 
understood, and there is nothing extraordinary in a 
student visiting a sister university. " He accom- 
plished his academical studies, 1 ' says Warton, "by 
travelling, and was appointed one of the priests 
or prebendaries of the College of Saint Mary 
Ottery, in Devonshire"; where, in 1508, he finished 
his translation of Sebastian Brandt's Stultifera 

* His great patron and favorer of his studies, Thomas 
Cornish, Bishop of Tyne, was then provost, to whom he 
dedicated his Ship of Fools. — Ritson. 


Navis* with considerable additions of his own, 
the work by which he is most known, and which 
enjoyed much popularity in his own day. In 
this poem he mentions My Maister Kyrkliam, 
calling himself " his true servitour, his chaplayne, 
and bedeman," but of w r hom we have no further 
notice. Barclay afterwards became a Benedictine 
monk of Ely monastery, as appears by the title 
to his translation of Mancinus' Mirrour of Good 
Manners ; and at length took the habit of the 
Franciscans, at Canterbury (MS. Bale. Sloan, p. 
68). From the dedication of the Latin portion 
of his Chronicle of the War against Jugurth, he 
appears to have been at that time residing at 
King's Hatfield, in Hertfordshire. It is addressed 
to Vesey, Bishop of Exeter, and dated " ex 
cellula Hatfield regis." " He temporised with 
the changes of religion, 1 ' says Warton, "for he 
possessed some church preferments in the reign 
of Edward VI." " Sure 'tis," adds Wood, 
" that, living to see his monastery dissolv'd, he 
became vicar of Much-Badew, in Essex, and in 
1546,f of the Church of St. Matthew the Apostle, 
at Wokey, in Somersetshire, and finally instituted 

* The colophon runs thus : " The Shyp of Folys, translated 
oute of Laten, Frenche, and Doche, into English tonge, by 
Alexander Barclay, Prest and Chaplen in the sayd College, 


t The same year in which he was instituted to Much- 
Badew, according to Newport's Repertoriuni, vol. i, p. 254. 

to that of All Saints, Lombard Street.* In his 
younger days he was esteemed a good poet and 
orator, but when years came on, he spent his 
time mostly in pious matters, and in reading the 
histories of saints." He died very aged, at Croy- 
don, in Surry, in the year 1522, and was buried 
in the church there. 

Besides his principal work, The Shyp of Folys, 
(which was printed by Pynson, in 1509) he 
translated The Mirrour of Good Manners, from 
the Latin of Dominic Mancini, printed by Pynson 
without date, and translated " at the instaunce 
and request of the ryght noble Rychard, yerle of 
Kent." The Famous Cronycle of the Warre which 
the Romans had agaynst Jugurth, two editions of 
which came from the press of Pynson. This 
book was translated " at the commaundment of 
the hye and mighty prince Thomas, Duke of 
Norfolk/' The Castel of Laboare, translated 
from the French, and printed by Wynkyn de 
Worde, 1506, and again, by Pynson. The figure 
of our Mother Holy Church oppressed by the French 
King, printed for Pynson, etc. Bale also mentions 
"his answer to John Skelton, the poet," which 
llitson says " was probably in metre, but appears 
neither to have been printed, nor to be extant in 

* On the presentation of the Dean and Chapter of Can- 
terbury, which was vacant by his <lcath, August 24, 1552. 
— Newport Rep., i, 254. 

manuscript. Bale also enumerates the lives of 
St. George, from Mantuan, dedicated to N. West, 
Bishop of Ely, and written while our author was 
monk of Ely ; and lives of St. Catharine, St. 
Margaret, and St. Etheldred. John Palsgrave, 
author of L 'Elaircissement tie la Langue Frangois, 
printed in 1530, says that Barclay wrote a tract, 
De Pronuntiatione Gallica, at the command of 
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. But of this work, and 
his lives of the Saints, no bibliographer has yet 
discovered copies. 

His Eclogues are supposed by Warton to have 
been written about the year 1514, because he 
praises " noble Henry, which now departed late,' 1 '' 
and afterwards falls into a long panegyric on his 
successor, Henry the Eighth. " Our author's 
Egloges, I believe," says Warton, " are the first 
that appeared in the English language. They 
are like Petrarch's and Mantuan's, of the moral 
and satirical kind ; and contain but few touches 
of rural description and bucolic imagery. The 
three first are paraphrased, with very large addi- 
tions, from the Miseriw Curialium of Eneas 
Sylvius,* and treat of the Miseries of Courtiers 
and Courtes of all Princes in general. The fourth, 
in which is introduced a long poem in stanzas, 

* " That is Pope Pius the Second, who died in 1464. 
This piece is among his Epistles, some of which are called 
Tracts. Epist. clvi." 


called, The Totver of Vertue and Honour* of the 
behaviour of riche men agaynst poetes. The fifth, 
of the Disputation of Citizens and Men of the 
Country. These pastorals, if they deserve the 
name, contain many allusions to the times." 

From Cawood's edition of these eclogues, which 
are in many instances corrected from the earlier 
ones, and which are printed at the end of his 
edition of the Stultifera Navis, 1570, we shall 
now proceed to extract as much as is necessary to 
exhibit their structure, or illustrate the manners of 
the times. 


Two simple shepheardes met on a certayne clay, 

The one well aged with lockes hore and gray, 

Which after labours and worldly busines 

Concluded to live in rest and cpiietnes : 

Yet nought had he kept to finde him cloth nor fode, 

At divers holes his heare grewe through his hode, 

A stifle patched felt hanging over his eyne, 

His costly clothing was threadebare kendall grene, 

His patched cockersf skant reached to his knee, 

In the side of his felte there stacke a spone of tree,* 

A botle his cote on the one side had torne 

For hanging the care was nere a sunder worne,§ 

* " It is properly an elegy on the death of the Duke of 
Norfolk, Lord High Admiral," at whose request he had 
translated The Chronicle of the War against Jiogurth. 

I Eigh boots, fastened with laces or buttons. 

% On one side of his felt hat there stuck a wooden spoon. 

§ A hole was torn on one side of his coat to hang a bottle on 
by its car? 


In his owne hande alway his pipe he bare, 
Wherof the sound him released of his care ; 
His wallet with bread and chese, so then he stood 
(A hooke in his hande) in the middest of his good. 
Save that he bosted to have experience 
Of worldly thinges, by practise and science ; 
Hiniselfe he called Comix by his name. 
The other shepheard was like unto the same, 
Save that he had lived all his dayes 
In keping his fiocke, and sene no farther wayes. 
Yet was he to sight a stoute and lustie freake,* 
And as he bosted he borne was in the peak.t 
Coridon by name his neighbours did him call, 
Himselfe counted the stoutest of them all. 
This Coridon sware and saide to Cornix sure 
That he no longer would there that life endure, 
In wretched labour and still in povertie, 
But to the citie he saide that he would hye, 
Or els to the Court, and there with some abide 
Till time that fortune would better life provide. 
By which mocion, Cornix sheweth playnly 
Of Court and Courtiers the care and misery. 

The Eclogue commences with Coridon's com- 
plaints of the care and trouble of country life, to 
which his mate acquiesces, in these words : — 

Beholde what illes the shepheards must endure 
For fiocke and householde bare living to procure. 
In fervent heate we muste intende our folde, 
And in the winter almost we frese for colde : 

* A powerful fellow. f The Peak of Derbyshire. 

Upon the harde ground or on the tlintes browne 

We slepe, when other lye on a bed of downe. 

A thousande illes of daunger and sicknesse, 

With divers sores our beastes doth oppresse : 

A thousande perils and mo if they were tolde 

Dayly and nightly invadeth our poore folde. 

Sometime the wolfe our beastes doth devour, 

And sometime the thefe awayteth for his hour : 

Or els the souldiour much worse then wolfe or thefe 

Agaynst all our flocke inrageth with rnischefe. 

See how my handes are with many a gall, 

And stifFe as a borde by worke continuall, 

My face all scorvy, my colour pale and wan, 

My head all parched and blacke as any pan ; 

My beard like bristles, so that a pliant leeke 

With a little helpe may thrust me throw the cheeke, 

And as a stockfishe wrinkled is my skinne, 

Suche is the profite that I by labour winne. 

But this my labour should greve me much the lesse 

If rest or pleasure came of my businesse : 

But one sodayne storme of thunder, hayle or rayne 

Agayne all wasteth wherfore I toke this payne. 

This is the rewarde, the dede and worke divine, 

Unto whose aulters poore shepheardes incline ; 

To offer tapers and candles we are fayne, 

And for our offering, lo, this we have againe. 

I caimot declare what pitie and mercy 

Wrappeth us wretches in this harde misery, 

But this wot I well, it is both right and mede, 

There moste to succour where doth appearc most node. 

Comix now stays him, telling him, " Thou 
wadest now to faiTC,' n and that these plagues are 

sent as punishment for sins, which Coridon is dis- 
posed to deny, and argues that if a man cannot 
live comfortably in one place, he should try 
another : this he expresses his determination to 
do: — 

I bide no longer by Saint Thomas of Kent* 
In suche bare places where every day is Lent. 
The Freres have store every day of the weke, 
But every day our meat is for to seke. 
I nought have to bye, begge can T not for shame, 
Except that I were blinde, impotent or lame : 
If suche a gadlingt as I should begge or crave, 
Of me suche mercy and pitie would men have, 
That they for ahnes (I sweare by God's sockes) 
In every towne would make me scoure the stockes : 
Than can one Drome by many assayes tell, 
With that ill science I purpose not to inell, 
Here nothing I have wherfore I nede to care, 
Nowe, Comix, adue ; streight forwarde will I fare. 


Streight forwarde, man, hei Benedicite ! 

All other people have as great care as we ; 

Onely bare nede is all our payne and wo, 

But these towne dwellers have many paynes mo ; 

Our payne is pleasour nere in comparison 

Of their great illes and sore vexation. 

Of all suche thinges have I experience, 

Then mayst thou surely geve to me credence ; 

Whither wilt thou go to live more quietly 1 

Man ! all the worlde is full of misery. 

* St. Thomas a Beket. f Idle rambler. 


What, man ! the Court is freshe and full of ease, 

I can drawe a bowe, I shall some lorde there please, 

Thyselfe can report how I can birdes kill, 

Mine arowe toucheth of them nothing but the bill, 

I hurte no fleshe, nor bruse no parte at all, 

Were not my shooting our living were but small : 

Lo here a sparowe, lo here be thrushes four, 

All these I killed this day within an hour : 

I can daunce the raye, I can both pipe and sing, 

If I were mery I can bothe hurle and sling ; 

I runne, I wrastle, I can well throwe the barre, 

No shepheard throweth the axeltrie so farre.* 

If I were mery I could well leape and spring, 

I were a man mete to serve a prince or king. 

Wherfore to the Court nowe will I get me playne ; 

Adue, swete Cornix, farewell yet once agayne : 

Provide for thy selfe, so shall I do for me. 


Do way, Coridon, for God's love let be, 

Nought els is the Court but even the devil's mouth, 

And place most carefullt of east, west, north, and south : 

For thy longe service there nede shall be thy hyre, 

Out of the water thou leapest into the fyre. 

We live in sorowe I will it not deny, 

But in the Court is the well of misery. 


What man ? thou seest, and in likewise see I, 
That lusty courtiers go alway jolily, 

* The more modern term Cor the pastime is "throwing the 
bar," which is still practised. See Strutt's Sports, 15. ii, ch. 2, 
sect. 7. 

t Most full of care. 


They have no labour, yet are they wel besene, 
Barded and garded* in pleasaunt white and grene : 
They do nought els but revell, slepe, and drinke, 
But on his foldes the poore shepheard must thinke. 
They rest, we labour ; they gayly decked be, 
While we go ragged in nede and povertie ; 
Their colour lustie, they bide no storme nor shours, 
They have the pleasoures, but all the paynes are ours ; 
They have all thinges, but we wretches have nought ; 
They sing, they daunce, while we sore sigh for thought. 
But what bringeth them to this prosperitie 1 
Strength, courage, frendes, crafte, and audacitie. 
If I had frendes I have all things beside, 
Which might in Court a rowme for me provide. 
But sith courtiers have this life continually, 
They have all pleasour and nought of misery. 


Not so, Coridon ; ofte under yelowe lockes 

Be hid foule scabbes and fearfull French pockes ; 

Their reuilde shirtest of cloth, white, soft, and thin, 

Ofte time cloketh a foule and scorvy skin. 

And where we labour in workes profitable, 

They labor sorer in worke abhominable. 

They may have shame to jet so up and downe, 

When they be debtours for doublet, hose, and gowne ; 

And in the tavern remayne they last for lag, 

When never a crossed is in their courtly bag. 

They crake, they boste, and vaunt as they were wood,§ 

And mostc when they sit in midst of others good. 

Nought have they fooles but care and misery, 

Who hath it proved all corn-ting shall defy. 

* Edged, trimmed. f Pleated, open at the neck all round. 

t Alluding to the cross which universally appeared on the re- 
verse of the coinage at this time. § Out of their senses. 

He then enters at large into a defence of 
country life ; and in this portion of the dialogue, 
Barclay has introduced a long digression in praise 
of Alcock, Bishop of Ely,* in which that pre- 
late's name is punned upon after the fashion of 
the time. Warton, who quotes a portion of this, 
says of this prelate : " He sometimes, and even in 
the episcopal character, condescended to sport 
with his own name. He published an address to 
the clergy, assembled at Barnwell, under the 
title Galli Cantus ad con/rates suos curatos in sy- 
nodo apud Barnwell, 25 Sep. 1498. Printed for 
Pynson in the same year. In the beginning is 
the figure of the bishop preaching to his clergy, 
with two cocks on each side ; and there is a cock 
in the first page." Alcock founded Jesus College, 
Cambridge ; was tutor to Prince Edward, (after- 
wards Edward V); was appointed Bishop of Ely 
in 1486, and died at Wisbeach, 1501. He erected 
a beautiful sepulchral chapel in Ely Cathedral, 
alluded to in the following exordium, spoken by 

* Barclay often alludes throughout the Eclogues to localities 
in which he resided, and thus completely anglicizes them, 
lie often mentions Croydon and its Collier — " the proud plowman 
Guatho of Chorlington" — " the rich shepherd that woned in 
Mortlake ;" and in the Ship of Folys, speaking of the ignorance 
of the English Clergy, he says : — 

" For if one can natter, and beare a hawke on his fist, 
He shal be made parson of Honington or of Clist" 
both rich benefices in the neighbourhood of St. Mary Ottcry, 
where he resided. 


Cornix, who is alluding to the death of a good 
shepherd: — 

Yes, since his dayes a cocke was in the fen, 

I knowe his voyce amonge a thousande men : 

He taught, he preached, he mended every wrong ; 

But, Coridon, alas ! no good thing ahideth long. 

He all was a cocke, he wakened us from slepe, 

And while we slumhred he did our foldes kepe ; 

No cur, no foxes, nor butcher's dogges wood 

Coulde hurte our fouldes, his watching was so good ; 

The hungry wolves which that time did abounde, 

What time he crowed abashed at the sounde. 

This cocke was no more abashed at the foxe 

Then is a lion abashed of an oxe. 

When he went faded the floure of all the fen, 

I boldly dare sweare this cocke trode never hen. 

This was a father of thinges pastorall, 

And that well sheweth his Church Cathedrall. 

There was I lately about the middest of May; 

Coridon, his churche is twenty sith more gay 

Then all the churches betwene the same and Kent. 

There sawe I his tome and chapell excellent ; 

I thought five houres but even a little while, 

Saint John the virgin me thought did on me smile. 

Our parishe churche is but a dongeon 

To that gay church in comparison. 

If the people were as pleasaunt as the place 

Then where it paradice of pleasour and solace. 

Then might I treuly right well finde in my heart 

There still to abide and never to departe. 

But since that this cock by death left his song, 

Trust me, Coridon, there many a thing is wrong. 

When I sawe his figure lye in the chapell side 
Like death, for weping I might no longer bide. 
Lo all good thinges so sone away doth glide, 
That no man liketh to long doth rest and abide. 
When the good is gone (my mate this is the case) 
Seldome the better re-entreth in the place. 

To all this Condon assents, and begs him to re- 
count his knowledge of Courts, and return to where 
he left off, which after a drink at the bottle, he 
does. He proceeds in the old strain, asserting that 
" the Court is the bayting place of hell," blaming 
Princes, but excusing some, " beside noble Henry 
which nowe departed late": and by way of climax 
asserts, that when by good luck a fortune is 
made there : — 

A fault shall be founde, some one shall thee accuse 
Of thing whereof thou did never think nor muse. 
Though thou be giltlesse, yet shalt thou be convict, 
Farewell thy good, all shall be from thee lickt, 
Or some back reckoning concerning thine office, 
Of all thy riches shall pill thee with a trice. 
Thou art then clapped in the Flete or Clinke, 
Then nought must thou say, whatsoever thou thinke. 
For if thou begin to murmure or complayne, 
Thy life thou lesest, then haste thou harmes twayne. 

After proceeding to shew the small amount of 
liberty enjoyed in Courts, and the folly of pursuing 
its uncertain gains, he adds : — 

It would make one clawe where as it doth not itche 
To see one live poore because he would dye riche. 


Because one in court hath gotten good, or twayne, 
Should all men suppose the same there to obtayne, 
And in hope thereof to lose their libertie, 
But seeking riches, such findeth povertie. 
For many in court while they abide riches, 
Spende all their treasure and live in wretchednes. 
What saith some foole, spende on a bone viage, 
Perchaunce my wages shall pass mine heritage. 
But while he spendeth till scant remayne a grote, 
Home he retourneth, yea, with a threede bare coate. 
His horse is so fat, that playne he is not able 
To get his body nor head out of the stable. 
His sworde and buckler is pledged at the bere, 
And to go lighter, so is his other gere. 
The rider walketh now with his bowe and arrowes, 
With a fayre excuse (in hedges to kill sparowes). 
And oft returning he sayde, but all to late, 
Adue all courting in the deuils date. 

Coridon asks whether all men be thus unplea- 
santly situated ? he answers, the rich and powerful 
may gather wealth and dignity, but the poor 
have little chance except to be their servitors; 
when the Eclogue ends thus, Coridon saying: — 

The more of the court that thou doest count and tell, 
The lesse me liketh with it to deale or mell. 


What, bide Coridon, yet haste thou not heard all, 
The court is in earth an ymage infernall ; 
Without fayre paynted, within uggly and vile, 
This know they surely which there hath bene a while. 
But of our purpose now for to speake agayne, 
Fewe princes give that which to them selfe attayne. 

Trust me, Coridon, I tell thee by my soule, 

They robbe Saint Peter therewith to cloth S. Powle. 

And like as dayly we both may see and here, 

Some pill* the churche, therewith to leade the quere. 

While men promoted by such rapine are glad, 

The wretches pilled, mourne, and be wo and sad, 

And many heyres live giltlesse in distresse, 

While [the] unworthy hath honour and riches. 

But such vile giftes may not be true playnly, 

Nor yet possessed by lawe right wisely. 

And sith fewe rowmest of lordly dignitie 

Be won or holden with right and equitie, 

Say what thing have they to geve by lawe and right, 

Sith their chiefe treasure is won by wrongful might. 

Whence come their jewels, their coyn,and cloth of price, 

Save most by rapine and selling of justice, 

Els of Saint Peters, or Christes patrimony. 

Nowe fewe be founders, but confounders many. 

These be no giftes true, honest nor laudable, 

Neyther to the gever nor taker profitable. 

These men call giftes of none utilitie, 

Which thus proceedeth of false iniquitie. 

Then leave we this vice while all good men it hate, 

For covetous with coyne be never saciate. 

I hearde syr Sampson^ say but this other day, 

That Jerome and Seneca do both this sentence say, 

That covetous wretches not onely want that thing 

Which they never had in title nor keeping, 

But that which they have also they want and fayle, 

Sith they it having of it have none avayle, 

And as I remember, olde Codrus sayde also, 

Rob. t Places, offices. \ The parish priest. 



That gokle nought helpeth when we must hence go, 
Scant have we pleasure of it while we here tary, 
And none can his store nor glory with him cary. 
Thus ought we to live as having all in store, 
But nought possessing, or caring nought therefore. 
What should christen men seeke farther for riches 1 
Having foode and cloth it is ynough doubtlesse. 
And these may our lorde geve unto us truely, 
Without princes service or courtly misery. 
Thus fmde we in court playne no riches at all, 
Or els finde we such with care continuall. 
That it were better no riches to have founde, 
Then for false treasure in thraldome to be bound. 


Looke up, mate Comix, beholde into the west, 

These windy cloudes us threatneth some tempest. 

My clothes be thin, my shepe be shorne newe, 

Suche storm might fall that both might after rewe. 

Drive we our flockes unto our poore cotage, 

To morowe of court we may have more language. 

This day haste thou tolde and proved openly 

That all such courtiers do live in misery. 

Which serve in the court for honour, laude or fame, 

And might or power, thou proved haste this same : 

And that all they live deepest in distresse 

Which serve there to win vayne treasour and riches. 

As for the other two, and if ought more remayne, 

Thou mayest tell to morowe when we turne agayne. 


I graunt, Coridon ; take up thy bottell sone, 
Lessc is the burthen nowe that the drinke is done. 
Lo here is a sport, our bottell is contrary 
To a cowes utter, and I shall tell thee why; 


With a full utter retournetk home the cowe, 
So doth not the bottell as it appereth nowe. 
Coridon, we must haste in our journey make, 
Or els shall the storme us and our shepe overtake. 

The second eclogue takes up the argument where 
it was last left, and proposes to speak of the 
court, and 

" what pleasure is there sene 

With the fyve wittes, beginning at the cyne." 

To which Coridon answers, that such pleasures 
must most abound there ; which is thus contra- 
dicted by Cornix ; and a long and interesting 
dialogue of a courtier's life entered on, affording 
a curious picture of the courts of the middle 
ages and their discomfort, which runs thus : — 

Nay, there hath the sight no manner of pleasaunce, 

And that shall I prove long time or it be night. 

Some men deliteth beholding men to fight, 

Or goodly knightes in pleasaunt apparayle, 

Or sturdie souldiers in bright harnes and male, 

Or an army arayde ready to the warre, 

Or to see them fight, so that he stande afarrc. 

Some glad is to sec these ladies beauteous 

Goodly appoynted in clothing sumpteous : 

A number of people appoynted in like wise 

In costly clothing after the newest gise, 

Sportes, disgising, fayrc coursers mount and praunce, 

Or goodly ladies and knightes sing and daunce, 

To see fayrc houses and curious picture, 



Or pleasaunt hanging, or sumpteous vesture 

Of silke, of purpure or golde moste orient, 

And other clothing divers and excellent, 

Rye curious buildinges or palaces royall, 

Or chapels, temples fayre and substanciall, 

Images graven or vaultes curious, 

Gardeyns and medowes, or place delicious, 

Forestes and parkes well furnished with dere, 

Colde pleasaunt streames or welles fayre and clere, 

Curious cundites or shadowie mountaynes, 

Swete pleasaunt valleys, laundes or playnes, 

Uoundes, and suche other thinges manyfolde 

Some men take pleasour and solace to beholde. 

But all these pleasoures be much more jocoundc 

To private persons which not to court be bounde, 

Then to suche other whiche of necessitie 

Are bounde to the court as in captivitie ; 

For they which be bounde to princes without fayle 

When they must nedes be present in battayle, 

There shall they not be at large to see the sight, 

But as souldiours in the middest of the fight, 

To runne here and there sometime his foe to smite, 

And oftetimes wounded, herein is small delite. 

And more muste he think his body to defende, 

Then for any pleasour about him to intende, 

And oft is he faynt and beaten to the grounde, 

I trowe in suche sight small pleasour may be founde. 

As for fayre ladies, clothed in silke and golde, 

In court at thy pleasour thou canst not beholde, 

At thy princes pleasour thou shalt them onely see, 

Then suche shalt thou see which little set by thee, 

Whose shape and beautie may so inflame thine heart, 

That thought and langour may cause thee for to smart. 


For a small sparcle may kindle love certayne, 

But scantly Severne may quench it clene agayne ; 

And beautie blindeth and causeth man to set 

His hearte on the thing which he shall never get. 

To see men clothed in silkes pleasauntly 

It is small pleasour, and ofte causeth envy. 

While thy leane jade halteth by thy side, 

To see another upon a courser ride, 

Though he be neyther gentleman nor knight, 

Nothing is thy fortune, thy hart can not be light. 

As touching sportes and games of pleasaunce, 

To sing, to revell, and other daliauuce : 

Who that will truely upon his lorde attende, 

Unto suche sportes he seldome may entende. 

Palaces, pictures and temples sumptuous, 

And other buildinges both gay and curious, 

These may marchauntes more at their pleasour see, 

Then suche as in court be bounde alway to bee. 

Sith kinges for moste parte passe not then- regions, 

Thou seest nowe cities of foreyn nations. 

Suche outward e pleasoures may the people see, 

So may not courtiers for lacke of libertie. 

As for these pleasours of thinges variable 

Whiche in the fieldes appeareth delectable, 

But seldome season mayest thou obtayne respite, 

The same to beholde with pleasour and delite. 

Sometime the courtier rcmayneth halfe the yere 

Close within walles muche like a prisonerc, 

To make escapes some seldome times are wont, 

Save when the princes have pleasour for to hunt, 

Or els otherwise them selfe to recreate, 

And then this pleasour shall they not love but hate : 

For then shall they foorth must chiefely to their payne. 

When they in mindes would at home remaync. 

Other in the frost, hayle or els snowe, 

Or when some tempest or mightic wind doth blowe, 

Or els in great heat and fervour excessife, 

But close in houses the moste parte waste their life, 

Of colour faded, and choked nere with duste : 

This is of courtiers the joy and all the lust. 


What ! yet may they sing and with fayre ladies daunce, 
Both commen and laugh ; herein is some pleasaunce. 


Nay, nay, Coridon, that pleasour is but small, 

Some to contente what man will pleasour call, 

For some in the daunce hir pincheth by the hande 

Which gladly would see him stretched in a bande. 

Some galand seketh hir favour to purchase 

Which playne abhorreth for to beholde his face. 

And still in daunsing moste parte inclineth she 

To one muche viler and more abject then he. 

No day overpasseth but that in court men finde 

A thousande thinges to vexe and greve their mindc ; 

Alway thy foes are present in thy sight, 

And often so great is their degree and might 

That nodes must thou kisse that hand which did thee 

Though thou would see it cut gladly from the arme. 
And briefly to speake, if thou to court resorte, 
Yf thou see one thing of pleasour or comfort, 
Thou shalt see many, before or thou depart, 
To thy displeasour and pensiveness of heart : 
So findeth thy sight there more of bitternes 
And of displeasour, then pleasour and gladnes. 


As touching the sight nowe see I clere and playne 


That men in the court shall finde but care and payne, 

But yet me thinketh as dayly doth appeare, 

That men in the court may pleasaunt thinges heare, 

And by suche meanes have delectation, 

While they heare tidinges and communication, 

And all the chaunces and every neweltie 

As well of our coste as farre beyonde the sea. 

There men may heare some that common of wisdome, 

For of men wisest within the court be some, 

There be recounted and of men learned tolde 

Famous chronicles of actes great and olde, 

The worthy dedes of princes excellent, 

To move young princes suche actes to frequent. 

For when wise men dare not bad princes blame, 

For their misliving, Minalcas sayth the same, 

Of other princes then laude they the vertue, 

To stirre their lordes such living to ensue. 

And while they commende princes unworthily, 

To be commendable they warn them secretly. 

All this may courtiers in court ofte times hear, 

And also songes of times swete and cleare. 

The birde of Cornewall, the Crane and the Kite, 

And mo other like to heare is great delite, 

Warbling their tunes at pleasour and at will, 

Though some be busy that therein have no skill, 

There men may heare muchc other melody 

In sounde resembling an heavenly armony. 

Is this not pleasour I me thinkes no mirth is scant 

Where no rejoysing of minstrelcie doth want, 

The bagpipe or fidle to us is delectable, 

Then is there solace more greatly commendable. 


Thou art disccaved and so be many mo, 


Which for suche pleasour unto the court will go, 

But for these also I muste finde remedy, 

Which sue to the court for lust of melody ; 

They be mad fooles which to rejoyce their cares 

Will live in court more dreadfull then with beares : 

In stede of pleasour suche finde but hevines, 

They heare small good, but much unhappines. 

As touching tidinges which thou dost first abject, 

There muche thinges is tolde false and of none effect, 

And more displeasour shall wise men in them finde 

Then joye and pleasour to comforte of their minde. 

These be tidinges in Court moste commonly 

Of cities taken, warre, fraude and tiranny, 

Good men subdued or els by malyce slayne, 

And bad in their stede have victory and reigne. 

Of spoyling, murther, oppression and rapine, 

How lawe and justice sore falleth to ruine. 

Among the courtiers suche newelties be tolde, 

And in meane season they laugh both yong and olde. 

While one recounteth some dedes abhominablc, 

Suche other wretches repute it commendable. 

But men of wisedome well learned in Scripture 

Which talke of maners or secretes of nature, 

Or of histories, their disputation 

Is swetely saused with adulation, 

They clokc the truth their princes to content, 

To purchase favour and minde benevolent, 

And sometime poetes or oratours ornate, 

Make orisons before some great estate ; 

It is not so swete to heare them talking there, 

Where as their mindes be troubled oft with feare, 

As in the scholes, where they at libertie 

Without all flattering may talke playne veritie. 


For treuly in courtes all communication 
Must nedes have spice of adulation. 
Suche as be giltie anone be mad and wroth 
If one be so bolde playnly to say the troth, 
Therefore ill livers ofte times lauded be, 
And men dispraysed which love honestie. 
And true histories of actes auncient 
Be falsely turned some princes to content, 
And namely when suche histories testifie 
Blame or disworship touching his progenie. 
Then newe histories be fayned of the olde, 
With flattery paynted and lyes manyfolde. 
Then some good scholer without promotion, 
Hearing suche glosed communication, 
Dare not be so bolde his lyving to gaynsay, 
But laugh in his minde yet at the foole he may. 
And also in the court auctours not veritable 
And least of valour are counted moste laudable ; 
But Livius, Salust, and Quintus Curcius 
Justinian, Plutarche, and Suetonius, 
With these noble auctours and many suche mo, 
In this time Courtiers will nothing have to do. 


Cornix, where hast thou these strange names sought '. 

I sought not in youth the world all for nought : 
Minstrels and singers be in the court likewise, 
And that of the best and of the French gise, 
Suche men with princes be sene more acceptable 
Then men of wisedome and clarkes venerable ; 
For philosophers, poctes, and oratours, 
Be seldome in court had in so great honours. 
When thou fayne would here suche folkcs play or sing, 


Nothing shall he done of them at thy liking, 

But when it pleaseth thy prince them to call, 

Then- sounde ascendeth to chamber and to hall. 

When thou wouldest slepe or do some busines, 

Then is their rnusike to thee unquietnes ; 

Yet bide their clamour and sounde thou must, 

To thy great trouble and no plcasour or lust : 

This is of singers the very propertie, 

Alway they covey t desired for to be, 

And when their frendes would heare of their cunning 

Then are they never disposed for to sing ; 

But if they begin desired of no man, 

Then shewe they all and more then they can, 

And never leave they till men of them be wery, 

So in their conceyt their cunning they set by : 

And thus when a man would gladlicst them heare, 

Then have they disdayne in presence to appeare, 

And then when a man would take his ease and rest, 

Then none can voyde them, they be in place so prest. 

Yet muste thou nedes eche season principall 

Bcwarde suche people, els art thou nought at all, 

For their displeasour to thee and paynes harde : 

Lo, suche is the court, thou must geve them rewarde. 

Beside this in the court men scant heare other thing 

Save chiding and brauling, banning and cursing, 

Eche one is busy his felowe for to blame, 

There is blaspheming of God's holy name, 

Devising othes with plcasour for the nonce, 

And often they speake together all at once, 

So many clamours use they at every tide, 

That scant mayst thou heare thy felowe by thy side, 

The boste their shines as paste the fear of shame, 

Detracting other men faultie in the same. 

One laudeth his lande where he was bred and borne, 
At others country having disdaync and scorne. 
On eche side soundeth foule speche of ribawdry, 
Vaunting and hosting of sinne and vilanny, 
No measure, no maner, shame, nor reverence, 
Have they in wordes in secret or presence, 
A rustic ribaude, more viler than a sowe, 
Hath in the court more audience than thou. 
Some boke, some braule, some slaunder and backbite- 
To heare suche manors can be but small delite, 
Except a wretche will confourme him to that sortc, 
Then in suche hearing his blindnes hath comfort. 
These scabbed scolions may do and say their will, 
When men of worship for very shame are still. 
Who that hath wisedome would rather deafe to be, 
Then dayly to heare suche vile enormitte. 


I see in hearing men in the court have no joye. 

Yet is it pleasour to handle and to toye 

With Galatea, Licoris, or Phillis, 

Neera, Malkin, or lustie Testalis, 

And other dames ; yf coyne be in the pouche, 

Men may have pleasour them for to fele and touchc. 

In court hath Venus hir power principall, 

For women use to love them moste of all 

Which boldly bosteth, or that can sing and jet, 

Which arc well decked with large bushes set, 

Which hath the mastery ofte time in tournament, 

Or that can gambauld or daunce feat and gent, 

Or that can alway be mery without care, 

With suche can women moste chiefly dcale and fare : 

So may these courtiers in court some pleasour win, 

Oncly in touching and feling their softo skinnc. 



Thou art abused, forsooth it is not so, 

Lovers in court have rnoste of care and wo. 

Some women love them, inflamed by vile lust, 

But yet very fewe dare them beleve or trust : 

For well knowe wemen that courtiers chat and bable, 

They boste their sinnes, and ever be unstable, 

After their pleasour, then to the olde adewe, 

Then be they busy to purvay for a newe. 

This knowe all wemen, some by experience, 

So fewe to courtiers geve trust or confidence, 

Except it be suche as forseth not hir name, 

Or passeth all feare, rebuke or worldly shame, 

Then suche a brothrell hir kepeth not to one, 

For many courtiers ensueth hir alone. 

And none shalt thou love of this sort, pardee, 

But that she loveth another better then thee. 

And then as often as parting felowes mete 

They chide and braule though it be in the strcte ; 

Hatred, and strife, and fighting commeth after, 

Effusion of bloud, and oftentime manslaughter. 

Thou canst no woman kepe streite and nigardly, 

To whom many one doth promise largely. 

Another shall come more freshe and gayly decte, 

Then hath he favour and thou art cleane abjccte ; 

Then thou hast wasted thy money, name, and sede, 

Then shalt thou have nought save a mocke for thy mede; 

Thou art the ninth, wening to be alone, 

For none of this sorte can be content with one : 

Yet shall she fayne hir chast as Penelope, 

Though she love twentie as well as she doth thee, 

And cche for his time shall have a mcry loke ; 

She sighcth as she great sorowc for thee toke, 

With fayned teares she nioysteneth ofte thy lap, 
Till time that thy purse he taken in a trap, 
And if she perceive that all thy coyne is gon, 
Then daunce at the doore, adewe, gentle John. 
And ofte when thou goest to visite thy lemnian, 
With hir shalt thou finde some other joly man, 
Then shall she make thee for to beleve none other 
But he is hir father, hir uncle, or hir brother ; 
But playnly to speake, he brother is to thee, 
If kinred may rise of suche iniquitie. 
Agayne to hir house if that thou after come, 
Then shalt thou finde that she is not at home, 
But gone to some other, which for rebuke and shame 
Durst not come to hir for hurting of his name. 


Here is a rule, this doth excede my minde, 
Who would thinke this gile to be in womankinde 1 
But yet man, pardie, some be as good within 
As they be outwarde in beautie of their skin, 
Of this cursed sorte they can not be eche one, 
Some be which kepe them to one lover alone, 
As Penelope was to hir Ulisses. 
Thinke on what Codrus recounted of Lucres, 
Though she not willing was falsly violate, 
With hir owne handes procured she hir fate. 

It were a great wonder among the women all 

If none were parties* of luste venerall, 

I graunt some chast what time they can not chusc, 

As when all men their company refuse, 

Or when she knowcth hir vice should be detect, 

* Destitute. Literally without part. 

Then of niisliving avoydeth she the sect. 

And though in the worlde some women thou mayst find, 

Which chastly live of their owne kindc, 

Or that can kepc hir selfe onely to one, 

Yet is with suche of pleasour small or none, 

To hir at pleasour thou canst not resorte : 

In pleasour stollen, small is the comfort, 

Neyther mayst thou longe with suche one rcmayne, 

And in shorte pleasour departing in great payne, 

To hir mayst thou come but onely nowe and then, 

By stealth and startes as privily as thou can. 

Thy love and thy lorde mayst thou not serve together, 

If so, thy wit is distract thou wot not whither ; 

Thy lorde doth chalenge to him thy whole service, 

And the same doth love chalenge in like wise. 

Not onely it is harde in the court to save 

Thy leman chast with hir pleasour to have, 

But also it is extreme difficultie 

Thine owne wife in court to kepe in chastitie, 

For flattering woers on every side appeare, 

And lustie galandes of fayre dissimuled chcare : 

Some promis golde and giftes great and small, 

Some hastie galandc is yet before them all, 

So many woers, baudes and brokers, 

Flatterers, liers, and hastie proferers 

Be alway in court, that chast Penelope 

Coulde scant among them preserve hir chastitie. 

So great temptation no woman may resist, 

If heavenly power hir might do not assist, 

For craft and coyne, flattery and instaunce, 

Turneth chast mindes to vile misgovernaunce. 

Though she be honest yet niuste thou leave thy love, 

Sith princes courtes continually remove, 

Then whether she be thy wife or thy concubine, 

Ilir care and dolour is great, and so is thine : 

For neyther mayest thou with hir abide, 

Nor lede hir with thee, or kepe hir by thy side. 

When thou art gone, if she behinde remaync, 

Then feare thee troubleth with torment and with paync, 

Because that the minde of woman is unstable, 

Alway thou doubtest least she be changeable, 

And I assure thee if man be out of sight 

The minde of woman to returne is very light, 

Once out of sight and shortly out of minde, 

This is their maner, appeare they never so kinde. 

Adde to all these scorne and derision 

Which thou mayst suffer, and great suspection, 

Infamy, slaunder, and privie jelosie, 

These muste thou suffer without all remedy, 

And other daungers mo then a man can thinkc, 

While other slepeth the lover scant doth winke, 

Who hath these proved shall none of them desire, 

For children brent still after drede the fire : 

Sith that these thinges to all men be grevous, 

They be to courtes yet moste dammagious, 

Moste payncfull, noyous, and playnely importable, 

In court them feling hath nothing delectable. 


I see the pleasour of touching is but small, 
I thought it hony, I see nowe it is gall. 
Now spcake on, Cornix, I pray thee brefely tell, 
What joye have courtiers in tasting or in smell ; 
For these two wittes in court be recreate, 
Els many wretches be there infatuate. 


The smell and tasting partly conjoyned be, 


And part disjoyned as I shall tell to thee: 
For while we receyve some meates delicate, 
The smell and tasting then both be recreate, 
The fragraunt odour and oyntment of swete floure 
Onely deliteth the smelling with dolour. 
Of meat delicious gone is the smell and tast 
When it is chewed and through the gorge past ; 
But they which in mouth have pleasour principall, 
Are beastly fooles and of living brutall. 
The famous shephearde whom Nero did behede, 
Them greatly blameth which beastly use to fede, 
Whiche for their wombe chiefe care and labour take, 
And of their bellies are wont their God to make. 


A God of the wombe, that heard I never ere. 


Coridon, thou art not to olde for to lere, 

I playnly shall nowe declare for thy sake, 

How beastly gluttons a god of their wombes make : 

To God are men wont temples to edifie, 

And costly auters to ordeyne semblably, 

To ordeyne ministers to execute service, 

To offer beastes by way of sacrifice, 

To burne in temples well smelling incence : 

Gluttons to the wombe do all this reverence. 


They and their goddes come to confusion, 
Which forgeth idols by suche abusion, 
But procede, Comix ; tell in wordes playne, 
Howe all thinges they to the wombe ordeyne 
Which is in temple the aulter and incence, 
And the ministers to do their diligence, 
Within the temple to kepe alway service, 
And to the belly which is the sacrifice. 


To god of the belly gluttons a temple make 

Of the smoky kitchin, for temple it they take, 

Within this temple minister bawdy cookes, 

And yong scolions with fendes of their lookes ; 

The solemne aulter is the boorde or table, 

With dishes charged twentie in a rable ; 

The beastes oflred in sacrifice or hoste 

In divers sortes of sodden and of roste ; 

The sawse is insence, or of the meate the smell, 

And of this temple these be the vessell : 

Platters and dishes, morter and potcrokes,* 

Pottes and pestels, brochest and fleshe hokes, 

And many mo els then I can count or tell, 

They know them best which with the kitchen mell, 

For God of the wombe this service they prepare, 

As for their true God full little is their care. 


This life is beastly and utterly damnable. 


But yet it is now reputed commendable. 

Princes and commons and many of religion 

Unto this temple have chefe devotion, 

To cookes and taverners some earlier frequent 

Then unto the service of God omnipotent, 

First serve the belly, then after serve our Lorde, 

Suche is the worlde though it do ill accorde, 

And suche as deliteth in beastly gluttony 

Foloweth the court, supposing stedfastly 

With meat and with drinkc to stuffe well the paunch, 

Whose luste insatiate no flood of hell can staunch. 

* Pothooks. f Spits. 


And for that princes use costly meat and wine, 

These fooles suppose to fede them with as fine, 

To eate and drinke as swete and delicate 

As doth their princes or other great estate. 

Likewise as flyes do folowe and thick swarme 

About fat paunches unto their utter harrne ; 

So suche men as have in gluttony comfort 

To lordes kitchins moste busely resorte ; 

With hungry throtes yet go they ofte away, 

And ofte have the flyes much better part then they. 


Then tell on, Cornix, what comfort and pleasour 
Men finde in court in tasting and savour ; 
With meat and drinke howe they their wombes fill, 
And whether they specie at pleasour and at will. 


To eate and to drinke then is moste joye and luste 

When men be hungry and greved sore with thurst ; 

But ofte unto noon muste thou abide respite, 

Then turned is hunger to dogges appetite ; 

For playne wood hungry* that time is many one, 

That some would gladly be gnawing of a bone, 

On which vile curres hath gnawen on before, 

His purse is empty and hunger is so sore ; 

Or some by feblenes and weery tarying 

Lese their appetite that they can eate nothing. 

Some other hath eaten some bread and chese before, 

That at their diner they list to eate no more, 

Their stomake stopped and closed with some crust, 

From them hath taken their appetite and lust. 

Then other courtiers, of maners bestiall, 

* Madly hungry. 

With greedy mouthes devoureth more than all. 

Thus some at rising be fuller then be swine, 

And some for hunger agayne may sit and dine. 

Sometime together must thou both dine and sup, 

And sometime thou dinest before the sunne be up ; 

But if thou refuse to eat before day light, 

Then must thou tary and fast till it be night ; 

To eate and to drinke then is it small delite 

When no digestion hath stirred appetite. 

Agayne thou art set to supper all to late, 

All thing hath season which men of court not hate, 

For never shall thy meate be set to thee in season, 

Whereof procedeth much sore vexation ; 

Ofte age intestate departed sodenly, 

And lustie galandes departeth semhlably ;* 

Hereof procedeth the vomite and the stone, 

And other sicknes, many mo than one. 

Sometime is the wine soure, watery, and so bad, 

That onely the colour might make a man be mad ; 

Colde without measure, or hote as horse pis, 

Bad is the colour, the savour badder is : 

But if in the court thou drinke both beare and ale, 

Then is the colour troubled, blacke and pale. 

Thinke not to drinke it in glasse, silver or golde, 

The one may be stollen, the other can not holde, 

Of a trenc vesellt then must thou nedely drinke, 

Oldc, blacke and rustie, lately taken fro some sinke ; 

And in suche vessell drinke shalt thou often time, 

Which in the bottom is full of filth and slime, 

And of that vessell thou drinkest ofte I wis, 

In which some states or dames late did pis : 

* Similarly. t Wooden vessel. 

<1 i> 

Yet shalt thou not have a cup at thy delite 

To drinkc of aloue at will and appetite. 

Coridon, in court I tell thee by my soule, 

For rnoste parte thou muste drinke of a common boule, 

And where gresy lippes and slimy bearde 

Hath late bene dipped to make some mad afearde, 

On that side muste thou thy lippes washe also, 

Or els without drinke from diner muste thou go. 

In the meane season olde wine and dearly bought, 

Before thy presence shall to thy prince be brought, 

Whose smell and odour so swete and marvelous 

With fragrant savour inbaumeth all the house ; 

As Muscadell, Caprike, Romney and Malvesy, 

From Gene* brought, from Greece or Hungary ; 

Suche shall he drinke, suche shall to him be brought, — 

Thou haste the savouf , thy parte of it is nought ; 

Though thou shouldest perishe for very ardent thirst, 

No drop thou gettest for to eslake thy lust ; 

And though good wines sometime to thee be brought, 

The taste of better shall cause it to be nought. 

Oft wouldest thou drinke yet darest thou not sup, 

Till time thy better have tasted of the cup. 

No cup is filled till diner halfe be done, 

And some ministers it counteth then to sonc ; 

But if thou begin for drinke to call and crave, 

Thou for thy calling such good rewarde shaltc have, 

That men shall call thee malapart or dronke, 

Or an abbey lownet or limnierj of a monke. 

But with thy rebuke yet art thou never the nere, 

Whether thou clemaunde wine, palled ale or beare, 

Yet shalt thou not drinke when thou hast nedeand thirst, 

* Genoa. | I^zy, idle fellow. % Rascal. 


The cup muste thou spare ay for the better lust. 

Through many handes shall passe the pece or cup, 

Before or it come to thee is all dronke up ; 

And then if a droppe or two therin remayne, 

To licke the vessell sometime thou art full fayne. 

And then at the ground some filth if thou espy 

To blame the butler thou gettest but envy. 

And as men wekely ncwe holy water power, 

And once in a yere the vessell use to scoure, 

So cups and tankardes in court as thou mayest thinke, 

Wherein the commons are used for to drinke, 

Are once in the yere empty and made cleane, 

And scantly that well, as oftentime is sene. 

For to aske water thy wines to allay 

Thou finde shalt no nede if thou before assaye, 

With rinsing of cuppes it tempered is before 

Because pure water perchaunce is not in store. 


Fye on this maner, suche service I defy, 

I see that in court is uncleane penury : 

Yet here, though our drinke be very thin and small, 

We may therof plenty have when we do call, 

And in cleane vessell we drinke therof, pardee ; 

Take here the bottle, Comix, assay and see. 


Then call for the priest* when I refuse to drinke; 
This ale brewed Bently, it maketh me to winke. 


Thou sayest true, Cornix ; beleve me, by the rood 
No hande is so sure that can alway make good ; 
But talke of the court if thou hast any more ; 

* Send for the priest, that I may prepare to die. 


Set down the bottle, save some licour in store. 


God blesse the brewer, well cooled is my throte. 

Nowe might I for nede sing hier by a note, 

It is bad water that can not allay dust, 

And very soure ale that can not quench thirst. 

Nowe rowleth my tonge, now chat I without payne, 

Nowe heare me, I enter into the courte agayne. 

Beholde in the court on common table clothes 

So vile and ragged that some his diner lothes ; 

Touche them, then shall they unto thy fingers cleve, 

And then muste thou wipe thy handes on thy sieve. 

So he which dayly fareth in this gise, 

Is so imbrued and noynted in such wise, 

That as many men as on his skirtes looke 

Count him a scoleon or els a greesy cooke. 


Yet Cornix, agayne all courting I defye, 
More clennes is kept within some hogges stye ; 
But yet, mate Cornix, all be not thus I wene, 
For some table clothes be kept white and clene, 
Finer then silke, and chaunged every day. 


Coridon, forsooth it is as thou doest say, 

But these be thinges moste chiefe and principal], 

Onely reserved for greatest men of all : 

As for other clothes which serve the commontie, 

Suche as I tolde thee or els viler be, 

And still remayne they unto the plank cleving, 

So black, so baudie, so foule and ill seming, 

Of sight and of scent so vile and abhominable, 

Till scant may a man discerne them from the table. 

But nowe heare what mcate there ncilcs eate thou must, 

And then if thou mayst to it apply thy lust : 

Thy meate in the court is neyther swanne nor heron, 

Curlewe nor crane, hut course beef'e and mutton, 

Fat porke or vele, and namely such as is bought 

For Easter price,* when they be leane and nought. 

Thy fleshe is restie or leane, tough and olcle, 

Or it come to horde unsavery and colde, 

Sometime twise sodden, and cleane without taste, 

Saused with coles and ashes all for haste : 

When thou it eatest it smelleth so of smoke, 

That every morsell is able one to choke. 

Make hunger thy sause be thou never so nice, 

For there shalt thou finde none other kinde of spice. 

Thy potage is made with wedes and with ashes, 

And betwene thy teeth oft time the coles crashes, 

Sometime halfe sodden is bothe thy fieshe and broth ; 

The water and hearbes together be so wroth 

That eche goeth aparte, they can not well agree, 

And ofte be they salte as water of the sea. 

Seldome at chese hast thou a little licke, 

And if thou ought have, within it shall be quicke, 

All full of magots, and like to the raynebowe, 

Of divers colours, as red, grene and yelowe, 

On eche side gnawen with mise or with rattes, 

Or with vile womies, with dogges or with cattes ; 

Uncleane and scorvy, and harde as the stone, 

It loketh so well thou wouldest it were gone. 

If thou have butter, then shall it be as ill 

Or worse than thy chese, but hunger hath no skill ; 

And when that egges halfe hatched be almost, 

Then are they for thee layde in the fire to rost. 

* At a cheap rate, tlesh being then at a discount. 


If thou have pcares or apples, he thou sure 

Then be they suche as might no longer endure ; 

And if thou none eate, they be so good and fine 

That after diner they serve for the swine. 

Thy oyle for frying is for the lanipes mete, 

A man it choketh the savour is so swete, 

A cordwayners shop and it have equall sent, 

Suche payne and penaunce accordeth best to Lent : 

Suche is of this oyle the savour perilous, 

That it might serpentes drive out of an house ; 

Oftetime it causeth thy stomake to reboke, 

And ofte it is ready thee sodenly to choke. 

Of fishe in some court thy chefe and used dishe 

Is whiting, hearing, saltfishe and stockfishe ; 

If the daye be solemne perchaunce thou mayst fele 

The taste and the sapour of tenche or ele ; 

Their muddy sapour shall make thy stomake ake, 

And as for the ele is cousin to a snake, 

But if better fishe or any dishes more 

Come to thy parte it nought was before, 

Corrupt, ill smelling, and five dayes olde, 

For sent thou canst not receyve it if thou would. 

Thy bread is blacke, of ill sapour and taste, 

And harde as a Hint because thou none should waste, 

That scant be thy teeth able it to breake ; 

Dippe it in potage if thou no shift can make ; 

And though white and browne be both at one price, 

With browne shalt thou fede least white might make 

thee nice. 
The lordes will alway that people note and see 
Betwene them and servauntes some diversities 
Though it to them turne to no profite ;it all, 
If they have pleasour the sei vaunt shall have small. 


Thy dishes be one, continuing the yere, 
Thou knowest what meat before thee shall appeare, 
This slaketh great parte of luste and pleasour, 
Which asketh daynties nioste divers of sapour. 
On one dishe dayly nedes shalt thou blowe, 
Till thou be all wery as dogge of the bowe ; 
But this might be sufFred may fortune easily, 
If thou sawe not sweter meates to passe by ; 
For this unto courtiers moste commonly doth hap, 
That while they have browne bread and chesein their lap, 
On it faste gnawing as houndes ravenous, 
Anone by them passeth of meate delicious, 
And costly dishes a score may they tell ; 
Their greedy gorges are rapt with the smell ; ' 
The deynteous dishes which passe through the hall, 
It were great labour for me to name them all ; 
And Coridon, all if I would, it were but shame 
For simple shepheardes such daynties to name. 
' With browne bread and chese the shepheard is content, 
And scant see we fishe paste once in the Lent, 
And other seasons softe chese is our food, 
With butter and creame, then is our diner good ; 
And milke is our mirth and speciall appetite, 
In apples and plommes also is our delite. 
These fill the belly although we hunger sore, 
When man hath inough what nedeth him have more, 
But when these courtiers sit on the benches idle, 
Smelling those dishes, they bite upon the bridle, 
And then is their payne and anger fell as gall, 
When all passeth by and they have nought at all. 
What fishe is of savour swete and delicious 
While thou sore hungrest thy prince hath plenteous ; 
Hosted or sodden in swete hearhes or wine, 


Or fried in oyle moste saporous and fine, 

Suche fishe to beholde and none therof to taste, 

Pure envy causeth thy heart nere to brast ; 

Then seing his dishes of fleshe newe agayne, 

Thy minde hath torment yet with muche great payue, 

Well mayst thou smell the pasties of a hart 

And dyvers day n ties, but nought shall be thy parte. 

The crane, the fesant, the pecocke and curlewe, 

The partriche, plover, bittor* and heronsewe,t 

Eche birde of the ayre and beastes of the grounde 

At princes pleasour shalt thou beholde abounde, 

Seasoned so well in licour redolent 

That the hall is fidl of pleasaunt smell and scent : 

To see suche dishes and smell the swete odour, 

And nothing to taste is utter displeasour. 


Yes, somewhat shall come who can his time abide, 
And thus may I warne my felowe by my side : 
What ! eate softe, Dromo ! and have not so great hast, 
For shortly we shall some better morsell taste ; 
Softe, man, and spare thou a corner of thy belly, 
Anone shall be sent us some little dishe of jelly, 
A legge of a swan, a partriche or twayne. 


Nay, nay, Coridon, thy biding is in vayne, 

Thy thought shall vanishe, suche dishes be not small, 

For common courtiers of them have nought at all ; 

To thy next felowe some morsell may be sent 

To thy displeasour, great anguishe and torment, 

Wherby in thy minde thou mayst suspect and trowe 

* Bittern. 

t A young- heron, from whence comes the corrupted proverb, 

he can't tell a hawk from a handsaw (heronshaw)." 


Hiin more in favour and in conceipt then thou. 

And sometime to thee is sent a little crap 

With savour therof to take thee in the trap, 

Not to allay thy hunger and desire, 

But by the swetenes to set thee more on fire. 

Beside all this sorowe increased is thy payne, 

When thou beholdest before thy lorde payne mayne, 

A baker chosen and waged well for thy, 

That onely he should that busines apply ; 

If thou one manchet dare handle or els touche, 

Because of duetie to thrust it in thy pouche, 

Then shall some sloven thee dashe on the eare, 

Thou shrinkest for shame, thy bread leaving there. 


My bagge full of stones and hooke in my hande, 
Should geve me a courage suche boldly to withstand. 


Not so, Coridon, they fare like to curres, 

Together they cleve more fast then do burres ; 

Though eche one with other ofte chide, braule, and fight, 

Agaynst a poore stranger they shewe all their might. 

It is a great mastery for thee, Coridon, alone 

To strive or contende with many mo then one, 

A strawe for thy wisdome and arte liberal!, 

For favour and coyne in court worketh all. 

Thy princes apples be swete and orient, 

Suche as Minalcas unto Amintas sent, 

Or suche as Agros did in his keping holdc, 

Of fragrant sapour and colour like pure golde, 

In favour of whom thou onely haste dclite, 

But if thou should dye no morsell shalt thou bite. 

His chesc is costly, fat, plcasaunt, and holesome, 

Though thy teeth water thou eatest not a crunie. 


Upon the sewer well mayst thou gase and gape 
While he is filled thy hunger is a jape. 
Before thy soveraygne shall the kerver stande 
With divers gesture, his knife in his hande 
Disniernbring a crane, or somewhat deynteous : 
And though his parsell be fat and plenteous, 
Though unto divers thou see him cut and kerve, 
Thou gettest no gobbet though thou shuld dye an. 

sterve ; 
In all that thy sight hath delectation, 
Thy greedy tasting hath great vexation. 
What man will beleve that in such wretched thing, 
A courtier may finde his pleasure or living. 
What man is he but rather would assent 
That in such living is anguish and torment. 
May not this torment be well compared thus 
Unto the torment of wretched Tantalus ? 
Which, as said Faustus, whose saying I may thinke, 
In floud and fruites may neither eate nor drinke : 
Auncient poetes this Tantalus do fayne 
In hell condemned to suffer such payne, 
That up to the chin in water doth he stande, 
And to his upper lip reache apples a thousande, 
But when he would drinke, the water doth descende, 
And when he would eate the apples do ascende ; 
So both fruite and water them keepeth at a stent, 
In middes of pleasures have courtiers like torment. 
But nowe to the table for to retourne agayne, 
There hast thou yet another grievous payne : 
That when other talke and speake what they will, 
Thou dare not whisper, but as one dombe be still. 
And if thou ought speake privy or apert, 
Thou art to busy, and called malepert. 


If thou call for ought by worde, signe or becke, 
Then Jacke with the bush* shal taunt thee with a chek. 
One reacheth thee bread with grutch and murmuring, 
If thou of some other demaunde any thing, 
He hath at thy asking great scorne and disdayne, 
Because that thou sittest while he standeth in payne. 
Sometime the servauntes be blinde and ignorant, 
And spye not what thinge upon the horde doth want, 
If they see a fault they will it not attende, 
By negligent scorne disdayning it to mende. 
Sometime thou wantest eyther bread or wine, 
But nought dare thou aske if thou should never dine. 
Demaunde salt, trencher, spone, or other thing, 
Then art thou importune, and evermore craving : 
And so shall thy name be spread to thy payne, 
For at thee shall all have scorne and disdayne. 
Sometime art thou yrkedt of them at the table. 
But niuche more art thou of the serving rable. 
The hungry servers which at the table stande 
At every morsell hath eye unto thy hande, 
So much on thy morsell distract is their minde, 
They gape when thou gapest, oft biting the winde, 
Because that thy leavings is onely their part. 
If thou feede thee well, sore grieved is their heart ; 
Namely of a dish costly and deynteous, 
Eche pece that thou cuttest to them is tedious. 
Then at the cuphorde one doth another tell, 
" See how he feedeth like the devill of hell, 
Our part he eateth, nought good shall we tast ;" 
Then pray they to God that it lie thy last. 

* A " Jack in office." t Troubled, annoyed. 



I had lever, Comix, go supperlesse to bed, 
Then at such a feast to be so bested, 
Better is it with chese and bread one to fill, 
Then with great dayntie with anger and ill will. 
Or a small handfull with rest and sure pleasaunce, 
Then twentie dishes with wrathful countenaunce. 


That can Amintas recorde and testify. 

But yet is in court more payne and misery. 

Brought in be dishes the table for to fill, 

But not one is brought in order at thy will : 

That thou would have first and lovest principall 

Is brought to the borde ofte times last of all. 

With breade and rude meate when thou art saciate, 

Then commeth dishes moste swete and delicate. 

Then must thou eyther despise them utterly, 

Or to thy hurte surfet, ensuing gluttony. 

But if it fortune, as seldome doth befall, 

That at beginning come dishes best of all, 

Or thou haste tasted a morsell or twayne, 

Thy dish out of sight is taken soon agayne. 

Slowe be the servers in serving in alway, 

But swifte be they after taking thy meate away. 

A speciall custome is used them among, 

No good dish to suffer on borde to be longe. 

If the dishe be pleasaunt, eyther fleshe or fishe, 

Ten handes at once swarme in the dishe, 

And if it be fleshe, ten knives shalt thou see 

Mangling the flesh and in the platter flee : 

To put there thy handes is perill without fayle, 

Without a gauntlet or els a glove of maylc. 

Among all these knives thou one of both must have, 


Or els it is harde thy fingers whole to save : 

Oft in such dishes in court is it seene 

Some leve their fingers, eche knife is so kene. 

On a finger gnaweth some hasty glutton, 

Supposing it is a piece of biefe or mutton. 

Beside these in court mo paynes shalt thou see, 

At horde be men set as thicke as they may be, 

The platters shall passe oft times to and fro, 

And over the shoulders and head shall they go ; 

And oft all the broth and licour fat, 

Is spilt on thy gowne, thy bonet, and thy hat. 

Sometime art thou thrust for little rowme and place, 

And sometime thy felowe reboketh in thy face. 

Betwene dish and dish is tary tedious, 

But in the meane time thogh thou have payne grevous, 

Neyther mayest thou rise, cough, spit, or neese, 

Or take other easement, least thou thy name may 

For such as this wise to ease them are wont 
In number of rascoldes courtiers them count. 
Of meate is none hour, nor time of certentie, 
Yet from beginning absent if thou be, 
Eyther shalt thou lose thy meat and kisse the post, 
Or if by favour thy supper be not lost, 
Thou shalt at the least way rebukes soure abide 
For not attending and fayling of thy tide. 
Onions or garlike, which stamped Testilis, 
Nor yet sweete leekcs mayst thou not eate y-wis. 


What ! forsake garlike, leekcs, and butter sweete 1 
Nay, rather would I go to Ely on my feete, 
We count these dcyntics and meates very good. 
These be chiefe dishes, and rural] men's foode. 



Who court frequenteth must love the dishes sweete, 

And lordes dishes to him are nothing mete. 

As for our meates they maye not eate I thinke, 

Because great lordes may not abide the stinke. 

But yet the lordes siege and rurall mens ordure 

Be like of savour for all their meates pure. 

As for common meates, of them pleasure is small, 

Because one service of them continuall 

Allayeth pleasure, for voluptuositie 

Will have of dishes chaunge and diversitie ; 

And when thou haste smelled meate more delicious, 

Thy course dayly fare to thee is tedious. 

Now judge, Coridon, if herein be pleasour, 

Me thinke it anguish, sorowe, and dolour, 

Continuall care and utter misery, 

Affliction of hearte and wretched penury. 

But many fooles thinke it is nothing so, 

While they see courtiers outwarde so gayly go, 

The coursers, servauntes, cloth, silver and golde, 

And other like thinges delite they to beholde : 

But nought they regarde the inward misery 

Which them oppresseth in court continually. 

And as saith Seneca, some count them fortunate, 

Which outwarde appere well clothed or ornate, 

But if thou behelde their inwarde wretchednes, 

Their- daily trouble, their fruitlesse busynes, 

Then would they count them both vile and miserable, 

Their rowme and office both false and disceyvable. 

For like as men paynt olde walles ruinous, 

So be they paynted, their life contrarious ; 

And therefore all they which serve in court gladly 

For taste or smelling, or spice of gluttony, 


Have life more wretched then burges or merchant, 
Which with their wives have love and life pleasant. 
Shepherdes have not so wretched lives as they, 
Though they live poorely on cruddes, chese, and whey, 
On apples, plummes, and drinke clere water deepe, 
As it were lordcs reigning among their sheepe. 
The wretched lazar with clinking of his bell, 
Hath life which doth the courters life excell ; 
The cajtif begger hath meate and libertie, 
When courters hunger in harde captivitie. 
The poore man beggeth nothing hurting his name, 
As touching courters, they dare not beg for shame. 
And an olde proverb is sayde by men moste sage, 
That oft yonge courters be beggers in their age. 
Thus all those wretches which do the court frequent, 
Bring not to purpose their mindes nor intent ; 
But if their mindes and will were saciate, 
They are not better therby nor fortunate. 
Then all be fooles (concluding with this clause) 
Which with glad mindes use courting for such cause. 

Coridon now declares himself satisfied of " the 
paynes manyfolde 11 endured by courtiers; but 
Cornix assures him he has not yet told all, and 
recounts the trouble good men meet with when 
they intend only to benefit the weak and dis- 
tressed, and the enmity they raise against them- 
selves, which renders them powerless for good, 
while they run the risk of becoming as bad as the 
rest. Coridon concludes the eclogue by saying: — 

Thou hast me saved by councell sapient 
Out of hell mouth, and manyfolde torment. 



The third eclogue commences with Condon's 
complaint of having had a bad night's sleep and 
an ill dream : — 

Methought in the court I taken was in trap, 
And there sore handled, God give it an ill hap ; 
Me thought the scullians, like fendes of their lookes, 
Came forthe with whittles, some other with fleshhokes. 
Methought that they stoode eche one about me thicke, 
With knives ready for to flay me quicke. 

And he assures his mate he is now so very- 
sleepy, that he cannot keep awake, unless he will 
continue to " talke of some matters agayne, for 
God's sake." Cornix proposes to -continue his 
discourse of courts. Coridon asks, in astonish- 
ment, if he has not told all? Cornix answers, 
" not by a thousand iblde"; and proposes to 
continue his tale, which is agreed on, and he 
then says : — 

Because that of sleeping was our first commoning, 

Heare nowc what paynes have corn-tiers in sleeping : 

They oftentime sleepe full wretchedly in payne, 

And lye all the night forth in colde, winde, and rayne ; 

Sometime in bare strawe, on bordes, ground, or stones, 

Till both their sides ake, and all their bones. 

And when that one side aketh and is wery, 

Then turne the other, lo here a remedy. 

Or els must he rise and walkc himselfe a space, 

Till time his joyntcs lie settled in their place. 

Hut if it fortune thou lye within some towne, 


In bed of fathers, or els of easy downe, 
Then make thee ready for flyes, and for gnattes, 
For lise, for fleas, punaises, mise, and rattes. 
These shall with biting, with stinking, din, and sound, 
Make thee worse easement, then if thou lay on ground. 
And never in the court shalt thou have bed alone, 
Save when thou wouldest moste gladly lye with one. 
Thy shetes shal be uncleane, ragged, and rent, 
Lothly unto sight, but lothlyer to cent, 
In which some other departed late before 
Of the pestilence, or of some other sore. 
Such a bedfelowe men shall to thee assigne, 
That it were better to slope among the swine, 
So foule and scabbed, of harde pimples so thin, 
That a man might grate harde crustes on his skin, 
And all the night longe shall he his sides grate, 
Better lye on grounde then lye with such a mate. 
One cougheth so fast, another's breath doth stinke, 
That during the night scant mayest thou get a winke. 
Sometime a leper is 'signed to thy bed, 
Or with other sore one grevously bested. 
Sometime thy bedfelowe is colder then is yse, 
To him then he draweth thy cloathes with a trice : 
But if he be hote, by fevers then shall he 
Cast all the cloathes and coverlet on thee. 
Eyther is thy felowe alway to thee grievous, 
Or els to him art thou alway tedious. 
And sometime these courtiers them more to incumber, 
Slepe all in one chamber nere twenty in number. 
Then it is great sorowe for to abide their shoute, 
Some fart, some flingeth, and other snort and route ; 
Some boke, and some bable, some commeth dronk to bed, 
Some braule, and some jangle when they be beastly fed ; 



Some laugh, and some crye, eche man will have his wil, 

Some spue, and some pisse, not one of them is still. 

Never be they still till middes of the night, 

And then some brawleth and for their beddes fight. 

And oft art thou 'signed to lodge nere the stable, 

Then there shalt thou heare of rascoldes a rable, 

Sometime shalt thou heare how they eche other smite, 

The neying of the horses, and how eche other bite. 

Never shalt thou knowe thy lodging or thy neste, 

Till all thy betters be setled and at rest. 

In innes be straungers and gestes many one, 

Of courtiers lives make there conclusion, 

And where they be knowen of neither man or wife, 

Oft time courtiers there ende their wretched life ; 

Then shall the hostler be their executour, 

Or suche other ribaude shall that was his devour ; 

Making the tapster come gay and feate, 

His shirt, his doublet, or bonet to excheate, 

For flesh that he bought and payde nought therefore, 

Then is she extreame, for he shall come no more. 

But in a common in, if that thou lodge or lye, 

Thou never canst lay up thy gere so privily, 

But eyther it is stollen, or chaunged with a thought, 

And for a good thou haste a thing of nought. 

For some arrant thieves shall in the chamber lye, 

And while thou sleepest they rise shall privily : 

All if thou thy pouche under thy pillowe lay, 

Some one crafty searcher thereat shall have assay. 

Baudes and brothels, and flattering tapsters, 

Jugglers and pipers, and scurvy wayfarers, 

Flatterers and hostlers, and other of this sect, 

Are busy in thy chamber, chatting with none effect ; 

With brauling they enter first pagiant to play, 


That nought maycst thou here what wiser men do say : 

Such is their shouting that scantly thou niayst here 

The secrete felowe, which by thy side is nere. 

But rurall flimmers,* and other of our sort, 

Unto thy lodging, or court when they resort, 

They chat, they bable, and all but of the wombe,+ 

More pert and more pievish then they wold be at home, 

Though thou would slepe, induring all the night, 

Some sing, some mourne their lemman out of sight : 

Some sing of Bessy, and some of Nan or Cate, 

Namely when licour disturbed hath the pate. 

The brothell boteman and wretched laborer 

Cease not to singe, be vitayle never so dere. 

Who can with such have quietnes or rest '? 

But if thou with slepe at last be opprest, 

And that sore labours to sleepe thee constrayne, 

Rumour thee rayseth, and wakeneth agayne. 

On morning when thou might sleepe moste quietly, 

Then must thou arise, there is no remedy. 

For what time thy lorde unto his horse is prest, 

Then ought no servaunt lye in his bed at rest. 


Nowe, Cornix, I see that with a brauling wife, 
Better were to bide continuing my life, 
And to heare children crying on every side, 
Then thus in the court this clamour to abide. 


No doubt, Coridon, but heare more misery, 
Which in their lodging have courtiers commonly; 
Men must win the marshall or els herbegere,+ 
With price or with prayer, els must thou stand arere ; 

* Common people. | Blurt out everything. J Harbinger. 


And rewarde their knaves must thou if thou be al>le, 

For to assigne the a lodging tollerable, 

And though they promise, yet shall they nought fulfill, 

But poynt the place nothing after thy will : 

Eythcr nere a privy, a stable, or a sinke, 

For cent and for clamour where thou can have no wink, 

After thy rewarde they shall thee so menace, 

That malgre thy teeth thou must resigne the place ; 

And that to some one which is thy enemy, 

If they be pleased there is no remedy. 

But yet for certayne it were thing tollerable 

To becke and to bowe to persons honorable, 

As to the marshall, or yet the herbegere, 

Or gentle persons which unto them be nere ; 

But this is a worke, a trouble and great paync, 

Sometime must thou stoupe unto a rude vilayne. 

Calling him master, and oft clawe his hande, 

Although thou would see him waver in a bande.* 

For if thovi live in court, thou must rewarde this rable, 

Cookes and scoliens, and farmers of the stable, 

Butlers and butchers, provenders, and bakers, 

Porters and poulers,* and specially false takers : 

On these and all like spare must thou none expence, 

But mekely with mede bye their benevolence. 

But namely of all it is a grievous payne 

To abide the porter, if he be a vilayne ; 

Howe often times shall he the gates close 

Against thy stomake, thy forehead, or thy nose ; 

Howe often times when thy one fote is in, 

Shall he by malice thrust thee out by the chin. 

Sometime his stafFe, sometime his clubbishe feete 

* Hani; in a halter. f Barbers. 

Shal drive thee backward, and twine thee to the streete, 

What he then sayth, coniming if he sit, 

Ilowe often times shall he the gates shit, 

For very pleasure and joy of thy comming, 

The gate he closeth, lo here a pleasaunt thing. 

All if thou haste well rewarded him before, 

Without thou standest in rayne and tempest sore, 

And in the meane time a rascolde or vilayne 

Shall enter while thou art bathed in the rayne. 

Sometime the porter his malice shall excuse, 

And say unto the thy labour to abuse : 

That eyther is the lorde asleepe or in councell, 

Then lost is thy labour, mispent is thy travell. 


Of our poore houses men soone may knowe the gin,* 

So at our pleasure we may go out and in. 

If courtes be suche, me thinketh without doubt, 

They best be at ease which so remayne without ; 

For better be without, wet to the skin with rayne, 

Than ever in court and live in endlesse payne. 

For if hell gates did not still open gape, 

Then wretched soules great torment should escape ; 

Right so, if the court were close continually, 

Some men should escape great payne and misery. 

But Cornix, proceede, tell on of courtiers care. 


Well sayde, Coridon, God geve thee well to fare. 
Nowe would I speake of paynes of the warre, 
But that me thinketh is best for to defarre ; 
For if thy lorde in battayle have delitc, 
To suet the warre be paynes infinite. 

The secret of entrance. t To pursue, to follow. 

For while he warreth thou mayst not bide at home, 

Thy luste to cherishe, and pleasure of thy wombe. 

To sue an army then hast thou wretched payne 

Of colde or of heatc, of thirst, hunger and rayne, 

And mo other paynes then I will specify, 

For nought is in warfar save care and misery, 

Murder and mischiefe, rapines and cowardise, 

Or els crueltie ; there reigneth nought but vice, 

Which here to recount were long and tedious, 

And to our purpose in part contrarious. 

Therfore let passe the warres misery, 

The dredefull daungers and wretched penury, 

And of these cities talke we a worde or twayne, 

In which no man can live avoyde of payne, 

For whither soever the court remove or flit 

All the vexations remove alway with it. 

If thou for solace into the towne resorte, 

There shalt thou mete of men as bad a sorte, 

Which at thy clothing and thee shall have disdayne, 

If thou be busy the club shall do thee payne ; 

There bo newe customes and actes in like wise, 

None mayst thou scorne, nor none of them despise, 

Then must thou eche day begin to live anewe. 

As for in cities I will no more remayne, 

But turne my talking nowe to the court agayne, 

After of this may we have communication 

Of cities and of their vexation. 

Whether that thy lorde sit or yet stande erect, 

Still muste thou stande, or els shalt thou be chekt, 

Thy head and legs shall find no rest nor ease : 

If thou in court intende alway to please, 

Oft muste thou becke, still stand and ever bare 

To worse then thy selfe, which is a payne and care. 


What shall I common the pensivenes and payne 

Of courtiers or they their wages can obtayne, 

Howe much differing and how much abating 

Must courtiers suffer, and manifolde checking, 

Never hast thou the whole, sometime shall they abate, 

Or els shall the day of payment be to late ; 

From Robert to John sometime they shall thee sende, 

And then none of both to paye thee may intende ; 

From poste unto piller tossed shalt thou be, 

Scorned and blinded with fraude and subtiltie. 

Some mayst thou beholde sighing for great sorowe, 

When he is appoynted to come agayne to morowe, 

For many a morowe hath he bene served so ; 

Another standeth his heart replete with wo, 

Counting and turning the grotes in his cap, 

Praying God to sende the payer an ill hap, 

For where he reckned for to receyve a pounde, 

Scant hath he halfe, suche checkes be there founde ; 

Never shall the courtier receyve whole salary, 

Except that he rewarde the payer privily. 

W r hen nede constrayneth somewhat to have before, 

He gladly receyveth a dosen for a score, 

Never canst thou make thy covenant so cleare, 

But that the payer shall bring thee far areare, 

All if thou right well thy covenant fulfill, 

It shall the payer interprete at his will, 

For all that blinde sorte are choked with avarice, 

As catchers of coyne ensuing covetise. 

But sometime to speake of thinges necessary, 

These do all courtiers cares multiply, 

Nowe for one thing they labour to obtayne, 

Nowe for another, and often all in vayne, 


And though their asking be ncyther right ne just, 
Yet never stint they till they have had their lust. 
But if it fortune their prayer and their cost 
Be spent in vayne, then is their reason lost ; 
Then lurke they in corners for a month or twayne, 
For wo that their labour and prayer was in vayne. 
Some with their princes so stande in favour, 
That they may advaunce their kinred to honour, 
But then is their kinred so bad of governaunce, 
That al if they may they dare not them advaunce, 
But howebeit they durst they dread of worldly shame, 
Or punishment of God, or els their princes blame. 


Nowe doubtles, Comix, that man is much unwise, 
Which lifteth fooles unworthy to office, 
But oftetime favour and carnall affection 
Abuseth the right, blinding discretion. 


If thou hadst mused a yere for this one clause, 
Thou could not have said more perfitely the cause ; 
Beside this, Coridon, fewe, by the Lorde above, 
Have of those courtiers, true sure and perfite love ; 
For Codrus tolde me what writeth Isocrate, 
That all these princes and every great estate 
In loving regarde no vertue nor prudence, 
None love they but of some hastie violence, 
Without advisement, without discretion, 
Suche love ofte proveth faynt at conclusion. 
But if they love any they love him not as frende, 
Betwene like and like best frendship shall we finde. 
For truely great lordes love such men with delite, 
By them when they take some pleasour or profite, 
As they love horses, dogges, and mo suche. 


What saide 1 1 I lye ! they love them not so muche : 
More love they a horse or dogge then a man, 
Aske of Minalcas, the truth declare he can. 
For commonly as sone as any man is dead, 
Another is soone ready for to fulfill his stead, 
With mede and with prayer his place is dearly bought, 
So ofte have princes their service cleare for nought : 
But then if it fortune a dogge or horse to dye, 
His place to fulfill another muste they by. 
Yet little have I saide, worse in the court they fare ; 
Not onely thy lorde shall for thy death nought care, 
For thy longe service ofte shall he wishe thee dead ; 
Suche is in court thy salary and thy mede, 
Eyther for thy service longe and continuall, 
Thou haste of thy lord receyved nought at all, 
And when thou art dead with short conclusion, 
Then quite is thy service and obligation, 
And ofte shall thy lorde sounde swetely foorth this A ! 
" A ! that this man so sone is gone away ; 
If he had lived longer a small season, 
I should have put him to great promotion :" 
Or els if thy lorde have well rewarded thee, 
That thou hast livelod and riches in plentie, 
Then if thou dye, beleve me for certayne, 
He surely trusteth to have all agaync : 
Scant any riche man by death hence now shall fare, 
But that some great lorde will loke to be his heyre. 

He then continues in a moral strain to recount 
the difficulty of preserving character among the 
many adverse imputations which abound in 
courts ; and in the course of the dialogue which 


ensues, he takes occasion to compliment Alcock's 
predecessor, More ton, afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury, not without an allusion to his trou- 
bles, his servant's faithfulness, and his restoration 
to favor under Richard III and Henry VII. 

And shepheard Moreton, when he durst not appeare, 
How his olde servauntes were carefull of his cheare ; 
In payne and pleasour they kept fidelitie, 
Till grace agayne gave him authoritie. 
Then his olde favour did them agayne restore 
To greater pleasour than they had payne before. 

And he again alludes to Alcock in a strain of the 
highest panegyric, as, 

Of the gentle cocke which sange so mirily. 

And says, that upon his death — 

The mightie walles of Ely Monastery, 

The stones, rockes, and towres semblably, 

The marble pillers, and images echeone, 

Swet all for sorowe when this good cocke was gone. 

He then returns to the court, speaks of the im- 
possibility of reading and study, and of the little 
value men set on it there, which induces young 
and old to go with the stream, and become alike 
worthless ; he then details manifold grievances of 
all kinds, and petty annoyances to which courtiers 
are subject, which convinces Coridon of their mise- 
ries and of his own comfort. Cornix exclaims: — 


Then lot all shepheardes, from hence to Salisbury, 
With easie riches, live well, laugh and be mery, 
Pipe under shadowes, small riches hath most rest, 
In greatest seas moste sorest is tempest, 
The court is nought els bet a tempesteous sea ; 
Avoyde the rockes. Be ruled after me. 

The eclogue ends with Coridon's determination 
to " dye a shepheard." 

" The fourth egloge, entituled Codrus and 
Minalcas, treating of the behavour of riche men 
agaynst poetes " ; takes up a new field of disputa- 
tion ; and commences with this " argument." 

Codrus, a shepheard lusty, gay and stoute, 
Sat with his wethers at pasture round about, 
And poor Minalcas, with ewes scarce fourtene, 
Sat sadly musing in shadowe on the grene ; 
This lustie Codrus was cloked for the rayne, 
And doble decked with huddes,* one or twayne ; 
He had a pautnert with purses manyfolde, 
And surely lined with silver and with golde ; 
Within his wallet were meates good and fine, 
Both store and plentie had he of ale and wine, 
Suche fulsome pasture made him a double chin : 
His furred mittens were of a curres skin, 
Nothing he wanted longing to cloth or foode, 
But by no meane would he depart with good. 
Sometime this Codrus did under shadowe lye, 
Wide open piping and gaping on the skye ; 
Sometime he daunced and hoblcd as a beare, 

* Hoods. f A net bag. 


Sometime he (tried how he became his geare ; 

lie lept, he songe, and ran to prove his might ; 

When purse is heavy oftetime the heart is light. 

But though this Codrus had store inough of good, 

He wanted wisdome, for nought he understood 

Save worldly practise his treasour for to store, 

Howe ever it came small forse had he therfore. 

On the other side the poor Minalcas lay, 

With empty belly and simple poore aray ; 

Yet coulde he pipe and finger well a drone, 

But soure is musike when men for hunger grone ; 

Codrus had riches, Minalcas had cunning, 

For God not geveth to one man every thing. 

At last this Codrus espied Minalcas, 

And soone he knewe what maner man he was, 

For olde acquayntaunce betwene them earst had bene, 

Long time before they met upon the grene ; 

And therfore Codrus downe boldly by him sat, 

And in this maner began with him to chat. 


All hayle Minalcas, nowe by my fayth well met, 
Lord Jesu mercy, what troubles did thee let 
That this long season none could thee here espy ? 
With us was thou wont to sing full merily, 
And to lye piping oftetime among the floures, 
What time thy beastcs were feding among ours. 
In these olde valleys we two were wont to bourde, 
And in these shadowes talke many a mery worde ; 
And oft were we wont to wrastle for a fall, 
But nowe thou droupest and hast forgotten all. 
Here wast thou wont swetc balades to sing, 
Of song and ditic as it were for a king, 
And of gay matters to sing and to endite. 


But nowe thy courage is gone and thy delite ; 
Trust me, Minalcas, nowe playnly I espy 
That thou art wery of shepheardes company ; 
And that all pleasour thou semest to despise, 
Lothing our pasture and fieldes in likewise : 
Thou fleest solace and every mery fitte, 
Leasing thy time and sore hurting thy witte ; 
In sloth thou slomhrest as buried were thy song, 
Thy pipe is broken, or somewhat els is wrong. 


What time the cuckowes fethers mout and fall, 
From sight she lurketh, hir song is gone withall. 
When backe is bare and purse of coyne is light, 
The wit is dulled and reason hath no might : 
Adewe enditing when gone is libertie, 
Enemie to muses is wretched povertie. 
What time a knight is subject to a knave, 
To just, or tourney, small pleasour shall he have. 

This Codrus is disposed to deny, and argues 
that restraint is Lest for men, lest they, like colts, 
run wild and damage themselves; but he adds, 
that Minalcas can have no cause to complain, be- 
cause to " walk at pleasour is no captivitie " ; but 
he is answered, that poverty and ill luck are too 
heavily felt to render him happy. Codrus is in- 
clined to disbelieve the existence of either, which 
is opposed by Minalcas somewhat to his disliking, 
and he anxiously endeavours to turn the discourse 
again to poetry, and tells him " of thy old balades, 
some would I heare full fayne," which he de- 


clares ho has often had much pleasure in listening 
to. Minalcas answers: 

Yea, other shepheardes, which have inough at home, 

When ye be merry and stuffed is your wombe, 

Which have great store of butter, chese and woll, 

Your cowes others of milke replete and full, 

Payles of swete milke as full as they be able, 

When your fat dishes smoke bote upon your table, 

Then laude ye songes and balades magnifie ; 

If they be mery or written craftily, 

Ye clappe your handes and to the making harke, 

And one say to other, lo, here a proper warke. 

But, when ye have said, nought geve ye for our payne, 

Save only laudes and pleasaunt wordes vayne ; 

All if these laudes may well be counted good, 

Yet the poore shepheard must have some other food. 

Codrus replies that writing should be looked 
upon as a work of ease, variety, and amusement, 
to fill up leisure time, and exercise the wit; to 
which Minalcas answers : 

" Nedes must a shepherd bestowe his whole labour 
In tending his flockes, scant may he spare one houre." 

And that his necessities fill his mind, "but well to 
indite requireth all the brayne," and that worldly 
prudence and poetic leisure are incompatible ; that 
fools think but lightly of the labour of his mind, 
and would most incline to jest with his poverty ; 
and that he is weary of his wit, and of his "poore 
life." Codrus answers, that to various men are 


given various powers, that he has the gift of 
poetry, while himself and others have that of 
riches, and that it behoves him to be content 
with his lot. Minalcas answers spiritedly : 

" Thou hast of riches and goodes haboundaunce, 
And I have dities and songes of pleasaunce : 
To aske my cunning to covetous thou art ; 
Why is not thyselfe contented with thy part I 
Why doest thou invade my part and portion 1 
Thou wantest, Codrus, wit and discretion." 

Codrus defends himself from the imputation of 
selfishness, and says he would not take from 
him "ditie nor ballade"; but that it is pleasant 

"To heare good reason and ballade consonant." 
To which Minalcas answers : 

" If thou have pleasure to heare my melody, 
I grant thee Codrus, to ioy my armony, 
So have I pleasure and ioy of thy riches, 
So giftes doubled increaseth love doublesse." 

And he afterwards adds : 

" If I feede thy cares, fcede thou my mouth agayne, 
I loth were to spende my giftes all in vayne, 
Meat unto the mouth is food and sustenaifncc, 
And songes feede the cares with plesaunce. 
I have the muses, if thou wilt have of mine, 
Then right requircth that I have part of thine." 

He continues, in an eloquent strain, to paint 



his wants, and what is due to them, to which 
Codrus listens with some impatience, and promises 
assistance so vaguely that Minalcas declares his 
wishes are but moderate — 

" I aske no palace, nor lodging curious, 
No bed of state, of rayment sumptuous." 

Adding, " this I learned of the Dean of Powles," 
whom Warton considers to be Dean Colet. 
Codrus then tells him that he should have attended 
the court of Rome, or the higher clergy, for with 
them learning is held in respect, and its followers 
have dignity. Minalcas replies — 

" Grant me a living sufficient and small, 
And voyde of troubles, I aske no more at all ; 
But witb that little I hold myself content, 
If sauce of sorowe my minde not torment ; 
Of the court of Rome, forsooth, I have heard tell, 
With forked cappes it folly is to mell. 
Micene and Morton* be dead and gone certayne, 
They nor their like shall never returne agayne." 

Codrus advises him to turn his attention to the 
heroic deeds of the great ; Minalcas says they care 
little to hear of good deeds, and would rather 
patronise lewd writers: and here Warton considers 
Barclay alludes to Skelton, with whom he seems 

* This prelate has before been alluded to with laudation by 
our author, in his third eclogue, see p. lx. 


to have been on terms of rivalry,* when he makes 
Minalcas exclaim : 

"Another thing is yet greatly more damnable, 
Of rascolde poetes yet is a shanifull rable, 
Which voyde of wisdome presumeth to indite, 
Though they have scantly the cunning of a snite :t 
And to what vices that princes most intende, 
That dare these fooles solemnize and commende. 
Then is he decked as poete laureate, 
When stinking Thais made him her graduate ; 
When muses rested she did her season note, 
And she with Bacchus her camousj did promote, 
Such rascold drames§ promoted by Thais, 
Bacchus, Licoris, or yet by Testalis, 
Or by such other new-forged muses nine, 
Think in their mindes for to have wit divine ; 
They laude their verses, they boast, they vaunt, and jet, 
Though all their cunning be scantly worth a pet. 
If they have smelled the artes triviall, 
They count them poetes hye and heroicall : 
Such is their folly, so foolishly they dote, 
Thinking that none their playne errour note. 

This tires Codrus, who declares that he would 
rather hear 

* See also p. v., and the Ship of Folys, in which ho contemp- 
tuously speaks of one of that author's works, " The lytel boko of* 
Philip Sparowe." 

" It longeth not my science nor cunning, 
For Philip the 'Sparowe the dirige to singe." 
f A snipe. J Debauchery. § Dregs? 


" some mery fit 

Of inayde Marion, or els of Robin Hood,* 

Or Bentleyes ale,t which chaseth well the bloud : 

Of perte of Norwiche, or sauce of Wilberton, 

Or buckish Joly well stuffed as a ton: 

Talke of the bottell, let go the book for nowe, 

Combrous is cunning, I make God a vowe!" 

Minalcas refuses to sing light songs, but declares 
his willingness to " sing one ballade extract of 
Sapience," and he repeats four stanzas, of eight 
lines each, " of fruitfull clauses of noble Solomon," 
when Codrus, whose patience is soon at an end, 
exclaims : 

" Ho there ! Minalcas, of this we have enough : 
What should a ploughman go farther than his plough] 
What should a shepherde in wisdome wade to farre ? 
Talke he of tankard, or of his boxe of tarre. 
Tell somewhat els, wherin is more comforte, 
So shall the season and time seeme light and shorte." 

* Our author has shewn his contempt for the popular Robin 
Hood tales, in his Ship of Folys, where he says . — 

"I write ne jest no tale of Robin Hood." 
And in the same work he again says: — 

" many are so blinded with their folly, 

That no scriptur thinke they so true nor gode, 
As is a folishe jest of Robin Hood." 

* Condon, in the second eclogue, mentions this ale : after a 
draught at the bottle he says: — 

" This ale brewed Bently, it maketh me to winke." 


Minalcas answers: 

" For thou of Hawarde,* nowe lately did recite, 
I have a ditie which Cornix did indite, 
His death complayning." 

And he proposes to sing this, which Codrus 
agrees to ; but before beginning he says : 

I pray thee, Codrus (my whey is weake and thin), 
Lende me thy bottell, to drinke or I begin. 


If ought be tasted, the remnant shall pall, 
I may not aforde nowe for to spende out all. 
We sit in shadowe, the sunne is not fervent, 
Call for it after, then shall I be content. 


Still thou desirest thy pleasure of my art, 
But of thy bottell nought wilt thou yet depart ; 
Though thou be nigard and nought wilt geve of thine, 
Yet this one time thou shalt have part of mine. 
Now harken, Codrus, I tell mine elegy, 
But small is the pleasure of dolefull armony. 

He then commences "The description of the 
towre of vertue and honour, into the which the 
noble Hawarde contended to enter by worthy 
actes of chivalry 11 ; and of which Warton remarks, 
that although it contains " no very masterly strokes 
of sublime or inventive fancy, it has much of the 

* Howard, Duke of Norfolk, a patron of Barclay, who died in 
the wars of Prance. See also r>. vii. 


trite imagery usually applied to the fabrication of 
these ideal edifices. It, however, shows our 
author in a new walk of poetry"; and he adds, that 
the impersonation of Labour is pictured "with 
some degree of spirit." It is equal to the similar 
inventions of any medieval poet, and better than 
the imaginings of Hawes and others. It thus 
commences : 

High on a inountayne of highnes marvelous, 

With pendant cliffes of stones harde as flent, 
Is made a castell or toure moste curious, 

Dreadful unto sight, but inwarde excellent. 
Such as would enter finde paynes and torment, 

So harde is the way unto the same mountayne, 
Streyght, hye and thorny, turning and different, 

That many labour for to ascende in vayne. 

Who doth persever, and to this towre attayne, 

Shall have great pleasure to see the building olde, 
Joyned and graned, surmounting man's brayne, 

And all the walles within of fynest golde, 
With olde historyes, and pictures manyfolde, 

Glistering as bright as Phebus orient, 
With marble pillers the building to upholde, 

About be turrets of shape moste excellent. 

This toure is gotten by labour diligent, 
In it remayne such as have won honoure 

By holy living, by strength or tournament, 

And moste by wisedome attayne unto this towre : 

Briefely, all people of godly behavour, 
By rigbtwise battayle, justice and etjuitic. 


Or that in mercy hath had a chiefe pleasour, 
In it have rowmes eche after his degree. 

This goodly castell (thus shining in beautie) 

Is named castell of vertue and honour ; 
In it eyght Henry is in his majestie 

Moste hye enhaunsed as ought a conquerour : 
In it remayneth the worthy governour, 

A stocke and fountayne of noble progeny, 
Moste noble Hawarde the duke and protectour, 

Named of Northfolke the floure of chivalry. 

Here is the Talbot manfull and hardy, 

With other princes and men of dignitie, 
Which to win honour do all their might apply, 

Supporting justice, Concorde and ecpuitie : 
The manly Corson within this towre I see, 

These have we seene eche one in his estate. 
With many other of hye and meane degree, 

For marciall actes with crownes laureate. 

Of this stronge castell is porter at the gate, 

Strong, sturdy Labour, much like a champion ; 
But goodly Vertue, a lady most ornate, 

Within governeth with great provision ; 
But of this castell in the moste hyest trone 

Is Honour shining in rowme imperiall, 
Which unrewarded of them leaveth not one 

That come by Labour and Vertue principall. 

Fearcfull is Labour without favour at all, 
Dreadfull of visage, a monster intreatable, 

Like Cerberus lying at gates infernall, 
To some men his looke is halfe intollerable, 

His shoulders large, for burthen strong and able, 


His body bristled, his necke mightie and stiffe, 
By sturdy senewes his joyntes stronge and stable, 
Like marble stones his handes be as stiffe. 

Here must man vanquishe the dragon of Cadmus ; 

Against the Chimer here stoutly must he fight ; 
Here must he vanquish the fearfull Pegasus ; 

For the golden flece, here must he shewe his might : 
If Labour gaynsay, he can nothing be right. 

This monster Labour oft chaungeth his figure : 
Sometime an oxe, a bore, or lion wight 

Playnely he seemeth, thus chaungeth his nature. 

Like as Protheus oft chaunged his stature, 

Mutable of figure oft times in one houre, 
When Aristeus in bondes had him sure, 

To divers figures likewise chaungeth Labour : 
Under his browes he dreadfully doth loure, 

With glistering eyen, and side dependaunt beard ; 
For thirst and hunger alway his chere to soure, 

His horned forehead doth make faynt heartes feard. 

Alway he drinketh, and yet alway is drye, 

The sweat distilling with droppes aboundaunt ; 
His breast and forehead doth humours multiply 

By sweating showres, yet is this payne pleasaunt ; 
Of day and night his resting time is scant, 

No day overpasseth exempt of busynes, 
His sight infourmeth the rude and ignorant ; 

Who dare persever, he geveth them riches. 

The poet adds, that when the noble Howard 
had long boldly contended with this hideous 
monster, had broken the bars and doors of the 


castle, had bound the porter, and was now pre- 
paring to ascend the tower of virtue and honour, 
Fortune and Death appeared and interrupted his 
progress. The eclogue ends with another instance 
of the heartlessness of Codrus On concluding 
this poem Minalcas says : 

Lo, Codrus, I here have tolde thee by and by 

Of shepheard Cornix the wofull elegy, 

Wherein he mourned the greevous payne and harde, 

And laste departing of the noble lorde Hawarde, 

More he indited of this good Admirall, 

But truely, Codrus, I can not tell the all. 


.Minalcas, I swearc by holy Peter's cope, 
If all thing fortune as I have trust and hope, 
If happy winde hlowe I shall or it be longe, 
Comforte thy sorowe and well rewarde thy songe ; 
What! tary man a while till better fortune come, 
If my part be any then shall thy part be some. 


If thou in purpose so to rewarde my hire, 

Cod graunt thee, Codrus, thy wishing and desire, 

Forsooth, Minalcas, I wish thee so in dcde, 
And that shalt thou knowe if fortune with me spcde, 
Farewell, Minalcas, for this time, Dieu te garde, 
Neare is winter, the worlde is to harde. 


Co, wretched nigarde, God sende thee care and payne 
Our Lordc let thee never come hither more agaync ; 
And as did Midas, God tunic it all to goldi 



That ever thou touchest or shalt in handes holde, 
For so much on golde is fixed thy liking, 
That thou despisest both vertue and cunning. 

Of the fifth eclogue, which is printed entire in 
the ensuing pages, from the original edition, it 
will only be necessary here to sa} r , that it is a 
small quarto pamphlet, of thirty-six pages; the 
title-page contains a large woodcut, of a priest sit- 
ting in his study, which is well and boldly executed, 
and all the details curious ; but it is one of those 
cuts made to do hard duty, as a general illustration 
to books of all kinds ; and a general resemblance 
to all authors of that or any preceding age. At 
the end of the prologue are two cuts of shepherds, 
which are in a similar way borrowed from some 
other book, as they are of different sizes and style. 
At the conclusion of the tract is a large device of 
Wynkyn de Worde, No. 6 of his series engraved 
by Dibdin, in his " Typographical Antiquities." 
It is but a careless specimen of his press, as it 
contains some glaring errors, which would in- 
duce one to imagine that the sheets were never 
read for correction. The variations between this 
edition and that of 1570 have been pointed out in 
the notes, and in some instances affect the sense 
in an important manner. 


The Fyfte Eglog of Alexandre 

Barclay of the Cytezen 

and Uplondyshman. 

^f The fyfte Eglog of Alexandre Barclay, 
of the Cytezen and Uplondyshman. 

^f Here after foloweth the Prologe. 

In colde January whan fyre is comfortable, 

And that the feldes be nere intolerable, 
Whan shepe and pastoures leveth felde and folde, 

And drawe to cotes for to eschewe the colde ; 
What tyme the verdure of grounde, and every tre, 

By frost and stormes is pryvate of beaute, 
And every small byrde thynketh the wynter longe, 

Whiche well apereth by ceasynge of theyr song ; — 
At this same season two herdes fresshe of age, 

At tyme apoynted met bothe in one cotage. 
The fyrst hyght Faustus, the seconde Amyntas, 

Harde was to know whiche better husbande was ; 
For eche of them bothe set more by pleasour, 

Than by habundaunce of ryches or tresour. 
Amyntas was forrnalle, and propre in his gere, 

A man on his cloke shoulde not aspyed a here, 
Nor of his clothynge one wryncle stode a wrye, 

In London he lerned to go so manerly. 
Hygh on his bonet stacke a fayre broche of tynne, 

His pursys lynynge was symple, poore, and thynne; 
But a lordes stomake and a beggers pouche 

Full yll accordeth, suche was this comely slouche. 



In the towne and cyte so longe getted had he, 

That frome thens he fledde for det and poverte. 
No wafrer, taverne, halehous, or taverner, 

To hym was there hydde, whyle he was hosteler. 
Fyrste was he hosteler, and than a wafrer, 

Than a costermonger, and last a taverner. 
Abonte all London there was no propre prym 

But long tyme had ben famylyer with hym ; 
But whan coyne fayled no favour more hadde he, 

Wherfore he was gladde out of the towne to fle. 
But shepeherde Faustus was yet more fortunate, 

For alwaye was he content with his estate, 
Yet nothynge he hadde to conforte hym in age 

Save a melche cow, and a poore cotage ; 
The towne he used and grete pleasure hadde 

To se the cyte oftyme whyle he was ladde ; 
For mylke and hotter he thyther brought to sell. 

But never thought he in cyte for to dwell, 
For well he noted the madde enormyte, 

Envy, fraude, malyce, and suche inyquyte, 
Whiche reygne in cytes ; therfore he ledde his lyfe 

Up londe in vyllage, without debate and stryfe. 
Whan these two herdes were thus together met, 

Havynge no charges nor labour them to let, 
Theyr shepe were all sure, and closyd in a cote, 

Themselfe laye in lyttre, pleasauntly and bote ; 
For costly was fyre in hardest of the yere, 

Whan men have most nede, than every thynge is dere ; 
For passynge of tyme, and recreacyon, 

The bothe delyted in communycacyon, 


Namely they pledyd of the dyversyte 

Of rurall husboncles, and men of the cyte ; 
Faustus accused and blamed cytezyns, 

To them imputynge grete fautes, cryme, and synnes. 
Amyntas blamed the rurall men agayne, 

And eche of them bothe his quareyl dyde maynteyne. 
All wrothe dyspysed, all malyce and yll wyll, 

Clene layde a parte, eche dyde reherse his skyll ; 
But fyrste Amyntas thus for to speke began, 

As he whiche counted hymselfe the better man. 

^1 Finis Prologe. 

^[ Interlocutoures be Amyntas and Faustus. 


The wynter snowes, all covered is the grounde, 

The northe wynde blowys all with a fereful sounde, 
The longe yse sycles at the hewsys honge, 

The strearaes frosen, the nyght is colde and longe ; 
Where botes rowed now cartes have passage, 

Frome yoke the oxen be lowsed and bondage ; 
The ploweman resteth avoyde of all busynesse, 

Save whan he tendeth his harnes for to dresse ; 
Mably his vvyfe sytteth byfore the fyre, 

All blacke and smoke, clothed in rude atyre; 
Sethynge some grewell, and sterynge the pulment 

Of peese or frument, a noble meete for lent. 

B 2 


The soraer season men counteth now laudable, 

Whose fervour before they thought intolerable ; 
The frosty wynter and weder temperate 

Whiche men than praysed,theynow dyspryse and hate ; 
Colde they desyred, but now it is present 

They braule and grutche, theyr myndes not content. 
Thus mutable men them pleased can not holde, 

At grete hete grutchyng, and grutchyng whan it is 


All pleasure present of men is counted small, 
Desyre obteyned, some counteth nought at all. 

What men hope after that semeth grete and dere, 
As lyght by dystaunce apereth great and clere. 


Eche tyme and season hath his delyte and joyes, 

Loke in the stretes, beholde the lytell boyes 
How in fruyte season for joye they synge and hope, 

In lent echeone full busy is with his tope ; 
And now in wynter, for all the grevous colde 

All rent and ragyd a man maye them beholde, 
They have great pleasure, supposynge well to dyne 

Whan men ben busyed, in kyllynge of fat swync. 
They get the bladder, and blowe it grete and thyn, 

With many beanes or peasen bounde within ; 
It ratleth, soundeth, and shyneth clere and fayre, 

Whyle it is throwen and cast up in the ayre ; 
Echeone contendeth and hath a grete delyte 

With fote or with hande the bladder for to smyte. 


Yf it fall to grounde they lyfte it up againe, 
This wyse to labour they count it for no payne, 

Rennynge and lepynge they dryve awaye the colde. 
The sturdy plowmen, lusty, stronge, and bolde, 

Overcometh the wynter with dryvynge the fote ball, 
Forgetynge labour and many a grevous fall. 


Men labour sorer in fruyteles vanyte, 
Than in fayre warkes of grete utylyte ; 

In suche thryftles we labour for dammage, 

Warke we dyspyse whiche bryngeth avauntage. 


Towchynge theyr labour it can not me dysplease, 
Whyle we be in reste and better here at ease 

In the warme lyttre, smale payne hathe lytell hyre, 
Here maye we walowe whyle mylke is on the fyre ; 

Yf it be crudded of brede we nede no crome, 

Yf thou byde, Faustus, therof thou shalte have some. 


Wynter declareth harde nede and poverte, 

Than men it feleth whiche have necessyte. 
Treuly, Amyntas, I tell the myne entent, 

We fonde yonge people be moche improvydent. 
We straye in somer without thought, care, or hede, 

Of such thynge as we in wynter shall have nede, 
As soone as we here a bagpype or a drowne, 

Than leve we labour, there is our monaye gone. 
But whan the northe wynde with stormes ryolent 


Hatb brought cold wynter pore wretches to turment, 
And voyde of leves is every bowe and tree 

That one maye clerely the emty nestes se. 
Than is all our woll and lambes gone and solde, 

We tremble naked, and dye almost for colde. 
Our sholders all bare, our hose and shovves rent, 

By retcheles youthe thus all is gone and spent. 
This cometh for wantynge of good provysyon, 

Youthe dayneth counsayle, scornynge dyscrecyon ; 
Whan poverte thus hathe caught us in his snare, 

Than dothe the wynter our madde foly declare. 
Now treuly, Amyntas, I tell the, my mate, 

That towne dwellers lyve gretely more fortunate, 
And somwhat wyser be they also than we, 

They gather treasoure, and ryches in plente ; 
They spoyle the lambes and foxys of the skynnc 

To lappe theyr wombes and fat sydes therein ; 
In lust, in pleasure, and in good habundaunce, 

Passe they theyr lyves ; we have not sunysaunce. 


The men of the erthe be fooles everychone, 

We poore shepeherdes be not to blame alone, 
More foly vexeth the man of the cyte, 

I graunte us oversene, they madder be than we. 
Thoughe I longe season dyde in the cyte dwell, 

I favour it not, trouthe dare I boldely tell. 
Thoughe cytezyns he of lyvynge reprovable, 

Yet fortune to them is moche more favorable. 
Fortune to them is lyke a moder dere, 

As a stepmoder she dothe to us apere. 


Them she exalteth to honour and rychesse, 
Us she oppresseth, in care and wretchydnesse. 

What is vayne fortune but thynge vytuperable, 
An unhappy madnesse, unworthy and unstable. 


No doubte, Amyntas, let me be fortunate, 

And than shall I soone become a grete estate ; 
My coyne shall encrease, than shortly shall I be 

Called to offyce, to governe a cyte. 
All men shall here me, and gyve me credence, 

The comonte, bareheed, shall do me reverence. 
All other rules, lowe men and comonte, 

Shall gladly desyre to have advyse of me. 
Yf I be happy, and fortune on me smyle, 

Thus shall I assende, and mount within a whyle ; 
Aske thou of Cornyx, declare to the he can, 

How coyne more than connynge, exalteth many man. 


Faustus, Faustus, thou erres frome the waye ! 
This is not fortune, full lytell do she maye ; 

Thoughe I myselfe rehersed but lately, 

That fortune bathe myght a man to magnyfy, 

1 kepe the opynyon of wytles comonte, 

And grounded myselfe on none auctoryte. 
It is not fortune that graunteth excellence, 

Trewe honour is wonne by vertu and scyence. 
Yf men gette honour by other polecy, 

It is no honour, but wretched mysery. 
God maketh myghty, God gyveth trewe honour, 


To godly persones, of godly bebavyour ; 
God fyrst dysposed, and made dyversyte, 

Betwene rude plowmen, and men of tbe cyte. 
And in wbat maner, Cornyx, tbyne owne mate, 

As we went talkynge recounted to me late. 


What tolde tbe Cornyx, tell me I tbe praye ! 

He hadde good reason suche thynges to convaye, 
His wyt was pregnant, no reason dyde be want, 

But trouthe to declare his monaye was but scant. 
But wbat than ? some man hath pleynte of cunnynge, 

Wbiche hath of rychesse smal pleynte, or notbynge ! 


In herynge my tale yf thou have thy delyte, 

Than take some labour, for now is good respyte. 
Faustus, aryse thou out of thy lyttre bote, 

Go se and vysyte our wethers in the cote. 
Aryse, go and come, thou arte bothe yonge and able, 

After grete colde bete is more comfortable. 
Go man, for shame ! he is a slouthfull dawe 

Whiche leveth profyte for pleasure of hote stravve ! 


Thy nke not, Amyntas, that Faustus bathe dysdayne; 

To do thy pleasure, I shall refuse no payne. 
Loke here, Amyntas, lorde benedycyte ! 

The cold snowe recheth mocbe hygher than mykne. 
Scant maye tbe houses such burthen well susteyne, 

Lessc hurte is tempest and sodayne storme of rayne ; 


On toppe of the chymnaye there is an hepe of snowe 
So hye extendynge our steple is more lowe ! 

The snowe is so whyte, and the son'ne so bryght, 
That playnly, Amyntas, araasyd is my syght ! 


Gyve to the bestes good row en in pleynte, 

And stoppe all the holes where thou can fautes se, 

Stop them with stubbyll, efte daube them with some claye, 
And whan thou hast done than come agayne thy waye. 

Nought is more noysom to flocke, cotage, ne folde, 
Than sodayne tempeste, and unprovyded colde. 

What, now allredy frende Faustus here agayne ! 

By shorte conclusyon, bad warke apereth playne. 
Thy comynge agayne me thynke is all to soone, 

Ought to have mended, or profyte to have done. 


This combrous wether made me more dylygent, 

I ran all the waye, bothe as I came and went. 
And there I spedde me, and toke the greter payne, 

Becausely I lyghtly wolde be with the agayne. 
After grete colde it is full swete, God wote, 

To tomble in the strawe, or in the lyttre bote. 
Now be we, Amyntas, in hey up to the chynne ; 

Fullill thy promise, I praye the now begyune, — 
Tell the begynnynge of the dy versyte 

Betwene rurall men, and men of the cyte. 
1 know the reason and talkynge of Cornyx, 

But syth 1 hym sawe, be passed yeres syxe ; 

JO Barclay's kclogue. 

His jocunde jestes made me oftetyme full gladde, 
Our fyrst acquayntaunce was whan I was a ladde. 

Now speke, my Amyntas, and I shall holde me styll, 
Tyll thou have ended and spoken all thy wyll. 


This grete dyfference and fyrste dyversyte 

Betwene rurall men and them of the cyte, 
Began in this wyse, as Cornyx me tolde, 

Whiche well coulde comon of many maters olde. 
Fyrste whan the worlde was fourmed and create, 

And Adam with Eve were set in theyr estate, 
Our Lorde conjoyned them bothe as man and wyfe 

To ly ve in concorde the season of theyr lyfe ; 
And them commaunded mankynde to multyply, 

By generacyon to get them progeny ; 
They bothe obeyed this swete commaundement, 

With faythfull hertes, and labour dylygent. 
But wolde to Jhesu they hadde ben wyse, and ware 

From that fatal fruyte which kyndled all theyr care. 
But to my purpose : fyrste Eve hadde chyldren two, 

A sone and a doughter, our Lorde dysposed so ; 
And so yere by yere two twynnes forthe she brought, 

Whan God assysteth, man worketh not for nought ! 
By suche maner these two dyde them apply, 

The worlde to fulfyll, encreace and multyply. 
At last our Lord at ende of fyftene yere 

To Eve our moder dyde on a tyme appere, 
And in what maner, now here me Faustus : 

Adam on the felde forth with his wethers was. 


His flockc tlian lie fedde, without all drede and fere, 

Than were no wowers, hym nor his wyfe to dreare. 
He was not troubled that tyme with jelowsy, 

Than was no body to do that vylany. 
No horned kyddes were lyvyng at that tyme, 

Longe after this began this cursed cryrne. 
Than was no cocko, betwene the eest and west 

To laye wronge egges within a straunge nest ! 
Than none suspected the lyvyng of his wyfe, 

Wedlocke was quyet and pleasaunt without stryfe. 
But after, whan people began to multyply, 

Than fyrste was kyndled the flame of jelowsy ; 
For that man commytteth sore dredeth he agayne, 

Fraude fereth falshode, suspectynge oft in vayne. 
A thefe suspecteth all men of felony, 

Brekers of wedlocke be full of jelowsy. 
And therefore all suche as with swerde do stryke, 

Fere to be served with the scaberde lyke ! 
Thus whyle that Adam was pytchynge of the folde, 

Eve was at home, and sate on the thressholde, 
With all her babys and ehyldren her about, 

Other on her lappe within, or elles without. 
Now had she plesure them collynge and bassynge, 

And efte was she busy, them lowsynge and kemynge. 
And busy with butter fur to anoynt theyr necke, 

Sometyme she inusyd them pleasauntly to decke ; 
In the mean tyme whyle she was occypyed, 

Our Lorde drawynge nere she sodeynly espyed ; 
Anone she blusshed, revolvynge in her mynde, 

That yf our Lonle ther should al those babys fynde. 

12 Barclay's eclogue. 

So sone engendred, supposynge he nedes must 

That it was token of to great carnall lust, 
And all asshamed, as fast as ever she myght, 

She hasted and hydde some of them out of syght, 
Some under hey, some under strawe and chaffe, 

Some in the chymnaye, some in a tubbe of draffe ; 
But suche as were fayre, and of theyr stature ryght, 

As wyse and siibtyle reserved she in syght. 
Anone came our Lorde unto the woman nere, 

And her saluted, with swete and smylynge chere ; 
And sayde, — " Woman, let me thy chyldren se, 

I come to promote eche after his degre." 
Fyrste was the woman amasyd nere for drede, 

At the last she commaunded the eldest to procede, 
And gave them comforte, to have audacyte, 

Though they were bolder and doubted lesse than she. 
God on them smyled, and them comforted so, 

As we with whelpes and byrdes use to do. 
And than at the laste, to the most olde of all, 

He sayde, "Have thou ceptre of Rome imperyall, 
Thou arte the eldest, thou shalte have moost honoure, 

Justyce requyreth that thou be Emperoure." 
Than to the seconde he sayde, " It is semynge, 

That thou be haunsed to honour of a Kynge." 
And unto the thyrde he gave such dygnyte, 

To guyde an army, and noble duke to be, 
And sayde, " Have thou here harde yron and armoure, 

Be thou in batayle a heed and a governoure." 
And so forthe to other, as they were in degre, 

Eche he promoteth to worthy dygnyte. 

Barclay's eclogue. 13 

Some made he erles, some lordes, some barons, 

Some squyres, knyghtes, some hardy champyons. 
And than brought he forthe the ceptre and the crowne, 

The swerde, the pollax,the helme, and the haberjowne, 
The stremer, standarde, the getton, and the mace, 

The spere, and the shelde; now Eve hadde grete so- 
He gave them armoure, and taught them polecy, [lace; 

All thynge to governe concernynge chyvalry. 
Than made he juges, mayres, and governoures, 

Marchauntes, shreves, and other protectoures, 
Aldermen, burgeyses, and other in degre, 

After the custome of courte and of cyte. 
Thus all the chyldren than beynge in presence 

He set in honour, and rowme of excellence ; 
Oftyme revolvynge and tournynge in his mynde, 

The caduke honoures belongynge to mankynde. 
In the meane season Eve very joyfull was, 

That all these maters were brought so well to pas ; 
Than fle she in hast, for to have pleasour more, 

And them presented whom she hadde hydde before ; 
And unrequyred presentynge them, sayde she, 

" O Lorde, these also my veray chyldren be ! 
These be the fruyte also of my wombe, 

Hyd for shamefastnesse within my house at home. 
O Lorde, most myghty ! hye fader, creatour ! 

Withsave to graunte them some oifyce of honour." 
Theyr heer was ruggyd, poudred all with chaffe, 

Some full of strawes, some other full of draffe, 
Some with cobwebbes and dust were so arayed, 

That one beholdynge on them myght be ;d rayde ; 


Blacke was theyr colour, and bad was theyr fygure, 

Uncomely to syght, mysshapen of stature. 
Our Lorde not smyled on them to shewe pleasaunce, 

But sayde to them thus, with trowbled countenaunce, 
" Ye smell all smoky, of stubbyll and of chaffe, 

Ye smell of the grounde, of wedes and of draffe, 
And after your sent, and tedyous savoure, 

Shall be your rowmes, and all your behavour. 
None can a pytcher tourne to a sylver pece, 

Nor make goodly sylke of a gotes flece ; 
And harde is also to make withouten fayle, 

A bryght two hande swerde of a cowe's tayle ! 
No more wyll I make, howbeit that I can, 

Of a vyle vylayne a noble gentylman ! 
Ye shall be plowemen, and tyllers of the grounde, 

To payne and labour shall ye alwaye be bounde, 
Some shall kepe oxen, and some shall hogges kepe, 

Som shall be thresshers, som other shall kepe shepe. 
To dyg and to delve, to hedge and to dyke, 

Take this for your lot, and other labour lyke ; 
To drudge and to drevyll in warkes vyle and rude, 

This wyse shall ye lyve, in endeles servytude. 
Ryppynge and mowynge of fother, gras, and corne, 

Yet shall towne dwellers ofte laughe you unto scorne ! 
Yet some shall we graunt to dwell in the cyte, 

For to make podynges, or butchers for to be, 
Coblers, or tynkers, or else costard jaggers, 

Hostelers, or daubers, or drowpy water loggers, 
And such other sorte whose dayly busynesse 

Passeth in warkes, and labour ef vylenes. 

bakclay's eclogue. ] .". 

To stowpe, and to swete, and subjecte to become, 

And never to be rydde from bondage and thraldome." 
Than brought our Lorde to them the carte and harowe, 

The gad and the whyp, ye matoke and the whele- 
The spade, the shovell, the forke, and the ploughe, 

And all suche towles ; than bad he them be toughe, 
And never to grutche at labour nor at payne, 

For yf they so dyde, it shoulde be thynge in vayne. 
Thus sayde the Father and Lorde Omnypotente, 

And then he ascended up to the fyrmament. 
Thus began honour, and thus began bondage, 

And dyversyte of cyte and vyllage, 
And servyle labour fyrste in this wyse began: 

Demaunde of Cornyx, declare the trouthe he can. 
This tolde me Cornyx, whiche dwelled in the fen, 

I truste his sayenge, before a thousande men. 


Is this the mater, praysed of the so sore ? 

A strawe for fables ! I set by them no store ! 
It were a mervayle yf Cornyx mater tolde 

To laude of shepeherdes, or plowmen to upholde ; 
lie dwelt in the towne, and helde with the cyte, 

Tyll nede hym movyd as it hathe dryven the. 
Whan none of you bothe dare to the towne resorte, 

Amonge us shepeherdes. yet fynde ye here conforte. 
So bothe thou and he be gretely for to blame, 

To ete our vytayle, and than to hurte our name ! 
The yonge men of townes to mock us have a guyse, 

Nought elles can they do, save lyes to devyse ! 

16 Barclay's eclogue. 

This vayne invencyon, and folysshe fayned fable, 

Agayne rurall men they have delyte to bable : 
And nought they asshame, as blynde wretches unwyse, 

Of God Almyghty, suche leasynges to devyse. 
This scorfy scoftynge declareth openly 

Agaynste rurall men, rebuke and injury. 
But thou arte so rude, thy paunche is so fatte, 

Agayne thyne owneselfe thou busy art to chatte. 
All if this same jest is thy rebuke and blame, 

Thy dullyd reason can not perceyve the same ; 
But I wall prove the that rurall people be 

More wyse and noble than they of the cyte, 
And that the cyte is full of fraude and stryfe, 

Whan we in vyllage have good and quyet lyfe. 


I praye the, Faustus, therefore be thou not wrothe, 
To have dyspleasoure of the I were ryght lothe ! 

I thought no mawgre, I tolde it for a bourde, 

Yf I hadde knowen, I shulde have sayd no worde : 

But saye thy pleasure, now tell forthe thy sentence, 
And I shall here the with sobre pacyence. 


I shall not denye our payne and servytude, 

I knowe that plowmen for the mooste parte be rude; 

Now shall I tell the hygh maters trewe and olde, 
Whiclie curteys Candydus unto me ones tolde, 

Nought shall I forge, nor of no leasynge bable, 
This is trewe hystory, and no surmysed fable. 


At the begynnynge of thynges fyrste of all, 

God made shepeherdes, and other men rurall ; 
But the fyrste plowman and tyller of the grounde, 

Was rude and stordy, dysdaynynge to be bounde, 
Kughe and stoborne, and Cayn dyde men hym call, 

He hadde no mercy, and pyte none at all ; 
But lyke as the grounde, is dull, stony, and toughe, 

Stubberne and hevy, rebellynge to the ploughe ; — 
So the fyrste plowman, was stronge and obstynate, 

Frowarde, selfe-wyllynge, and mover of debate. 
But the fyrste shepeherde was meke, and nothyng fell, 

Humble as is a lambe, and called was Abell ; 
A shepe gyveth mylke, and lytell hathe of gall, 

So this good Abell hadde none yll wyll at all. 
No shepeherde founde hym injuryous nor wronge, 

Indurynge his lyfe whyle he was them amonge ; 
And oft of his flocke made he good sacryfyce, 

Of calfe or lambes such as were most of pryce, 
And of fat wethers the best not spared he 

To honour our Lorde, and pease his deyte. 
Thus hadde he favour with God omnypotent, 

So pleasynge our Lorde, that to this tyme present 
From fyrste begynnynge of erthe, and man mortal!, 

God hathe hadde favour to people pastorall : 
And poore shepeherdes, theyr cotes, felde and shepe, 

Aungelles have come for to defend and kepe. 
Some shepeherdes were in londe of Asserye, 

Whiche after have ben promoted very hye, 
So that from cotes, and houses pastorall, 

They have ascended to dygnyte royal 1. 


18 Barclay's eclogue. 

Chargys and labour so dothc my reason blynde, 

That call theyr names can I not unto mynde ; 
Yet let me stody, avoydynge perturbaunce, 

So maye I call them unto my remembraunce. 
Lo ! now I have them, — Abraham, and Jacob, 

Lot, Isaac, yonge Joseph, and Job. 
These now rehersed, and all the, 

Have not dysdayned pore shepe nor herdes warkcs. 
Them hathe our Lorde called from humble thynges, 

And made them prynces, dukes, other kynges ; 
So have they chaunged theyr clothynge pastorall, 

With golden garment, purpure, and gaye pall ; 
And than have after by magnanymyte, 

Brought noble royalmes in theyr captyvyte, 
And have in batayle ben myghty conquerours, 

Won fame immortall, and excellent honours. 
Parys was pastour, the sone of Pryamus, 

Pan, Sylene, Orpheus, and joly Tyterus ; 
Saw 11 was shepherde, so was he in lyke wyse 

Whiche wolde have ofFred his sone in sacryfyse. 
Moyses was shepherde, and was his flocke kepynge, 

Whan he came barefote unto the busshe flamynge, 
Commaunded by God to leve his flocke, and go 

On Goddes message to sturdy Pharao. 
Also Apollo was herde sometyme in Grece, 

No thynge dysdaynynge to handle ewe and flece, 
As wryteth poetes, he lefte dyvyne honour, 

Gladde amonge wethers to be a governour. 
The blessyd aungelles brought to suche men as we 

Message of concorde, of peas, and unyte, 

Barclay's eclogue. 1 9 

And songe that gloria flyenge in the skye, 

Whiche our syr Sampson dothe synge so merely. 
Fyrst hadde shepeherdes sure tydynge by message, 

That God was made man, to bye humayne lynage ; 
And herdes instructe by voyce angelycall, 

Sawe God incarnate and borne fyrste of all. 
And this was pleasour of Goddes majeste, 

That symple herdes hym fyrste of all soulde se, 
And in theyr maner make unto hym offrynges, 

Before estates, as ryche and myghty kynges. 
The joly harper whiche after was a kynge, 

And slewe the gyaunt so stoutly with his 
Was fyrste a shepehex'de, or he hadde dygnyte ; 

Ryght so were many as stoute and bolde as he. 
And our Lorde Jhesu, our God and Savyour, 

Named hymselfe a shepeherde, or a pastour ; 
Ryght so he named men meke and pacyent, 

His flocke and his shepe, for maners innocent. 
Tliynke not these wordes glosyd, nor in vayne, 

They are the gospell, so sayth syr Peter playne, 
I sawe them myselfe well paynted on the wall, 

Late gasynge upon our chyrche cathedrall ; 
I sawe grete wethers in pycture, and small lambes, 

Dauncynge, some slepynge, some sowkynge of theyr 
dammes ; 
And some on the grounde me semed lyenge styll, 

Than sawe I horsemen, at pendant of an hyll ; 
And the thre kynges with all theyr company, 

Theyr crownes glywerynge, bryght and oryently, 

c 2 

20 Barclay's eclogue. 

With theyr presentes and gyftes mystycall ; 

All this behelcle I in pycture on the wall. 
But the poore pastoures, as people innocent, 

Fyrst sawe the cryb of our Lorde omnypotent ; 
Thus it apereth God loveth poore pastours, 

Seth he them graunted to have so grete honours ; 
Our Lorde hath favour bothe in the shepe and 

As it apereth by the hystoryes olde. 
Our Lorde is redy to socour the vyllage, 

Despysynge townes, for malyce and outrage. 
For God is content with symple poverte, 

Pryde he despyseth, and wrongfull dygnyte. 


In good fayth, Faustus, thy tale is verytable, 

Grounded on lernynge, and gretly commendable. 
Lately myselfe to se that pycture was, 

I sawe the manger, I sawe the oxe and asse, 
I well remembred the people in my mynde, 

Me thynke yet I se the blacke facys of Ynde. 
Me thynke yet I se the herdes and the kynges, 

And in what maner were ordred theyr offrynges. 
As longe as I lyve the better shall I love 

The name of herdes, and cytezyns reprove. 
Wherefore, mate Faustus, I praye God gyve the 

Yf thou the fautes of ony cyte spare ; 
Spike on, and spare not, and touche theyr errour, 

Yet maye we comon, more than a large houre. 



Than tourne we to talke a whyle of cytezyns, 

To touche theyr foly and parcell of theyr synnes ; 
Thynke not, Amyntas, that they of the cyte 

Lyve better lyfe, or wyselyer than we ; 
All yf their clothynge be doubled for the colde, 

And thoughe they glyster so gayly in bryght golde, 
Shynynge in sylkes, in purpure, or velvet, 

In furryd robys, or clokes of scarlet, 
And we poore herdes in russet cloke and hode, 

It is not clothynge can make a man be good. 
Better is in ragges pure lyvynge innocent, 

Than a soule defyled in sumptuous garment. 
Trust me, Amyntas, my selfe with these same eyen, 

Have in the cyte suche oftentymes seen, 
Jet in theyr sylkes, and bragge in the market, 

As they were lordes ; I ofte have seen them jet 
Whiche are starke beggers, and lyve in nede at home, 

And ofte go to bedde for nede with empty wombe. 
Nought is more folysshe than suche wretches be, 

Thus with proude porte to cloke theyr poverte. 
What is nede clothed, or fayned habundaunce ? 

Poverte, slouthe, and wretched governaunce ! 
What is fayre semblaunce, with thought and hevynes? 

Forsothe nought elles but cloked folysshnes ! 
And some have I seen, (whiche is a thynge damnable,) 

That whyle they wolde have a lyvynge delectable, 
Rest at theyr pleasure and fare delycyously, 
Have suffered theyr wyves defyled wyttyngly. 

22 I'.AUr lay's ECLOGUE. 

Have soldo theyr doughters floure of vyrgynyte, 

deed unworthy ! O blynde inyquyte ! 
Fame, honour, the soule, and chastyte be solde, 

For wretchyd lyvynge ; — O, cursed thurstc of 
golde ! 
damnable dede, so many for to spyll, 

One wretched carkes and bely for to fyll ! 
What thynge is vyler, what more abhomynable, 

What thynge more folysshe, more fals and detestable ! 


What yf they can not to other crafte them gyve, 
Nor fynde other waye or meanes for to lyve ? 

Nede hath no lawe, of two ylles, parde, 
To chose the leest yll is none iniquite. 


Seth they have as many soules as have we, 

As inoche of reasone, and handes lyke plente, 
Why maye they not to honest warke them gyve ? 

And fynde other waye and maner for to lyve ? 
No lawe permytteth, nor wylleth man parde 

To commyt mordre for harde necessyte. 
No more shoulde ony his soule defyle nor kyll 

For lust transytory, or pleasure to fulfyll. 
Yet be in cytees mo suenge folysshnes, 

Wenynge by crafte for to have grete ryches ; 
By whiche craftes no man hathe ryches founde, 

Syth tyme that our Lorde fyrst iburmed man and 

i;akci.ay"s eclogue. 23 

As Alkemystys, wenynge by polecy 

Nature to alter, and coyne to multyply ; 
Some wasshe rude metall with lycours raanyfolde 

Of herbes, wenynge to turne it into goldej 
All pale and smoky by suche contynuall, 

And after labour they lose theyr lyfe and all ! 
Another sorte is to this not moche unlyke, 

Wliiche spende theyr tymes in wretchyd art magyke, 
Therby supposynge some treasour to have founde, 

"Wliiche many yeres is hydde within the grounde! 
What is more folysshe, more full of vanyte, 

Or more repugnynge to faythe and probyte ; 
Because they wolde fle good busynesse and payne, 

They use suche tryfles and wretched thynges vayne ; 
They prove all thynges because they wolde do nought, 

Styll sekynge newes, styll troubled in theyr thought, 
Because they wolde fle the labour of the lande, 

All ydle tryfles such taketh on theyr hande, 
Styll be they busy, and never come to ende, 

To thynge profytable do fewe of them intende. 
Some lyve by rapyne, gyle, fraude, and polecy, 

Parjury, oppressyon, and some in usury, 
Some gladly borowe, and never paye agayne, 

Some kepe from servauntes the stipend of theyr 
Some 'rest men gyltles and caste them in pryson, 

Some bye stronge theves out of the dongyon; 
Some fawn, some flater, men truste not whan they 

Than frame they fraudes men slyly to begyle ; 

24 Barclay's eclogue. 

Some in one houre more promes to the wyll, 

Than all his dayes he thyuketh to fulfyll. 
By thousande meanes of fraude and craftynesse, 

Ly they in wayte for honour and rychesse; 
They fede the ryche and often let the pore 

Dye for pure colde and hungre at theyr dore! 
We fede fat oxen, they marmosettes kepe, 

We fede fat kyddes, lambes, and good shepe, 
And they fede hawkes, apes, also houndes, 

And small is theyr joye, save here within our boundes. 
We brynge them butter, egges, chese, and woll, 

Tancardes of my Ike and creame fletynge full; 
All maner flesshe, and all theyr hole lyvynge, 

Without our labour treuly they have nothynge. 
We are the feders of wethers and fat hogges, 

And they of the cyte fede byrdes and grete dogges ! 
Now juge, Amyntas, whiche of these semeth the 

Of most avauntage and most nobylyte? 


Yf by your labour procedeth more rychesse, 

And most avauntage, as semeth trouth doubteles, — 

Than this I mervayle that they of the cyte 
Have so grete pleynte, and we necessyte. 

The cause can not I call to my remembraunce, 
Whereof procedeth theyr store and habundaunce. 


The cause I tolde the, what woldest thou have more? 
By fraude, and falshode, have they so mykyll store. 

Barclay's eclogue. 25 

Seest thou not playnly how they of the cyte 

Dayly dysceyveth our poove symplycyte, 
With that cruelte agaynste us they rage, 

By fals oppressyon, or fayre fayned langage ; 
They thinke it pleasoure that sorovve on them hap, 

By glosed wordes to take us in trappe. 
The most of them all counte it an almes dede 

Us herdes to fraude, this is a gentyll mede ! 
For them we labour, in hete, wynde, colde, and rayne, 

And fraude and dysceyte they paye us for our payne. 
With myndes and tongue they stody and they muse, 

Bothe daye and night us herdes to abuse. 
Theyr wyt and body all hole do they ply, 

For us poore wretches to stody polecy; 
And after theyr fraude, gyle, and decepcyon, 

Than do they laughe us unto derysyon. 


How came thou to knowlege of this enormyte, 
And of these maners of them of the cyte? 

My selfe there wonned, and there was conversaunt ; 
Of some of these thynges yet am I ygnoraunt. 


Thou coude not perceyve well theyr enormyte, 

Parchaunce thy maners dyde with theyr lyfe agre; 

There seldome is sene grete contradyccyon 
Where men accordeth in dysposycyon, 

No faute with Moryans is blacke dyfTormyte, 
Because all the sorte lyke of theyr favour be. 

'26 Barclay's eclogue. 

So couthe thou not se theyr vyces nor thein blame, 

Because thy own lyfe was fyled with the same. 
But how I knewe them, now shall I tell to the : 

Whyle I brought butter to sell to the cyte, 
And other vytayle, I used mylke to cry, 

Than hadde I knowlege with an apotecary, 
Of hyra I lerned moche falshode and practyse, 

Not to the purpose the same to exercyse. 
He couthe make playsters, and newe commyxcyons, 

In valour scant worthe a couple of onyens ! 
Yet solde he the same, as it were golde so dere, 

Namely, yf happened, ony infectyve yere. 
I was aquaynted with many an hucster, 

With a costardemonger, and with an hostler ; 
This thefe was crafty poore people to begyle, 

None lyke I suppose within a dosen mile: 
Amonge all other his fraudes and his crymes, 

He solde one botell of hey a dosen tymes ; 
And in the otes couthe he well droppe a candell, 

"Well knew he how his gestes to handle. 
And in the same In there dwelt a prety pryme, 

She couthe well flater and glose with hym and hym, 
And necke a mesure, her smyrkynge gan her sale, 

She made ten shylynge of one barell of ale ! 
Whome she begyled in pottes, she was fayne 

To wyn them with fresshe and paynted loke agayne. 
And as I remembre her name was wanton Besse, 

Who leest with her delt he thryved not the lesse ! 
What nede more processe, no crafte of the cyte 

Is, but is myngled with fraunde and subtylte, 


Save onely the crafte of an apotycary, — 

That is all fraude and gylefull polecy. 
But all these wolde swere that they were innocent, 

Or they to the cyte dyde fyrste of all frequent, 
There lerned they thefte and fraude to exercyse, 

And man of nature is moved soone to vyce. 
Some be also whiche spende theyr patrymony, 

Whiche was to them lefte by theyr olde auncestry, 
On queans, bawdes, in ryot and dronkenesse, 

Theyr name defylynge, despysynge all goodnesse. 
With cost and paynes suche busuly labour, 

Sekynge for shame and dethe before theyr houre. 
Saye where is custome of fornycacyon, 

Incest, avoutry, and defloracyon, 
Forsynge of women, mui'dre and rapyne, 

Dyscorde and braulynge, and ly vynge lyke to swyne, 
Malyce, envy, and all iniquyte, 

Do these not rayne, in myddes of the cyte ? 
All newe abusyon, provokynge men to synnes, 

Iladde fyrst begynnynge amonge the cytezyns; 
Where dwell grete prynces, and myghty governours, 

Theyr lyfe dyspysyuge for to have vayne honours, 
Capytaynes, souldyours, and all lyke company, 

Whiche put for money theyr lyfe in jeopardy, 
These dwell not uplande, but haunteth the cyte. 

Pore herdes fyght not, but for necessyte, 
For lyberte, lyfe, and justyce to upholde ; 

Towne dwellers fyght for vayne honour and golde. 
We fyght, our frendes and householde to defende, 

They fyght for malyce, to lychcs to ascende ; 

28 Barclay's eclogue. 

Our cause and quarell is to meynteyne the ryght, 

But all on selfewyll without reason they fyght. 
They seke by woundes for honour and rychesse, 

And dryve the wekest to hardest busynes. 
blynde sowdyour ! why settest thou thy hert 

For a vayne stypende agayne a mortall darte ! 
By thousande peryllys thou takest thy passage, 

For a small lucre rennynge to grete dammage. 
Theyr swete lyfe they gyve for a poore stypende, 

And ofte lese they bothe, and heven at the ende ! 
Whyle some contendeth and fyghteth for his wage, 

His lyfe he spendeth, than fare well avauntage ! 
What is more folysshe, or lyker to madnesse, 

Than to spende the lyfe for glory and rychesse ? 
What thynge is glory, laude, praysynge, or fame ? 

What honour, report, or what is noble name ? 
Forsothe nought but voyce of wytles coinonte, 

And vayne opynyon, subjecte to vanyte. 
Processe of yeres, revolvynge of season, 

Bryngeth all these soone in oblyvyon, 
Whan lyfe is faded all these ben out of syght, 

Lyke as with the sonne departeth the daye lyght. 
They all be fooles whiche medleth with the see, 

And otherwyse myght lyve in theyr owne countre ; 
He is but a foole whiche runneth to tempest, 

And myght lyve on londe in suerte and in rest. 
He is but a foole whiche hathe of good plenty, 

And it dysdayneth to use and occupy. 
And he which lyveth in care and wretchydnes, 

His heyre to promote to londes and rychesse, 


Is most foole of all, to spare in mysery 

With good and londes his heyre to magnyfy. 
And he whiche leveth that thynge for to be done 

Unto his doughter, executour, or sone, 
Whiche he hymselfe myght in his lyfe fulfyll, 

He is but a foole, and hath but lytell skyll ! 
But all these sortes within the cyte be, 

They want of wysdome and sue enorrnyte ; 
And also the youthe in dayes festyvall, 

Do nought but folowe theyr lustes bestyall, 
The weke they use them in worldly busynesse, 

The sondaye serveth to folowe vycyousnes ; 
What tyme the shoppes be closed all and shyt, 

Than is the market with Thays, Beale, and Kyt. 
On hyest dayes suche ware is namely solde, 

For nought it waxeth, yf it be ones olde. 
Upon the sondaye, whan men shoulde God honour, 

Lefte is good laboure, ensued is errour. 
Oftyme the old frere that wonned in Grenewyche, 

Agayne suche folyes was boldly wont to preche : — 
He sayde, where baudes and theyr abusyone 

Were wont to abyde in one vyle place alone, 
Now are they sprencled and sparcled abrode, 

Lyke wyse as shyppes be docked in a rode, 
That harde is to knowe good women frome the yll, 

By yll example good are in doubte to spyll. 
Bawdesbe suffred so where they lyste to byde, 

That the strete fadeth upon the water sydc, 
Cate, Jyll, Mably, Phylys, and feat Jeny, 

Because of the cyte now can not get one peny, 

30 babclay's eclogue. 

Whyle Thays was wont, in angles for to lv, 
Now bathe she power, in all the hole cyte. 


Thou pasest mesure, Faustus, by God a'vowe ! 

Thou sayst of malyce, ryght well perceyve I nowe. 
Mytygate thy mynde and tongue, for it is shame 

Men of the cyte thus largely to blame ! 
"What man is fautles, remembre the vylage, 

How men uplondysshe on holy dayes rage, 
Nought can them tame, they be a beastly sort, 

In swete and labour havynge most chefe com- 
forte ; 
On the holy daye as soone as morne is past, 

Whan all men resteth, whyle all the daye dothe last 
They drynk, they banket, they revell and they jest, 

They lepe, they daunce, despysynge ease and rest. 
Yet if they ones here a bagpype or a drone, 

Anone to the elme or oke be they gone ! 
There use they to daunce, to gambaud, and to rage, 

Suche is the custome and use of the vyllage. 
Whan the grounde resteth from rake, plough, and 

Than must they it trouble with burthen of theyr 
To Baccus they banket, no feest is festyvall, 

They chyde and they chat, they vary and they brail, 
They rayle and they route, they revell and they cry, 

Laughynge, and lepynge, and makynge cuppcs 

Barclay's eclogue. 3J 


What ! stynt thou thy chat, these wordes I defy, 
It is to a vylayne rebuke and vylanye] 

Suche rurall solace so playnly for to blame, 

Thy wordes soundeth to thy rebuke and shame. 


Not so, frende Faustus, I spoke it but in game; 
Agayne to the cyte retourne in Goddes name ! 


Yet of the cyte mo foles tell can I, 

Whiche wene to nombre the sterres of the skye, 
By them supposynge eche desteny to tell, 

But all be fooles that with this mater mell, 
Yet be they madder whiche fyxeth theyr entent 

To serche the nature of God omnypotent, 
And dare be so bolde to set theyr mortall syght, 

On incomprehensyble and pure immortal lyght ; 
Our fayth is better, for they of the cyte 

Beleve by reason with grete dyffyculte, 
Or they wyll beleve they brawle with argument, 

Playne speche suffyseth us people innocent; 
Agayne syr Sampson theyr quarell they defende, 

We aske no questyon, and use not to contende; 
We lyght the alters, and many candels offre, 

Whan they of the towne skantly make a proffer ! 
Theyr fayth is feble, our fayth is sure and stable, 

They dare be bolde with doctours for to bable. 

32 Barclay's eclogue. 

A worldly marchaunt nought knowynge of doctryne, 

Because of his coyne counteth his reason fyne. 
Trust me, Amyntas, no force who hereth me, 

The coyne and connynge doth not alwaye agre ! 
For some be that have grete pknty of that one, 

Whiche of that other have lytell parte or none. 
What shoulde the foles that dwell in the cyte 

Or we seke to knowe of Goddes pryvyte, 
Yf it were nedefull the Godhed for to knowe, 

To symple wretches here on the grounde alowe, 
It is in power of God omnypotent, 

His very presence to us to represent. 
But seth his knowlege is incomprehensyble, 

Why seketh fooles for thynges impossyble ; 
And seth God wyll be unknowen unto us, 

Why sholde thyne mortall of endeles thyng dyscus. 
And rurall people in almys doth excell, 

Above all the sorte whiche in the cyte dwell ; 
We gyve woll and chese, our wyves coyne and egges, 

Whan freres flater and prayse theyr propre legges. 
For a score of pynnes and nedles two or thre ; 

A gentell Cluner two cheses hadde of me, 
Phylys gave coyne because he dyd her charme, 

Ever syth that tyme lesse hathe she felte of harme. 
Yet is in the cyte a nombre incurable, 

Pleders, and brokers, a foule and shamefast rable, 
Marchauntes of justyce, hunters of ryches, 

Cratchers of coyne, delayers of processe, 
Prolongynge causes, and makynge wronge of ryght, 

And ryght of plaine wronge, opposyng law with 


Jaylers of justyce, theyr cursed covetyse 
Watreth the plantes of cruelte and vyce ! 


This have I proved by playne experyence, 
But tell me, Faustus, — what causeth this offence ? 


The rote and the grounde of this mysgovernaunce 

Is favour, revvarde, and wylfull ygnoraunce. 
Whan coyn or favour ones dymmed hath the syght, 

Adieu all justyce, in pry son layd is ryght. 
Yet be in townes a rable fraudelent, 

Murdrers of people, and fre of ponysshement, 
Vauntynge and bostynge themselfe of medycyne, 

And nought percey vynge of seyence and doctryne ; 
Yf they be fetred with rynges and with cheynes, 

Than may they handle and touche pry vy vaynes, 
Name all dyseases and sores at theyr wyll, 

Avoyde of connynge, of reason other skyll ; 
Suche ryde on mules, and pages by theyr syde, 

But yf they hadde ryght, on asses shoulde they ryde! 
As touchynge rulers of all the comonte, 

The more that they have of bye auctorytc, 
Of lyberte, wyll, and synguler pleasure, 

So moche tbe more poore people they dcvoure. 
The houndes somtyme wont foldes for to kepe, 

Be now wylde wolves devourynge all the shepe ; 
Rulers be robbers, and pyllers be pastours, 

Gone is the guydyng of godly governours ! 


34 Barclay's eclogue. 

O where be rulers, meynteyners of justyce ; 

Where be subduers and slakers of all vyce ! 
Where be the frendes of mercy and pyte, 

Somtyme well rulynge, not spoylynge of the cyte. 
Where be chast rulers, just, meke, and lyberall ; 

Chaunged is fortune, dethe hath devoured all. 
The worste remayneth, gon ben the meke and just. 

In stede of vertue, ruleth frewyll and lust ! 
Where be the fathers ryght worthy an empyre, 

Of whome men counted gaye talys by the fyre ; 
Somtyme with talys, and otherwhyle with songe, 

So dryvynge a waye the wynter nyghtes longe. 
Alas ! Amyntas, nought bydeth that is good, 

No not my cokers, my tabert, nor my hood ; 
All is consumed, all spent and worne be, 

So is all goodnesse and welthe of the cyte. 
The temples pylled dothe bytterly complayne, 

Poore people wayleth and cal for helpe in vayne ; 
Poore wydous sorowe, and chyldren fatherles 

In vayne bewayleth, whan wolves them oppresse. 
Syn hath no scourge, and vertu no rewarde, 

Who loveth wysdom his fortune is but harde ! 
Counceyll and cunnynge now tombles in the dust, 

But what is the cause? lawe tourned is to lust : 
Lust standeth in stede of lawe and of justyce, 

Wherby good lyvynge subdued is by vyce. 


I tell the, Faustns, this hastynes of the, 
Passeth the boundes of ryeht and honeste ; 

Barclay's eclogue. 35 

All men thou blamest by wrothe and hastynesse, 
As all cytezyns were full of vycyousnesse ; 

What, man ? — remembre ! — some ly ve in innocence, 
Some in the cyte be parties of offence. 


I am not angry, I saye but veryte, 

Here me, Amyntas, one clause with brevyte, — 
As many todes as bredeth in Irelonde, 

As many grypes as bredeth in Englonde, 
As many cockowes as synge in January, 

And nyghtyngales as synge in February, 
And as many whalys as swymmeth in the fen, 

So many ben there in cytes of good men ! 


A good man is geason, not easy to be founde, 
On londe or in cyte or over all the grounde ; 

Many thynges longe unto a parfyte man, 

Aske that of Codrus, declare the trouthe he can ; 

Badnes encreaseth and over fast dothe growe, 
Goodnes and vertu in comynge up ben slowe. 


Thou art madde I trowe, so many foes have we 
As dwell cytezyns in all the hole cyte, 

They clyp us, they poll us, they pyll us to the skyn, 
And what they may get that thynke they well to wyn ; 

To tlici'te they constrayne us, I tell the by all Balows, 
And after by and by they sende us to the galows ! 

d 2 

30 Barclay's eclogue. 

Therfore it is reason yf ought of theyrs hap, 

Or come to our clawes it pry vely to trap ; 
They us oft dysceyve, dysceyve we them agayne, 

Devyse we slyly, gyle subtyll and trayne. 
But this, Amyntas, to me is gretest grefe 

And doubt, for it is yll stelynge from a thefe, 
Yf it be secret we may it well deny, 

Yf it be knowen, excuse it craftely ; 
Preve felony thoughe it be used longe 

Is not called thefte, but injury and wronge. 
All that they have within these townes playne, 

Is our harde labour, sore travayle, and grete payne. 


Now thou excedest the marke of equyte, 
Thou passest reason, Faustus, I tell to the. 


What than, Amyntas, have pacyence a whyle, 

Towne dwellers vyces dothe all the worlde defyle, 
The ayre is corrupt by theyr enormyte, 

These somer stormes whence come they ? tell 
thou me ! 
Lyghtnynge, grete wyndes, fiodes, hayle, and thundre, 

I well remembre ofttyme the grounde here under 
Ryght sore bathe quaked, and caused houses fall ; 

Vyce of the cyte is rote and cause of all ! 
The sonne in myddaye ofttyme hathe loste hys 


In lykewyse the raone in season of the nyght ; 

Barclay's eclogue. 37 

Bothe hathe ben blacke, or elles reed as blode, 

This sygne, Amyntas, pretendeth us no good. 
Why growe the wedes and cokyll in the come ? 
Why is haye and grasse oftymes all forlorne ? 
Why lose we our sede, our labour, and expence? 

Where cometh moryen, and grevous pestylence ? 
All these procedeth by madde enormyte, 

And corrupte maners of them of the cyte ! 
And wors is lykely yet aftervvarde to fall, 

Yf they not refourme theyr lyvynge bestyall. 
Whence came the furour of harnes and batayle, 

Whiche causeth wydowes theyr spouses to bewayle, 
Whiche bryngeth with it all kynde of mysery, 

As thefte, and murdre, grete deth and penury. 
Forsoth in cytees this furour fyrste began, 

To the confusyon of many a doughty man, 
The cyte is well and grounde orygynall, 

Bothe the fyrst and last, of dedely ylles all ! 
Bredde in the cyte was cruell Lycaon, 

Bredde amonge herbes was good Dewcalyon ; 
Amonge shepeherdes norysshed was Rennus, 

And also his brother the myghty Romulus ; 
The cause of the node in cyte fyrst began, 

Wherby was wasted nere every best and man. 
Our Lorde destroyed fyve cytes for outrage, 

Rede where for synnes he wasted one vyllage. 
I trowe whan the worlde with fyre shall wasted be, 

The cause shall pro-cede and come of some cyte. 
What ! shall I touche the savour and the stynke 
Whiche is in cytes, of gutter and of synke ? 

4 \ i 

88 Barclay's eclogue. 

There men be choked with vyle and deedly sent, 
Here have we odour of floures redolent. 

I count me happy whiche won in the vyllage, 
As undefyled with cytezyns outrage. 


Have done now, Faustus, laye there a strawe and rest, 
Fyll we our bely with cruddes that is best, 

Leve we the cyte and all cyvyle outrage, 
Now it is season to torne to the potage ; 

After our dyner is best as in my mynde 

The rest to declare, yf ought remayne behynde. 

f Finis. 

^| Here endeth the v. Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the 

Cytezyn and Uplondysshman, Imprinted at London, 

in Flete Strete, at the Sygne of Sonne. 

by Wynkyn de Worde. 



P. l f I. 9, pryvate: deprived. 

P. 1, L 19, aspyed: espye, ed. 1570. 

P. 1, 1. 20, sfode: stande, ed. 1570. 

P. 1, £. 22, « /rtyre broche of tynne: these tin brooches 
were frequently worn as signs of pilgrimage ; and were 
fashioned into figures of the saints at whose shrines they 
were distributed. One such, given to Canterbury Pilgrims 
in commemoration of St. Thomas a Becket, is engraved in 
the Archceological Album. For other examples and for the 
curious elucidations of Mr. C. R. Smith, who first inter- 
preted and called attention to these interesting relics of 
medieval times, which had previously been overlooked by 
antiquaries, I must refer the reader to the Journal of the 
British Archaeological Association, vol. i. p. 200. 

P. 2, 1. 1, yetted: jetted, ed. 1570 : strutted about. 

P. 2, I. 3, vxifrer : " a person who sold wafers, a sort 
of cakes so called," Halliwell's Dictionary. 

P. 2, I. 7 ', propre prym : a neat girl. 

P. 2, 1. 17, pleasure had: pleasure he had, ed. 1570. 

P. 2, 1. 28, themselfe: themselves, ed. 1570. 

P. 3, 1. 15, blowys all with a fereftd sounde: blowessharpe 
and with fereful sound, ed. 1570. 

P. 3, I. 16, hewsys: ewes, ed. 1570, eaves. 

P. 3, I. 17, the streamer frosen: the streame is frosen, 
ed. 1570. 

P. 3, /. 23, black and smoke: smoky, ed. 157<». 


P. 3, 1. 24, sterynge the pulment : sturring the pulment, 
ed. 1570: "a kind of pottage, Pulrnentorium, a pulment: 
' Nominale MS.' " Halliwell's Dictionary. 

P. 3, 1. 25, frument : furmity, a dish still eaten by country 
folks, composed of wheat boiled in milk and sugar, and 
seasoned with spice. 

P. 4, I. 21, bounde within: put within, ed. 1570. 

P. 5, I. 6, thryftles: trifles, ed 1570. 

P. 5, I. 13, crudded: curded. 

P. 6, /. 5, wantynge: want, ed. 1570. 

P. 6, I. 6, dayneth : disdains. 

P. 6, I. 9, / tell thee : I tell to thee, ed. 1570. 

P. 7, I. 10, comonte: commonalty. 

P. 7, I. 25, other policy : worldly policy, ed. 1570. 

P. 8, /. 15, thy lyttre: this litter, ed. 1570. 

P. 9, /. 6, rowen : after-grass, a word still used in Suffolk. 

P. 9, /. 8, efte : again. 

P. 9, /. 25, fulfill thy promise. I have corrected these 
words by the ed. of 1570, in the original it reads, " Fully 
thy promes." 

P. 10, /. 10, fourmed : founded, ed. 1570. The curious 
tale which is here related to the disadvantage of country- 
men, probably had a much earlier origin ; it bears traces of 
that contempt for agriculturists so striking in the poems 
of the trouveres, and of which some curious instances are 
given by Mr. Wright in his paper on the Political Condition 
of the English Peasantry during the middle ages. — Archceo- 
logia, vol. 30. 

P. 11, I. 2, to dreare : to annoy, to give sorrow. 

P. 11, I. 19, thefolde: his folde, ed. 1570. 

P. 12, /. 1, svpposynge : suppose, ed. 1570. 

/\ 12, I, 11, sayde, " Woman": saide, " 0, woman," 
ed. 1570. 

NOTES. 43 

P. 12, /. 24, haunsed : exalted. 

P. 13, /. 4, haberjowne : a breast-plate. 

P. 13, /. 5, getton : ghetton, ed. 1570 : " a banner pro- 
perly two yards in length. — Archaologia 22, 397." Halli- 
well's Dictionary. 

P. 13, /. 17, caduhe: crazy, frail. Halli well's Dictionary. 

P. 13, /. 20, fle she : flew she, ed. 1570. 

P. 13, I. 27, witfisave : vouchsave. 

P. 14, I. 8, rowmes : places, offices. 

P. 14, I. 27, costard jaggers : itinerant apple sellers. 

P. 14, I. 28, daubers or drowpy water laggers : plasterers, 
or stooping water-carriers. Skelton mentions "the Irish 
water-lag." See note in Dyce's edition of his works. 

P. 15, /. 16, dwelled in the fen: wonned in the fen, ed. 

P. 16, I. 4, leasynges : falsehoods. 

P. 16, /. 9, All if: A lyfe, orig. ed. 

P. 16, /. 11, wall prove: shall prove, ed. 1570. 

P. 16, /. 18, 1 thought no mawgre, J tolde it for a bourde : 
I thought no harm, I told it for a jest. 

P. 17, I. 25, felde and shepe : fold and shepe, ed. 1570. 

P. 19, /. 2, Syr Sampson : the parish priest, who was 
always styled Sir. See notes to Shakspere's " Love's 
labours lost." Malone's ed. 

P. 19, /. 22, well paynted on the wall. This detailed no- 
tice of a mural painting in Ely Cathedral, which has long 
since disappeared, is very curious ; paintings in distemper 
on the walls of churches, representing the same subject, 
were not uncommon ; and in Smith's Antiquities of West- 
minster may be seen copies from one formerly existing in 
St. Stephen's Chapel there. The adoration of the Magi is 
painted on the walls of the Guesten Hall, adjoining Wor- 
cester Cathedral, and is apparently a work of the fourteenth 


century. So many of our old churches exhibit fragments of 
similar paintings, of which many are yet hidden beneath 
whitewash, that this species of church decoration appears 
to have been all but universal before the reformation. 

P. 19, /. 2Q,glyweryng : glistering, ed. 1570. 

P. 20, /. 7, bothe in the shepe and fold: both to shepe and 
folde, ed. 1570. 

P. 20, I. 9, the histories: these historyes, ed. 1570. 

P. 22, 1. 13, two ylles: two evils, ed. 1570. 

P. 22. /. 24, mo suenge : more seeking. 

P. 23, /. 22, in usury: on usury, ed. 1570. 

P. 24, I. 9, apes also houndes : apes, horse and houndes, 
ed. 1570. 

P. 24, I. 12, fletynge full : running over. 

P. 24, I. 20, your labour: our labour, ed. 1570. 

P. 25, /. 2, dysceyveth: deceyve, ed. 1570. 

P. 25, /. 13, do they fly : do they apply, ed. 1570. 

P. 25, /. 27, Moryans : Moors, negros. 

P. 25, /. 28, theyr favour : that favour, ed. 1570. 

P. 26, /. 1, couthe : could, ed. 1570. 

P,26,l.2,fyled: defiled. 

P. 26, /. 6, an apotecary. The amount of quackery 
prevalent in the middle ages exceeded all ordinary bounds. 
I must refer the reader for instances of this to Mr. Petti- 
grew's work on Medical Superstitions ; and to Dr. Halle's 
" Historiall Expostulation against the beastly abusers of 
Chyrurgerie and Physicke in our time," re-published 1844, by 
the Percy Society. 

P. 26, /. 18, one botell of hey: a bundle of hay, still 
alluded to in the old proverb which characterizes a fruitless 
search as " looking for a needle in a bottle of hay." 

P. 26, /. 19, couthe: could, ed. 1570. 

P. 26, /. 20, gestes to handle: gestes for to handle, ed. 1570. 

NOTES. 45 

P. 26, /. 21, pretty pryme: pretty girl. 

P. 27, /. 25, uplande : upon londc, ony. «£. 

P. 28, /. 6, agayne: against, ed. 1570. 

P. 28, /. 17, comonte: conimontie, ed. 1570 : commonalty. 

P. 28, /. 27, good: worldly goods. 

P. 29, /. 4, executour. The distrust of executors was a 
very common sentiment in former times, and warnings 
against them were frequent in all ways. Upon one of the 
tiles in the Abbey Church at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, 
is this curious inscription : — 

" Thenke mon tin liffe 
Mai not ever endure, 
That thow dost thiself 
Of that thow art sure, 
But that thow kepist 
Unto thi 'scctur cure* 
And ever hit availe the 
Hit is but aventure.+" 

Mr. J. G. Nichols, who engraves this curious tile in his 
Examples of Decorative Tiles, (4to, 1845) says that similar 
ones exist at Hereford, Little Malvern, and Stanford, Wor- 
cestershire. He also notices the universality of a similar 
distrust, and refers to the Gentleman's Magazine for several 
fragments of such verses, "of which the following, which was 
depicted upon the wall of St. Edmund's Church, Lombard 
Street, is a curious specimen : — 

' Man, thee behovyth oft to have; this in mynd, 
That thou geveth wyth thin bond, that sail you find, 
For wydowes be sloful, and chyldren beth unkynd, 
Executors beth covetos, and kep al that they fynd ; 
If eny body esk wher the deddys goodys be gou, 

They ansquer, 
So God me helpe and Halidam, lie died a pore mon, 
Thenk on this.' " 

* Unto thy executor's care. | Chance. 

46 NOTES. 

P. 29, /. 28, the strete fadeth upon the water syde. The 
suburbs of London, and the streets by the water side, were 
notoriously infamous in the sixteenth century ; and the 
stews in Southwark are particularly alluded to in Cock 
LoreVs Bote, (Percy Society's Publications, vol. 6), as well 
as some other London localities, rendered infamous by the 
dispersion of the water-side residents by the Bishop of 
Winchester, who owned the property. This poem and 
Barclay's are very nearly cotemporary. 

P. 31, l. 3, a vylayne: a villein, a country man. 

P. 32, I. 22, a gentle Cluner : a Cluniack monk ; the 
similar way in which the lower clergy ingratiated them- 
selves with " good wives," is noticed by Chaucer, who de- 
scribes his friar as having — 

" His tippet ay farsed ful of knives, 
And pinnes for to given fayre wives." 

P. 32, l. 23, he dyd her charm. I must again refer the 
reader to Mr. Pettigrew's very amusing volume on Medical 
Superstitions, for curious information on the charms used in 
the middle ages, as well as to Brand's Popular Antiquities. 

P. 32, I. 26, shamfast: shamefull, ed. 1570. 

P. 32, I. 28, cratchers of coyne : people who " scratch 
together" great wealth. 

P. 33, /. 18, other skyll: eyther skill, cd. 1570. 

P. 34, I. 14, my cokers, my tabert : cokers arc boots like 
the modern countrymen's high-lows ; the tabert is the 
tunic or smock-frock. 

P. 34, /. 17, pylled: ransacked. 

P. 34, I. 20, bewayleth: bewayle, ed. 1570. 

P. 35, /. 4, parties of offence : take no part in offending. 

P. 35, /. d,grypes: griffins. 

P. 35, /. 14, geason : scarce. 

NOTES. 47 

P. 36, /. 4, subtyll: subteltie, ed. 1570. 

P. 36, /. 9, preve felony : privy felony, ed. 1570. 

P. 36, /. 10, injury and xoronge: injury or wrong, ed. 

P. 36, /. 18, all the tvorlde : all the earth, ed. 1570. 

P. 37, 1. 11, harnes: hardnes, ed. 1570. Harness is gene- 
rally used as a term for accoutrements of war. 

P. 37, I. 18, ylles: evils, ed. 1570. 

P. 37, 1. 21, Rennus: Rhenus, ed. 1570. Remus. 

P. 38, I. 3, won: reside. 

P. 38, /. 6, laye there: lay here, ed. 1570. 

P. 38, 1. 10, is beste as in my minde : is best in my minde, 
ed. 1570. 


ill II. Wilis. I [UN 1 lilt, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LAM. 







F.S.A., HON. M.B.I. A., HON. M.R.S.L., ETC. 





Cf)e iercp £>ot\tty. 


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.\.,r>easurer $ Secretary. 


The curious interlude, reprinted in the following- 
pages, is one of the earliest moral plays in the 
English language known to exist, and it possesses 
an interest beyond its connexion with the history 
of the stage, as being the only dramatic piece 
extant in which science is attempted to be made 
popular through the medium of theatrical repre- 
sentation. Only one copy of it is known to exist, 
but that is unfortunately imperfect, a sheet in the 
middle and the concluding leaves being lost, so that 
we are left without the means of giving the reader 
much information respecting it. On the other 
hand, while this circumstance must excuse the 
brevity of these preliminary observations, its sin- 
gularity and extreme rarity offered additional 
inducements for selecting it for republication. 

An allusion to the discovery of the West Indies 
and America, " within this twenty year," would 
appear to ascertain the date of the composition of 
the play, but I suspect, from internal evidence, the 

form and manner of its dialogue, that it was not 
written so early as some authors have supposed; 
Dr. Dibdin assigning 1510 to the period of its 
appearance. The same writer considers it to be 
a production of RastalFs press, and it has been 
stated, on somewhat doubtful authority, that the 
printer was also the author; a combination that 
has seldom effected much service, and has too fre- 
quently deteriorated the efforts of both. Be this 
as it may, no great talent is displayed in the con- 
struction of the following piece, the value of which 
must be allowed to consist in the curious illustra- 
tion it affords of the phraseology and popular 
scientific knowledge of the day, and its curiosity 
as a link in the history of the drama, rather than 
in any intrinsic merits of its own. 

It is only necessary to add, that the play was 
rather carelessly printed, and a few very obvious 
errors have been corrected. With these exceptions, 
the following pages present a faithful copy of the 
original, a very small octavo volume in black 




A new Interlude and a mery, of the nature of the iiij. 
Element es, declarynge many proper poyntes of Phi- 
losophy Naturall, and of Dyvers Straunge handy s, 
and of Dyvers Straunge Effectes and Causis; whiche 
Interlude, yf the hole matter be playd, ivyl conteyne 
the space of an hour and a halfe, but, yf ye lyst, ye 
may leve out muche of the sad mater, as the Mes- 
sengers parte, and some of Naturys parte, and some 
of Experyens parte, and yet the matter ivyl depend 
contingently, and than it ivyll not he paste thre 
quarters of an hour of length. 

Here foloiv the namys of the Pleyers. 

The Messengere, Nature Naturae, Humanyte, Stu- 
dyous Desire, Sensuall Appetyte, the Taverner, 
Experyence, Yngnoraunce: also, yf ye lyst, ye may 
brynge in a Dysgysynge. 

Here foloiv dyvers matters whiche he in tin's Interlude 

Of the sytuacyon of the iiij. elementes, that is to sey, 
the Yerth, the Water, the Ayre, and Fyre, and of 


their qualytese and propertese, and of the generacyon 
and corrupcyon of thynges made of the commyxton of 

Of certeyn conclusions provynge that the yerth must 
nedes be rounde, and that it hengyth in the myddes of 
the fyrmament, and that it is in circumference above 
xxj.m. myle. 

Of certeyn conclusions provynge that the see lyeth 
rounde uppon the yerth. 

Of certeyne poyntes of cosmography, as how and 
where the see coveryth the yerth, and of dyvers 
straunge regyons and landys, and whiche wey they 
lye, and of the new founde landys, and the maner of 
the people. 

Of the generacyon and cause of stone and metall, 
and of plantis and herbys. 

Of the generacyon and cause of well sprynges, and 
ryvers; and of the cause of hote fumys that come out 
of the yerth; and of the cause of the bathys of water 
in the yerth whiche be perpetually hote. 

Of the cause of the ebbe and flode of the see. 

Of the cause of rayne, snowe, and hayle. 

Of the cause of the wyndys and thonder. 

Of the cause of the lyghtnynge, of blasyng sterrys, 
and fiamys fleynge in the ayre. 


Thaboundant grace of the power devyne, 
Whiche doth illumyne the world invyron, 
Preserve this audyence and cause them to inclyne 


To charyte, this is my petycyon; 

For by your paeyens and supportacyon 

A lytyll interlude, late made and preparyd, 

Before your presence here shall be declaryd, 

Whiche of a few conclusyons is contrivyd, 

And poyntes of phylosophy naturall; 

But though the matter be not so well declaryd 

As a great clerke coude do, nor so substancyall, 

Yet the auctour hereof requiryth you all, 

Though he be yngnorant, and can lytyll skyll, 

To regarde his only intent and good wyll, 

"Whiche in his mynde hath oft tymes ponderyd, 

What nombre of bokes in our tonge maternall 

Of toyes and tryfellys be made and impryntyd, 

And few of them of matter substantcyall; 

For though many make bokes, yet unneth ye shall 

In our Englyshe tonge fynde any warkes 

Of connynge, that is regardyd by clerkes. 

The Grekes, the Itornayns, with many other mo, 

In their moder tonge wrot warkes excellent. 

Than yf clerkes in this realme wolde take payn so, 

Consyderyng that our tonge is now suffycyent 

To expoun any hard sentence evydent, 

They myght, yf they wolde, in our Englyshe tonge 

Wryte workys of gravyte somtyme amonge ; 

For dyvers prengnaunt wyttes be in this lande, 

As well of noble men as of mcane estate, 

Whiche nothynge but Englyshe can understande. 

Than yf connynge Latcn bokys were translate 

Into Englyshe, wel correct and approbate, 



All subtell sciens in Englyshe myght be lernyd 
As well as other people in their owne tonges dyil. 
But now so it is that in our Englyshe tonge 
Many one there is that can but rede and wryte, 
For his pleasure wyll oft presume amonge 
New bokys to compyle and balates to indyte, 
Some of love or other matter, not worth a myte: 
Some to opteyn favour wyll flatter and glose, 
Some wryte curyous termes nothyng to purpose. 
Thus every man after his fantesye 
Wyll wryte his conseyte, be it never so rude, 
Be it vertuous, vycyous, wysedome or foly ; 
Wherfore to my purpose thus I conclude, 
Why shold not than the auctour of this interlude 
Litter his owne fantesy and conseyte also, 
As well as dyvers other now a dayes do ? 
' For wysedome and foly is as it is takyn, 
For the one callyth wysedome, another callyth foly, 
Yet amonge moste folke that man is holdyn 
Moste wyse, whiche to be ryche studyeth only ; 
But he that for a commyn welth bysyly 
Studyeth and laboryth, and lyvyth by Goddes law, 
Except he wax ryche, men count hym but a daw ! 
So he that is ryche is ever honouryd, 
Allthough he have got it never so falsely, 
The pore beynge never so wyse is reprovyd ; 
This is the oppynyon moste commynly 
Thorowe out the worlde, and yet no reason why ; 
Therfore, in my mynd, whan that all suche dawis 
Have babelyd what they can, no force of ij. strawis ! 


For every man in reason thus ought to do, 

To labour for his owne necessary lyvynge, 

And than for the welth of his neyghbour also ; 

But what dyvylish mynd have they, which musing 

And labouryng all their lyffes, do no other thyng 

But bringe ryches to their owne possessyon, 

Nothyng regardinge their neyghbours distruccion ; 

Yet all the ryches in the worlde that is, 

Rysyth of the grounde by Goddys sendynge, 

And by the labour of pore mennys handys ; 

And though thou, ryche man, have therof the kepynge, 

Yet is not this ryches of thy gettyuge, 

Nor oughtyst not in reason to be preysyd the more, 

For by other mennys labour it is got before. 

A great wytted man may sone be enrychyd, 

That laboryth and studyeth for ryches only, 

But how shall his conscyens than be discharged? 

For all clerkes afferme that that man presysely, 

Which e studyeth for his owne welth pryncypally, 

Of God shall deserve but lytyll rewarde, 

Except he the commyn welth somwhat regarde ; 

So they sey that that man occupyed is 

For a commyn welth, whiche is ever laborynge 

To releve pore people with temporall goodys, 

And that it is a commyn good act to brynge 

People from vyce and to use good lyvynge ; 

Lyke wyse for a commyn welth occupy d is he, 

That bryngyth them to knowledge that yngnorant be ; 

But man to knowe God is a dyffyculte, 

Except by a meant- he hymsclfe inure, 


Whiche is to knowe Goddes creaturys that be ; 

As furst them that be of the grosyst nature, 

And than to know them that be more pure, 

And so by lytyll and lytyll ascendynge, 

To know Goddes creaturys and mervelous werkinge, 

Amd this wyse man at the last shall come to 

The knowlege of God and his hye mageste, 

And so to lerne to do his dewte, and also 

To deserve of his goodnes partener to be : 

Wherfore in this work declaryd shall ye see, 

Furst of the elementis the sytuacyon, 

And of their effectis the cause and generacyon ; 

And though some men thynke this matter to hye, 

And not mete for an audyence unlernyd, 

Methynke for man nothynge more necessary 

Than this to know, though it be not usyd, 

Nor a matter more lov/e can not be arguyd ; 

For though the elementis Goddys creaturis be, 

Yet they be most grose and lowyst in dcgre : 

How dare men presume to be callyd clerkes, 

Dysputynge of hye creaturis celestyall, 

As thyngys invysyble and Goddes hye warkys, 

And know not these vysyble thyngys inferyall ? 

So they wolde know hye thinges, and know nothingeatall 

Of the yerth here wheron they dayly be, 

Nother the nature, forme, nor quantyte ; 

Wherfore it semyth nothynge convenyent 

A man to study, and his tyme to bestowe, 

Furst for the knowlege of hye thynges excellent, 

And of lyght matters beneth nothynge to know, 


As of these iiij. dementis here below, 

Whose effeetis dayly appere here at eye, 

Such thinges to know furst were most mete study : 

Wliiehe matter before your presence shortly 

In this interlude here shall be declaryd 

Without great eloquence ; I ryme rudely, 

Because the compyler is but small lernyd. 

This worke with rethoryk is not adournyd, 

For perhappis in this matter muche eloquence 

Sholde make it tedyous or hurt the sentence ; 

But because some folke be lytyll disposyd 

To sadnes, but more to myrth and sport, 

This phylosophycall work is myxyd 

With mery conseytis to gyve men comfort, 

And occasyon to cause them to resort 

To here this matter, wherto yf they take hede 

Some lernynge to them therof may procede. 

But they that shall nowe this matter declare 

Openly here unto this audyence, 

Beholde, I prey you, see where they are ; 

The pleyers begyn to appere in presence ; 

I se well it is tyme for me go hens, 

And so I wyll do ; therfore now shortly 

To God I commyt all this hole company. 

Hie intrat Natura Naturata, Humanyte, and Studyous 
Desire, portans figuram. 


The hye myghty, most excellent of all, 

The fountayn of goodnes, verteu and connyng, 


Whiche is eterne of power most poteneyall, 
The perfeccyon and furst cause of every thynge, 

1 rueane that only hye nature naturynge ; 

Lo, he by his goodnes hath ordeynyd and create 

Me here his mynyster, callyd Nature Naturate. 

Wherfore I am the verey naturate nature, 

The immedyate mynyster for the prescrvacyon 

Of every thinge in his kynde to endure, 

And cause of generacyon and corrupcyon 

Of that thynge that is brought to distruccyon : 

Another thynge styll I brynge forth agayne, 

Thus wondersly I worke and never in vayne. 

The great world beholde lo devydyd wondersly 

Into two regyons, wherof on I call 

The etheriall region, with the hevyns hye, 

Conteynynge the planettys, sterris and speris all ; 

The lower region callyd the elementall 

Conteynynge these iiij. elementis beloo, 

The fyre, the ayre, the water and yerth also. 

But yet the elementis and other bodyes all 

Beneth take theyr effectys and operacyons 

Of the bodyes in the region etherall ; 

By theyr influens and constellacyons, 

They cause here corrupcyons and generacyons : 

For yf the movynges above sholde onys cease, 

Beneth sholde be nother increse nor decrese. 

These elementis of themselfe so syngle be 

Unto dyvers formys can not be devydyd, 

Yet they commyx togyder dayly, ye see, 

Wherof dyvers kyndes of thynges be ingenderyd, 


Whielie thynges eftsonys, whan they be corruptyd, 

Yche element I reduce to his furst estate, 

So that nothynge can be utterly adnychelate. 

For though the forme and facyon of any thyng 

That is a corporall body be distroyed, 

Yet every matter remaynyth in his beynge, 

Wherof it was furst made and formyd; 

For corrupcyon of a body commyxyd 

Ys but the resolucyon by tyme and space 

Of every element to his owne place; 

For who that wyll take any body corporall, 

And do what he can it to distroy, 

To breke it or grynde it into pouder small, 

To washe, to drown, to bren it, or to dry, 

Yet the ayre and fyre therof naturally 

To their owne proper places wyll ascende, 

The water to the water, the yerth to the yerth tende ; 

For yf hete or moysture of any thynge certayne 

By fyre or be water be consumyd, 

Yet yerth or ashes on yerth wyll remayne, 

So the dementis can never be distroyed. 

For essencyally ther is now at this tyde 

As muche fyre, ayre, water, yerth, as was 

Ever before this tyme, nether more nor las ; 

Wherfore thou, man, now I speke to the, 

Remcmbre that thou art compound and create 

Of these dementis, as other creaturis be, 

Yet they have not all lyke noble estate, 

For plantis and herbys growe and be insensate, 

Brute bestis have memory and their wyttes fyve, 


But thou hast all those and soule intcllectyve ; 
So by reason of thyne understandynge, 
Thou hast domynyon of other bestis all, 
And naturally thou sholdyst desire connynge, 
To knowe straunge effectes and causys naturall ; 
For he that studyeth for the lyfe bestyall, 
As voluptuous pleasure and bodely rest, 
I account hym never better than a best. 


excellent pry nee, and great lorde Nature, 

1 am thyne owne chylde and forrayd instrument; 
I beseche thy grace take me to thy cure, 

And teche me suche scyens thou thinkyst expedyent. 


Than syth thou art so humble and benevolent, 

That thynge that is mete for thy capasyte 

And good for thy knowlege I shall instructe the: 

Furst of all thou must consyder and see 

These elementis, whiche do yche other penetrate, 

And by contynuall alteracyon they be 

Of themselfe dayly corruptyd and generate. 

The yerth as a poynt or center is sytuate 

In the myddes of the worlde, with the water joyned, 

With the ayre and fyre rounde and hole invyronyd: 

The yerth of itselfe is ponderous and hevy, 

Colde and dry of his owne nature proper; 

Some parte lyeth dry contynually, 

And parte therof coveryd over with water, 

Some with the salt see, some with freshe ryver, 


Whiche yerth and the water togyder with all 

So joynyd make a rounde fygure sperycall : 

So the water whiche is cokle and moyst is founde 

In and uppon the yerth fyllynge the holones, 

In dyvers partis, liynge with the yerth rounde, 

Yet the hyllys and mounteyns of the yerth excesse 

Take nothynge of hit away the roundnes, 

In comparyson bycause they be so small, 

No more than the prikkes do that be on a gall. 

The ayre whiche is hote and moyst also, 

And the fyre whiche is ever hote and dry, 

About the yerth and water joyntly they go, 

And compasse them every where orbycularly, 

As the whyte aboute the yolke of an egg doth lye; 

But the ayre in the lower parte moste remaynyth, 

The fyre naturally to the hyer tendyth. 

The etheryall region whiche conteynyth 

The sterrys, and planettys, and every spere, 

About the elementis dayly movyth, 

And coveryth them rounde about every where: 

Every sterre and spere in straunge maner 

Upon his owne poles movyth dyversly, 

Whiche now to declare were to longe to tary. 

The fyre and the ayre of their naturys be lyght, 

Therfore they move by naturall provydence; 

The water bycause it is ponderous in weyght 

Movyth not naturally, but by vyolence 

Of the sterris and pianettes, by whose influence 

The see is compellyd to ebbe and flowe dayly, 

And freshe waters to sprynge contynuallyj 


And though that the water be grose and hevy, 

Yet nothynge so grose as the yerth I wys, 

Therfore by hete it is vapory d up lyghtly, 

And in the ayre makyth cloudy s and mystes: 

But as sone as ever that it grosely is 

Gederyd togyder, it descendyth agayii, 

And eausyth uppon the yerth hayle, snow, and rayne; 

The yerth because of his ponderosyte, 

Avoydyth equally the movynges great 

Of all extreniytes and sperys that be, 

And tendyth to the place that is most quiet; 

So in the nryddys of all the sperys is set 

Formast abject from all maner movynge, 

Where naturally he restyth and movyth nothynge. 

Marke well now how I have the shewyd and tolde 

Of every element the very sytuacyon 

And qualyte, wherfore this fygure beholde 

For a more manyfest demonstracyon ; 

And bycause thou sholdyst not put to oblyvyon 

My doctryne, this man callyd Studyous Desire 

"With the shall have contynuall habytacyon, 

The styll to exhort more scyens to adquire. 

For the more that thou desyrest to know any thynge, 

Therin thou semyst the more a man to be, 

For that man that desireth no maner connynge, 

All that wyle no better than a best is he. 

Why ben the eyes made, but only to see, 

The leggys to here the body of a creature, 

So every thynge is made to do his nature: 

So lykewyse reason, wit, and understondyng, 


Ys gyven to the, man, for that thou sholdyst indede 

Knowc thy Maker and cause of thyne owne beynge, 

And what the worlde is, and wherof thou doest procede; 

Wherfore it behovyth the of verey nede 

The cause of thynges furst for to lerne, 

And than to knowe and laude the hye God eterne. 


O gloryous lorde and prynce raoste plesant, 

Greatly am I now holdyn unto the, 

So to illumyne my mynd that was yngnoi'ant 

With such noble doctryne as thou has here shewed me; 

Wherfore I promyse, uppon my fydelyte, 

My dylygence to do to kepe in memory, 

And the for to honour styll perpetually. 


And syth it hath pleasyd thy grace to admyt 

Me uppon this man to gyve attendaunce, 

With thy doctryne hereshewyd I shall quikkyn his wyt, 

And dayly put hym in remembraunce; 

His courage and desyre I shall also inhaunce, 

So that his felycyte shall be most of all 

To study and to serche for causys naturall. 

Well, than, for a season I wyll departe, 

Levynge you togyder here both twayne; 

What I have shewid, man, prynt well in thyne hert, 

And marke well this fygure that here shall remayne, 


Wherby thou maist perceyve many thynges more playn 

Concernynge the matter I spake of before; 

And whan that I shall resort here agayne, 

Of hye poyntes of connynge I shall shew the more. 


Now, Humanyte, call to your memory 

The connynge poyntes that Nature hath declaryd, 

And though he have shewed dyvers pointes and many 

Of the elementis so wondersly formed, 

Yet many other causys there are wolde be lernyd, 

As to knowe the generacyon of thynges all 

Here in the yerth, how they be ingendryd, 

As herbys, plantys, well sprynges, ston, and metall. 


Those thynges to knowe for me be full expedient, 

But yet in those poyntes whiche Nature late shewyd me, 

My mynde in them as yet is not content, 

For I can no maner wyse parceyve nor see, 

Nor prove by reason why the yerth sholde be 

In the myddes of the fyrmament hengyng so small, 

And the yerth with the water to be rounde withall. 


Me thynkyth myselfe as to some of those pointes 
I coude gyve a suffycyent solucyon; 
For, furst of all, thou must nedys graunt this, 
That the yerth is so depe and botom hath none, 
Or els there is some grose thyng hit stondyth upon, 


Or els that it hangyth, thou must nedes consent, 
Evyn in the myddes of the fyrmament. 


What than? go forth with thyne argument. 


Than marke well, in the day or in a wynters nyglit, 

The sone, and mone, and sterris celestyall, 

In the est furst they do apere to thy syght, 

And after in the west they do downe fall, 

And agayne in the morowe next of all, 

Within xxiiij. houres they become just 

To the est pointee again where thou sawist them furst. 

Than yf the erthe shulde be of endles depnes, 

Or shulde stande upon any other grose thynge, 

It shulde be an impedyment dowtles 

To the sone, mone, and sterris in theyr movynge; 

Therfore in reason it semyth moste convenyent 

The yerth to hange in the myddes of the fyrmament. 


Thyne argument in that poynt doth me confounde, 
That thou hast made, but yet it provytht not ryght 
That the yerth by reason shulde be rounde; 
For though the fyrmament with his sterris bryght 
Compas aboute the yerth eche day and nyght, 
Yet the yerthe may be playne, peradventure, 
Quadrant, triangle, or some other fygure. 



That it cannot be playne I shall well prove the, 
Because the sterris that aryse in the oryent 
Appere more souer to them that there be, 
Than to the other dwellynge in the Occident. 
The eclypse is therof a playne experymente, 
Of the sone or mone, which, whane it dothe fall, 
Is never one tyme of the day in placys all; 
Yet the eclyps generally is alwaye 
In the hole worlde as one tyme beynge; 
But whan we that dwell here see it in the mydday, 
They in the west partis see it in the mornynge, 
And they in the est beholde it in the evenyng; 
And why that sholde so be no cause can be found, 
But onely by reason that the yerthe is rownde. 


That reason proveth the yerth at the lest 
One wayes to be rownde I cannot gaynesay, 
As for to accompt frome the est to the west ; 
But yet not withstondynge all that, it may 
Lese hys rowndenesse by some other waye. 


Na, no dowte yt is rownde everywhere, 

Which I coulde prove, thou shoudest not say nay, 

Yf I had therto any tyme and leser; 

But I knowe a man callyd Experyens, 

Of dyvers instrumentys is never without, 

Cowde prove all these poyntys, and yet by his scyens 

Can tell how many myle the erthe is abowte, 


And many other straunge conclusions no dowte 

His instrumentys cowde shew the so certayn, 

That every rude carter shold them persay ve playn. 
Hu. Now wolde to God I had that man now here 

For the contemblacyon of my mynde ! 
Stu. Yf ye wyll, I shall for hym enquere, 

And brynge hym heder yf I can hym fynde. 
Hu. Then myght I say ye were to me ryght kynde. 
Stu. I shall assay, by God that me dere bought, 

For cunnyng is the thynge that wolde be sought. 
Sen. Well hytt, quod Hykman, when that he smot 

Hys wyffe on the buttockes with a bere pott. 

Aha ! now god evyn, fole, god evyn ! 

It is even the knave that I mene. 

Hast thou done thy babelyng ? 
Stu. Ye, peradventure, what then ? 
Sen. Than hold downe thy hede lyke a prety man, and 
take my blyssyng. 

Benedicite ! I graunt to the this pardon, 

And gyve the absolucion 

For thy soth saws ; stande up, Jackdaw ! 

I, beshrew thy faders sone, 

Make rome, syrs, and let us be mery, 

With huffa galand, synge tyrll on the bery, 

And let the wyde worlde wynde! 

Synge fryska joly, with hey troly ioiy, 

For I se well it is but a foly 

For to have a sad mynd : 

For rather than I wolde use suchc foly, 

To pray, to study, or be pope holy, 



I had as lyf be ded. 

By goggys body I tell you trew ! 

I speke as I thynke now, els I beshrew 

Evyn my nest felowes bed ! 

Master Humanyte, syr, be your leve 

I were ryght loth you to greve, 

Though I do hym dyspyse; 

For yf ye knewe hym as well as I, 

Ye wolde not use his company, 

Nor love hym in no wyse. 
Hit. Syr, he looketh lyke an honest man, 

Therfore I merveyll that ye can 

This wyse hym deprave. 
Sen. Though he loke never so well, 

I promyse you he hath a shrewde smell. 
II u. Why so ? I prey you tell. 
Sen. For he saveryth lyke a knave. 
St. Holde your pease, syr, ye my stake me ! 

What, I trowe, that ye wolde make me 

Lyke to one of your kyn. 
Sen. Harke, syrs, here ye not how boldly 

He callyth me knave agayne by polycy? 

The devyll pull of his skyn ! 

I wolde he were hangyd by the throte, 

For by the messe I love hym not, 

We two can never agre; 

I am content, syr, with vou to tary, 

And I am for you so necessary, 

Ye can not lyve without me. 
////. Why, syr, I say, what man be ye? 


Sen. I am callyd Sensuall Apetyte, 

All craturs in me delyte ; 

I comforte the wyttys fyve, 

The tastyng, smellyng, and herynge ; 

I refresh the syght and felynge 

To all creaturs alyve. 

For whan the body wexith hongry, 

For lacke of fode, or ellys thursty, 

Than with drynkes plesaund 

I restore hym out of payne, 

And oft refresshe nature agayne 

With delycate vyand. 

With plesaunde sounde of armonye 

The herynge alwaye I satysfy, 

I dare this well reporte ; 

The srnellynge with swete odour, 

And the syght with plesaunte fygour 

And colours I comforte ; 

The felynge, that is so plesaunte, 

Of every member, fote, or hande, 

What pleasure therin can be 

By the towchynge of soft and harde, 

Of hote or colde, nought in regarde, 

Excepte it come by me. 
1 1 a. Than I cannot see the contrary, 

But ye are for me full necessary, 

And ryght convenyent. 
Shi. Ye, syr, beware, yet, what ye do, 

For yf you forsake my company so, 

Lord Nature wyll not be contente. 

c 2 


Of hym ye shall never lerne good tliyng, 

Nother vertu nor no other connynge, 

This dare I well say. 
Sen. Mary, avaunt, knave! I thee defye! 

Dyde Nature forbyde hym my company ? 

What sayst thou therto ? Speke openly. 
Hu. As for that I know well nay. 
Sen. No, by God! I am ryght sure ; 

For he knoweth well no creature 

Without me can lyve one day. 
Hu. Syr, I pray you be contente, 

It is not utterly myne intente 

Your company to exyle ; 

But onely to have communycacyon, 

And a pastyme of recreacyon 

With this man for a whyle. 
Stn. Well, for your pleasure I wyll departe. 
Hu. Now go, knave, go ! I beshrew thy hart ! 

The devyll sende the forwarde ! 
Sen. Now, by my trouth, I mervell gretly 

That ever ye wolde use the company 

So myche of suche a knave ; 

For yf ye do no nother thynge, 

But ever study and to be musynge, 

As he wolde have you, it wyll you brynge 

At the last unto your grave ! 

Ye shulde ever study pryncypall 

For to comfort your lyfe naturall, 

With metis and drynkes delycate, 

And other pastymes and pleasures amonge, 


Daunsynge, laughynge, or plesaunt songe; 

This is mete for your estate. 
II u. Because ye sey so, 1 you promyse 

That I have rnusyd and studyed such wyse, 

Me thynketh my wyttes wery ; 

My nature desyreth some refresshynge, 

And also I have ben so longe fastynge, 

That I am somwhat hongry. 
Sen. Well than, wyll ye go weth me 

To a taverne, where ye shall se 

Good pastaunce, and at your lyberte 

Have what so ever ye wyll ? 
Hu. I am content so for to do, 

Yf that ye wyll not fro me go, 

But kepe me company styll. 
Sen. Company, quod a ? then that I shall poynt devyse, 

And also do you good and trew servyce, 

And therto I plyght my trouthe ! 

And yf that I ever forsake you, 

I pray God the devyl take you ! 
Hu. Mary, I thanke you for that othe ! 
Sen. A myschyfe on it ! my tonge, loo, 

Wyll tryp somtyme, whatsoever I do, 

But ye wot that I mene well. 
Hu. Ye, no force ! let this matter passe ; 

But seydest evin now thou knewyst where was 

A good taverne to make solas ? 

Where is that ? I prey the tell. 
Sen. Mary, at the dore evyn hereby; 

Yf we call any thynge on hye, 


The taverner wyll answere. 
Hu. I prey the, than, call for hym novve. 
Sen. Mary I wyll! How, taverner, how ! 

Why doste thou not appere? 


Who is that calleth so hastely ? 

I shrew thyne hert, speke softely ; 

I tell the I am not here. 
Sen. Than I beshrew the, page, of thyne age! 

Come hyther, knave, for thyne avauntage ; 

Why makyst thou hit so tow ? 
Ta. For myne avauntage, mary, than I come. 

Beware, syrs, how, let me have rome! 

Lo, here I am ! what seyst thou ? 
Sen. Mary, thus; here is a gentylman, I say, 

That nother ete nor drankethis day; 

Therfor tell me, I the praye, 

Yf thou have any good wyne. 
Ta. Ye shall have Spayneshe wyne and Gascoyn, 

Rose coloure, whyt, claret, rampyon, 

Tyre, capryck, and malvesyne, 

Sak, raspyce, alycaunt, rumney, 

Greke, ipocrase, new made clary, 

Suche as ye never had ; 

For yf ye drynke a draught or tut), 

Yt wyll make you, or ye thens go, 

By gogges body starke madde ! 
Sen 1 wot thou art not without good wyne ; 

But here is a gentylman hath lyst to dyne, 

Canst thou get hym any good mete ? 


Ta. What mete, mayster, wolde ye have? 
Hit. I care not, so God me save, 

So that it be holsome to ete ; 

I wolde we had a good stewyd capon. 
Sen. As for capons ye can gette none, 

The kyngys taker toke up eche one ; 

I wot well there is none to get. 
Ta. Though all capons be gone, what than? 

Yet I can get you a stewed hen, 

That is redy dyght. 
Hu. Yf she be fat, yt wyll do well. 
Ta. Fat or lene I cannot tell, 

But as for this, I wot well 

She lay at the stewes all nyght. 
Tiu. Thou art a mad gest, be this lyght ! 
Sen. Ye syr, it is a felow that never faylys : 

But canst get my mayster a dyshe of quales, 

Smal byrdes, swalowes, or wagtayles, 

They be lyght of dygestyon ? 
Ta. Lyght of dygestyon ! for what reason ? 
Sen. For physyk puttyth this reason therto, 

Bycause those byrdes fie to and fro 

And be contynuall movynge. 
Ta. Then know I a lyghter mete than that. 
Nil, I pray the tell me what. 
Ta. Yf ye wyll nedys know at short and longe, 

It is evyn a womans tounge, 

For that is ever sterynge! 
J fa. Syr, I pray the let suche fanteses be, 

And come heder nere and harke to me, 


And do after my byddynge. 

Goo purvey us a dyner evyn of the moste 

Of all maner of dysshes both sod and roste, 

That thou canst get, spare for no coste, 

Yf thou make thre course. 
Ta. Than ye get nother gose nor swane, 

But a dyshe of dreggys, a dyshe of brane, 

A dysshe of draflfe, and I trowe than 

Ye can not get thre worse! 
llu. What, horson ! woldyst thou purvey 

Bran, draffe, and stynkynge dregges, I sey ; 

I holde the mad, I trowe. 
Ta. Gogges Passyon ! sayd ye not thus, 

That I shulde purvey you thre course dysshes, 

And these be course inowe ! 
IIu. Thre course dysshes, quod a? 

What, mad fole ! thou mystakest me clene ! 

I se well thou wotest not what I mene, 

And understandyst amys ; 

I mene this wyse, I wolde have the 

To purvey mete so great plente, 

That thou sholdyst of necessyte 

Serve them at thre coursys. 

That is to understande at one worde, 

Thou shuldest brynge them unto the borde 

At thre severall tymes. 
Ta. What than, I se well ye wyll make a feste. 
Hu. Ye by the rode! evyn with the gretest. 
Sen. By my trouth, than do ye best 

Evyn after my mynde ; 


But ye must have more company. 
Hit. That is trewe, and so wolde I gladly, 

If I knewe any to fynde. 
Sen. Why, wyll ye folowe my counsell? 
Eu. Ye. 
Sen. Than we wyll have lytell Nell, 

A proper wenche, she daunsith well, 

And Jane with the blacke lace ; 

We wyll have Bounsynge Besse also, 

And two or thre proper wenchis mo, 

Ryght feyr and smotter of face. 
Eu. Now be it so! thou art saunce pere. 
Ta. Than I perceyve ye wyll make gode chere. 
Eu. Why, what shulde I els do ? 
Ta. If ye thynke so best, than wyll I 

Go before, and make all thynge redy 

Agayne ye come therto. 
Eu. Mary, I prey the do so. 
Ta. Than, farewell, syrs; for I am gone. 
I In. And we shall folow the anon, 

Without any tarying. 
Sen. Than it is best, syr, ye make hast, 

For ye shall spende here but tyme in wast, 

And do no nother thynge. 
I J a. Yf ye wyll, let us goo by and by. 
Sen. I pray you be it, for I am redy, 

No man better wyllynge. 

Exeat Sen. et Hit. Intuit Experiens et bin. 
Now, cosyn Ex per) ens, us I may say, 


Ye are ryght welcom to this contrey, 

Without any faynyng. 
Ex. Syr, I thanke you therof hertely, 

And I am as glad of your company, 

As any man lyvynge. 
St a. Syr, I understonde that ye have be 

In many a straunge countree, 

And have had grete fylycyte 

Straunge causes to seke and fynde. 
Ex. Ryght farr, syr, I have ridden and gone, 

And seen straunge thynges many one, 

In Affryk, Europe, and Ynde ; 

Bothe est and west I have ben farr, 

North also, and seen the sowth sterr 

Bothe by see and lande, 

And ben in sondry nacyons, 

With peple of dyvers condycyons, 

Marvelous to understonde. 
Stu. Syr, yf a man have suche corage, 

Or devocyon in pylgrymage, 

Jheruzalem unto, 

For to accompt the nexte way, 

How many myle is it, I you pray, 

From hens theder to goo? 
Ex. Syr, as for all suche questyons, 

Of townes to know the sytuacyon, 

How ferr they be asunder, 

And other poyntes of cosmogryfy, 

Ye shall never lerne them more surely 

Then by that fugure yonder ; 


For who that fygure dyd fyrst devyse, 

It semeth well he was wyse, 

And perfect in this scyens : 

For hothe the se and lande also 

Lye trew and just as they sholde do, 

I know by expei'yens. 
Stu. Who, thynke you, brought here this fygure? 
Ex. I wot not. 
Stu. Certes, lorde Nature 

Hymselfe not longe agone, 

Whiche was here personally 

Declarynge hye phylosophy, 

And lafte this fygure purposely 

For Humanytes instruccyon. 
Ex. Dowtles ryght nobly done. 
Stu. Syr, this realme ye knou is callid Englande, 

Somtyme Brettayne, I understonde ; 

Therfore, I prey you, point with your hande 

In what place it shulde lye. 
Ex. Syr, this ys Ynglande lyenge here, 

And that is Skotlande that joyneth hym nere, 

Compassyd aboute every where 

With the occian see rownde ; 

And next from them westwardly, 

Here by hymselfe, alone doth ly 

Irelande, that holsome grounde. 

Here than is the narowe seey, 

To Calyce and Boleyne the next wey, 

And Flaunders in this parte : 

Here lyeth Fraunce next hym joynynge, 


And Spayne southwarde from thens standynge, 

And Portyngale in this quart. 

This contrey is callyd Italye, 

Beholde where Rome in the mydcles dotb ly, 

And Naples here beyonde; 

And this lytell see that here is 

Is callyd the Gulfe of Venys, 

And here Venys doth stande. 

As for Almayne lyeth this way ; 

Here lyeth Denmarke and Norway ; 

And northwarde on this syde 

There lyeth Iselonde, where men do fysbe, 

But beyonde that so colde it is, 

No man may there abyde. 

This see is called the Great Occyan, 

So great it is that never man 

Coude tell it sith the worlde began ; 

Tyll nowe, within this xx. yere, 

Westwarde be founde new landes, 

That we never harde tell of before this 

By wrytynge nor other meanj^s, 

Yet many nowe have ben there ; 

And that contrey is so large of rome, 

Muche lenger than all Cristendome, 

Without fable or gyle ; 

For dyvers maryners had it tryed, 

And sayled streyght by the coste syde 

Above v. thousande myle ! 

Bnt what commodytes be wythin 

No man can tell nor well imagin, 


But yet not longe ago 

Some men of this contrey went, 

By the kynges noble consent, 

It for to serche to that entent, 

And coude not be brought therto ; 

But they that were they venteres 

Have cause to curse their maryners, 

Fals of promys, and dissemblers, 

That falsly them betrayed, 

Which wold take no paine to saile farther 

Than their owne lyst and pleasure ; 

Wherfore that vyage and dyvers other 

Suche kaytyffes have distroyed. 

O what a thynge had be than, 

Yf that they that be Englyshemen 

Myght have ben the furst of all 

That there shukle have take possessyon, 

And made furst buyldynge and habytacion, 

A memory perpetuall ! 

And also what an honorable thynge, 

Bothe to the realme and to the kynge, 

To have had his domynyon extendynge 

There into so farre a grounde, 

Whiche the noble kynge of late memory, 

The moste wyse prynce the vij. Merry 

Causyd furst for to be founde. 

And what a great meritoryouse dede 

It were to have the people instructed 

To lyve more vertuously, 

And to leme to knowe of men the maner, 


And also to knowe God theyr Maker, 

Whiche as yet lyve all bestly ; 

For they nother knowe God nor the devell, 

Nor never harde tell of hevyn nor hell, 

Wrytynge, nor other scripture ; 

But yet in the stede of God Almyght, 

The honour the sone for his great lyggt, 

For that doth them great pleasure : 

Buyldynge nor house they have non at all, 

But wodes, cotes and cavys small, 

No merveyle though it he so, 

For they use no maner of yron, 

Nother in tole nor other wepon, 

That shulde helpe them therto : 

Copper they have, whiche is founde 

In dyvers places above the grounde, 

Yet they dyg not therfore ; 

For, as I sayd, they have non yryn, 

Wherby they shuld in the yerth myne, 

To serche for any wore : 

Great haboundaunce of woddes ther be, 

Moste parte vyr, and pyne aple tre, 

Great ryches myglit come therby, 

Both pyche, and tarre, and sope asshys, 

As they make in the Eest landes, 

By brynnynge therof only. 

Fyshe they have so great plente, 

That in havyns take and slayne they be 

With stavys, withouten fayle. 

NoweFrenchemen and other have founde the trade, 


That yerely of fyshe there they lade 

Above an c. sayle ; 

But in the Southe parte of that contrey, 

The people there go nakyd alway, 

The lande is of so great hete! 

And in the North parte all the clothes 

That they were is but bestes skynnes, 

They have no nother fete ; 

But howe the people furst began 

In that contrey, or whens they cam, 

For clerkes it is a questyon. 

Other thynges mo I have in store, 

That I coude tel therof, but now no more 

Tyll another season. 
Stu. Than at your pleasure shew some other thinge ; 

Yt lyketh me so wel your commyninge, 

Ye can not talke amys. 
Ex. Than wyl I torne agayne to my matter 

Of Cosmogryfy, where I was err : 

Beholde, take hede to this ; 

Loo, Estwarde, beyonde the great occyan, 

Here entereth the see callyd Mediterran, 

Of ij. m. myle of lengthe: 

The Soudans contrey lyeth hereby, 

The great Turke on the north syde doth ly, 

A man of merveylous strengthe. 

This saydc north parte is callyd Europa, 

And this southe parte callyd Alfrica, 

This eest parte is callyd Ynde ; 

But this newe landes founde lately 


Ben callyd America, bycause only 

Americus dyd furst them fynde. 

Loo, Jherusalem lyeth in this contrey, 

And this beyonde is the Red See, 

That Moyses maketh of mencyon ; 

This quarter is India Minor, 

And this quarter India Major, 

The lande of Prester John : 

But northwarde this way, as ye se, 

Many other straunge regions ther be, 

And people that we not knowe. 

But estwarde on the see syde, 

A prynce there is that rulyth wyde, 

Callyd the Cane of Catowe. 

And this is called the great eest see, 

Whiche goth all alonge this wey 

Towardes the newe landis agayne : 

But whether that see go thyther dyrectly, 

Or if any wylderness bytwene them do ly, 

No man knoweth for certeyne : 

But these newe landes, by all cosmografye, 

Frome the Cane of Catous lande can not lye 

Lytell paste a thousande myle : 

But from those new landes men may sayle playne 

Estwarde, and cum to Englande againe, 

Where we began ere whyle. 

Lo ! all this parte of the yerth, whiche I 

Have here discryvyd openly, 

The north parte we do it call ; 

But the South parte on the other syde 


Ys as large as this full, and as wyde, 

Whiche we knowe nothynge at all, 

Nor whether the moste parte be lancle or see, 

Nor whether the people that there be 

Be bestyall or connynge ; 

Nor whether they knowe God or no, 

Nor howe they beleve, nor what they do, 

Of this we knowe nothynge. 

Lo ! is not this a thynge wooderfull ? 

How that — [Et subito Studyouse Desire dicat. 
Stu. Pese, syr, no more of this matter ! 

Beholde where Humanyte" commeth here. 
Sen. How sey you, maister Humanyte ? 

I prey you have ye not be mer6, 

And had good recreacyon ? 
Hu. Yes, I thanke the therof every dell, 

For we have faryd mervelously well, 

And had good communycacyon. 
Ta. What, how, maister ! where be ye now ? 
Sen. What ! I shrewe the ! what haste hast thou, 

That thou spekyst so hye ? 
Ta. So hye, quod a ? I trow ye be mad, by saynt Gyle! 

For dyd ye not ere why le 

Make poyntment openly, 

To come agayne all to supper, 

There as ye were to day at dyner ? 

And yet ye poynted not playne 

What mete that ye wyll have drest, 

Nor what delycates ye love best. 

Me thynke you farre oversayne. 



Hu. As for myne owne parte I care not ; 

Dresse what mete thou lovest, spare not 

What so ever thou doest best thynke. 
Ta. Now if ye put it to my lyberte. 

Of all metes in the worlde that be, 

By this lyght I love best drynke. 
Sen. It semyth by thy face so to do, 

But my maister wyll have mete also, 

What so ever it cost. 
Ta. By God, syr, than ye must tell what. 
Hu. At thy discressyon I force nat, 

Whether it be soden or rost. 
Ta. Well, syr, than care not ! let me alone ; 

Ye shall se that all thynge shall be done, 

And ordeyned well and fyne. 
Hu. So I require the hertely, 

And in any wyse specyally, 

Let us have a cuppe of newe wyne. 
Ta. Ye shall have wyne as newe as can be, 

For I may tell you in pryvyte, 

Hit was brued but yester nyght. 
Hu. But that is nothynge for my delyte. 
Ta. But than I have for your apetyte, 

A cup of wyne of olde claret ; 

There is no better, by this lyght ! 
Hu. Well, I trust the well i-nowe. 
Ta. But on thynge, if it please you nowe, 

Ye se well I take muche payne for you, 

I trust ye wyll se to me. 
Hu. Ye, I promyse the, get the hens, 


And in this matter do thy dylygence, 

And I shall well rewarde the. 
Sen. Bycause thou lokyst for a rewarde, 

One thynge for the I have prepared, 

That here I shall the gyffe. 

Thou shalte have a knavys skyn, 

For to put thy body therin, 

For terme of thy lyfe ! 
Ta. Now gramercy, my gentyll brother ; 

And therfore thou shalt have another, 

For voydynge of stryfe. 
Sen. Nowe, farewell, gentyll John ! 
Ta. Than farewell, fole, for I am gone! 
Sen. Abyde, torne ones agayne! harke what I sey! 

Yet there is another thynge 

Wolde do well at our maisters wasshynge. 
Hu. What thynge is that I the prey. 
Sen. Mary thus, canst thou tell us yet 

Where is any rose water to get? 
Ta. Ye, that I can well purvey, 

As good as ever you put to your nose, 

For there is a feyre wenche callyd Rose 

Dystylleth a quarte every day. 
Sen. By God! I wolde a pynt of that 

Were powryd evyn upon thy pate, 

Before all this presence. 
Ta. Yet I had lever she and I 

Where both togyther secretly 

In some corner in the spence ; 

For, by God, it is a prety gyrle! 



It is a worlde to se her whyrle, 

Daunsynge in a rouncle ; 

O Lorde God! how she wyll tryp! 

She wyll bounce it, she wyll whyp, 

Ye clene above the grounde! 
Hu. "Well, let all suche matters passe, I sey, 

And get the hens, and goo thy way 

Aboute this other matter. 
Ta. Than I goo streyght ; lo! fare ye well. 
Sen. But loke yet thou remember every dell 

That I spake of full ere. 
Ta. Yes, I warrant you, do not fere. 

\Exeat Taverner, 
Hu. Goddis Lorde! seist not who is here now? 

What, Studyous Desire ! what newis with you ? 
Stu. Ye shall knowe, syr, or I go. 
Sen. What, art thou here ? I se well, I, 

The mo knavys, the worse company. 
Stu. Thy lewde condycyons thou doest styll occupy, 

As thou art wont to do. 
Hu. But I sey, who is this here in presence ? 
Stu. Syr, this is the man callyd Experiens, 

That I spake of before. 
Hu. Experyens ! why, is this he ? 

Syr, ye ar ryght welcome unto me, 

And shall be evermore! 
Ex. Syr, I thanke you therof hertely, 

But I assure you feythfully 

I have small courage here to tary, 

As loiijxe as this man is here. 


Sen. Why, horson! what eylyst at me? 
Ex. For thou hast ever so leude a properte, 
Science to dispyse, and yet thou art he 
That nought canst nor nought wylt lere. 
Sen. Mary, avaunt, knave ! I make God avowe, 
I thynke myselfe as connynge as thou, 
And that shall I prove shortly ! 
I shall put the a questyon now ; come nere, 
Let me se how well thou canst answere : 
How spellest this worde Tom Oouper 
In trewe artografye ? 
Ex. Tom Co u per, quod a? a wyse questyon herdly! 
Sen. Ye, I tel the agayne yet, Tom Couper, how spell- 
Lo ! he hath forgotten, ye may se, [yst it ? 

The furste worde of his a b c. 
Harke, fole, harke, I wyll teche the, 
P. a — pa. — t.e.r— ter — do togyther Tom Couper. 
Ys not this a sore matter ? 
Loo! here ye may se hym provyd a fole! 
He had more nede to go to scole, 
Than to come hyther to clatter. 
Stu. Certeyne, this is a solucyon 

Mete for suche a hoyes questyon. 
Hu. Sensuall Apetyte, I prey the 

Let passe all suche tryfles and vanyte 
For a wyle, it shall not longe be, 
And departe, I the require ; 
For I wolde talke a worde or two 
With this man here, or he hens go, 
For to satysfy my desyre. 


Sen. Why, Goggis soule! wyll ye so shortly 
Breke poyntment with yonder company, 
Where ye shulde come to supper? 
I trust ye wyll not breke promys so. 

Hu. I care not greatly yf I do, 
Yt is but a taverne matter. 

Sen. Than wyll I go shew them what ye sey. 

Hu. Spare not, if thou wylt go thy wey, 
For I wyll here tary. 

Sen. Than adew, for a whyle, I tel you playne, 
But I promyse you, whan I come agayne, 
I shall make yonder knavys twayne 
To repent and be sory! 

Ex. Nowe I am full glad that he is gone! 

Stu. So am I, for good wyll he do none 
To no man lyvynge. 

But this is the man with vhome ye shall 
I trust be well content with all, 
And glad of his commynge; 
For he hath expownyd connyngly 
Dyveis poyntes of cosmogryfy, 
In fewe wordes and shorte clause. 

Hu. So I understande he hath gode science, 
And that he hath by playne experience 
Lernyd many a straunge cause. 

Stu. Ye, syr, and I say for my parte, 

He is the connyngest man in that arte 
That ever I coude fynde; 
For aske what questyon ye wyll do, 
Howe the yerth is rounde, or other mo, 


He wyll satysfye your mynde. 
Ex. Why, what doute have ye therin founde? 
Thynke ye the yerth shulde not be rounde? 

Or elles howe suppose ye? 
Hu. One wey it is rounde I must consent, 

For this man provyd it evydent ; 

Towarde the eest and occydent 

It must nedis rounde be. 
Ex. And lykewyse from the south to north. 
Hu. That poynt to prove were sum thanke worth. 
Ex. Yes, that I can well prove, 

For this ye knowe as well as I, 

Ye se the North Starre in the skye, 

Marke well, ye shall unethe it spye 

That ever it doth remove. 

But this I assure you, if you go 

Northwarde an hundreth myle or two, 

Ye shall thynke it ryseth, 

And how that it is nere aproched 

The poynt over the top of your hcd, 

Whiche is callyd your zenyth. 

Yet yf ye go the other wey, 

Southwarde x. or xij. dayes jorney, 

Ye shall then thynke anon 

It discended, and come more nye 

The sercle partynge the yerth and skye, 

As ye loke streyght with your eye, 

Whiche is callyd your oryson ; 

But ye may go southwarde so farre, 

That at the last that same starre 


Wyll seme so farre downe ryght, 

Clere underneth your oryson, 

That sygbt therof can you have non, 

The yerth wyll stop your syght. 

This provyth of necessyte 

That the yerth must nedis rounde be, 

This conclusyon doth it trye. 

Hu. Nowe that is the properist conclusyon 
That ever I herde, for by reason, 
No man may hit denye. 
But, sir, if that a man sayle farre 
Upon the see, wyll than that starre 
Do there as on the grounde? 

Ex. Ye, doutles, sayle northwarde, ryse it wyl, 
And sayle southwarde, it falleth styl, 
And that provyth the see rounde. 

Stu. So dothe it in myne oppynyon ; 

But knowe you any other conclusyon 
To prove it rounde, save that alone? 

Ex. Ye, that I knowe ryght well ; 

As thus : marke well whan the see is clere, 

That no storme nor wave theron doth pere, 

This maryners can tell ; 

Than if a fyre be made on nyght 

Upon the shore, that gyveth great lyght, 

And a shyp in the see farre, 

They in the toppe the fyre se shall, 

And they on hache nothynge at all, 

Yet they on baches be nerr: 

Also on the see, where men be saylynge 


Farre frome lande, they se nothynge 

But the water and the skye ; 

Yet whan they drawe the lande more nere, 

Than the hyll toppes begyn to apere, 

Styll the nere more hye and hye, 

As though they were styll growynge faste 

Out of the see, tyll at laste, 

Whan they come the shore to, 

They se the hyll, toppe, fote and all ; 

Whiche thynge so coude not befall, 

But the see lay rounde also. 
Hu. Methynketh your argument somwhat hard. 
Ex. Than ye shall have it more playnly declared, 

If ye have great desyre ; 

For here, loo! by myne instrumentis, 

I can shew the playne experimentes. 
Hu. Therto I you requyre. 
Ex. With all my herte it shall be done ; 

But for the furst conclusyon, 

That I spake of the fyre, 

Be this the seey that is so rounde, 

And this the fyre upon the grounde, 

And this the shyp that is here ; 

Ye knowe well that a mannes syght 

Can never be but in a lyne ryght. 
Hu. Just you say that is clere. 
Ex. Marke well than ; may not that niannis eye 

[■A few leaves are here wanting.^ 
Yug. With argyng here theyr folyshe 

That is not worth iij. strawes. 


I love not this horeson losophers, 

Nor this great connyng extromers, 

That tell how far it is to the sterres ; 

I hate all maner connyng! 

I wolde ye knew it, I am Ignorance! 

A lorde I am of gretter pusans 

Than the kynge of Yngland or Fraunce, 

Ye the grettyst lord ly vyng ! 

I have servauntes at my retynew, 

That longe to me, I assure you, 

Herewith in Ynglande, 

That with me, Yngnorance, dwell styll, 

And terme of lyfe contynew wyll, 

Above v. c. thowsand. 
Sen. Gogges naylys, I have payed som of them, I tro. 
Yng. Why, man, what eylyth the so to blow? 
Sen-. For I was at a shrewd fray. 
Yng. Hast thou any of them slayn, than? 
Sen. Ye, I have slayn them every man, 

Save them that ran away. 
Yng. Why, is any of them skapyd and gone? 
Sen. Ye, by gogges body, everychone, 

All that ever were there. 
Yng. Why than, they be not all slayne. 
Sen. No, but I have put some to payne, 

For one horeson there was that torned again, 

And streyght I cut of his ere. 
Yng. Than thou hast made hym a cutpurs. 
Sen. Ye, but yet I servyd another wors! 

I smot of his legge by the hard ars, 


As sone as I met hym there. 
Yng. By my trouth, that was a mad dede! 

Thou sholdest have smyt of his lied, 

Than he shold never have troublid the more. 
Sen. Tushe! than I had ben but mad, 

For there was another man that had 

Smyt of his hed before! 
In^.Than thou hast quyt the lyke a tal knyght! 
Sen. Ye, that I have, by this lyght! 

But, I sey, can you tell me ryght 

"Where becam my maister? 
Yng.What, he that you call Humanyte? 
Sen. Ye. 
Yng. I wot never, except he be 

Hyd here in some corner. 
Sen. Goggys body ! and trew ye sey, 

For yonder, lo ! beholde, ye may 

Se where the mad fole doth ly. 
Yng. Now on my feyth and treuth, 

Hit were evyn great almys 

To smyte his hed from his body ! 
Sen. Nay, God forbed ye sholde do so, 

For he is but an innocent, lo ! 

In maner of a fole. 

For as sone as I speke to hym agayne, 

I shall torne his mynde clene, 

And make hym folowe my skole. 
Yng. Than byd hym ryse, let us here hym speke. 
Sen. Now, ryse up, maister Huddypcke, 

Your tayle totyth out behynde! 


Fere not, man, stande up by and by ; 

I warrant you ryse up boldly! 

Here is non but is your frynde. 
Hu. I cry you mercy, maister dere! 
Yng. Why, what is cause thou hydest the here? 
Hu. For I was almoste for fere, 

Evyn clene out of my mynde. 
Sen. Nay, it is the study that ye have had 

In this foolyshe losophy hath made you mad, 

And no nother thynge I wys. 
Yng. That is as trewe as the gospell! 

Therfore I have great mervell 

That ever thou wylt folowe the counsell 

Of yonder two knavys. 
Hu. syr; ye know ryght well this, 

That when any man is 

In other mens company, 

He must nedes folow the appetyte 

Of such tbynges as they delyte 

Som tyme amonge, perdy! 
T>«/.But such knaves wold alway have the 

To put all thy mynd and felicite, 

In this folysh connyng to study ; 

"Which if thou do, wyll make the mad, 

And alway to be pensyf and sad ; 

Thou shalt never be mery. 
Sen. Mery, quod a? no, I make God avow! 

But I pray the, mayster, hark on word now, 

And aunswere this thyng ; 

Whether thought you it better chere, 


At the taverne where we were ere, 

Or elles to clatter with these knaves here 

Of theyr folysh cunnynge? 
Hu. Nay I cannot say the contrary, 

But that I had mych myryer company 

At the taverne than in this place. 
Sen. Than yf ye have any wyt or brayn, 

Let us go to the taverne agayn, 

And make some mery solace. 
Yng. Yf he wyll do so, than doth he wysely. 
Hu. By my troth, I care not gretely, 

For I am indyfFerent to all company, 

"Whether it be here or there. 
Sen. Then I shall tell you what we wyll do ; 

Mayster Yngnorans, you and he also 

Shall tary both styll here, 

And I wyll go fet hyther a company, 

That ye shall here them syng as swetly, 

As they were angelles clere ; 

And yet I shall bryng hydyr another sort 

Of lusty bluddes to make dysport, 

That shall both daunce and spryng, 

And torne clene above the grounde 

With fryscas and with gambawdes round, 

That all the hall shall ryng! 

And that done, within an howre or twayn, 

I shall at the towne agayne 

Prepare for you a banket 

Of metys that be most delycate, 

And most pleasaunt drynkes and wynos ther-atc, 


That is possyble to get, 

Which shall be in a chamber feyre, 

Preparyd poynt devyse 

With damaske water made so well, 

That all the howse therof shall smell 

As it were paradyse. 

And after that, if ye wyll touche 

A feyre wenche nakyd in a couche 

Of a softe bed of downe, 

For to satisfye your wanton lust, 

I shall apoynt you a trull of trust, 

Not a feyrer in this towne! 

And whan ye have taken your delyte, 

And thus satisfyed the appetyte 

Of your wyttis fyve, 

Ye may sey than I am a servaunt 

For you so necessary and pleasaunt, 

I trowe non suche alyve! 
Hu. Nowe, by the wey that God dyd walke, 

It comforthe rayne herte to here the talke, 

Thy mache was never seyn! 
Yng. Than go thy wey by and by, 

And brynge in this company, 

And he and I wyll here tary 

Tyll thou come agayne. 
Tin. And I prey the hertely also. 
Sen. At your request so shall I do. 

Lo ! I am gone, nowe farewell ! 

I shall brynge them into this hall, 

And come myselfe formast of all, 


And of these revellis be chefe mershall, 

And order all thynge well! 
Yng.~Nowe set thy hert on a mery pyn 

Agayns these lusty bluddes come in, 

And dryve fantesys awey. 
Hu. And so I wyll, by Hevyn Kynge! 

If they other daunce or synge, 

Have amonge them, by this day! 
Yng. Than thou takyst good and wyse weys, 

And so shalt thou best plese 

All this hole company ; 

For the folyshe arguynge that thou hast had 

With that knave Experiens, that hath made 

All these folke therof wery ; 

For all they that be nowe in this hall, 

They be the most parte my servauntes all, 

And love pryncypally 

Disportis, as daunsynge, syngynge, 

Toys, tryfuls, laughynge, gestynge ; 

For connynge they set not by. 
Hu. I se well suche company ever more, 

As Sensuell Appetyte is gone fore, 

Wyll please well this audyens. 
Yng. Ye, that I suppose they wyll ; 

But pease, harke! I prey the be styll, 

I wene they be not far hens. 
[Then the daunsers without the hall syng this wyse, and 
they within answer, orellys they may say it for nede.*] 

* Here follows some blank music in the original. The song 
at p. 48 is set to music. 



Pease, syrs, pease now! pease, syrs, all! 


Why who is that so hye doth call? 


Sylence, I say, be you among, 

For we be dysposyd to syng a song. 


Come in, then, boldely among this presens, 
For here ye shall have good audyens. 

Tyme to pas with goodly sport, 

Our sprytes to revyve and comfort, 

To pipe, to singe, 

To daunce, to spring, 

With plesure and delyte, 

Folowing Sensual Appetyte, 

To pipe, &c. 
Yng.l can you thank; that is done well; 

It is pyte ye had not a mynstrell 

For to augment your solas. 
Sen. As for mynstrell, it maketh no force, 

Ye shall se me daunce a cours 

Without a minstrell, be it better or wors ; 

Folow all! I wyll lede a trace. 
Hu. Nowe have amonge you, by this lyght! 
Yng. That is well sayd, be God Almyght! 

Make rome, syrs, and gyf them place. 
[Than he syngyth this song and dauncyth with all, and 
evermore maketh countenaunce accordyng to the mater; 
and all the other aunswerlyke vcyse^\ 


Daunce we, daunce we, praunce we, praunce we, 
So merely let us daunce ey, so merely, &c. 

And I can daunce it gyngerly, and I, &c. 

And I can fote it by and by, and I, &c. 

And I can pranke it properly, 

And I can countenaunse comely,* 

And I can kroke it curtesly, 

And I can lepe it lustly, 

And I can torn it trymly, 

And I can fryske it freshly, 

And I can loke it lordly. 
Yhg.l can the thanke, Sensuall Apetyte! 

That is the best daunce without a pype, 

That I saw this seven yere. 
Flu. This daunce wold do mych better yet, 

Yf we had a kyt or taberet, 

But alas! ther is none here. 
Sen, Then let us go to the taverne agayne, 

There shall we be sure of one or twayn 

Of mynstrelles that can well play. 
Yng. Then go, I pray ye, by and by, 

And purvey some mynstrell redy, 

And he and I wyll folow shortly, 

As fast as ever we may. 
//(/. Therwith I am ryght well content. 
Sen. Then wyll I go incontynent, 

And prepare every thyng 

That is metely to be done ; 

* A very old MS. note here says, " Sensuall Appetite must 
syng tliys song, and hys cumpany must answerc hym lykewyse." 


And for lacke of rnynstrelles the mean season, 

Now wyll we begyn to syng. 

Now we wyll here begyn to syng, 

For daunce can we no more, 

For mynstrelles here be all lackyng ; 

To the taverne we wyll therfore. 
Et exeunt cantando, Sc. 
Hu. Now yf that Sensuall Appetyte can fynd 

Any good mynstrelles after hys mynd, 

Dowt not we shall have good sport. 
Yng. And so shall we have for a suerte: 

But what shall we do now, tell me, 

The meane whyle for our comfort. 
Hu. Then let us some lusty balet syng. 
Yng.'Naj, syr, by the Hevyn Kyng! 

For me thynkyth it servyth for no thyng, 

All suche pevysh prykyeryd song! 
Hu. Pes, man, pryksong may not be dispysyd, 

For therwith God is well plesyd, 

Honowryd, praysyd and servyd 

In the churche oft tymes among. God well pleasyd? trowst thou therby? 

Nay, nay, for there is no reason why, 

For is it not as good to say playnly, 

Gyf me a spade, 

As gyf me a spa, ve, va, ve, va, ve, vade? 

But yf thou wylt have a song that is good, 

I have one of Robyn Hode, 

The best that ever was made. 
Hu. Then, a feleshyp, let us here it. 


Yng. But there is a bordon, thou must bere it, 

Or ellys it wyll not be. 
Hit. Than begyn and care not to 

Downe, downe, downe, &c. 
Yng. Robyn Hode in Barnysdale stode, 

And lent hym tyl a mapyll thystyll; 

Than cam our lady and swete saynt Andre we. 

Slepyst thou, wakyst thou, Geffrey Coke? 

A c. wynter the water was depe, 

I can not tell you how brode. 

He toke a gose nek in his hande, 

And over the water he went. 

He start up to a thystell top, 

And cut hym downe a holyn clobe. 

He stroke the wren betwene the hornys, 

That fyre sprange out of the pygges tayle. 

Jak boy, is thy bowe i-broke? 

Or hath any man done the wryguldy wrage? 

He plukkyd muskyllys out of a wyllowe, 

And put them into his sachell! 

Wylkyn was an archer good, 

And well coude handell a spade; 

He toke his bend bowe in his hand, 

And set hym downe by the fyre : 

He toke with hym lx. bowes and ten, 

A pese of befe, another of baken. 

Of all the byrdes in mery Englond, 

So merely pypys the mery botell ! 


Well, Humanyte, now I see playnly 


That thou hast usyd muche foly, 
The whyle I have ben absent. 
Hu. Syr, I trust I have done nothynge 

That shold be contrary to your pleasynge, 

Nor never was myne intent ; 

For I have folowed the counsell clere, 

As ye me bad, of Studyouse Desire, 

And for necessyte amonge 

Somtyme Sensuall Appetytes counsell, 

For without hym, ye knowe ryght well 

My lyfe can not endure longe. 


Though it be for the full necessary 

For thy comfort somtyme to satysf'y 

Thy sensuall appetyte, 

Yet it is not convenyent for the 

To put therm thy felycyte, 

And all thy hole delyte : 

For if thou wylt lerne no sciens, 

Nother by study nor experiens, 

I shall the never avaunce ; 

But in the worlde thou shalt dure than, 

Dyspysed of every wyse man, 

Lyke this rude best Ygnoraunce ! 

[The original here ends imperfectly.] 


P. 1, 1. 16. For Naturae read Naturate. 

P. 4, 1. 23. Men count hym but a daw. That is, a fool. 
" Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw," 1 Henry VI, ii. 4, 
Malone's Shakespeare, xviii. 61. 

P. 8, 1. 1. Eterne : everlasting. It occurs twice in 
Shakespeare. See Macbeth, iii. 2, ap. Malone, xi. 154. 

P. 8, 1. 22. For etherall read ethereall. 

P. 8, 1. 28. Commyx. That is, to mix together, to mingle. 

P. 9, 1. 1. Eftsonys. That is, immediately. 

P. 10, 1. 6. Bestyall. That is, animal. This word is not 
always used by early writers in a bad sense. By " bestial 
oblivion, 1 ' Hamlet refers to the want of intellectual reflection 
in animals there applied to human beings. Still more 
clearly in Othello, " I have lost the immortal part, sir, of 
myself, and what remains is bestial." Even "bestial 
appetite in change of lust," Richard III, may be similarly 

P. 13, 1. 26. Prynt well in thyne kert. Establish or fix 
firmly in thy mind. 

Why doth not every earthly tiling 

Cry shame upon her? could she here deny 

The story that is printed in her blood? 

Mnrh Ado about Nothing, iv. 1. 

54 NOTES. 

P. 17, 1. 15. Babelyng. Childish chatter. 

P. 17, 1. 25. Let the wyde worlde wynde. Similar to the 
phrase, " let the world slide," Taming of the Shrew. 

P. 26. In the original, the two last speeches commence 
at the wrong places. 

P. 39. The work of Copernicus appeared in 1543, but 
the author's silence on the new theories of that astronomer 
can scarcely be considered an argument one way or the 
other in the question that has been raised respecting the 
date of the interlude. Even Recorde, in 1556, who appears 
to have been one of the earliest Copernicans in this country, 
dared only to allude to it, and thus prefaces his observations 
on the subject, — " But as for the quietnes of the earth, I 
neede not to spende anye tyme in prooving of it, syth that 
opinion is so firmelye fixed in moste mennes headdes, that 
they accompt it mere madnes to bring the question in doubt ; 
and therfore it is as muche follye to travaile to prove that 
which no man denieth, as it were with great study to 
diswade that thinge which no man doth covette, nother any 
manne alloweth ; or to blame that which no manne praiseth, 
nother anye manne lyketh," — Castle of Knowledge, 1556. 
There is no scientific advance in the play on what we find 
in the very curious poem of* the time of Edward I, printed 
in Wright's Popular Treatises on Science, 8vo. 1841. 

P. 44, 1. 4. / cry you mercy. A very common old phrase, 
equivalent to 1 bey your pardon. 

P. 46, 1. 3. Poynt devyse. That is, with great exactness, 
complete in every respect. " You are rather point-device in 
your accoutrements," As you Like It, iii. 2. 

The wenche she was full proper and nyce, 
Amonge all other she hare gTeat price, 
For sche coude trieke it point device, 
But few like her in that countree. 

The Miller of Abington, n. d. 

NOTES. 55 

P. 46, 1. 8. Nakyd. This passage is not so licentious as 
might be supposed, for night linen had not then become in 
general use. 

A dolefulle syght the knyghte gane see 
Of his wyfe and his childir three, 

That fro the fyre were flede ; 
Alle als nakede als thay were borne 
Stode togedir undir a thorne, 

Braydede owte of thaire bedd. 

Romance of Sir Isumbras, 102. 

P. 49, 1. 14. This seven yere. A common proverbial ex- 
pression, occurring in Shakespeare, and other writers. 

O, the body of a gorge, 

I wold I had them heare; 

In faith, I wold chope them, 

Thay ware not so hack this seven yeer ! 

Mariage of Witt and Wisdomc, p. 33. 

P. 51, 1. 5. Robyn Rode in Barnysdale stode. The songs 
here quoted are very curious. Mr. Gutch does not seem to 
have been able to obtain a copy of the one relating to 
Robin Hood. 

Richards, 100, St. Martin's Lam . 







F.3.A., HON. M.R.I. A., HON. M.KS.I.., F.R.A.S., ETC. 





€&e ^my g>oiitty* 








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., Treasurer # Secretary 


So little is known respecting the history of the 
following Tract, that it is rather from an unwilling- 
ness to depart from the usual custom of affixing 
introductions to our reprints, than from any ex- 
pectation of satisfying the slightest curiosity, that 
a few lines are here prefixed. The Interlude of 
" the Disobedient Child" was written about the 
middle of the sixteenth century, by Thomas 
Ingelend, who is described in the early printed 
copy as " late Student in Cambridge/ 1 and his 
fame seems to rest entirely on that production, 
for he is not to be traced in any other early 
literary record. It has been supposed by some 
writers, from a few indistinct allusions in the 
play to Catholic customs, that it was composed in 
the reign of Henry VIII ; but if this be the case, 
the notice of Queen Elizabeth introduced towards 


(he close of the drama, must be an interpolation, a 
supposition not unlikely to be correct ; for the 
audience are elsewhere reminded to " serve the 
king." The printed edition by Colwell is without 
date, but it was published about the year 1560. 
Two copies of this work which I have collated 
differ in some slight particulars from each other, 
but there is not sufficient reason for thinking 
that there were two editions, for it was formerly 
a very common practice to correct and alter the 
press whilst the impression was being taken. 

a putie antr 
mtrp ncto €nterhilre t 


hp C&omas Jhtjjelenlr, 

l are %>tttticnt in 

C Sfmprtntcti «* ionUon, in Jletcstrcte, 

&cnrat& t&e Contiutt, fip 

©fromae Cottuell. 

&rjc pai^rs 1 names. 

The Prologue Speaker. 

The Ryche Man. 

The Ryche Man's Sonne. 

The Man Cooke. 

The Woman Cooke. 

The Young Woman. 

The Servingman. 

The Priest. 

The Devyll. 

The Perorator. 




NO WE forasmuche as in these latter dayes, 
Throughout the whole world in every lande 
Vice doth encrease, and vertue decayes, 
Iniquitie havynge the upper hande ; 
We therefore intende, good gentle audience, 
A pretie short interlude to playe at this present, 
Desyrynge your leave and quiet silence 
To shewe the same, as is mete and expedient.* 
The sume wherof, matter and argument, 
In two or thre verses briefly to declare, 
Synce that it is for an honest intent, 
I wyll somewhat bestowe my care. 
In the citie of London there was a ryche man, 
Who lovynge his sonne moste tenderlye, 
Moved hym earnestly, now and than, 
That he woulde gyve his mynde to studye, 

* These first eight lines are also found in the interlude intro- 
duced into the ploy of Sir Thomas More, printed by the Shake- 
speare Society, p. GO. 



Sayinge that by knowledge, scyence, and learnyngc, 

Is at last gotten a pleasaunt life, 

But throughe the want and lacke of this thynge, 

Is purchased povertie, sorowe, and stryfe : 

His sonne, notwithstandynge this gentle monicion, 

As one that was cleane devoyde of grace, 

Dyd turne to a rnocke and open derysion, 

Moste wickedly with an unshamefast* face ; 

In-so-muche that, contrarye to his fathers wyll, 

Unto a yonge woman he dyd con sen te, 

Wherby of lust he might have his fyll, 

And maryed the same incontynente.f 

Not longe after that, the childe began 

To feele his wyffes great frowardenes, 

And called hymselfe unhappye man, 

Oppressed with paynes and heavynes, 

Who before that time, dyd lyve blessedly, 

Whilst he was under his fathers wynge ; 

But nowe beynge weddyd, mournynge and myserye 

Dyd by in torment without endynge. 

But nowe it is tyme for me to be goynge, 

And hence to departe for a certeyne space, 

For I do heare the Ryche Man comynge 
With the wanton boye into this place. 

Here the Prologue Speaker goeth out, and in com- 
meth the Ryche Man and his sonne. 

* Without shame — shameless. 

f Immediately. See Othello, Act iv, sc. 3. 



Father, I beseche you, father, shewe me the waye, 
What thynge I were best to take in hand, 
Whereby this shorte lyfe so spend I maye, 
That all gryef'e and trouble T myght withstande. 


What is the raeanynge, my childe, I the praye, 
This question to demaunde of me ? 
For that thynge to do I am glad alwaye, 
Which shoulde not be grevous to the. 

S. Marye, but therfore of you counsell I take, 
Seynge nowe my chyldehood I am cleane past, 
That unto me ye playnely do make 
What to a yong man is best for to tast. 

F. I see nothinge truely, my sonne, so mete, 
And to prove so profytable for the, 
As unto the schole to move thy feete, 
With studious laddes there for to be. 

S. What, the schole ! naye, father, naye ! 
Go to the schole is not the best waye. 

F. Saye what thou lyste, for I can not invent 
A waye more commodyous to my judgement.* 

S. It is well knowne howe that ye have loved 
Me heretofore at all tymes most tenderlye, 
But now (me thynke) ye have playnely shewed 
Certayne tokens of hatred; 
For if I shoulde go to my booke after your advyse, 

* That is, according to my judgement. See Lear, Act i, sc. 4. 


Whiche have spent my chyldehood so pleasauntlye, 
I maye then seeme dryven out of Paradyse, 
To take payne and woe, gryefe and myserye : 
All thynges I had rather sustayne and abyde, 
The busynes of the schole ones cast asyde ; 
Therfore thoughe ye crye tyll ye reve* asunder, 
I wyll not meddle with such a matter. 

F. Why can not I thee thus much perswade ? 
For that in my mynde is the best trade. 
S. Whan all is saide and all is done, 
Concernynge all thynges, both more and lesse, 
Yet lyke to the schole none under the sonne 
Bryngeth to children so much heavynesse. 

F. What though it be paynfull, what though it be 
For so be all thynges at the fyrste learnynge, 
Yet mervalous pleasure it bryngeth unto us, 
As a rewarde for suche paynes takynge. 
Wherfore come of and be of good cheare, 
And go to thy booke without any feare, 
For a man without knowledge (as I have read), 
Maye well be compared to one that is dead. 

S. No more of the schole, no more of the booke ; 
That wofull vvorke is not for my purpose, 
For upon those bookes I maye not looke ; 
If so I dyd, my laboure I should lose. 

F. Why than to me thy fansye expresse, 
That the schole matters to the are counted werynesse. 

* To split, or burst. Generally spelt rive. 


S. Even as to a great man, wealthy and ryche, 
Service and bondage is a harde thynge, 
So to a boye, both dayntie and nyce,* 
Learnynge and studye is greatly displeasynge. 

F. What, my chylde, displeasynge, I praye the ? 
That niaketh a man lyve so happyly. 

S. Yea, by my trouth, suche kynde of wysdome 
Is to my hearte, I tell you, very lothesome. 

F. What tryall therof hast thou taken, 
That the schole of thee is so ill bespoken ? 

S. What tryall therof would ye fayne knowe ? 
Nothynge more easy then this to showe : 
At other boyes handes I have it learned, 
And that of those truely most of all other, 
Which for a certen tyme have remayned 
In the house and pryson of a scholemayster. 

F. I dare well saye, that there is no myserye, 
But rather joye, pastyme, and pleasure 
Alwayes with scholers kepynge company ; 
No lyfe to this I the well assure. 

S. It is not true, father, which you do saye ; 
The contrarye therof is proved alwaye, 
For as the brute goeth by many a one, 
Their tender bodyes both nyght and daye 
Are whypped and scourged, and beate lyke a stone, 
That from toppe to toe the skyn is awaye. 

F. Is there not (saye they) for them in this case, 
Gyven other whyle for pardon some place ? 

* Both tender and delieatc. 


S. None, truely, none ; but that alas, alas, 
Diseases arnonge them do growe apase ; 
For out of their backe and syde doth floe 
Of verye goore bloode merveylous abundance ; 
And yet for all that, is not suffered to goe, 
Tyll death be almost seene in their countenaunce. 
Shoulde I be content then thyther to runne, 
Where the bloude from my breeche thus should spunne, 
So longe as my wyttes shall be myne owne, 
The scholehouse for me shall stande alone.* 

F. But I am sure that this kynde of facion 
Is not shewed to children of honest condicion. 

S. Of trouth, with these maisters is no dyfference, 
For alyke towardes all is their wrathe and violence. 

F. Sonne, in this poynt thou art quyte deceyved, 
And without doubte falsely perswaded, 
For it is not to be judged that any scholemayster 
Is of so great fiersenes and crueltye, 
And of yonge infantes so sore a tormenter, 
That the breath shoulde be about to leave the bodye. 

S. Father, this thynge I coulde not have beleved, 
But of late dayes I dyd beholde 
An honest man's sonne hereby buryed, 
"Which throughe many strypes was dead and colde. 

F. Peradventure, the childe of some disease did 
"Which was the cause of his sepulture.f 

* Stande alone. Compare Troilus ami Cressida, i, 2. 
f Burial. From the Latin. 


S. With no disease, surely, was lie disquieted, 
As unto me it was reported. 

F. If that with no such thynge he were infected, 
What was the cause that he departed ? 

S. Men saye that of this man, his bloudy mayster, 
Who lyke a lyon most commonly frowned, 
Beynge hanged up by the heeles togyther, 
Was bealy and buttocke grevouslye whipped; 
And last of all (whiche to speake I trembled), 
That his head to the wall he had often crushed. 

F. Thus to thynke, sonne, thou art beguyled verelye, 
And I woulde wysshe the to suppose the contrary, 
And not for suche tales my counsell to forsake, 
Which only do covet thee learned to make. 

S. If Demosthenes and Tully were present, truely 
They coulde not prynt* it within my head depely. 

F. Yet by thy father's wyll and intercession, 
Thou shalt be content that thinge to pardon. 

S. Commaunde what ye lyst, that onely excepted, 
And I will be redy your mynde to fulfyll, 
But whereas I shulde to the schole have resorted, 
My hande to the palmer submyttynge styll, 
I wyll not obey ye therin, to be playne, 
Thoughe with a thousande strokes I be slayne. 

F. Wo is me, my sonne, wo is me, 
This heavy and dolefull daye to see. 

S. I graunt, indede, I am your sonne, 
But you my father shall not be, 

* Impress. Compare Much Ado about Nothing, iv, 1. 


If that you wyll cast me into that pryson, 
"Where torne in peices ye rayght me see. 

F. Where I niyght see thee torne and rente ? 
O Lord, I coulde not suche a dede invent ! 

S. Naye, by the masse, I holde* ye a grote 
Those cruell tyrauntes cut not my throte : 
Better it were myselfe dyd sleye, 
Then they with the rodde my flesshe shoulde fleye. 
Well I woulde we dyd this talke omyt, 
For it is lothesome to me every whyt. 

F. What trade then (I praye the) shall I devyse, 
Wherof thy lyvinge at length maye aryse? 
Wilte thou folowe warfare, and a soldiour be pointed, 
And so amonge Troyans and Romaynes be nombred ? 

S. See ye not, maysters, my fathers advyse ? 
Have ye the lyke at any time harde ? 
To wyll me therto he is not wyse, 
If my yeares and strength he dyd regarde ; 
Ye speake worse and worse, whatsoever ye saye ; 
This maner of life is not a good waye, 
For no kynde of offyce can me please, 
Which is subjecte to woundes and strokes alvvayes. 

F. Somwhat to do it is mete and convenient ; 
Wylte thou then gyve thy dylygent endevoure 
To let thy youth unhonestly be spent, 

* Bet. See Taming of the Shrew, — 

Now, by Saint J«my, 
I hold you a penny. 


And do as poore knaves, which j axes* do scoure? 
For I do not see that any good arte, 
Or els honest science, or occupacion, 
Thou wylte be contente to have a parte, 
After thy father's mynde and exhortacion. 

S. Ha, ha, ha, a laboure in very deede ! 
God send hym that lyfe which standee in neede: 
There be many fathers that chyldren have, 
And yet not make the worst of them a slave, 
Might not you of yourselfe be well ashamed, 
Which wolde have your sonne thyther constraynede ? 

F. I woulde not have the dryven to that succoure, 
Yet for bycause the scriptures declare, 
That he shoulde not eate, which wyll not laboure, 
Some worke to do it must be thy care. 

•S". Father, it is but a folye with you to stryve, 
But yet notwithstandynge I hope to thryve. 

F. That this thyne intente maye take good successe, 
I praye God hartely of hys goodnes. 

S. Well, well, shall I in fewe wordes reherse 
What thinge doth most my conscience perse ?f 

F. Therwith I am, sonne, very well contented. 

S. Yea, but I thynke that ye wyll not be pleased. 

F. Indede, peradventure it may so chaunce. 

S. Naye, but I praye ye, without any pcrchaunce, 
Shall not my request turne to your grevaunce ? 

F. If it be just and lawfull, which thou doest requyre. 

S- Both just and lawfull, have ye no feare. 

* Jakes. Compare Lear, ii, 2. | Pierce. 


F. Nowe, therfore, aske ; what is thy peticion ? 

S. Loe, this it is, without further dilacion ;* 
For so much as all yong men for this my beautie, 
As the moone the starres, I do farre excell, 
Therfore out of hande,f with all spede possibly, 
To have a wife (me thynke) wolde do well, 
For now I am yonge, lyvely, and lustie, 
And welcome besydes to all mennes companye. 

F. Good Lord, good Lord, what do I here ? 

S. Is this your begynnynge to performe my desyre? 

F. Alas ! my chylde, what meaneth thy dotynge ? 
Why doest thou covet thy owne undoynge ? 

S. I knovve not in the worlde howe to do the thynge, 
That to his stomacke maye be delyghtynge. 

F. Why, foolysshe ideot, thou goest about a wyfe, 
Which is a burthen and yoke all thy lyfe. 

5 Admyt she shall as a burden with me remayne, 
Yet wyll I take one, if your good wyll I attayne. 

F. Sonne, it shall not be thus, by my counsell. 
S. I truste ye wyll not me otherwise compell. 
F. If thou were as wyse as I have judged the, 
Thou woldest in this case be ruled by me. 

6 To folowe the contrarye I can not be turned ; 
My harte theron is styffly fixed. 

F. What, I saye, about thine owne distinction ? 

S. No, no, but about myne own salvation : 
For if I be helped, I swere by the masse, 
It is onely maryage that brynges it to passe. 

* Delay. t Out ofhande, at once. 


It is not the scliole, it is not the booke, 
It is not science or occupacion ; 
It is not to be a barbour or cooke, 
Wherein is now set my consolacion ; 
And synce it is thus, be, father, content, 
For to marye a wyfe I am full bent. 

F. Well, if thou wylt not, my sonne, be ruled, 
But nedes wyll folowe thyne owne foolysshenes, 
Take hede, hereafter, if thou be troubled, 
At me thou never seeke redresse ; 
For I am certeyn thou canst not abyde 
Any payne at all, gryefe, or vexation, 
Thy chyldhood with me so easely dyd slyde, 
Full of all pastyme and delectacyon ; 
And if thou woldest folowe the booke and learnynge, 
And with thyselfe, also, take a wyse waye, 
Then thou mayst get a gentleman's lyvynge, 
And with many other beare a great swaye :* 
Besydes this, I wolde in time to come 
After my power, and small habylytie, 
Helpe the and further the, as my wysdome 
Shulde me most counsell for thy commodytie. 
And such a wyfe I woulde prepare for the, 
As should be vertuous, wise and honest, 
And gyve the wyth her after my degree, 
Wherby thou mightest alwayes lyve in rest. 

S. I cannot, I tell ye agayne, so much of my lyfe 

Compare Comedy of Errors, Act, ii, sc. I. 


Consume at ray booke, without a vvyfe. 

F. I perceyve, therfore, I have done to well, 
And shewed overmuch favoure to the, 
That now agaynst me thou doest rebell, 
And for thyne owne furtheraunce wylt not agree. 
Wherfore of my goodes thou gettest not a peny, 
Nor any succoure els at my handes, 
For such a childe is most unworthy 
To have any parte of his fathers landes. 

S. I do not esteeme, father, your goodes or landes, 
Or any parte of all your treasure ; 
For I judge it ynoughe to be out of bandes, 
And from this daye forwarde to take my pleasure. 

F. Well, if it shall chaunce the thy folye to repent, 
As thou art lyke within short space, 
Thynke none but thyselfe worthy to be shent,* 
Lettynge my councell to take no place. 

S. As touchyng that matter, I wyll no man blame : 
Now farewell, father, most hartely for the same. 

F. Farewell, my sonne, departe in Goddes name ! 

S. Rome,f I saye ; rome, let me be gone : 
My father, if he lyst, shall tarye alone. 

Here the Sonne goeth out, and the Ryclie Man tary- 

eth behinde alone. 


Nowe at the last I do my selfe consyder 

* Blamed — scolded. See Merry Wives of Windsor, i, 4. The 
older meaning of the term is ruined, but Elizabethan writers ge- 
nerally employ it in the sense here mentioned. 

+ Compare the Midsummer Night's Dream, ii, 1. 


Howe great griefe it is, and hevynes, 

To every man that is a father, 

To suffre his chylde to folowe wantonnes : 

If I myght lyve a hundred yeares longer, 

And shoulde have sonnes and daughters many, 

Yet for this boyes sake, I wyll not suffer 

One of them all at home with me to tarye ; 

They shoulde not be kept thus under my wynge, 

And have all that which they desyre ; 

For why, it is but theyr onely undoynge, 

And after the proverbe, we put oyle to the fyre.* 

Wherfore we parentes must have a regarde, 

Our chyldren in time for to subdue, 

Or els we shall have them ever untowarde, 

Yea, spyteful, disdaynfull, nought, and untrue. 

And let us them thruste alwaye to the schole, 

Wherby at their bookes they maye be kept under : 

And so we shall shortely their courage coole, 

And brynge them to honestie, vertue and nurture. 

But, alas ! now a dayes (the more is the pyte), 

Science and learnynge is so lytell regarded, 

That none of us doth muse or studye 

To see our chyldren well taught and instructed. 

We decke them, we trym them with gorgous araye, 

We pampre and fede them, and kepe them so gaye, 

That in the ende of all this they be our foes. 

We basse them, kysse them, we looke rounde about ; 

* " Bring oil to fire," King Lear, ii, 2. Compare also All's 
Well that ends Well, v, 3. 


We mervaile and wonder to see them so leane ; 

"We ever anone do invent and seeke out 

To make them go tricksie,* gallant, and cleane : 

Which is nothynge els but the very provokynge 

To all unthriftynes, vice, and iniquitie ; 

It puffeth them up, it is an allurynge 

Their fathers and mothers at length to defye. 

Which thing myne owne sonne doth playnely declare, 

Whom I alwayes intierly have loved; 

He was so my joye, he was so my care, 

That now of the same I am despised. 

And now he is hence from me departed, 

He hath no delyght with me to dwell ; 

He is not merye untyll he be maryed, 

He hath of knaverye tooke such a smell. t 

But yet seynge that he is my sonne, 

He doth me constrayne bytterly to weepe, 

I am not (me thynke) well, tyll I be gone ; 

For this place I can no lenger keepe. 

Here ike Rychc Man goeth out, and the two coolies 
commeth in ; first the one, then the other. 


Make hast, Blaunche, blabbe it out, and come awayo, 
For we have ynoughe to do all this whole daye ; 
Why, Blaunche, blabbe it out, wilt thou not come, 
And knowest what busynes there is to be done ? 

* Neat. "My tricksy spirit," Tempest, v, I. 

f " Smell of calumny." — Measure for Measure, ii, 4. 


If thou maye be set with the pot at thy nose, 
Thou carest not how other matters goes ; 
Come awaye I byd the, and tarye no longer, 
To trust to thy helpe I am much the better. 


What, a murryn ! I say, what a noyse doest thou make ! 
I thynke that thou be not well in thy wyttes ! 
I never harde man on this sorte to take, 
With suche angry wordes and hastie fyttes. 

Man. Why, dost thou remembre what is to be 
For the great brydale agaynst to-morowe ? 
The market must be in every place sought 
For all kynde of meates ; God gyve the sorow ! 

Mcujd. What banngyng, what cursynge, Longtong, 
is with the ! 
I made as much spede as I coulde possyblye ; 
I wys thou mightest have taryed for me, 
Untill in all pointes I had ben redye ; 
I have for thee looked full oft heretofore, 
And yet for all that sayde never the more. 

Man. Well, for this ones I am with thee content, 
So that hereafter thou make more hast ; 
Or els, I tell thee, thou wylte it repent, 
To loyter so longe tyll the market be past. 
For there must be bought byefe, veeale, and mutton, 
And that even such as is good and fat, 
With pigge, geese, conyes, and capon ; 
Howe sayest thou, Blaunche ? blabbe it out unto that ? 



Mayd. I can not tell, Longtonge, what I shoulde saye; 
Of such good cheare I am so glad, 
That if I woulde not eate all that daye, 
My bealy to fyll I were verye made ! 

Man. There must be also fesaunte and swanne ; 
There must be heronsewe, patriche, and quayle ; 
And therfore I must do what I can, 
That none of all these the gentleman fayle. 
I dare say he lookes for many thinges moe, 
To be prepared against to morne ; 
Wherfore I saye, hence let us goe, 
My feete do stande upon a thorne. 

Mayd. Naye, good Longtonge, I praye ones agayne 
To here yet of my mynde a worde or twayne. 

Man. Come of, then : dispatche, and speake it 
For "what thynge it is thou causest me tary. 

Mayd. Of whence is this gentleman that to morowe 
is maryed ? 
"Where doth his father and his mother dwell ? 
Above fourty myles he hath travayled, 
As yester nyght his servaunte dyd tell. 

Man. In verye dede, he commes a great waye, 
With my mayster he may not longe abyde ; 
It hath cost hym so muche on costly araye, 
That money out of his purse doth slyde. 
They saye that his frendes be ryche and wealthy, 
And in the cytie of London hath their dwellynge, 
But yet of them all he hath no peny 


To spende and bestowe here at his weddynge. 
And if it is true that his servaunte dyd saye, 
He hath utterly lost his fryndes good wyll, 
Bycause he wolde not their counsayle obaye, 
And in his owne countrey* tarye styll ; 
As for this woman, which he shall marye, 
At Sainct Albones alwayes hath spent her lyfe ; 
I thynke she be a shrew, I tell the playnely, 
And full of debate, malyce, and stryfe. 

Mayd. Thoughe I never sawe this woman before, 
Which hither with him this gentleman brought, 
Yet nevertheles I have tokens in score, 
To judge of a woman that is froward and nought. 
The typ of her nose is as sharpe as myne, 
Her tonge and her tunef is very shryll ; 
I warraunt her she commes of an ungracius kyn, 
And loveth to much her pleasure and Avyll : 
What, thoughe she be now so neate and so nyce, 
And speaketh as gentle as ever I hearde : 
Yet yong men, which be both wyttc and wyse, 
Such lookes, and such wordes, shulde not regarde. 

Man. Blaunch, blabbeit out ; thou sayest verye true ; 
I thinke thou beginnest at length to preache : 
This thynge to me is straunge and new, 
To heare such a foole yong men to teache. 

Mayd. A foole ! mine owne Longtong ! why calst 
thou me foole ? 

* Often used formerly for county. f Voice. 

c 2 


Thoughe nowe in the kytchyn I waste the daye, 
Yet in tymes paste I went to scbole, 
And of my Latcn piymer I tooke assaye. 

Man. Maysters, thys woman dyd take such assaye, 
And then in those dayes so applyed her booke, 
That one worde therof she carryed not awaye, 
But then of a scholer was made a cooke. 
I dare saye she knoweth not howe her primer began, 
Which of her mayster she learned than. 

Mayd. I trowe it began with Domine, labia aperies. 

Man. What, dyd it begyn with butterde peeas ? 

Mayd. I tell the agayne, with Domine, labia aperies, 
If nowe to heare it be thyne ease. 

Man. How, how, with my madame laye in the peeas ? 

Mayd. I thynke thou art mad ! with Domine, labia 

Man. Yea, mary I judged it went such wayes ; 
It began with, Dorithe, lay up the keyes ! 

Mayd. Naye then, god night; Iperceyvebythysgeare, 
That none is so deafe as who wyll not heare ; 
I spake as playnely as I could devise, 
Yet me understande thou canst in no wyse ! 

Man. Why, yet ones agayne, and I wyll better lysten, 
And looke upon the howe thy lyppes do open. 

Mayd. Well, marke then, and hearken ones for all, 
Or els heare it agayne thou never shall ; 
My booke, I saye, began with Domine, labia aperies. 

Man. Fye, fye, how slowe am I of understandynge ! 
Was it all this whyle, Domine, labia aperies? 
Belyke I have lost my sense of hearynge, 


With broylynge and burnynge in the kytchyn adayes.* 

Mayd. I promysse the thou semest to have done 
lytell better, 
For that I wote in my lyfe I never sawe 
One lyke to thyself, in so easye a matter, 
Unlesse he were deafe, thus playe the dawe.f 

Man. Come on, come on, we have almost forgotten 
Such plentie of victualles as we shulde bye ; 
It were almes,^ by my trothe, thou were well beaten, 
Bycause so longe thou hast made me tarye. 

Mayd. Tush, tusshe, we shall come in very good 
If so be thou goest as fast as I ; 
Take up thy basket, and quickely have done, 
We wyll both be there by and by. 

Man. I for my parte wyll never leave runnynge, 
Untyll that I come to the signe of the Whitynge. 

Here the two Cookes runne out, and in commeth the 
Yong-man and the Yong-ivoman his lover. 


Where is my sweetynge,§ whom I do seeke ? 
He promysed me to have mette me here : 
Tyll I speake with him I thinke it a weeke, 
For he is my joye, he is my chere ! 
There is no night, there is no daye, 

* In the daytime. f The simpleton. See 1 Henry VI. 

% A common phrase, equivalent to, it were a good thing. See 
Much Ado about Nothing, ii, 3. 

§ " What, sweeting, all amort." — Taming of the Shrew. 


But that my thoughts be all of hym ; 

I have no delygkt if he be awaye, 

Such toyes in my heade do ever swym. 

But beholde, at the last, where he doth come, 

For whom my harte desyred longe ; 

Now shall I know all an some,* 

Or els I woulde saye I had great wronge. 


My darlynge, my conye, j my byrde so bryght of blee ;J 
Sweete harte, I saye, all hayles to thee ! 
How do our loves ? be they fast asleepe ? 
Or the old lyvelynes do they styll keepe ? 

Y. W. Do ye aske and§ my love be fast a-sleepe? 

if a woman maye utter her mynde, 
My love had almost made me to weepe, 
Bycause that even now I dyd not you fynde ; 

1 thought it surely a whole hundred yere,|| 
Tyll in this place I sawe you here. 

Y. M. Alacke, alacke, I am sorye for this ! 
I had such business I myght not come ; 
But ye may perceyve what my wyt is, 
How small regarde I have and wisdome. 

Y. W. Wheras ye aske me concernynge my love, 
I well assure you it doth dayly augment ; 
Nothynge can make me starte or move ; 
You onely to love is myne intent. 

* Altogether — entirely. \ Rabbit. A term of endearment. 
\ My lady so fair in countenance. The expression is common 
in our early romances. § If. 

|| " Twelve year since." — Tempest. 


Y. M. And as for my love doth never relente, 
For of you I do dreame, of you I do thynke ; 
To dynner and supper I never went, 
But of beere and wyne to you I dyd drinke. 
Now of such thynkes* therfore to make an ende, 
Which pytyfull lovers do cruelly torment, 
To maryage, in Goddes name, let us discende, 
As unto this howre we have bene bente. 

Y. W. Your wyll to accomplysshe I am as redye 
As any woman, beleve me truelye. 

Y. M. This rynge then I gyve you as a token sure, 
"Wherby our love shall alwayes endure. 

Y. W. With a pure pretence your pledge I take gladly 
For a signe of our love, fayth, and fydelytie. 

Y. M. Nowe I am safe, nowe I am glad, 
Nowe I do lyve, nowe I do raigne : 
Me thought tyll now I was to sad, 
Wherfore, sadness, flye hence agayne ! 
Awaye with those words which my father brought out ! 
Awaye with his saigenes and exhortacion ! 
He coulde not make me his foole or his lowte, 
And put me besydes this delectacion. 
Dyd he judge that I woulde go to the schoole, 
And might my tyme spende after this sorte ? 
I am not his calfe,f nor yet his foole ; 
This virgin I kysse is my comforte ! 

* Things. A provincialism. 

f A term of contempt for a fool. — See Much Ado about 
Nothing, iii, 3. 



Y. IV. Well than, I praye you let us be maryed, 
For methynke from it we have longe taryed. 

Y. M. Agreed, my sweetynge, it shalbe then done, 
Synce that thy good wyll I have goten and wone. 

Y. W. There wold this daye be very good cheare, 
That every one his bealy maye fyll, 
And thre or foure minstrelles wolde be here, 
That none in the house syt idle or styll. 

Y. M. Take ye no thought for abundaunce of meate, 
That shoulde be spent at our brydale, 
For there shalbe ynought for all men to eate, 
And minstrelles besydes therto shall not fayle. 
The cookes I dare saye, a good vvhyle agone, 
With such kynde of flesshe as I dyd them tell, 
Are from the market both come home, 
Or els, my owne conye, they do not well. 
I knewe before that I come to this place, 
We shoulde be maryed togyther thys daye, 
Which caused me then forthwith in this case 
To sende for victualles or I came awaye. 

Y. W. Wherfore then (I praye ye) shall we go to 
our inne, 
And looke that every thinge be made redye, 
Or els all is not worth a brasse pynne,* 
Such hast is recpuyred in matrymonye. 

Y. M. I thinke sixe a clocke it is not much passed, 
But yet to the priest we wyll make hast, 
That accordynge to custome we maye be both coupled, 
And with a stronge knot for ever bounde fast : 

* " At a pin's fee." — Hamlet. 


Yet ere I departe, some songe I wyll synge, 
To the intent to declare my joye without feare, 
And in the mean tyme you maye, my swetynge, 
Rest yourselfe in this lytell chayre. 


Spyte of his spyte, which that in vayne, 

Doth seeke to force my fantasye, 

I am profest for losse or gayne, 

To be thyne owne assuredlye : 

Wherfore let my father spyte* and spurne, 
My fantasye wyll never turne ! 

Although my father of busye wytte, 

Doth babble styll, I care not tbo ; 

I have no feare, nor yet wyll flytte, 

As doth the water to and fro ; 

Wherfore let my father spyte and spurne, 
My fantasye wyll never turne ! 

For I am set and wyll not swerve, 

Whom spytefull speache removeth nought ; 

And synce that I thy grace deserve, 

I count it is not derely bought ; 

Wherfore let my father spyte and spurne, 
My fantasie wyll never turne ! 

Who is afrayde, let you hyin flye, 

For I shall well abyde the brunte: 

Maugre to hys lyppes that lysteth to lye, 

Of busye braynes as is the wonte ; 

Wherfore let my father spyte and spurne, 
My fantasye wyll never turne ! 

* Anger. "And that which spites me more than all these 
nts." — Taming of the Shrew. 


Who lysteth therat to laugh or loure,* 
I am not he that ought doth retche ; 
There is no payne that hath the power, 
Out of my brest your love to fetche ; 

Wherfore let my father spyte and spurne, 

My fantasy e wyll never turne ! 
For wheras he moved me to the schoole, 
And onely to folowe my booke and learnenynge : 
He coulde never make me such a foole, 
With all his softe woordes and fayre speakynge ; 

Wherfore, &c. 
This mynion here, this myncingt trull,! 
Doth please me more a thousande folde, 
Then all the earthe that is so full 
Of precious stones, sylver and golde ; 

Wherfore, &c. 
Whatsoever I dyd it was for her sak, 
It was for her love and onely pleasure ; 
I count it no laboure suche laboure to take, 
In gettynge to me so hyghe a treasure. 

Wherfore, &c. 
This daye I intended for to be mery, 
Althoughe my harde father be farre hence, 
I knowe no cause for to be hevye, 
For all this coste and great expence. 

Wherfore, &c. 

* To look sad. This term is often incorrectly explained. 
" Fye, how impatience lowreth in your face" (Com. Err.) i. e. 
makes your face look sad, opposed to the " merry look". 

f Compare Merchant of Venice, iii, 4. 

| Not a term of reproach.— Cf. 1 Hen. VI. 


Y. 31. How lyke ye this songe, my owne swete Rose? 
Is it well made for our purpose ? 

Y. W. I never harde in all my lyfe a better, 
More pleasaunte, more meete for the matter ; 
Now let us go then, the mornynge is nye gone, 
We can not any longer here remaine : 
Farewell, good masters everyechone, 
Tyll from the churche we come agayne. 
Here they go out, and in commeth the Priest alone. 

Syrs, by my trouth it is a worlde to see* 
The exceedynge negligence of every one, 
Even from the hyest to the lowest degree 
Both goodnes and conscience is cleane gone. 
There is a yonge gentelman in this towne, 
Who this same daye now must be maryed : 
Yet thoughe I woulde bestowe a crowne, 
That knave the clarke can not be spyed ; 
For he is safe, if that in the alehouse 
He maye syt typlyng of nut browne ale, 
That oft he commes foorth as dronke as mouse, 
With a nose of his owne not greatly pale ; 
And this is not once, but every daye, 
Almost of my faith throughout the whole yeare, 
That he these trickes doth use to playe, 
Withoute all shame, dread or feare. 
He knoweth himselfe that yester nyghte, 
The sayde yonge gentleman came to me, 
And then desyred that he myght 

* Compare Taming of the Shrew, ii, 1. 


This mornynge betymes maryed be ; 

But now I doubte it wyll be hye noone, 

Ere that this busynes be quite ended, 

Unlesse the knavysshe foole come very soone, 

That this same thinge maye be dispatched ; 

And therfore synce that this noughty packe 

Hath at this present me thus served, 

He is like henceforwarde my good wyll to lacke, 

Or els unwyse I myght be judged. 

I am taught, hereafter, howe such a one to trust 

In any matter concernynge the churche, 

For if I shoulde, I perceyve that I must 

Of myne owne honestie loose verye much. 

And yet for all this, frome weeke to weeke, 

For his stypende and wages he ever* cryeth, 

And for the same coutynually doth seeke, 

As from tyme to tyme playnely appeareth ; 

But whyther his wages he hath deserved, 

Unto you all I do me reporte, 

Since that his duetie he hath not fulfylled, 

Nor to the churche wyll scant resorte ; 

Tbat many a tyme and oftf I am fayne 

To play the priest, clarke, and all, 

Thoughe thus to do it is great payne, 

And my rewarde but very small ; 

Wherfore (God wyllynge) I wyll such order take, 

Before that I be many dayes elder, 

* Never in the original copy. 

■f Compare the Merchant of Venice, i, 3. 


That he shall be glad this towne to forsake, 

And learne evermore to please his better, 

And in such wyse all they shall be used, 

Which in this parysshe entende to be clarkes; 

Great pytie it were, the Churche shoulde be disordered, 

Bycause that such swylbowles* do not their warkes. 

And to saye trueth, in many a place, 

And other great townes besyde this same, 

The priestes and parishioners be in lyke case, 

Which to the churchwardens maye be a shame. 

How shulde the priest his offyce fulfyll, 

Accordyngly as in dede he ought, 

When that the clarke wyll have a selfe wyll, 

And alwayes in service tyme must be sought ? 

Notwithstandynge at this present there is no remedy, 

But to take tyme as it doth fall, 

Wherefore I wyll go hence and make me ready, 

For it helpeth not to chafe or brail. 

Here the Priest goeth out, and in commeth the Ryche 


Commynge this daye foorth of my chambre, 

Even as for water to wasshe I dyd call, 

By chaunce I espyed a certayne straunger, 

Standynge beneath within my ball; 

Who in very deede came from the inholder, 

Wheras for a tyme my sonne dyd lye, 

And sayde that his maystcr had sent me a letter, 

* Drunkards. 


And bade hym to brynge it with all spede possyblye; 

TVherin he did write that as this daye, 

That unthrifte,* my sonne, to a certein rnayde 

Shoulde then be wedded, without further delaye, 

And hath borowed more than wyll be payde. 

And synce that he harde he was my sonne, 

By a gentelman or two, this other daye, 

He thought that it shoulde be very well done, 

To let me have knowledge therof by the waye; 

And wylled me if that I woulde any thynge 

Of hym to be done of me in this matter, 

That then he his servaunt such worde shulde brynge, 

As at his commynge he might do hereafter : 

I bade hym thanke his mayster most hartelye, 

And sent hym by hym a peece of venison, 

For that he vouchesaved to wryte so gentely, 

Touchynge the marying and state of my sonne; 

But notwithstandynge I sent hym no money, 

To paye such dettes as my sonne dyd owe, 

Because he had me forsaken utterly, 

And mee for his good father wolde not knowe; 

And sayde that with hym I woulde not make, 

From that daye forwarde, durynge my life, 

But as he had brewed, that so he shulde bake, 

Synce of hys owne choosynge he gat him a wife. 

Thus whan his servaunte from me departed 

Into my charabre I went agayne, 

And there a great whyle I bitterly weeped, — 

This newes to me was so great payne! 

* " Upstart unthrifts."- -Richard II. 


And thus with these wordes I began to mone, 

Lamentynge and mournynge myselfe all alone : 

O niadnes, dotynge of those yonge folke! 

O myndes without wytte, advyse, and discretion, 

With whom their parentes can beare no stroke 

In their first matrimoniall conjunction : 

They know not what myserye, griefe, and unquietnes, 

Wyll hereafter ensue of their extreme foolysshenes; 

Of all such laboures they be cleane ignorant, 

Which in the nourisshynge and kepynge of chyldren, 

To their great charges it is convenient 

Either of them hencefoorth to sustayne : 

Concernynge expences bestowed in a bowse, 

They perceyve as littell as doth the mouse. 

On the one syde, the wyfe wyll brail and scolde, 

On the other side the infant wyll crye in the cradell : 

Anone when the chylde waxeth somwhat olde, 

For meate and drynke, he begynnes to babble : 

Hereupon commeth it, that at markettes and fayres 

A husband is forced to bye many wares. 

Yet for all this hath my foolysshe Sonne, 

As wyse as a wodcocke,* without any wytte, 

Despysynge his fathers mynde and opynion, 

Maryed a wyfe for hym most unfytte, 

Supposynge that myrth to be everlastynge, 

Which then at the fyrste was greatly pleasynge : 

How they two wyll lyve I can not tell, 

* Compare Taming of the Shrew, i, 2 : " O this woodcock, 
what an ass it is !" 


Wherto they maye trust they have nothynge : 
My mynde gyveth me, that they wyll come dwell 
At length by their father, for wante of lyvinge ; 
But my sonne doubtles, for any thynge that I knovve, 
Shall reape in such wyse as he dyd sowe ; 
True he shall fynde, that Hipponactes dyd wryte. 
Who sayde with a wyfe are two dayes of pleasure ; 
The first is the joye of the maryage daye and nyght, 
The seconde to be at the wyfes sepulture : 
And this by experience he shall prove true, 
That of his brydale great evylles do ensue. 
And (as I suppose), it wyll prove in his life, 
When he shall wysshe that to him it maye chaunce, 
Which unto Eupolis and also his wife, 
The nyght they were wedded, fell for a vengeaunce ; 
Who with the hevy ruyne of the bedde were slayne, 
As the Poet Ovid in these two verses makes playne, 
Si tibi coiijvgii nox prima, novissima vitce, 
Eupolis hoc periit et nova nupta modo. 
Ovidius wry tinge agayost one Ibis his enemye, 
That the fyrst night of his maryage dyd wysshe 
The last of his lyfe myght be certenly, 
For so (quod he) dyd Eupolis and hys wife perysshe. 
Yet to my sonne I praye God to sende, 
Because therunto me nature doth bynde, 
Thoughe he hath offended, a better ende, 
Then Eupolis and his wyfe dyd fynde. 
And nowe I shall lunge ever anone, 
Tyll some of those quarters come rydynge hyther, 
Unto the which my sonne is gone, 


To knowe how they do lyve togyther. 

But I am fastynge, and it is almost noone, 

And more than tyme that I had dyned : 

Wherfore from hence I wyll go soone; 

I thinke by this tyme my meate is burned. 

Here the Ryche Man goeth out, and in commeth 
the Yong Man his sonne with the Yong Wo- 
man, beynge both maryed. 


O my sweete wyfe, my pretye conye! 


O my husbande, as pleasaunte as honnye. 

H. O Lorde, what pleasures and great commodytie, 
Are heaped togyther in matrimonye ! 

W. Howe vehement, howe stronge a thynge love is! 
Howe many smyrkes, and dulsome kysses ! 

H. What smylynge, what laughynge ! 
What sporte, pastyme, and playenge ! 

W. What ticklynge, what toyinge ! 
What dalyenge, what joyenge ! 

H. The man with the wyfe is wholly delyghted, 
And with many causes to laughter enforced. 

W. Whan they two drynke, they drynke togyther ; 
They never eate, but one wyth another. 

//. Somtymes to their garden foorth they walke, 
And into the fyeldes somtymes they go, 
With mery trickes and gestures they talke, 
As they do move their feete to and fro. 

W. Somtymes they ryde into the countrey, 
Passynge the tyme wyth mirth and sporte ; 



And when with their fryendes they have ben merye, 
Home to their owne house they do resorte. 

H. Somtymes abrode they go to see playes, 
And other trym syghtes for to beholde : 
When often they meete in the hye wayes 
Muche of their acquaintance they knewe of olde. 

W. Sometymes to the churche they do repayre, 
To here the sermon that shal be made, 
Thoughe it to remembre they have small care ; 
For why? they be now but fewe of that trade. 

H. Somtymes at home at cardes they playe, 
Somtymes at this game, somtymes at that ; 
They nede not with sadnes to passe the daye, 
Nor yet to syt styll, or stand in one plat. 

W. And as for us wyfes, occasions do move 
Somtymes with our gossyppes to make good cheare, 
Or els we dyd not, as dyd us behove, 
For certayne daies and weekes in the yeare. 

H. I thinke that a man might spende a whole daye, 
Declarynge the joyes and endles blys, 
Which maryed persones receyve alwaye, 
If they love faythfullye, as meete it is. 

W. Wyves can not choose but love earnestlye, 
If that their husbandes do all thynges well; 
Or els, my sweete harte, we shall espye, 
That in quietnes they can not dwell. 

H. If they do not, it maye be a shame, 
For I love you hartele I you assure : 
Or els I were truely greatly to blame, 
Ye are so lovynge, so kynde, and demure. 


W. I trust that with neither hande or foote, 
Ye shall see any occasion by mee : 
But that I love you even from the harte roote, 
And durynge my lyfe so intende to be. 

H. Who then merye maryage can discommende, 
And wyll not with Aristotle in his Ethickes* agree ? 
But wyll saye, that myserye is the ende, 
When otherwyse I fynde it to be : 
A polytique man wyll marye a wyfe, 
As the phylosopher makes declaration, 
Not onely to have chyldren by his lyfe, 
But also for lyvynge, helpe, and sustentacion. 

W. Who wyll not with Herocles playnely confesse, 
That mankynde to societie is wholly adjoynyng, 
And in this societie neverthelesse, 
Of worthy wedlocke tooke the begynnynge ? 
Without the which no cytie can stande, 
Nor houshold be perfecte in any lande. 

H. Pythagoras, Socrates, and Crates also, 
Which truely were men of very small substaunce, 
As I harde my father tell longe ago, 
Dyd take them wyfes with a safe conscience ; 
And dwelled togyther, supposynge that they 
Were unto philosophy nother stoppe nor staye. 

W. Yea, what can be more accordynge to kynde, 
Then a man to a woman hymselfe to bynde ? 

H. Awaye with those therfore that manage despyse, 

This confirms in some measure a reading in the Taming of 
the Shrew, — " or so devote to Aristotle's Ethiesk." 



And of daungers therof invent many lyes. 

W. But what is he that commeth yonder ? 
Do ye not thinke it is our man ? 
Somewhat there is that he hasteth hyther, 
For he makes as muche speed as he can. 

Here the servaunte of the Ryche Marines Sonne 
commeth in, icith an errande to his mayster. 


Mayster, there is a straunger at home, 
lie wolde very fayne with you talke : 
For untyll that to hym you do come, 
Forth of the doores he wyll not walke. 

H. Come on then, my wyfe, if it be so, 
Let us departe hence for a season : 
For I am not well, tyll I do knowe 
Of that mannes commynge the very reason. 

Here they both go out, and their Servaunt doth 
tary behind alone. 


Let them go bothe, and do what they wyll, 
And with communicacion fyll their bealy : 
For I, by Saint George, wyll tary here styll, 
In all my lyfe I was never so werye ! 
I have this daye fylled so many pottes 
"With all maner wyne, ale, and beere, 
That I wysshed their bealyes full of bottes,* 
Longe of whomt was made suche cheare. 

* " Begnawn with the bots." — Taming of the Shrew, 
f Owing to whom. 


What kyndes of meate, both flesshe and fysshe, 

Have I, poor knave, to the table caryed, 

From tyme to tyme, dysshe after dysshe ; 

My legges from goynge never ceased ! 

What runnynge had I for apples and nuttes ! 

What callynge for biskettes, cumfettes and caroweies I* 

A vengeaunce, sayde I, lyghte on their guttes 

That makes me to turne so many wayes ! 

What cryinge was there for cardes and dice ! 

What roystyng,f what rufflynge made they within ! 

I counted them all not greatly wyse, 

For my head dyd almost ake with dyn. 

What bablyng, what janglynge| was in the house ! 

What quaffyng, what bybbyng with many a cuppe ! 

That some laye alonge as dronke as a mouse, 

Not able so much as their heads to holde up ! 

What daunsynge, what leapyng, what jumpyng about 

From benche to benche, and stoole to stoole, 

That I wondered their brayncs dyd not fall out, 

When they so outragiously playde the foole ! 

What juglyng was there upon the boordes ! 

What thrustyng of knyves throughe many a nose ! 

What bearinge of formes, what holdinge of swordes, 

And puttynge of botkyns§ throughe legge and hose ! 

* Caraway comfits. — See 2 Henry IV, and the blunders of 
the commentators corrected in my Dictionary of Archaisms, 
p. 231. f Compare Troilus and Cressida, ii, 2. 

J "Good wits will be jangling." — Love's Labor's Lost. 

§ A dagger. — See Hamlet, iii, 1. 


Yet for all that they called for dryncke, 

And sayde that they could not playe for drye, 

That many at me dyd nodde and wynke, 

Bycause I shoulde brynge it by and by. 

Howsoever they sported, the pot dyd styll walke ! 

If that were awaye, then all was lost, 

For ever anone the jugge was their talke, 

They paste* not who bare suche charge and coste. 

Therfore let hym looke his purse be ryght good, 

That it may discharge all that is spente, 

Or els it wyll make hys haere growe through his hood, 

There was such havocke made at this present ; 

But I am afearde my maister be angrye, 

That I dyd abyde thus longe behynde : 

Yet for his angre I passet not greatly, 

His wordes they be but onely wynde ! 

Now that I have rested so longe in this place, 

Homewarde agayne I wyll hye me apase. 

Here the Servaunte goeth out, and in commeth 
fyrst Wyfe, and shortely after the Husbande. 


Where is my husbande ? was he not here ? 
I mervayle much whyther he is gone ! 
Than I perceyve I am much the nere : 
But loe, where he commeth hyther alone ! 
Wot ye what, husbande, from daye to daye 
With dayntye dysshes our bodyes have bene fylled ? 
What meate to-morowe nexte shall we assaye, 

* Cared. j Cure. 


Wherby we may then be both refresshed ? 

H. Do ye nowe provyde and gyve a regarde 
For victualles hereafter to be preparede ? 

W. But that I knowe, husbande, it lyeth us in hande 
Of thynges to come to have a consyderacion, 
I would not ones wyll you to understande 
Aboute such busynes my carefull provision : 
It is nedefull therfore to worke we make hast, 
That to get both our lyvynges we may knowe the cast. 

H. To trouble me nowe, and make me vexed, 
This mischievous meane hast thou invented. 

W. What trouble for thee, what kynde of vexacion, 
Have I, to disquiet thee, caused at this present? 
My onely mynde is thou make expedycion 
To seke for our profyte, as is convenient.* 
Wherfore to thee I saye ones agayne, 
Bycause to take paynes thou art so lothe, 
By Christ it were best, with might and mayne, 
To fall to some worke, I sweare a great othe ! 

H. Yet, for a tyme, if it maye the please, 
Let me be quiet, and take myne ease. 

W. "Wilt thou have us then throughe hungre be 
starved ? 

H. I woulde not we shulde for hungre be kylled. 

W. Then, I saye then, this gearej" go about, 
And looke that thou laboure diligently, 
Or els thou shalt shortly prove without doubt, 
Thy sluggysshnes wyll not please me greatly. 

* Necessary — lit. f Business. 


H. Begynnest thou even now to be paynefull and 
And to thy husbande a woman so troublous ? 

W. "What wordes have we here, thou misbegotten ! 
Is there not alredy ynoughe to be spoken ? 

H. O myrth, O joye, O pastyme and pleasure, 
How lyttell a space do you endure ! 

W. I see my commaundement can take no place ; 
Thou shalt abye therfore, I sweare by the masse ! 

Here the Wyfe must stryke her Husbande hande- 
somlye aboute the shoulders ivith some thyng. 

H. Alas, good wyfe ! good wyfe, alas ! alas ! 
Stryke not so harde I praye thee hartelye ! 
What so ever thou wylte have brought to passe, 
It shalbe done with all spede possyblye. 

W. Laye these faggotes, man, upon thy shoulder, 
And carye thys wood from streete to streete, 
To sell the same, that we both togyther 
Our lyvynge may get, as is most mete. 
Hence, nidiot, hence, without more delaye ! 
What meanest thou thus to stagger and staye ? 

H. O Lorde ! what, howe myserable men be those, 
Whiche to their wyves as wretches be wedded, 
And have them contynually their mortall foes, 
Servynge them thus, as slaves that be hyred. 
Nowe by experience true I do fynde, 
Whiche oftentymes unto me heretofore 
My father dyd saye, declarynge his mynde, 
That in matrymonie was payne evermore ; 
What shall I do, most pitvfull creature? 


Juste cause I Lave, alas ! to lament : 

That franticke woman my death wyll procure, 

If so be this daye without gayne be spent ! 

For unlesse for my wood som money be taken, 

Lyke a dogge with a cudgell I shalbe beaten ! 

Ho thou, good felowe, which standest so nj^e, 

Of these heavy bundelles ease my sore backe, 

And somewhat therfore gyve me by and by, 

Or els I dye, for sylver I do lacke. 

Nowe that I have some monye receyved 

For this my burthen, home I wyll go, 

And lest that my wyfe be discontented, 

What I have take I wyll her showe. 

Wyfe, I am come, I went a longe waye, 

And here is the profyte and gaynes of this daye ! 

W. Why, thou lowte, thou foole, thou horson folte,* 
Is this thy wood money, thou pevisshef dolte ? 
Thou shalt smart for this geare, I make God avowe ! 
Thou knowest no more to sell wood then doth the sowe! 

H. By Goddes precious, I wyll not unwysely suffre 
To do as I have done any longer. 

W. Why, doest thou ryse against me, villayne ? 
Take hede I scratche not out thy eyes twayne. 

H. Scratch and thou dare, for I have a knyfe! 
Perchaunce I wyll ryd the of thy lyfe ! 

W. Slaye me with thy knyfe, thou dastarde ! 

Doest thou thinke to fynde me suche a dissarde ? 

* Fool.—" Folte, stolidus." — Vocab. MS. 

| Foolish — "Our peevish opposition." — Hamlet. 


By Coxe bones I wyll make thy skyn to rattell, 
And the braynes in thy scull more depely to sattell. 
Here the Wyfe must laye on lode uppon her Hus- 

H. Good wyfe, be content ! forgeve my this faulte ! 
I wyll never agayne do that which is naught. 

TV. Go to, foolyshe calfe, go to, and upryse, 
And put up thy knyfe I the advyse. 

H. I wyll do your commandementes whatsoever. 

TV. Hence awaye, then, and fyll this with water. 

H. mercyfull God, in what lamentable state 
Is he, of whom the wyfe is the mayster ? 
Wolde God I had bene predestinate, 
On my maryage daye to have dyed wyth a fever ! 
O wretched creature, what maye I do ? 
My grievous wyfe shall I returne unto ? 
Lo ! wyfe, beholde ! withoute further delaye 
The water ye sent for here I do brynge. 

TV. What, I saye ? what meaneth this weepynge ? 
What ayleth the to make all this cryinge ? 

H. I weepe not, forsoothe, nor crye not as yet. 

TV. No, nor thou wilte not, if thou haste any wyt ; 
It is not thy weepynge, that can ought avayle, 
And therfore this matter no longer bewayle. 
Come of, I saye, and runne by the ryver, 
And wasshe these clothes in the water. 

H. Wyfe, I wyll thyther hye me faste. 

TV. Yet I advyse, thou cullyon,* make hast. 

* Compare Taming of the Shrew, iv, 2. 


H. O howe unhappye and eke unfortunate 
Is the moste parte of niaryed mennes condycion ! 
I woulde to deathe I had bene agate, 
When my mother in bearynge me made lamentacion. 
What shall I do ? wyther shall I turne ? 
Most carefull man nowe under the skye ! 
In the flamynge fyre I had rather burne, 
Then with extreme payne lyve so heavylye ! 
There is no shyfte ; to my wyfe I muste go, 
Whom that I dyd wed ; I am full wo ! 
Where are ye, wyfe ? your clothes are washte cleane, 
As whyte as a lylly,* without spot or steyne. 

W. Thou thefe, thou caytyfe, why is not this place 
Wasshed as fayre as all the rest ? 
Thou shalt for this geare now smoke apase ! 
By Gys, \ I sweare, thou brutysshe beaste ! 
Here shee must knocke her Husbande. 

II. Alas ! alas ! I am almost quyte deade ! 
My wyfe so pytyfully hath broken my head ! 

Here her Husbande must lye alonge on the grounde, 
as thoughe hee were sore beaten and ivounded. 

W. Well, I perceyve the tyme wyll awaye, 
And into the countrey to go I have promysed; 
Looke therfore thou go not from hence to daye, 
Tyll home agayne I am returned. 
Take hede, I saye, this howse thee retayne, 
And styrre not for any thynge out of my doore, 

* A common phrase. — See Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii, 3. 
t Compare the song in Hamlet, iv, 5. 


Untyll that I come hyther agayne, 
As thou wylte be rewarded therfore. 

Here his Wyfe goeth out, and the Husbande tary- 
eth behinde alone. 
H. The flying and fiende go wyth my wyfe, 
And in her journey ill maye she speede ! 
I praye God Almighty to shorten her lyfe ! 
The earth at no tyme doth beare suche a weede ! 
Although that I be a gentelman borne, 
And come by my auncetours of a good blood, 
Yet am I lyke to weare a cote torne, 
And hither and thither go carye wood ! 
But rather then I this lyfe wyll abyde, 
To-morowe mornynge I do intende 
Home to my father agayne to ryde, 
If some man to me his horse wyll lende. 
She is to her gossypes gone to make mery, 
And there she wyll be for three or foure dayes : 
She cares not thoughe I do nowe miscarye, 
And suffre suche payne and sorowe alwayes. 
She leaveth to me neyther breade nor drynke, 
But such, as I judge, no bodye wolde eate : 
I myght by the walles lye dead and stynke, 
For any great holsomnes in my meate. 
She walketh abrode, and taketh her pleasure ; 
Herselfe to cherysshe is all her care : 
She passeth not what griefe I endure, 
Or howe I can ly ve with noughty* fare : 

* Bad. " This is a naughty night," Liar. 


And synce it is so, without further delaye, 
To my father to-morowe I wyll awaye. 

Here he goeth out, and in commeth the Devyll. * 


O, ho, ho, what a felowe am I ! 

Geve rowme, I saye, both more and lesse : 

My strength and power hence to the skye 

No earthly tonge can well expresse ! 

Oh what invencions, craftes, and wiles, 

Is there conteyned within this head ! 

I knowe that he is within fewe myles, 

Which of the same is throughly sped. 

Oh, it was all my studye daye and nighte, 

Connyngly to brynge this matter to passe : 

In all the earth there is no wighte 

But I can make to crye " alas !" 

This man and wyfe, that not longe agoe 

Fell in this place togyther by the eares : 

It was onely I that this stryfe dyd sov.e, 

And have bene about it eertayne yeares. 

For after that I had taken a smell 

Of their good wyll and fervent love, 

My thought I shulde not tary in hell, 

But unto debate them shortely move : 

Oh ! it was I that made hym despyse 

All wisdome, goodnes, vertue, and learnynge, 

That he afterwarde coulde in no wise 

Ones in his harte fancie teachynge : 

* The devil was generally attended by the Vice, but lie is here 
introduced by himself, and the exact meaning of his part in this 
plot is somewhat a mystery. 


Oh ! it was I that made hym refuse 

The holsome monytion of his father dere, 

And caused hyrn styll of a wife to muse, 

As thoughe she shoulde be his joye and chere ! 

Oh ! it was I that made hym go hence, 

And suppose that his father was verye unkynde ; 

It was I that dyd dryve hym to such expence, 

And made hym as bare as an ape is behynde. 

And now that I have this busynes ended, 

And joyned hym and his wyfe togyther, 

I thynke that I have my part well played ; 

None of you all wolde do it better. 

Ho ! ho ! ho ! this well favoured heade of myne, 

What thynge soever it hath in h ancle, 

Is never troubled with ayle or wyne, 

Neyther by sea, nor yet by lande. 

I tell you I am a mervaylous bodye 

As any is at this daye lyvynge : 

My head cloth devyse eche thynge so trymly, 

That all men maye wonder of the endynge. 

Oh ! I have such fetches,* such toyes in this head, 

Such crafty devyses, and subtyll trayne, 

That whomsoever of you I do wed, 

Ye are lyke at my handes to take small gayne. 

There is no gentelman, knyght, or lorde, 

There is no duke, earle, or kynge, 

But, if I lyst, I can, with one worde, 

Shortly sende unto their lodgynge. 

* Tricks.— Sec King Lear. 


Some I disquiet with, 

Some with wrath, pryde, and lecherye, 

And some I do thruste into suche distresse, 

That he feeleth onely payne and myserye. 

Some I allure to have theire delyght 

Alwayes in glotonye, envye and murdre, 

And those thynges to practise with all theyr might 

Either by lande or els by water. 

Ho ! ho ! ho ! there is none to be compared 

To me, I tell you, in any poynte : 

With a great sorte* myselfe I have tryed, 

That boldly ventured many a joynt, 

And when for a longe time we had wrestled, 

And shewed our strength on eyther syde, 

Yet often tymes a fall they receyved, 

When throughe my polycye their feete dyd slyde. 

Wherfore (my dere children) I warne ye all, 

Take hede, take hede of my temptacion, 

For commonly at the last ye have the fall, 

And also brought to desperacion. 

Oh ! it is a folye for manye to stryve, 

And thynke of me to get the upper hande, 

For unlesse that God make them to thryve, 

They cannot agaynst me sticke or stande : 

And thoughe that God on hye have his domynion, 

And ruleth the worlde everywhere, 

Yet by your leave I have a porcion 

Of this same earth that standeth here. 

* Compnnj*. 


The kyngdome of God is above in Heaven, 

And myne is I tell you beneth in hell ; 

But yet a greater place, if he had delt even, 

He shulde have gyven me and myne to dwell : 

For to my palace, of every nation, 

Of what degree of birth soever they be, 

Come runnynge in with such festination,* 

That other whyles they amased me. 

Oh ! all the Jewes, and all the Turkes, 

Yea and a great parte of Christendome, 

When they have done my wyll and my workes, 

In the ende they flye hither all and somef: 

There is no minute of the daye, 

There is no minute of the nyght, 

But that in my palace there is alwaye 

Crowydnge togither a mervaylous sighte ; 

They come on thicker then sw amies of bees, 

And make such a noyse and cryinge out, 

That many a one lyeth on his knees, 

"With thousandes kept under and closed about : 

Not so much as my parlours, halles, and every chamber, 

My porches, my galeryes, and my courte, 

My entryes, my kytchyn, and my larder, 

But with all maner people be fylled throughout ! 

What shall I saye more I can not tell, 

But of this (my chyldren) I am certayne, 

There comes more in one houre unto hell, 

Then unto Heaven in a moneth or twayne! 

* Haste. — Lat. t Every one. 


And yet for all this, my nature is such 
That I am not pleased with this company, 
But out of my kyngdome I must walke muche, 
That one or other I maye take tardye. 
Ho ! ho ! ho ! I am never ones afrayde 
With these my clawes you for to touche, 
For I wyll not leave tyll you be payde 
Suche treasure as is within my pouche. 
The world is my sonne, and I ame his father, 
And also the flesshe is a doughter of myne ; 
It is I alone that taught them to gather 
Both golde and sylver, that is so fyne ; 
Wherfore I suppose that they love me well, 
And my commaundementes gladly obaye, 
That at the last, then unto hell 
They maye come all the redy waye. 
But now (I knowe) synce I came hither, 
There is such a multitude at my gate, 
That I must agayne repayre down thyther 
After myne olde maner and rate. 

Here the Devyll goeih out, and in commetli the 
Ri/ch mart's Sonne alone. 


Howe glad am I that my journey is ended, 
Which I was about this whole daye ! 
My horse to stande styll I never suffrcd, 
Because I woulde come to the ende of my waye : 
But yet I am sorye that I can not fynde 
My lovynge father at home at hys place, 
That unto hym I maye breake my mynde, 


And let hym knowe my myserable case. 

Here he confesseth his novghtynes, uttring the 
same with a pitifidl voice. 
I have ben wylde, I have ben wanton, 
I have ever folowed my fancye and wyll : 
I have ben to my father a frowarde sonne, 
And from daye to daye contynued styll. 
I have alwayes proudlye dysdayned those 
That in my madnes gave me good counsell : 
I counted them most my mortall foes, 
And stowtely agaynst them dyd rebell. 
The thynge that was good I greatly hated, 
As one which lacked both wytte and reason ; 
The thyng that was evyll I ever loved, 
Which now I see is my confusyon. 
I coulde not abyde of the schole to heare ; 
Maysters and teachers my harte abhorred ; 
Methought the booke was not fyt geare 
For my tendeer fyngers to have handled ; 
I counted it a pleasure to be daintely fed, 
And to be clothed in costly arraye : 
I woulde most commonly slugge in my bed, 
Untyll it were verye farre forth daye. 
And, to be shorte, anone after this, 
Ther came such fansies in my brayne, 
That to have a wyfe whom I might kysse, 
I rekened to be the greatest gaine. 
But yet, alas ! I was quite deceyved ; 
The thynge itselfe doth easely appeare : 
I woulde, alas ! I had ben buryed, 
When to my father I gave not eare ! 


That which I had I have cleane spent, 
And kept so much ryot with the same, 
That now I am fayne a cote that is rent, 
Alas ! to weare for verye shame. 
I have not a crosse lefte in my purse 
To helpe myselfe nowe in my nede, 
That well I am worthy e of Goddes curse, 
And of my father to have small mede. 

Here the Rich Man must be as it were com- 
mynge in. 
But excepte myne eyes do me beguyle, 
That man is my father, whom I do see : 
And now that he commes, without crafte or wyle, 
To hym I wyll bende on eyther knee. 
Ah ! father, father, my father most dere ! 

F. Ah ! myne owne chylde, with the what chere ? 

S. All such sayinges as in my mynde, 
At the fyrst tynie ye studied to sattell, 
Most true, alas ! I do them fynde, 
As thoughe they were written in the Gospell. 

F. Those wordes, my sonne, I have almost forgotten; 
Stand up, therfore, and kneele no longer, 
And what it was I spake so often, 
At two or three wordes, recyte to thy father. 

S. If that ye be, father, well remcmbred, 
As the same I beleve ye can not forget, 
You sayde that so soone as I were maryed, 
Much payne and trouble therby I shoulde get. 

F. Hast thou by proofe, sonne, this thynge tryed? 

S. Yea, alas ! to much I have experienced ! 
My wyf'e, I dyd wed all full of frensye, 


My selye poore shoulders hath now so broused, 

That lyke to a creple I move me weakly, 

Beynge full often with the staffe thwacked : 

She spareth no more my flesshe and bone, 

Than if my bodye were made of stone ! 

Her wyll, her mynde, and her commaundement, 

From that daye hyther I have fulfylled, 

"Which if I dyd not, I was bytteidy shent, 

And with many strokes grevously punysshed : 

That woulde God the houre when I was marryed. 

In the midste of the church I might have synked. 

I thynke ther is no man under the sonne, 

That here on the earth beareth lyfe, 

Which wolde do such drudgerye as I have done, 

At the unkynde wordes of suche a wyfe ; 

For howe I was used, and in what wyse, 

A daye to declare wyll not suffyse. 

Yf this be not true, as I have spoken, 

To my good neyghbours I me reporte, 

Who otherwhyles, when I was smytten, 

My wyfe to be gentle dyd then exhorte : 

For glad I was to abyde all laboure, 

Wherby the lesse might be my doloure.* 

Wherfore, good father, I you humblye desyre 

To have pitye of me and some compassion, 

Or els I am lyke to lye fast in the myre, 

Without any succoure or consolation : 

For at this houre I have not a peny, 

■ i Irief. " My endless dolour." — Two Gentlemen of Verona, 


Myselfe to Lelpe in this great myserye. 

F. For so muche, as by my advyse and counsell 
In no maner wyse thou woldest be ruled, 
Therfore to the I can not do well, 
But let the styll suffre, as thou haste deserved, 
For that thou hast suffred is yet nothynge 
To that trybulation, whiche is behinde coramynge. 

S. Alas ! father, what shall I do ? 
My wyttes of themselves can not devyse 
What thynge I were best goe unto, 
Wherof an honest lyvynge maye aryse : 
"Wherfore, gentle father, in this distresse, 
Somewhat aswage myne hevynes. 

F. What shoulde I do I can not tell, 
For now that thou hast taken a wyfe, 
With me, thy father, thou mayst not dwell, 
But alwayes with her spende thy lyfe. 
Thou mayst not agayne thy wyfe forsake, 
Which durynge lyfe to the thou dydst take. 

S. Alas ! I am not able thus to endure, 
Thoughe therunto I were never so wyllynge ; 
For my wyfe is of such a crooked nature, 
As no woman els is this daye lyvynge, 
And if the verye trueth I shall confesse, 
She is to me an evyll that is endlesse. 

F. If that thou thinkest thyselfe alone 
Onely to leade this yrkesome lyfe, 
Thou maiest learne what griefe, sorowc and mone, 
Socrates had with Xantippa his wyfe ;* 

* Compare Turning of the Shrew, i, 2. 


Her hushande full ofte she tawnted and checked, 
And, as the booke saythe, unhonestly mocked. 

S. I can not tell what was Socrates wyfe, 
But myne I do knowe, alas ! to well; 
She is one that is evermore full of stryfe, 
And of all scolders beareth the bell ! 
When she speaketh best, then brawleth her tonge; 
"When she is sty 11, she fyghteth apace; 
She is an olde witch, thoughe she be yonge ! 
No mirth with her, no joye or solace ! 

F. I can not, my sonne, thy state redresse; 
Me thy father thou dydst refuse ; 
Wherfore now helpe thy owne foolyshenes, 
And of thy wyfe no longer muse ! 

*S'. My wyfe went foorth into the countrey 
With certayne gossypes to make good chere, 
And bad me at home styll to be, 
That at her returne she might fynde me there : 
And if that she do take me from home, 
My bones, alas ! shee wyll make to crackell, 
And me her husbande, as a starke mome,* 
With knockyng and mockynge she wyll handell ; 
And, therfore, if I maye not here remayne, 
Yet, lovynge father, geve me your rewarde, 
That I maye with speede ride home againe, 
That to my wyfes wordes I have some regarde. 

F. If that at the fyrst thou woldest have bene ordered, 
And done as thy father counsayled the, 

* Fool. — See Comedy of Errors, iii, 1 . 


So wretched a lyfe had never chaunced, 
Wherof at this present thou coinplaynest to me ; 
But yet come on, to my house wee wyll be goynge, 
And ther thou shalt see what I wyll gyve, — 
A lyttel to helpe thy nedye lyvynge, 
Synce that in such penurye thou doest lyve; 
And that once done, thou must hence agayne, 
For I am not he that wyll the retayne. 

Here the Byclie Man and his Sonne go out, and i. 
commeth the Peroratour* 


This Interlude here, good gentle audience, 
Which presently before you we have played, 
Was set foorth with such care and diligence, 
As by us truely myght well be shewed. 
Shorte it is I denye not, and full of brevitie, 
But if ye marke therof the matter, 
Then choose ye can not but see playnely 
How payne and pleasure be knyt togyther. 
By this lytell playe the father is taught 
After what maner his chylde to use, 
Least that throughe cockeryngef at length he be brought 
His fathers commaundement to refuse ; 
Here ye maye learne a wyttie^ lesson, 
Betymes to correcte his sonne beynge tender, 
And not let hym be lost and undone 
With wantonnes, of mischiefe the mother ; 

* The person who spoke the Epilogue — (Lat). 

t Indulgence. % Clever. — See Taming of the Shrew. 


For as longe as the tw ygge is gentell and plyent, 
(Every man knowetli this by experience), 
With small force and strength it maye be bent, 
Puttynge therto but lytell dylygence ; 
But after that it waxeth somewhat bigger, 
And to cast his braunches largely begynneth, 
It is scant the myght of all thy power, 
That one bowghe therof easely bendeth : 
This twygge to a chylde maye well be applyed, 
Which in his childehoode, and age of infancie, 
With small correction maye be amended, 
Embracynge the schole with harte and bodie, 
Who afterwarde, with over much lybertye, 
And rangynge abrode with the brydell of wyll, 
Despyseth all vertue, learnynge, and honestye, 
And also his fathers mynde to fullfyll : 
Wherby at the length it so falleth out 
That this, the yonge stryplynge, after that daye 
Runnes into confusyon without any doubte, 
And lyke for evermore quyte to decaye. 
Wherfore take hede, all ye that be parentes, 
And folowe a parte after my counsell ; 
Instructe your chyldren and make them studentes, 
That unto all goodnes they do not rebell; 
Remember what writeth Salomon the wyse, 
Qui parcit virgce, oditfilium ; 
Therfore for as muche as ye can devyse, 
Spare not the rodde, but folowe wisdome : 
Further, ye yonge men, and chyldren also, 
Lysten to me and harken a whyle, 


What in fewe wordes for you I wyll showe, 

Without any flatterye, fraude, or guyle. 

This Riche mans Sonne, whorae we dyd set foorth 

Here evidently before your eyes, 

Was, as it chaunced, nothinge worth, 

Gyven to all noughtynes, vyce, and lyes. 

The cause wherof was this for a trueth ; 

His tyme full idlely he dyd spende, 

And woulde not studye in his youth, 

Which might have brought him to a good ende ; 

His fathers commaundement he wolde not obaye, 

But wantonly folowed his fantasye, 

For nothynge that he coulde do or saye 

Woulde brynge this chylde to honestie. 

And at the last (as here ye myght see) 

Upon a wyfe he fixed his mynde, 

Thynkynge the same to be felicitie, 

When in dede myserye came behynde ; 

For by this wyfe he carefully* lyved, 

Who under his father did want nothinge, 

And in suche sorte was hereby tormented, 

That ever anone he went lamentynge. 

His father dyd wyll him lyghtnesf to leave, 

And onely to gyve himselfe unto studye, 

But yet unto vertue he would not cleave, 

Which is commodious for soule and bodye. 

You hearde that by sentences auncient and olde, 

He styrred his sonne as he best thought ; 

* With care or sorrow, f Levity. — Cf. Taming of Shrew, iv, 2. 



But he, as an unthryft, stowte and bolde, 

His holsonie counsell dyd set at nought ; 

And synce that he despysed his father, 

God unto hym dyd sodeynly then sende 

Such povertie with a vvyfe, and griefe togyther, 

That shame and sorowe was his ende. 

Wherfore to conclude, I warne you all 

By your lovynge parentes alwayes be ruled, 

Or els be well assured of suche a fall 

As unto this yong man worthely chaunced. 

Worshyp God dayly, whiche is the chiefe thynge, 

And his holy lawes do not offende : 

Looke that ye truely serve the kynge, 

And all your faultes be glad to amende : 

Moreover, be true of hande and tonge, 

And learne to do all thynges that be honest, 

For no tyme so fytte, as when ye be yonge, 

Because that age onely is the aptest. 

I have no more to speake at this season, 

For verye good wyll these thynges I dyd saye, 

Bycause I do see that vertue is geason* 

With most men and chyldren at this daye. 

Here the rest of the Players come in and kneele 

downe all togyther, eche of them sayinge one of 

these verses. 
And last of all to make an ende, 
O God to the we most humblye praye, 
That to Queene Elizabeth thou do sende 
Thy lyvely pathe and perfecte waye ! 

* Scarce — rare. 


Graunte her in health to raygne 
With us many yeares most prosperouslye, 
And after this lyfe for to attayne 
The eternall blysse, joye, and felycytie ! 
Our hyshoppes, pastoures, and mynisters also, 
The true understandynge of thy worde, 
Both nyght and daye, nowe mercyfully shovve, 
That their lyfe and preachynge maye godly accorde. 
The Lordes of the Counsell, and the nobylytie, 
Most heavenly father, we thee desyre, 
"With grace, wisdome, and godly polycie, 
Their hartes and myndes alwayes inspyre. 
And that we thy people, duely consyderynge 
The power of our Queene and great auctorytie, 
Maye please thee and serve her without faynynge, 
Lyvynge in peace, rest, and tranquilytie. 
God save the Queene. 


Why doth the worlde studye vayn glory to attayne, 
The prosperytye wherof is shorte and transitory, 
Whose mighty power doth fall downe agayne, 
Lyke earthen pottes, that breaketh sodaynly ? 
Beleve rather wordes that be wrytten in ice, 
Then the wretched world with his subtylytie, 
Disceytfull in giftes, men onelie to entyce, 
Destytute of all sure credence and fydelytie. 
Gyve credyt more to men of true judgementes, 
Then to the worldly renowne and joyes, 
Replenysshed with dreames and vayne intentes, 
Aboundynge in wicked and noughtye toyes. 


Where is now Salomon, in wisdome so excellent ? 
Where is now Sampson, in battell so stronge ? 
Where is now Absolon, in beautie resplendent ? 
Where is now good Jonathas, hyd so longe ? 
Where is now Cesar, in victorye tryumphynge ? 
Where is now Dives, in disshes so dayntie ? 
Where is now Tully, in eloquence excedynge ? 
Where is now Aristotle, learned so depely? 
What emperours, kyngs, and dukes in times past, 
What earles and lordes, and captaynes of warre, 
What popes and bysshoppes, all at the last, 
In the twynkynge of an eye are fled so farre ? 
Howe shorte a feaste is this worldly joyenge ? 
Even as a shadowe it passeth awaye, 
Depry vynge a man of gyftes everlastynge, 
Leadynge to darkenes and not to daye ! 
O meate of wormes, O heape of duste, 
O lyke to dewe, clyme not to hye ! 
To lyve to morowe thou canst not truste, 
Therfore now betyme helpe the nedye. 
The flesshely beautie, wherat thou doest wondre, 
In holy Scripture is lykened to haye, 
And as a leafe in a stormye weather, 
So is mannes lyfe blowen cleane awaye. 
Calle nothynge thyne that maye be lost, 
The worlde doth gyve and take agayne, 
But set thy mynde on the holy Ghoste ; 
Despyse the worlde that is so vayne ! 










€l)t ^3ercj> Boiitty. 

J. H. DIXON, Esq. 

J. S. MOORE, Esq. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M A., F SA.,Treasurer # Secretary. 


Although the biography of Mary, the pious 
Countess of "Warwick, is well known, her auto- 
biography is now first printed from a manuscript 
copy in Lord Brooke's possession, which the 
editor believes to have been transcribed from the 
original, in her ladyship's autograph ; as the 
title of " Some specialities in the life of M. 
Warwicke" has been preserved with the following 
note: — "It appears from Lady Warwick's manu- 
script diary, that most of the 8th, 9th, and 10th 
February, 1671, were spent in recording the spe- 
cialities of her life." "21st December. — Read 
some before- noted specialities of my fore-past 
life." The entries made by Lady Warwick, in 
1673 and 1674, bring down this memoir to the 
latter year; and she died on the 12th April, 1678. 
Doctor Walker tells us, that " An hundred 
mouths, and a thousand tongues, though they all 
flowed with nectar, would be too few to praise her. 
Oh," he exclaimed, in the funeral sermon, preached 
by him at Felsted, in Essex, on the following 30th ; 


" for a Chrysostorn , s mouth, for an angel's tongue, 
to describe this terrestrial seraphine ; or a ray of 
light condensed into a pencil, and made tactile, to 
give you this glorious child of light in viva effigie." 

It was then stated by Doctor Walker, that 
"she, very many years since, began to keep a 
diary," and a manuscript note on a copy of the 
first edition of his E"YPHKA, E'YPIIKA, in the 
editor's possession, enables him to add, that Lady 
Warwick commenced her diary on the 25th July, 
1666. " She also," says the doctor, " kept a book 
of such wise, pithy sayings, much valuing words 
which contained great use and worth in little com- 
pass." Of this he has preserved a specimen, as 
well as a few extracts from her diary, and some 
of her ladyship's occasional meditations and pious 

The bulk of Lady Warwick's manuscripts must 
have been very considerable; and the Religious 
Tract Society have recently issued a selection 
from, or abridgment of, her diary, made by the 
Rev. Thomas Woodrooffe probably soon after 
her death, respecting which the editor has been 
favoured with the following particulars, from the 
Rev. Nathaniel George Woodrooffe, the Vicar of 
Somerford Keynes, Wilts. 

"The diary {that is Mr. Woodrooffe s abridge- 
ment of it) was given to me by the Rev. William 


Herringham, Rector of Borley, near Sudbury, 
who married my cousin, Anne Woodrooffe, the 
daughter of the Rev. John Woodrooffe, Rector of 
Cranham, Essex. 

" Mr. Herringham and the Rev. Thomas Wood- 
rooffe, Rector of Oakley, Surry, the only son of 
the Rev. John Woodroffe, were joint executors to 
my great aunt, Mrs. Gurdon, widow of the Rev. 
Mr. Gurdon, Vicar of Asington, Suffolk, and 
also to George Andre wes, Esq., Solicitor, of 
Felsted, Bury, whose mother was the daughter of 
the Chaplain of the Earl of Warwick, through 
whom the papers of Lady Warwick were conveyed. 
I trouble you with this detail to account for the 
fact, that Mr. Herringham, after giving me the 
diary I now possess {that is Mr. Woodrooffes 
abridgement'), retained all the other papers of the 
Warwick MSS., and especially the missing diary 
from 1672 to 1678. He sold the whole of these 
MSS. to a bookseller of the name of Lorking, of 
Long Melford, Suffolk, who parted with them to 
another bookseller, Avhose name we cannot dis- 
cover. He went to France and there became a 
bankrupt. We have been endeavouring, but in 
vain, for several years to recover this lost diary. 
It seems to be in your possession, and I am re- 
joiced to find it is now printing by the Percy 


What has been stated, will shew that in this 
wish Mr. Woodrooffe is mistaken, and that the 
autograph diary of Lady Warwick remains to be 
recovered. The editor, however, can add, that 
about the year 1835 he saw her ladyship's 
original Manuscript in the possession of Messrs. 
T. and W. Boone, of New Bond Street ; that it 
was written in thirty or forty small quarto books, 
or " diary papers," which were unbound, and that 
the passages extracted by Mr. Woodrooffe had 
been marked for transcript. There can be little 
doubt, therefore, that this mass of manuscript still 
exists, notwithstanding the Messrs. Boone have 
been unable to trace it ; and references to it, and 
recent notes made from it by various hands for 
several and different purposes, convince the editor 
that wherever Lady Warwick's original diary may 
at the present moment repose, it is preserved, — 
and with sincerity he echoes the wish of Mr. 
Barbara (the editor of the Religious Tract Soci- 
ety's publication), in saying, " It is hoped that 
this notice may be the means of bringing it 
(Lady Warwick's original Diary, which Mr. Bar- 
ham could only trace to the close of the last cen- 
tury) to light." 

To the extracts which have been published from 
the countess's diary, the editor refers for illustra- 
tions of many passages in her autobiography — 

such, for instance, as those at pages 22 and 32, 
respecting the former, see note 21. — 9th October, 
1667. — " My lord was passionate with me without 
any occasion, and shot out his arrows, even bitter 
words, at which I was much troubled, and could 
not forbear, when alone, from weeping much ; yet 
I prayed to God to give me patience." And the 
alteration in the mode of life at Lees, proposed by 
her brotheri-n-law, should he become Earl of 
Warwick— 15th March, 1667. "My brother 
Hatton dined with us that day, and swore dread- 
fully, and talked so very ill, that I thought nothing 
out of hell could have done." 

Lady Warwick's original diary is a manuscript 
of great historical value ; she faithfully recorded 
daily, or nearly so, for twelve years the domestic 
occurrences of the period, soon after the restoration 
of Charles II, and was in familiar intercourse with 
the most active characters of his time, "pro and 

23rd April, 1667 — she notes — " In the morning 
as soon as dressed, in a short prayer I committed 
my soul to God. Then went to Whitehall and 
dined at my Lord Chamberlain's; then went to 
see the celebration of St. George's feast, which 
was a very glorious sight. Whilst I was in the 
banqueting-house, heai'ing the trumpets sounding, 
in the midst of all that great show, God was 


pleased to put very mortifying thoughts into my 
mind, and to make me consider, what if the trump 
of God should now sound ? which thought did 
strike me with some seriousness, and made me 
consider in what glory I had in that very place 
seen the late king, and yet out of that very place 
he was brought to have his head cut off. v ' 

Regarded even as a veritable catalogue of the 
persons with whom Lady Warwick came in contact, 
and under what circumstances, her honest diary is 
a curious document, by which the truth of other 
narratives and statements may be tested. And, 
although, perhaps as a whole,not worth publication, 
the MSS. of the Countess well merit preservation 
in the British Museum, for reference to by 
historical students. 

The Countess of Warwick's portrait has been 
engraved more than once from the same picture. 
One is prefixed to Doctor Walker's " E'TPHKA, 
K'YPHKA" (1678). "R. White, Sculp." The other 
to a memoir, of Lady Warwick, &c, published 
by the Religious Tract Society, in 1847, without 
the engraver's name, and which has been probably 
copied after White's print. 

T. C. C. 

3, Gloucester Road, Oi,d Brompton, 
April 2GM, 1848. 



I was born November the 8th, 1625, 1 at Yohall, in 
Ireland ; my father was Richard Boyle Earl of Corke, 
my mother was Katheren Fentone. My father was 
second son to Mr. Roger Boyle, my mother was only 
daughter to Sir Jefrey Fentone. 

My father, from being a younger brother of a younger 
brother, who was only a private gentleman of Here- 
fordshire, was by his mother's care, after his father's 
death, bred by her at Cambridge, and afterwards at 
the inns of court, and from thence, by the good provi- 
dence of God, brought into Ireland, where when he 
landed he was master of but twenty-seven pounds and 
three shillings in the world, and afterwards God so 
prospered him there that he had in that country about 
twenty thousand pound a-year coming in, and was 
made Lord Treasurer of Ireland, and one of the two 
Lords Justices of the government of that kingdom. - 

My wise, and as I have been informed pious, mother 



died when I was about three years old ; 3 and some 
time after, by the tender care of my indulgent father, 
that I might be carefully and piously educated, I was 
sent by him to a prudent and vertuous lady, my Lady 
Claytone, who never having had any child of her own, 
grew to make so much of me as if she had been an own 
mother to me, and took great care to have me soberly 
educated. Under her government I remained at 
Mallow, a town in Munster, till I was, I think, about 
eleven years' old, and then my father called me from 
thence (much to my dissatisfaction), for I was very fond 
of that, to me, kind mother. Soon after my father 
removed, with his family, into England, and dwelt in 
Dorsetshire, at a house he had purchased there ; which 
was called Stalbridge ; 4 and there, when I was about 
thirteen or fourteen years of age, came down to me 
one Mr. Hambletone, son to my Lord Clandeboyes, 
who was afterwards Earl of Clanbrasell, 5 and would 
fain have had me for his wife. My father and his 
had, some years before, concluded a match between us, 
if we liked when we saw one another, and that I was 
of years of consent ; and now he being returned out of 
France, was by his father's command to come to my 
father's, where he received from him a very kind and 
obliging welcome, looking upon him as his son-in-law, 
and designing suddenly that we should be married, 
and gave him leave to make his address, with a com- 
mand to me to receive him as one designed to be my 
husband. Mr. Hambletone (possibly to obey his 
father) did design gaining me by a very handsome 


address, which he made to me, and if he did not to a 
very high degree dissemble, I was not displeasing to 
him, for he professed a great passion for me. The 
professions he made me of his kindness were very 
unacceptable to me, and though I had by him very 
highly advantageous offers made me, for point of for 
tune (for his estate, that was settled upon him, was 
counted seven or eight thousand pound a-year), yet 
by all his kindness to me nor that I could be brought 
to endure to think of having him, though my father 
pressed me extremely to it ; my aversion for him was 
extraordinary, though I could give my father no 
satisfactory account why it was so. 

This continued between us for a long time, my 
father shewing a very high displeasure at me for it, 
but though I was in much trouble about it, yet I could 
never be brought either by fair or foul means to it ; 
so as my father was at last forced to break it off, to 
my father's unspeakable trouble, and to my unspeak- 
able satisfaction, for hardly in any of the troubles of 
my life did I feel a more sensible uneasiness than 
when that business was transacting. Afterwards I 
apparently saw a good providence of God in not letting 
me close with it, for within a year after my absolute 
refusing him, he was, by the rebellion of Ireland, im- 
poverished so that he lost for a great while his whole 
estate, the rebels being in possession of it ; which I 
should have liked very ill, for if I had married him it 
must have been for his estate's sake, not his own, his 
person being highly disagreeable to me. 



After this match was off, my father removed to 
London, and lived at a house of Sir Thomas Stafford's. 6 
When we were once settled there, my father, living 
extraordinarily high, drew a very great resort thither, 
and the report that he would give me a very great 
fortune made him have for me many very great and 
considerable offers, both of persons of great birth and 
fortune ; but I still continued to have an aversion to 
marriage, living so much at my ease that I was unwill- 
ing to change my condition, and never could bring 
myself to close with any offered match, but still begged 
my father to refuse all the most advantageous profers, 
though I was by him much pressed to settle myself. 

About this time my fourth brother, Mr. Francis 
Boyle then (afterwards Lord Shannon), was by my 
father married to Mrs. Elizabeth Kilegrew, daughter 
to my Lady Staford; 7 and my brother being then 
judged to be too young to live with his wife, was a 
day or two after the celebrating the marriage (which 
was done before the King and Queen) at Whitehall 
(she being then a maid of honour to the Queen) sent 
into France to travel, and his wife then brought home 
to our house, where she and I became chamber-fellows, 
and constant bed-fellows ; and there then grew so 
great a kindness between us, that she soon had a great 
and ruling power with me ; and by her having so 
brought me to be very vain and foolish, inticing me to 
spend (as she did) her time in seeing and reading plays 
and romances, and in exquisite and curious dressing. 

When she was well settled in our family (but much 


more so in iny heart) she had many of the young 
gallants that she was acquainted with at Court that 
came to visit her at the Savoy (where we lived); 
amongst others there came one Mr. Charles Rich, 
second son to Robert Earl of Warwicke, who was a 
very cheerful, and handsome, well-bred, and fashioned 
person, and being good company was very acceptable 
to us all, and so became very intimate in our house, 
visiting us almost every day. He was then in love 
with a maid of honour to the Queen, one Mrs. Hareson, 8 
that had been chamber-fellow to my sister-in-law 
whilst she lived at Court, and that brought on the 
acquaintance between him and my sister. He con- 
tinued to be much with us, for about five or six 
months, till my brother Broghil then (afterwards Earl of 
Orrery), grew also to be passionately in love with the 
same Mrs. Hareson. My brother then having a quarrel 
with Mr. Thomas Howarde, second son to the Earl of 
Berkshire, about Mrs. Hareson (with whom he also was 
in love), Mr. Rich brought my brother a challenge from 
Mr. Howard, and was second to him against my bro- 
ther when they fought, which they did without any 
great hurt of any side, being parted. 9 This action made 
Mr. Rich judge it not civil to come to our house, and 
so for some time forbore doing it, but at last my bro- 
ther's match with Mrs. Hareson being unhandsomely 
(on her side) broken off, when they were so near being 
married as the wedding clothes were to be made, and 
she after married Mr. Thomas Howard (to my father's 
very great satisfaction), who always was averse to it, 


though to comply with my brother's passion he con- 
sented to it. 

My brother being thus happily disengaged from 
that amour, brought again Mr. Rich to our family, and 
soon after he grew again as great among us, as if he 
had never done that disobliging action to us. By this 
time, upon what account I know not, he began to 
withdraw his visits to Mrs. Hareson (for that name 
she continued to have, not being mai'ried to Mr. 
Howard in a good considerable time after), and his 
heart too ; and in being encouraged in his resolution 
by my sister Boyle, began to think of making an 
address to me, she promising him all the assistance 
her power with me could give him to gain my affection, 
though she knew by attempting it she should lose 
my fathei''s and all my family, that she believed would 
never be brought to consent to my having any younger 
brother ; my father's kindness to me making him, as 
she well knew, resolved to match me to a great for- 
tune. At last, one day she began to acquaint me 
with Mr. Rich's, as she said, great passion for me ; at 
which I was at the first much surprised, both at his 
having it for me, and at her telling it to me, knowing 
how much she hazarded by it, if I should acquaint my 
father with it. I confess I did not find his declaration 
of his kindness disagreeable to me, but the considera- 
tion of his being but a younger brother made me sadly 
apprehend my father's displeasure if I should embrace 
any such offer, and so resolved, at that time, to give 
her no answer, but seemed to disbelieve his loving 


me at the rate she informed me he did, though I had 
for some time taken notice of his loving me, though I 
never thought he designed trying to gain me. 

After this first declaration of his esteem for me by 
my sister, he became a most diligent gallant to me, 
seeking by a most humble and respectful address to 
gain my heart, applying himself, when there was no 
other beholders in the room but my sister, to me ; but 
if any other person came in he took no more than ordi- 
nary notice of me ; but to disguise his design addressed 
himself much to her ; and though his doing so was not 
well liked in our family, yet there was nothing said to 
him about their dislike of it ; and by this way his 
design became unsuspected, and thus we lived for 
some months, in which time, by his more than ordi- 
nary humble behaviour to me, he did insensibly steal 
away my heart, and got a greater possession of it 
than I knew he had. My sister, when he was forced 
to be absent for fear of observing eyes, would so plead 
for him, that it worked, too, very much upon me. 
When I began to find, myself, that my kindness for 
him grew and increased so much, that though I had 
in the time of his private address to me, many great 
and advantageous offers made me by my father, and 
that I could not with any patience endure to hear of 
any of them, I began with some seriousness to consider 
what I was engaging myself in by my kindness for Mr. 
Rich, for my father, I knew, would never indure me, 
and besides I considered my mind was too high, and I 
too expensively brought up to bring myself to live 


contentedly with Mr. Rich's fortune, who would never 
have, when his father was dead, above thirteen or 
fourteen (at the most) hundred pounds a-year. Upon 
these considerations I was convinced that it was time 
for me to give him a flat and final denial ; and with 
this, as I thought, fixed resolution, I have laid me 
down in my bed to beg my sister never to name him 
to me more for a husband, and to tell him, from me, 
that I desired him never more to think of me, for I 
was resolved not to anger my father : but when I was 
upon a readiness to open my mouth to utter these 
words, my great kindness for him stopped it, and 
made me rise always without doing it, though I fre- 
quently resolved it ; which convinced to me the great 
and full possession he had of my heart, which made 
me begin to give him more hopes of gaining me than 
before I had done, by any thing but my inducing him 
to come to me after he had declared to me his design 
in doing so, which he well knew I would never endure 
from any other person that had otiered themselves to 

Thus we lived for some considerable time, my duty 
and my reason having frequent combats within me 
with my passion, which at last was always victorious, 
though my fear of my father's displeasure frighted me 
from directly owning it to Mr. Rich ; till my sister 
Boyle's taking sick of the measles (and by my lying 
with when she had them, though I thought at first it 
might be the small-pox, I got them of her), my kind- 
ness being then so great for her, that though of all 


diseases the small-pox was that I most apprehended, 
yet from her I did not any thing, and would have con- 
tinued with her all her illness, had I not by my father's 
absolute command been separated into another room 
from her ; but it was too late, for I had got from her 
the infection, and presently fell most dangerously ill 
of the measles too, and before they came out I was 
removed into another house, because my sister Dun- 
garvan, 1 " in whose house I was, in Long Acre, was 
expecting daily to be delivered, and was apprehensive 
of that distemper. Mr. Rich then was much con- 
cerned for me, and his being so made him make 
frequent visits to me, though my sister Boyle was 
absent from me, and he was most obligingly careful 
of me ; which as it did to a great degree heighten my 
passion for him, so it did also begin to make my family, 
and before suspecting friends, to see that they were 
by a false disguise of his kindness to my sister abused, 
and that he had for me, and I for him a respect which 
they feared was too far gone. 

This made my old Lady Staford, mother to my 
sister Boyle (who was a cunning old woman, and who 
had been herself too much and too long versed in 
amours), begin to conclude the truth, and absolutely 
to believe that her daughter was the great actor in 
this business, and that her being confidant with us, 
would ruin her with my father ; and therefore having 
some power with him, to prevent the inconveniences 
that would come to her daughter, resolved to acquaint 
my father with Mr. Rich's visiting me when I had 


the measles, and of his continuing to do so at the 
Savoy, — whither I was, after my recovery, by my 
father's order, removed, and where by reason of my 
being newly recovered of an infectious disease, I was 
free from any visits. After she had with great rage 
chid her daughter, and threatened her that she would 
acquaint my father with it (to keep me, as she said, from 
ruining myself), she accordingly, in a great heat and 
passion, did that very night do it. My sister presently 
acquainted both Mr.Kich and me with her mother's reso- 
lution, and when she had Mr. Rich alone, told him if 
he did not that very night prevail with me to declare 
my kindness for him, and to give him some assurance 
of my resolution to have him, I would certainly the 
next day by my father be secured from his ever speak- 
ing to me, and so he would quite lose me. This dis- 
course did make him resolve to do what she counselled 
him to ; and that very night, when I was ill and laid 
upon my bed, she giving him an opportunity of being 
alone with me, and by her care keeping any body from 
disturbing us ; he had with me about two hours dis- 
course, upon his knees, by my bed-side, wherein he 
did so handsomely express his passion (he was pleased 
to say he had for me), and his fear of being by my 
father's command separated from me, that together 
with as many promises as any person in the world 
could make, of his endeavouring to make up to me the 
smallncss of his fortune by the kindness he would have 
still to me, if I consented to be his wife ; that though 
I can truly say, that when he kneeled down by me I 


was far from having resolved to own I would have 
him, yet his discourse so far prevailed that I consented 
to give him, as he desired, leave to let his father 
mention it to mine ; and promised him that, let him 
make his father say what he pleased, I would own it. 
Thus we parted, this evening, after I had given away 
myself to him, and if I had not done so that night, I 
had been, by my father's separating us, kept from 
doing it, at least for a long time ; for in the morning 
my father, upon what the night before had been told 
him by my Lady Staford, came early to me, and with a 
very frowning and displeasing look, bid me go (as I 
had before asked to do) into the country to air myself, 
at a little house near Hampton Court, which Mrs. 
Katheren Kilegrew, sister to my sister Boyle, then 
had ; and told me that he was informed that I had 
young men who visited me, and commanded me if 
any did so, where I was now going, I should not see 
them. This he said in general, but named not Mr. 
Rich in particular, which I was glad of; and so after 
my father had dismissed me, with this unkind look (and 
I thought severe command), I was presently, by my 
brother Broghil, in his coach, conveyed to a very little 
house at Hampton, which was at that time though 
much more agreeable to me than the greatest and 
most stately one could be, because it did remove me 
from my father some distance, which I thought best 
for me, till his fury was in some measure over, which 
I much apprehended. That very day I removed into 
the country, my Lord Goreing, afterwards Earl of Nor- 


wicb, was by my Lord of Warwick and my Lord of 
Hollandes appointment chose to be the first person 
that should motion the match to my father, and 
accpjaint him with my esteem for Mr. Rich ; he was 
chose by them, and approved of by me to do it, be- 
cause his son having married one of my sisters, there 
was a great friendship between them, and he had a 
more than ordinary power with my father with what 
he was designed to do : but though he did it very well, 
my father was so troubled at it that he wept, and 
would by no means suffer him to go on. 

The next day, as I remember, my Lord of Warwick 
and my Lord of Holland visited him, and mentioned it 
with great kindness to him ; he used them with much 
respect, but told them he hoped his daughter would be 
advised by him, and he could not but still hope she would 
not give herself away without his consent, and there- 
fore he was resolved to send to me to know what I said 
the next morning, which accordingly he did ; and the 
persons he fixed upon to do it by were two of my bro- 
thers, — my eldest brother, Dungarvan, and my then 
third brother, Broghil, who came early down to me 
(but I was before informed by Mr Rich of their coming), 
yet for all that I was disordered at their sight, knowing 
about what they came; but the extraordinary great kind- 
ness I had for Mr. Rich made me resolve to endure any 
thing for his sake, and therefore when I had by my 
brothers been informed that they were, by my father's 
command, sent to examine me, what was between Mr. 
Rich and I, and threatened, in my father's name, if I 


did not renounce ever having any thing more to do 
with him, I made this resolute, but ill and horribly 
disobedient answer, that I did acknowledge a very 
great and particular kindness for Mr. Rich, and desired 
them, with my humble duty to my father, to assure 
him that I would not marry him without his consent, 
but that I was resolved not to marry any other person 
in the world ; and that I hoped my father would be 
pleased to consent to my having Mr. Rich, to whom, 
I was sure, he could have no other objection, but that 
he was a younger brother ; for he was descended from 
a very great and honourable family, and was in the 
opinion of all (as well as mine) a very deserving per- 
son, and I desired my father would be pleased to con- 
sider, I only should suffer by the smallness of his 
fortune, which I very contentedly chose to do, and 
should judge myself to be much more happy with his 
small one, than with the greatest without him. 

After my two brothers saw I was immoveable in 
my resolution, say what they could to me, they returned 
highly unsatisfied from me to my father ; who, when 
he had it once owned from my own mouth, that I 
would have him, or no body, he was extraordinarily 
displeased with me, and forbid my daring to appear 
before him. But after some time he was persuaded, 
by the great esteem he had for my Lord of Warwick 
and my Lord of Holland, to yield to treat with them, 
and was at last brought, though not to give me my 
before designed portion, yet to give me seven thousand 
pounds, and was brought to see and he civil to Mr. 


Rich, who was a constant visitor of me at Hampton, 
almost daily; but he was the only person I saw, for my 
own family came not at me: and thus I continued there 
for about ten weeks, when I was at last, by my Lord 
of Warwick and my Lord Goreing led into my father's 
chamber, and there, upon my knees, humbly begged 
his pardon, which after he had, with great justice, 
severely chid me, he bid me rise, and was by my Lord 
of Warwick's and my Lord Goreing's intercession 
reconciled to me, and told me I should suddenly be 
married. But though he designed I should be so at 
London, with Mr. Rich and my friends at it, yet being 
a great enemy always to a public marriage, I was, by 
that fear, and Mr. Rich's earnest solicitation, prevailed 
with, without my father's knowledge, to be privately 
married at a little village near Hampton Court, on the 
21st July 1641, called Shepertone ; 11 which when my 
father knew he was again something displeased at me 
for it, but after I had begged his pardon, and assured 
him I did it only to avoid a public wedding, which 
he knew I had always declared against, his great in- 
dulgence to me made him forgive me that fault also, 
and within few days after I was carried down to Lees, 
my Lord of Warwick's house in the country, 12 but none 
of our friends accompanied me, but my dear sister 
Ranelagh, 13 whose great goodness made her forgive me, 
and stay with me some time at Lees, where I received 
as kind a welcome as was possible from that family, 
but particularly from my good father-in-law. 

Here let me admire at the goodness of God, that by 


His good providence to me, when I by my marriage 
thought of nothing but having a person for whom I 
had a great passion, and never sought God in it, but 
by marrying my husband flatly disobeyed His command, 
which was given me in His sacred oracles, of obeying 
my father ; yet was pleased by His unmerited good- 
ness to me to bring me, by my marriage, into a noble 
and, which is much more, a religious family ; where 
religion was both practised and encouraged; and 
where there were daily many eminent and excellent 
divines, who preached in the chapel most edifyingly 
and awakeningly to us. Besides a famous household 
chaplain, my father-in-law had Doctor Gawden there, 
afterwards Lord Bishop of Worcester. 14 I could not, as 
young as I was when I came to the family, being but 
fifteen years old, and as much as between the 8th of 
November and 21st July, but admire at the excellent 
order there was in the family, and the great care that 
was had that God should be most solemnly worshipped 
and owned in that great family, both by the lord and 
lady of it. My mother-in-law was not my husband's 
own mother, she (Hatton) being dead, after she had 
brought her husband many fine children, and the 
greatest estate any woman had done for many years 
to a family. And my lord after her decease was 
married again to a rich woman, one Alderman Holi- 
dayes widow, of the City, who because she was a 
citizen was not so much respected in the family as in 
my opinion she deserved to be ; for she was one that 
assuredly feared God ; but she was at my first coming 


to Lees i*emoved to her daughter Hungerford's, near 
the Bath, where she was resolved to stay till she was 
by some person she credited, informed whether my 
humour were such as would make her to live comfortably 
with me ; for by reason of some former disputes with 
my first Lady Rich (a daughter of Earl Devonshire), 
that had been between them, she was almost come to 
a resolution of never more living with any daughter- 
in-law. But my Lady Robertes, 15 that was my lord's 
sister, and a very pious woman, was pleased to assure 
her would be dutiful to her, and at last did prevail with 
her to come down to Lees, where I then was, and I 
was so fortunate as I gained so much of her kindness, 
that for about five years that I lived constantly with 
her I did never displease her, or ever had any unkind- 
ness from her, but found her as obliging to me as if 
she had been my own mother, and she would always 
profess she loved me at that rate, and I did when God 
called her away mourn much for my losing her. 

After her death my Lord of Warwick married again, 
to the Countess of Sussex (widow of Thomas Savil, 
Earl of Sussex), 16 with whom I had, too, the great 
happiness of living as lovingly as it was possible for an 
own mother and daughter to live, for about eleven 
years, in some of which time I went on in a vain 
kind of life, only studying to please my husband and 
the family I was matched into ; but, alas, too much 
neglected the studying to please God, and to save my 
immortal soul ; yet in this time of my vanity conscience 
would often speak to me, but yet I went on, regardless, 


though I was allured by God with many mercies, and 
had afflictions too. 

In the first year I was married, God was pleased to 
give me a safe delivery of a girl, which I lay in with 
at Warwick House. And soon after the second year, 
I was brought a bed of a boy, in September 28th, 1643. 
The girl was named Elizabeth, and the boy Charles. 
The girl God was pleased to take from me by death, 
when she was not a year and a quarter old. For 
which I was much afflicted; but my husband as passion- 
ately so as ever I saw him ; he being most extraordi- 
narily fond of her. When I lay in with my son, the 
ill news of my father's death was brought to my hus- 
band; 17 but by his care of me, it was concealed from 
me till I was up again ; and then it was told me first 
by my mother-in-law. 17 I was much afflicted, and 
grieved at the loss of one of the best and kindest of 
fathers in the world ; but I being young and incon- 
siderate, grief did not stick long with me. 

About the twenty-first year of my age [1646], 
God was pleased, by the powerful means I had con- 
stantly in that good family I was in, to awaken me to 
consider how necessary it was seriously to consider for 
a future state ; and I did then begin to think of being in 
earnest for my salvation, and made some promises to 
God of a new life. But these good resolutions I kept 
no longer than I had no temptation to break them. 
For when the family removed to Warwick House, and 
I had got again to my old companions, I neglected 
taking after the service of God ; yet my conscience 



would often call me to better things than I practised ; 
and though I did endeavour diverting myself as for- 
merly, yet God was so merciful to me, as never to 
suffer me to find my former satisfaction, but still dis- 
appointed my expectations in every thing wherein I 
sought for comfort. And though I could not but 
observe this, yet still I went on, though I had some 
inward persuasion that God would, some way or other, 
punish me for my doing so. And, at last, it pleased 
God to send a sudden sickness upon my only son, 
which I then doated on with great fondness. I was 
beyond expression struck at it ; not only because of 
my kindness for him, but because my conscience told 
me it was for my back-sliding. Upon this conviction 
I presently retired to God ; and by earnest prayer 
begged of Him to restore my child ; and did then 
solemnly promise to God, if He would hear my prayer, 
I would become a new creature. This prayer of mine 
God was so gracious as to grant ; and of a sudden 
began to restore my child; which made the doctor 
himself wonder at the sudden amendment he saw in 
him, and filled me then with grateful thoughts. After 
my child's full recovery, I began to find in myself a 
great desire to go into the country; which I never 
remember before to have had, thinking it always the 
saddest thing that could be when we were to remove. 

My Lady Warwick being very ill of an ague, was 
unfit as well as unwilling to remove, and my Lord 
was going to sea; 18 but at last it was by my Lord, 
upon my shewing a willingness to do it, resolved that 


I should with his family remove to Lees. As I was 
doing so, upon the road near London I unexpectedly 
met with my husband returning out of Essex, having 
been sent thither by the Parliament to prevent a rising 
they feared there ; and when I went from "Warwick 
House I concluded I should come time enough to 
see my husband before his return to London. When 
I was met by him he told me he feared it might 
not be safe for me to go on ; and some other 
Parliament-men that were in the coach with him, 
absolutely advised me to return and not to hazard 
myself. Though I found in myself a loathness to 
deny going with my husband (having never before 
left him hardly, when I could conveniently be 
with him), yet my desire to go to be quiet at Lees 
prevailed so much with me, as I desired my hus- 
band to leave me to myself, which he did, and I 
then told him I would go on, for I was very confident 
there was no danger for me, and so parted from him, 
not without wondering much at myself when I had 
done so ; but afterwards I saw a good providence of 
God to me in it, which I must always with great 
thankfulness acknowledge, for I had never, to my re- 
membrance, before been in so much quiet as by my 
now going down I enjoyed, having in my father's 
house, before my marriage, been almost in constant 
crowds of company, and afterwards so too at Warwick 

And now when I came to Lees, what was believed 
of the rising in Essex proved true, and being headed 

c 2 


by my Lord Goreing and Sir Charles Lucas, 19 they 
came to Lees for arms that were there, and brought 
thousands with them ; but my Lord Goreing being one 
of my best friends, I was upon that account used so well 
that, bating some arms they took, there was not any- 
thing touched, and they stayed but only a dinnering time 
with me, and so marched on to Colchester. 

My being there was well for the house, for possibly 
if there had been none but servants, the house would 
not have been secured as by my being there it was. 
But by these troubles that was in the country I was 
kept from having almost any of the neighbourhood to 
visit, and from London nobody came neither : and as 
well as I loved my husband's company, yet the appre- 
hension T had that if he came down he would engage, 
made me rather at that time desire he should forbear 
coming (for I always was much averse to his engaging 
in the wars), so that for about two months together I 
had a retiring time ; but, my God, how graciously 
did thy gracious providence provide for me a good 
companion, who, by thy goodness to me, proved a kind 
of a spiritual father to me. My Lord of Warwick had 
then for his household chaplain one Mr. "Walker, 20 who 
being a very good-natured, civil, and ingenuous person, 
I took much delight in conversing with ; and it pleased 
God by his ministry in the time of my retirement to 
work exceedingly upon me, he preaching very awak- 
ingly and warmly the two texts that were, by God's 
mercy, set home to me: " The wicked shall be tui'ned 
into hell, and all the nations that forget God"; and 


the other was : " Acquaint now thyself with Him, and 
be at peace." By the first I was much terrified, but 
by the last I was much allured to come unto God and 
to taste of the sweetness of religion, which he told me 
was very sweet, and which I afterwards experienced 
to be true. This good and pious friend of mine per- 
ceiving in me some inclination to be good, did much 
assist and encourage me to a holy life, and by frequent 
discoursing with me, did shew me the expediency and 
necessity of it, which made me begin to have more 
serious thoughts than ever in my life before I had; for I 
desire to acknowledge it to God's glory in changing 
me, and my own shame, that I was, when I was married 
into my husband's family, as vain, as idle, and as incon- 
siderate a person as was possible, minding nothing but 
curious dressing and fine and rich clothes, and spending 
my precious time in nothing else but reading romances, 
and in reading and seeing plays, and in going to court 
and Hide Park and Spring Garden ; and I was so fond 
of the court, that I had taken a secret resolution that 
if my father died, and I was mistress of myself, I would 
become a courtier ; and though I was at this time of 
my vanity by God's restraining grace kept from any 
gross or scandalous sin, yet I had, only to please my 
father, a form of godliness; but for the inward and 
spiritual part of it, I was not only ignorant of it, but 
resolved against it, being stedfastly set against being a 

But, O my good God, what shall I now render 
unto thee for thy converting grace, who didst by 


first shewing me the creature's inconsistency, and 
not letting me find my happiness in any worldly thing, 
but still embittering the stream that I might come to 
the fountain, and so by a sanctified affliction 21 didst 
first in some measure loosen me from the world, and 
then by my worthy spiritual friend, Dr. Walker's 
ministry, didst persuade me to come in and try what 
peace, happiness, and comfort there is in thy most 
holy ways, in which I did then find such contentment, 
as all my forepast life, in which I designed pleasing 
myself, never yielded me ; for God was pleased, at my 
first turning to Him, to let me find inexpressible com- 
fort in His ordinances whenever I approached to Him, 
which did make me to hate and to disrelish all my 
former vain and idle pleasures, and I then studied the 
God-breathed oracles, and spent much time in reading 
in the Word, laying by my idle books, and by my 
Lord Primate of Ireland's- preaching against plays, 
I was many years before resolved to leave seeing 
them, for, as I remember, I saw not above two after 
my being married. I was much encouraged in my 
new course of life by my dear sister Raneleigh, who 
did constantly before call upon me to turn to God, 
and by constant good counsel endeavoured to reclaim 
me from a vain and idle life ; that excellent sister of 
mine being from my youth constantly to me the most 
useful and the best friend, for soul and body, that ever 
any person I think had ; and for her, as she well de- 
served it of me, I hud, and still retain, a particular 
love and esteem. 23 


"When I had, by God's great goodness to me, had 
this two months of quiet, I found myself so happy in 
the enjoyment of it, that if I had had the satisfaction 
of my husband's company, I could have been contented 
for a time to have wanted all other, for my time was 
then almost quite taken up in reading, meditation, 
and prayer, being then very solicitous to redeem my 
former mispent time; so that when I heard of the 
return of the rest of the family that were absent with 
my Lady "Warwick, and with her returned, as did 
too my sister Rich, and many more branches of that 
truly great and numei'ous family, I was sorry for it, 
being fearful that I should by them be drawn to vanity. 
But when they returned I was very fearful and watch- 
ful of myself, and my good spiritual friend, Dr.Walker, 
was so too of me, and would often be my monitor not 
to be drawn by company to mispend my time and to 
neglect the service of God. But after they had been 
some time with me, and could not but observe my con- 
stant (at such hours) stealing from them for secret 
retirement to my devotion, they began to take notice 
of the change which they said was to them very appa- 
rent in all my manner of life; for the thoughts of a 
future state having seized me then in earnest, had 
made me in all my way of life much more serious, and 
had taken away from me that lightness and vanity of 
mind, in some measure, which I formerly had, and 
which was noted by them; for the thoughts of eternity 
were so much upon my mind, that I delighted in 
nothing so much as being alone in the wilderness, that 


I might there meditate of things of everlasting con- 
cernment, and therefore never was with the company 
but when I could not fairly avoid being so : and indeed 
it was no wonder to me that I appeared so altered to 
them, for I was so much changed to myself that I 
hardly knew myself, and could say with that converted 
person, " I am not I." All my before vain compa- 
nions which were so pleasant to me, were burthens to 
me, and I began to be acquainted with holy and strict 
divines, who much frequented the house, but were 
before by me not much regarded. I did often converse 
with them alone, and found their company so much 
more advantageously pleasant to me than my idle, 
sensual companions had been, that for all I was some- 
times much laughed at and reproached for leaving 
great company for them, yet I could never be drawn 
from those holy and excellent companions, choosing 
much, rather good than great company. 

After God had thus, as I hope, savingly wrought 
upon me, I went on constantly comfortable in my 
Christian course, though I had many doubts and fears 
to conflict with, and did truly obey that precept of 
working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, 
yet God was pleased to carry me still onward ; and 
though I too often broke my good resolutions, yet I 
never renounced them ; and though I too often trifle 
in my journey to heaven, yet I never forsake my pur- 
pose of going thither. 

God was pleased in the year 1648 to make me fall 
dangerously ill of the small-pox. My distemper at the 


first made Dr. Wright, my physician, 24 believe I would 
die, but it pleased God, by his means, to save my life ; 
yet when I was, as he thought, almost past danger, 
that barbarous and unheard of wicked action of be- 
heading King Charles the First was of a sudden told 
me, which did again endanger me, for I had a great 
abhorrence of that bloody act, and was much disordered 
at it. 

In that sickness (which I had at "Warwick House) 
I was, because of my Lady Warwick's fear, shut up 
from anybody coming to me ; but my constant dear 
friend, my sister Raneleigh, came now and then to see 
me, though I was against her doing it, because she 
had never had them; yet I saw much of God's good- 
ness to me in the time of my being kept from all other 
company, for God was pleased then to come in with 
much support and comfort to me, and though I had 
for some time before my illness much troubled myself 
with the great apprehensions I had of death, yet when 
I knew I was in some danger of it, I found that fear 
much to go off, and was able to say — " It is the Lord, 
let Ilim do what seems good in His eyes," and was in 
some measure resigned to God's will for life or death. 

Some years afterwards I was again, at Lees, infected 
with a very long and dangerous sickness, in which, by 
reason of great fumes I had, my head was highly disor- 
dered, to a degree that sometimes I knew nobody, and 
would talk idly and extravagantly; in which sickness 
too, my dear sister Raneleigh came down to see me ; 
afterwards, when I was able, though very weak, to be 


put into a coach, I was by Dr. "Wright's order removed 
to my own house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, to be near 
my doctor, where I lay a great while in a very weak 
and ill condition ; but in that sickness had much satis- 
faction to see the great, tender, and obliging care my 
husband and father-in-law had of me, and my mother- 
in-law too was much concerned for me. It pleased 
my good and merciful God after a long time to cure 
me perfectly, by His blessing upon Dr. Wright's means, 
who told me, that in all his great and long practice, he 
had never known but one that had been as I had been. 

My illness was, as he told me, occasioned by fumes 
of the spleen, which had such strange effects upon me 
as to make my head shake as if I had had the palsy, 
and made me too many times to speak so that I could 
hardly be understood by anybody. In this distemper 
I would laugh too and cry for nothing ; and though I 
did recover, yet for a long time after my head by fits 
would be much disturbed, but at last, by God's mercy, 
I attained to perfect health again. 

In the year 1657, Mr. Robert Rich, only son to my 
Lord Rich, who was my husband's eldest brother, died, 
being aged twenty-three years.- 3 He died at London, 
in February the 16th, to his good grandfather's un- 
speakable trouble. I was heartily troubled for him, 
but his good grandfather never was so well or merry 
after his death as before, and outlived him but a little 
while, for he died at "Warwick House of the cholic, 
keeping his chamber but a day or two, in April 1 9, 
16o8, to my unspeakable grief, then the most smarting 


and most sensible trouble I ever had felt ; for though I 
bad before lost my own dear and deserving father, yet 
my being then young and gay, made an affliction not 
take so deep an impression as this did: and indeed 
this worthy father-in-law of mine merited as much 
from me as was possible, for in the almost seventeen 
years I constantly lived with him, from the time I 
came into his family until his death, he was to me the 
most civil, kind, and obliging father that ever any 
person had, and never had from him any thing but 
constant kindness. He was one of the most best- 
natured and cheerfullest persons I have in my time met 
with, and it was some time before I could forbear ex- 
ceeding much to mourn for him. 

In the year 1659, in May 30th, died at London, my 
Lord's eldest brother, then Earl of Warwick, and left 
no son, only three daughters, which, upon his death- 
bed, I promised to have while I lived as great a care of 
as if they had been my own, and that promise I can 
truly say I have performed, for I have from the time 
of their father's death, that I took them home to me, 
with the same care bred those three ladies, who were 
all left to my care young, as I could have done if they 
had been my own children, studying and endeavouring 
to bring them up religiously, that they might be good, 
and do good afterwards in their generation ; and I am 
sure I have the affection of a mother for those three 
sweet, hopeful young ladies, which I beseech God to 
bless, of whom the name of the eldest was my Lady 
Ann, 26 the name of the second my Lady Mary, 27 and 
the name of the youngest my Lady Essex. 2 " 


By the death of all these three above-named en- 
deared relatives of my husband's, he, in about a year 
and four months, came to be Earl of Warwick, and I 
had this satisfaction when he came to that honour and 
noble estate, that I never had so much as a wish for 
it ; but on the contrary, hourly prayed for the recovery 
of them, and mourned for their deaths ; for when I 
married my husband, I had nothing of that honour nor 
fortune in my thoughts ; it was his person I married 
and cared for, not an estate. 

After my Lord's brother's death, I can truly assert 
that I entered upon that unexpected change of my 
condition with much disturbance and fear, lest by 
having a more plentiful estate, I ought to be drawn to 
love the glory of the world too well. I was very 
jealous of myself, and did (if ever I prayed earnestly 
to God) beg of Him, the day after my Lord of Warwick 
died, to keep me close to Him in this change of my 

After the funeral of my Lord's brother, we removed 
from Lincoln's Inn Fields (where we then lived) to 
Lees, where I came with a design to glorify God what 
I could, and to do what good I could to all my neigh- 
bours. 1661, July the 23d. I was going from Lees 
to Easton to visit my Lady Maynard, 29 and had in my 
coach with me my Lady Anne and my Lady Essex 
Rich ; and when I was just out of Dunmow town, the 
horses ran with us, and flung out the coachman, and 
overthrew us in the coach, in which fall the Lady 
Essex escaped being hurt ; but I was much so, having 


a great blow on my head and a great and dangerous 
cut in one of my knees. I was, by the great blow in 
my head, so disordered that for a long time I knew not 
anything ; and by the great cut I had in my knee I 
was a long time so very lame that I could not go out 
at all, and had like to have been always so if God had 
not mercifully, by His blessing on the use of means, 
restored me to my legs again. 

1662. September the second, my son Rich was, at 
Rohampton Chapel, married to my Lord of Devon- 
shire's daughter, my Lady Ann Candish ; M and they 
being too young to live together, he went to travel 
into France September the fifth, and I brought my 
daughter Rich home with me to Lees the eighth. My 
son stayed not so long as he was designed to do in 
France; but returned back to his wife, and they lived 
together with me till May 1664; and then, the eighth 
day of that month, my dear and only son fell ill, and 
it proved to be the small-pox, in which distemper of 
his, after I had removed his wife out of the house from 
him to her father's (for fear of her being infected), and 
had sent away my three young ladies to Lees, and got 
my Lord to remove to my sister Raneleigh's, I shut up 
myself with him, doing all I could both for his soul and 
body; and though he was judged by his doctors to be 
in a hopeful way of recovery, yet it pleased God to 
take him away by death the 16th of May, to my 
inexpressible sorrow. He wanted about four months 
of being of age. 

It was so sad an affliction that it would certainly 


have sunk me had not my good and gracious God as- 
sisted me to bear it, and given me this comfortable 
cordial of seeing him die so penitently that I had many 
comfortable hopes of his everlasting happiness ; he 
making so good and sober an end. And here, O my 
good God, let me bless Thee for enabling me to bear 
that great trial of my life without ever having a repin- 
ing thought at Thee for that sad but just chastisement of 
me; and for enabling me to confess with my mouth to 
others, and really and steadily believe in my heart, 
that Thou wert just in what Thou hadst brought upon 
me, far less than mine iniquities do deserve. I was, 
under this sharp trial, so enabled from above with 
some degree of patience, that I did endeavour to com- 
fort my sad and afflicted husband, who, at the news of 
his death, when it was told him (by my good friend, 
the Earl of Manchester) 31 that he cried out so terribly 
that his cry was heard a great way; and he was the 
saddest afflicted person could possibly be. I confess I 
loved him at a rate, that if my heart do not deceive 
me), I could, with all the willingness in the world, have 
died either for him or with him, if God had only seen 
it fit; yet I was dumb and held my peace, because God 
did it, and was constantly fixed in the belief that this 
affliction came from a merciful Father, and therefore 
would do me good. 

After my son's death, I was, by my dear sister 
Raneleigh's care and kindness to me, instantly fetched 
away from my own house at Lincoln's-inn-fields, where 
my dear child died, to her house (and never more did 


I enter that house; but prevailed with my Lord to sell 
it) : my dear sister took such care of me in my sadly 
afflicted condition that I was much supported by it ; 
and I was much, too, assisted and comforted by my 
good spiritual friend Doctor Walker's advice, who was 
much with me. 

Afterwards I was advised to go and drink the waters 
of Epsom and Tonbridge, to remove that great pain I 
had got constantly at my heart after my son's death; 
and by the blessing of God I found a great deal of good 
in them. Then we returned back to our own house at 
Lees, where we had a match preferred us for my Lady 
Ann Rich. It was Sir John Barrington's son; and he 
being a very civil gentleman and of a very good family, 
and having a good estate, it was accepted by my Lord 
and the young lady ; and she was married to Mr. 
Thomas Barrington, in Lees Chapel, in November the 
8th, 1664. And after they had continued to live with 
me for nearly two years, she went from me to her 
father-in-law's to Hatfield, in Essex, 32 distant from Lees 
but ten miles : the nearness of the neighbourhood was 
a great motive to us to accept that match. 

After that by my dear and only child's death, my 
Lord's family grew so thin, that the name was like to 
sink; there being but one brother of my Lord's left, 
and lie, being a very extraordinary wild man, was not 
like to be a very good head to it. I was (as well as 
my Lord), very desirous (if God saw it fit) to have 
more children, and sought to God for some to keep up 
the honour of that noble house; but I can with truth 


say, I desired a son more upon the account of the 
hopes I had that He might be honoured and owned in 
it, than upon any other : for that family had for se- 
veral generations been justly honoured in the county 
of Essex for the owning and countenancing good 
people, and for the encouraging of them; and it was 
a very great aggravation of my loss of my son, to 
think who would come in his room, if my Lord died, 
and what a sad change would be made if my brother 
Hatton should come to Lees, who would, as himself 
said, alter the way of that house for the entertaining 
there those good and holy persons that came, who he 
was resolved to banish thence; but though he was very 
confident, as himself often told many of his compa- 
nions, that he should be Earl of Warwick, yet God 
was pleased to disappoint his expectation by taking 
him away by death at London, in February the 28th, 

I can truly say I was sorry for him, though, because 
of his not fearing God, I could not at all delight in 
his company. At my son's death, I was not much 
more than thirty-eight years old and therefore many, 
as well as my Lord and myself, entertained some 
hopes of my having more children; but it pleased God 
to deny that great and desired blessing to us, and I 
cannot but acknowledge a just hand of God in not 
granting us our petition; for when I was first married, 
and had my two children so fast, I feared much having 
so many, and was troubled when I found myself to be 
with child so soon ; out of a proud conceit I had, that if 


I childed so thick it would spoil what my great vanity 
then made me to fancy was tolerable (at least in my 
person); and out of a proud opinion too that I had, 
that if I had many to provide for they must be poor, 
because of my Lord's small estate ; which my vanity 
made me not endure well to think of: and my husband 
too was, in some measure, guilty of the same fault; for 
though he was at as great a rate fond of his children 
he had, as any father would be, yet when he had had 
two he would often say he feared he should have so 
many as would undo a younger brother; and there- 
fore cannot but take notice of God's withholding that 
mercy from us when we so much needed it, being we 
were unthankful for them we had, and durst not trust 
to His good providence for more, if He saw it fit to give 
them to us. But, Lord, though thou hast with jus- 
tice denied us an heir, and hast made our wound, in 
this case incurable, by letting our coal be quite put 
out, yet be pleased to give us in thy house a name 
better than that of sons and daughters. 

In the year 1673 it pleased God by death to take 
from me my dear Lord, who died at his house at Lees, 
upon Bartholomew day, for whose loss I was more 
afflicted than ever before for anything in my fore-past 
life; for though my son's death had almost sunk me, and 
my grief for him was so great that I thought it almost 
impossible to be more sensibly afflicted, yet I found I 
now was so; and though God had given me many years 
to provide for our separation by seeing my poor hus- 
band almost daily dying (for God had been pleased for 



above twenty years to afflict him with the gout more 
constantly and painfully than almost any person the 
doctors said they had ever seen), yet I still flattered 
myself with hopes of his life, though he had for many 
years quite lost the use of his limbs, and never put 
his feet to the ground, nor was able to feed himself, 
nor turn in his bed but by the help of his servants; 
and by those constant pains he was so weakened and 
wasted that he was like a mere skeleton, and at last 
fell into most dangerous convulsion fits and died of the 
fourth. The seeing him in them was so very terrible 
to me, that after his death I fell into very ill fits; but by 
God's blessing I at last lost them again. I had this com- 
fort that nothing I could think was good for either his 
soul or body was neglected; and I had much inward 
peace, to consider that I had been a constant nurse to 
him, and had never neglected night or day my attend- 
ance upon him when he needed it, which he was so 
kind as to reward in his will, giving me his whole 
estate for my life and a year after, and making me 
his sole executrix. This greatest trial of my life did 
for a long time disorder my frail house of clay, and 
made me have thoughts that my dissolution was near; 
which thoughts were not at all terrible or affrighting 
to me, but very pleasant and delightful. 

About four months after my Lord's death, my Lady 
Mary Rich, my Lord's niece, who I had constantly 
bred from the time of her father's death, was married 
at Lees chapel by Dr. Walker, the 11th December, 
1673. The match was agreed on before my Lord's 


death, but finished by me, much to my satisfaction, 
because it was a very orderly and religious family, and 
there was a very good estate, and the young gentleman 
she married, Mr. Henry St. John, was very good- 
natured and viceless, and his good father and mother, 
Sir Walter St. John and my Lady St. John, were very 
eminent for owning and practising religion. And 
here, O my good God, let me return thee my praises 
for hearing the reiterated prayers I put up to thy 
Divine Majesty, for her being by marriage settled in 
a family where thy sacred name was had in veneration. 
After her marriage was over, my Lady Essex Rich 
having, after my Lord's death, broke off a match, which 
was treated of before my Lord died, between Mr. 
Thomas Vane and her, I had several offers made me of 
matches for her, but they were disliked by me, because 
the young men were not viceless ; and I had taken a 
resolution that no fortune, though the greatest in the 
kingdom should be offered me, should be accepted, where 
the young man was not sober, which made me instantly 
give flat denials to all the above-named proposals. But 
afterwards I had from my Lord Keeper Finch, a match 
proposed for his son, Mr. Daniel Finch, about which, 
when I had consulted with her own relations, and 
found they approved of it, as I also did, upon the 
assurance I had from all the persons that knew him, 
that he was an extraordinary both ingenuous and civil 
person (which upon my own knowledge of him, I after- 
wards found to be true), 1 did recommend this match 
to the young lady, giving her, when I had laid the 

d 2 


conveniencies I believed was in it before her, her free 
choice to choose or not, to do as she liked or disliked ; 
but after some time that he had made his address to her, 
she consented to have him, and was by Mr. Wodrofe 33 
married to him in Lees chapel, June the 16th, 1674, 
his father, my Lord Keeper, then being by the King 
made Baron of Dantery, being present, with a great 
many more of his and her relations. And here, Lord 
my God and gracious God, be pleased to receive my 
solemn acknowledgments of thy great goodness to me 
thy most unworthy servant, for letting me have the 
long-desired satisfaction of seeing the three young 
ladies (which by thy providence being made orphans, 
were left to my care to educate) married to three young 
persons who are free from the reigning vices of these 
loose and profane times ; and, O Lord, I do humbly 
implore that thou wouldst be pleased to make these 
three young couple not only to be civil, but inwardly 
to be renewed in the spirit of their minds, that they 
may be heirs together of the grace of life, and may, as 
good Zakanias and Elizabeth did, walk in all the ordi- 
nances and commandments of thee their God blameless. 
O make them not only to be good, but to do good, that 
so thy poor and unworthy servant may with comfort 
see some fruits of her sincere endeavours to bring 
them in the nurture and admonition of thee, my Lord, 
and that the families they are matched into may have 
cause to bless thee, that ever thy good hand of provi- 
dence brought them amongst them. make them to 
be amiable in their lives, and in their deaths let them 


not be denied. And if it be thy most blessed will, let 
them be like fruitful vines, that they may increase 
the families which by thy good providence they are 
matched into. 

After I had seen the greatest worldly business I 
had to do thus happily dispatched, of these three young 
ladies being disposed of, I met in the trust my dear 
Lord had imposed upon me as his executrix, in the 
sale of lands for raising portions and payment of debts, 
by reason of Mr. Jesop's death, who was one of the 
trustees, with a great many stops and troubles in my 
business, which, having not been formerly versed in 
things of law, I found very uneasy and troublesome to 
me ; but yet the great desire I had to see my Lord's 
will fufilled, made me go through my disturbing busi- 
ness with some patience and diligence ; and God was 
so merciful unto me, as He did, beyond my expecta- 
tion, raise me some faithful, knowing, and affectionate 
friends, who did assist me with their counsel, so as at 
last God was pleased to let me see my dear Lord's will 
fulfilled ; and though there was a great many several 
persons I had to deal with, yet I satisfied them all so 
well, as I never had anything between them and me 
passed that was determined by going to law, but all 
that was in dispute between us, was always agreed on 
between ourselves in a kind and friendly way ; for 
which, O Lord, I bless thee. 

O Lord, be pleased to write a law of love and thank- 
fulness in my heart for putting an end to my worldly 
business, by which I find myself too much diverted 


from thy service, and too much distracted in it. And, 
O Lord, be pleased to grant that the remaining part of 
my days I may be a widow indeed, living a creature 
wholly devoted unto thee, remembering I am not my 
own, but bought with a price, and therefore let me 
glorify thee with my body and with my soul, which 
are thine. 


(1.) In Lord Cork's "True Remembrances," it is stated, 
that his daughter Mary was horn the 11th of November, 
1624. That she, however, considered her birth-day to be 
the 8th November in the following year, is established by 
the statement at page 15, and this passage in her diary — 
"8th November, 1671 — In the morning, as soon as up, I 
retired into the Wilderness to meditate; and it being my 
birth-day, it pleased God to make me call to my remembrance 
many of the special mercies with which my life was filled. 
And whilst I was doing so, I considered that God had for 
forty-six years so mercifully provided for me, that I had not 
ever out of necessity wanted a meal's meat, nor ever broke 
a bone, nor in twenty years' time been necessitated to keep 
my bed one day by reason of sickness ; this did exceedingly 
draw out my heart to love God." 

The discrepancy in the day of the month has been pointed 
out in a note on the Preface to the Memoir of Lady Warwick, 
published in 1847, by the Religious Tract Society ; but the 
discrepancy in the year is unnoticed. 

40 NOTES. 

(2.) Lady Warwick, in this passage, follows her father's 
autobiography, entitled, " True Remembrances," which he 
drew up in 1632, and of which many copies exist in 
manuscript. It was first printed entire by Birch, in his 
life of the Hon. Robert Boyle, 1734. The editor publicly 
examined the correctness of these true Remembrances in the 
historical section of the first Meeting of the British Archae- 
ological Association at Canterbury, (13th September, 1844) 
and, he thinks, succeeded in shewing that Lord Cork's 
biography was a complete work of fiction. 

(3.) " My dear wife, the crown of all my happiness, and 
mother of all my children, Catherine, Countess of Corke, 
was translated at Dublin from this life into a better, the 
16th February, 1629-30, and was the 17th privately 
buried in the night in the upper end of the choir of St. 
Patrick's church in Dublin, in the grave or vault, wherein 
Dr. Weston, her grandfather, and good Lord Chancellor of 
Ireland, and Sir Geoffry Fenton, his Majesty's principal 
Secretary of State for this realm, were entombed. Her 
funerals were honourably solemnized in publick, the 11th of 
March, anno Domini 1620. In the perpetual memory of 
which my virtuous and religious deceased wife, and of her 
predecessors and posterity, I have caused a very fair tomb 
to be erected, with a cave or cellar of hewn stone under- 
neath it." — Lord Cork's " True Remembrances" 

(4.) [From Sir William Betham's Collections of Boyle MiSS., 
in the autograph of Mr. Lodge.'] 

{Notv first pri?ited.) 

A form for the government of the Earl of Cork's family 
at Stalbridge. 
1. Firste. All the servants, excepte such as are officers or 

NOTES. 41 

are otherwise imployed, shall meete everye niorninge 
hefore dynner, and everye night after supper at prayers. 

2. That there be lodgeings fittinge for all the Earle of Cork's 
servants to lye in the house. 

3. That it shall he lawfull for the steward to examine any 
subordinate servant of the whole family concerninge any 
complainte or misdemeanor committed, and to dismisse 
and put awaye any inferior servant that shall live dis- 
solutelie and disordelie either in the house or abrode, 
without tbe espetial commaund of the Earle of Cork to 
the contrarie. 

4. That there be a certen number of the gentlemen ap- 
poynted to sitt at the steward's table, the like at the 
wayter's table, and the reste to sitt in the hall att the 
longe table. 

5. That there be a clarke of the kytchin to take care of such 
provicion as is brought into the bowse, and to have an 
espetial eie to the severall tables that are kepte either 
above staires or in the kytchin and other places. 

6. That all the women servants, under the degree of chamber- 
maydes, be certenlie knowne by theire names to the 
steward, and not altered and changed uppon everye 
occation without the consent of the steward, and no 
schorers to be admitted in the house. 

7. That the officers everye Frydaye night bringe in their 
bills unto the steward, whereby he maye collecte what 
bathe bene spent and what remaynes weeklie in the 

8. (Sic orig.) 

Indorsed, Thomas Cross his orders for the keeping of 
the howse. The xcritincj is the EarWs hand. 

(.").) James Hamilton, the grandson of Sir John Perrot, 
Lord deputy of Ireland, second Viscount Clancboye, and the 

42 NOTES. 

first Earl of Clanbrassil, who, according to Lodge's Irish 
Peerage, in. 5, was married in November, 1635, [articles 
dated 12 and 13 November] to Anne, eldest daughter of 
Sir Henry Cary, the second Earl of Monmouth, appears to 
be the person alluded to by Lady Warwick. 

How are the dates to be reconciled without the charge of 
double dealing ? Anne Cary, the Countess of Clanbrassil, 
having survived her lord and re-married with Sir Robert 

Admitting that Lady Warwick takes a year off her 
father's " true Remembrance" of her age, and further ad- 
mitting that she was about eleven years of age when Lord 
Cork called her into England, this would bring the date of 
Mr. Hamilton's marriage with Anne Cary, and the Hon. 
Mary Boyle's arrival in England, to be precisely in the same 
month and year. 

But Lady Warwick goes on to say, that for four years 
after November 1635, Mr. Hamilton continued to be her 
suitor, and this statement she supports with the fact that 
within a year after her " absolute refusing him," (say 1639) 
she saw " a good providence of God " in the matter, as " he 
was, by the rebellion of Ireland, (1641) impoverished, so that 
he lost for a great while his whole estate." It may further be 
observed, that a passage in Lord Cork's letter to Mr. 
Marcombe, dated 18th January, 1 639-40, subsequently quoted, 
expresses his Lordship's hope that his daughter Mary will 
be nobly married in the Spring, and bears out Lady 
Warwick's statement. 

(6.) Or rather, his apartments in the Savoy Palace, see 
the following note : — 

(7.) In the autobiography of the Hon. Robert Boyle, pub- 
lished by Birch ; the former, under the name of Philaretus, 

NOTES. 43 

tells us, that "towards the end of this summer, [1638] the 
kingdom having now attained a seeming settlement by the 
king's pacification with the Scots, there arrived atStalbridge,* 
Sir Thomas Stafford, gentleman usher to the Queen, with 
his lady, to visit their old friend, the Earl of Cork, with 
whom, ere they departed, they concluded a match betwitxt 
his fourth son, Mr. F. B. and E. K. \Killecjrew\ daughter to 

my lady S., by Sir [Robert] E., and then a maid of 

honour, both young and handsome. To make his addresses to 
this lady, Mr. F. was sent, (and Philaretus in his company) 
before up to London, whither within few weeks they were 
followed by the Earl and his family, of which a great part 
lived at (the Lady Stafford's house) the Savoy ; the rest (for 
his family was much increased by the accession of his 
daughters, the Countess of Barrimore and the Lady Ranelagh, 
with their Lords and children) were lodging in the adjacent 
houses, but took their meals in the Savoy, where the old 

Earl kept so plentiful a house, that in months, his 

accompts for bare housekeeping exceeded pounds. 

" Not long after his arrival, Philaretuis brother having 
been successful in his addresses to his mistress, was, in the 
presence of the king and queen, publickly married at court, 
with all that solemnity that usually attends matches with 
maids of honour. But to render this joy as short as it was 
great, Philaretus and his brother were within four days after 
commanded away for France, and after having kissed their 
majesty's hands, they took a differing farewel of all their 
friends; the bridegroom extremely afflicted to be so soon 
deprived of a joy, which he had tasted but just enough of to 
encrease his regrets by the knowledge of what he was forced 
from ; but Philaretus as much satisfied to see himself in a 

* Sep page 2. 

44 NOTES. 

condition to content a curiosity, to which his inclinations 
did passionately addict him. With these different resent- 
ments of their father's commands, accompanied by their 
governor, two French servants and a lacquey of the same 
country, upon the end of October, 1638, they took post for 
Rye, in Sussex, where the next day hiring a ship, though 
the sea were not very smooth, a prosperous puff of wind did 
safely by the next morning blow them into France." 

(8.) Francis, daughter of Sir Richard Harrison, of Hurst, 
in Berkshire. She married the Hon. Thomas Howard, who, 
in 1679, succeeded as third Earl of Berkshire. 

(9.) Lord Cork writes on the 18th January, 1639-40, to 
Mr. Marcombe, his son's tutor. " Your friend Broghil is in 
a fair way of being married to Mrs. Harison, one of the 
queen's maids of honour, about whom yesterday a difference 
happened between Mr. Thomas Howard, the Earl of 
Berkshire's son and heir, and him, which drew them into 
the field ; but thanks be to God, Broghil came home with- 
out any hurt, and the other gentleman not much harmed, 
and now they have clashed their swords together they are 
grown good friends. I think in my next I shall advise you 
that my daughter Mary is nobly married, and that in the 
Spring I shall send her husband to keep company with my 
sons at Geneva." 

(10.) Richard Lord Dungarvan, afterwards the second 
Earl of Cork in the Peerage of Ireland, and Lord Clifford 
and Earl of Burlington in the Peerage of England, married 
5th July, 1635, Lady Elizabeth Clifford, the daughter and 
heir to Henry, Earl of Cumberland. 

(11.) When the editor applied to the clergyman of Shep- 

NOTES. 45 

perton for information on this subject, he was not aware 
that the wished for extract, from the parish register, had 
been printed in Lyson's " Historical account of those 
parishes in the county of Middlesex which are not described 
in the environs of London," p. 225. His want of knowledge, 
however, affords him an opportunity of conveying to the 
Rector of Shepperton this acknowledgement for the kind 
and prompt manner in which the request was met, and the 
following document forwarded for his information. 

Extract from the register of marriages solemnized in the 
Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Shepperton, Middlesex. 

" Mr. Charles Rich, second son to the Right Hon. Robert 
Earle of Warwick, and the Lady Mary Boyle, daughter to 
the Right Hon. the Earle of Cork in Ireland, were married 
the 21st of July, 1641." Extracted by William Russell, 
Rector. January 24, 1848. 

(12.) Also written Leeze, and Leighs near Braintree, 
Essex, — " where the Earl of Warwick resided, was one of 
the finest seats in the kingdom. Mr. Knightly, a gentle- 
man of Northamptonshire, told the Earl ' he had good 
reason to make sure of heaven ; as he would be a great loser 
in changing so charming a place for hell.' — See Calamy's 
' Sermon at his funeral,' p. 31." — Granger. 

(13.) Lady Catherine Boyle, the fifth daughter of the 
Earl of Cork, married Arthur Jones, Viscount Ranelagh, and 
was about ten years Lady Warwick's senior. See 23. 

(14.) John Gauden, successively Bishop of Exeter and 
Worcester, died 20th September, 1662. A man of con- 
siderable learning, and the reputed author of the " Eikon 

(15.) Lady Lucy Rich, daughter of Robert Earl of 

46 NOTES. 

Warwick, married John second Baron Robartes, created 
Earl of Radnor in 1679. 

(16.) Lady Anne Villiers, daughter of Christopher Earl 
of Anglesey, married Thomas first Earl of Sussex, who was 
Comptroller of the household to Charles I, and remained 
faithfully attached to the king during the Civil Wars. 

(17.) The editor has not been able to ascertain the day on 
which Lord Cork died, in September, 1643, at Youghall. 
The numerous authorities which he has consulted, enable 
him to state that it must certainly have been after the 15th; 
and probably after the 18th. The only curious point in the 
question, is that of time in the transmission of intelligence 
from Ireland to England, by which Lord Cork's own state- 
ment respecting his journey from Kinsale to the bed-side 
Queen of Elizabeth, might be tested as to its accuracy. 

(18.) Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, was appointed 
" Admiral and commander-in-chief of the ships which are 
now, or hereafter shall be, set forth to sea by the long Par- 
liament." His instructions from the Lords and Commons in 
Parliament are dated 5th April, 1643. 

Granger observes, that the Earl of Warwick " was a great 
friend and patron of Puritan divines, and one of their con- 
stant hearers ; and he was not content with hearing long 
sermons in their congregation only, but he would have them 
repeated in his own house." Yet in his morals Lord War- 
wick is said to have been licentious. 

(19.) " The king's party, in Colchester, expecting to be 
included in the peace, which was treating between him and 
the Parliament, held out to the utmost ; but being in ex- 

NOTES. 47 

trenie want of provisions, and destitute of all hopes of relief, 
since the defeat of the Scots ; they were forced to surrender 
on the 28th of August, 1648, upon articles, whereby some 
of the principal of them being prisoners at discretion, the 
court-martial assembled, and condemned Sir Charles Lucas, 
Sir George Lisle, and Sir Bernard Gascoin to die ; the last 
of whom, being a foreigner, was pardoned, and the other 
two were shot to death, according to the sentence. The 
Lord Goring, and the Lord Capel, weje sent prisoners to 
London, and committed to the Tower, by an order of the 
Parliament." — Ludlow's Memoirs. 

Lord Goring was created, by Charles I, Earl of Norwich. 
His character has been handed down to us, as brave, gay, and 
unprincipled. He died in 1662-3. Sir Charles Lucas as that 
of a gentleman and a soldier, who deserved a better fate. 

(20.) Anthony Walker, D.D., rector of Fyfield, in Esses, 
who wrote and published several sermons, among others a 
funeral sermon, on the death of Lady Warwick's son, Lord 
Rich, 1664; on her husband's death, 1673; and on her 
own, 167S; under the title " F'YPHKA E'TPHKA. The 
Virtuous Woman found, her loss bewailed, and character 
exemplified, &c," of which a second edition appeared in 
16n7. Dr. Walker is also stated to be the author of "A 
true account of the author of a book entitled Ei'kwv Ba<n\iK>) ; 
with an answer to all the objections made by Dr. Holling- 
worth and others, in defence of the said book, 1692." 

(21.) As Lady Warwick's son did not die until many 
years after the period referred to by her, the " sanctified 
affliction" alluded to, was not improbably her lord's pas- 
sionate carriage towards her. 

(22 ) Archbishop Usher. 

48 NOTES. 

(23.) Dr. Walker dedicates his " E'YPHKA E'YPHKA," to 
the Right Honourable Katherine, Viscountess Raneleigh, 
and the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq., executors of the 
last will of the Right Honourable Mary Countess Dowager 
of Warwick. Lady Raneleigh died on the 23rd, and her 
brother on the 30th December, 1691. They were both 
buried at the upper end of the south side of the chancel of 
St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. 

(24.) It would be curious to ascertain what was the real 
character of this Dr. Wright. Several Jesuits, under that 
name, successfully practised medicine, astrology, gambling, 
and other occult sciences in England about this period ; — 
and had procured free admission into families of the utmost 
consideration throughout the kingdom. 

(25.) He had married Oliver Cromwell's youngest 
daughter, Francis, but left no issue. 

(26.) Lady Ann Rich, married Thomas, son of Sir John 
Barrington, 8th November, 1664, (see page 31.) Granger 
mentions a scarce print by Gascar, in the Strawberry Hill 
collection, of Lady Anne Barrington and Lady Mary St.* 
John, but adds, " I know notbing of the personal history of 
the ladies." In the Strawberry Hill sale, this print sold to 
Mr. Graves for 11. 14s. ; another impression was recently sold 
by Messrs. Smith, of Lisle Street, to Wm. Staunton, Esq., of 
Longbridge, Warwick, for six guineas. 

(27.) Lady Mary, married, 11th December, 1673, (see 
page 34,) Mr. Henry St. John, respecting whom Lady 
Warwick's opinion is recorded in the following page. As 
Viscount St. Jobn, he was tried and convicted of the murder 
of Sir William Estcourt, Bart., in 1684, and by the Viscount 

NOTES. 49 

she was the mother of the famous Viscount Bolingbroke, 
who was baptized 10th October, 1678. 

(28.) Lady Essex Rich married the Hon. Daniel Finch, 
afterwards Earl of Nottingham, 16th June, 1674, (see page 
36.) Granger is evidently wrong in calling her the second, 
instead of the third daughter of the Earl of Warwick. 
There is a print of the Countess of Nottingham, by Browne, 
after Sir Peter Lely's picture. 

(29.) A print, executed upwards of a century ago, of 
Easton Lodge, the seat of Charles, Lord Maynard, may be 
found in Morant's History and Antiquities of the County of 
Essex.— Vol. ii. p. 431. 

(30.) On the 26th May, 1632, a chapel was consecrated, 
by Laud, Bishop of London, in the house of the Earl of 
Portland, at Roehampton, Surry. It was pulled down in 
1777, by Thomas Parker, Esq., who, at the same time, built 
a new chapel about 100 yards from the house. The house 
was sold, in 1640, by the Earl of Portland, to Sir Thomas 
Dawes, by whom it was let, and afterwards sold to Chris- 
tian, Countess of Devonshire, whose daughter, Lady Anne 
Cavendish, married Lady Warwick's son. The Countess 
of Devonshire is said to have been instrumental in bring- 
ing about the restoration of Charles II, and was the grand- 
mother of the first Duke; she died 16th January, 1674-5. 
The editor believes that Granger was mistaken in his state- 
ment, that Lady Rich was the daughter of Elizabeth, 
Countess of Devonshire, the mother of the first duke. 

(31.) Edward, Earl of Manchester, trimmed with the 
times, and originated the saying, of " a Manchester shift." 
He was a leader of the presbyteriau party in Charles's 


50 NOTES. 

reign ; and after having served on the Commonwealth side, 
even to the drawn sword, was made Lord Chamberluiu 
by Charles II. He died 5th May, 1671, and Anne his 
daughter became the second wife of Robert Earl of War- 
wick and Holland, who succeeded to the former title on 
the death of the writer's husband in 1673. 

(32.) In the fourth volume of " a New and Complete 
History of Essex," 8vo, 1769, page 113, there is a view of 
Barrington Hall, at Watfield, Broad Oak, the seat of John 
Barrington Esq. J. Chapman, del. &c. The editor having 
no knowledge of the locality can add nothing more. 

(33.) The editor is indebted to Nathaniel George Wood- 
rooffc, A.M., Vicar of Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire, 
the great, great-grandson of the Mr. Wodrofe mentioned by 
Lady Warwick, for a communication particularly noticed in 
the preface. 





Collection of stories; 



IS. A., HON. M.R.I. A., HON. M.RS.L., ETC. 




€\)t $errp ^orietp* 







J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


J. M. GUTCH, Esq., F.S.A. 


AY. JERDAN, Esq. M.R.S.L. 

J. S. MOORE, Esq. 


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



THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., FS.A., Treasurer # Secretary. 


The following collection of tales is reprinted 
from a tract, supposed to be unique, preserved in 
the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
Steevens mentions an edition of 1603, but no 
copy bearing that date is now known to exist; 
and Mr. Collier believes, but without assigning 
any reason beyond that afforded by negative 
evidence, that the impression of 1620 is the 
earliest. The question is of some importance, 
for, supposing Steevens be correct, Shakespeare 
might have read Westward for Smelts before the 
composition of Cymbeline. In the latter case, he 
must have referred to an earlier version of the 
tale on which that drama is founded, probably to 

Headers of medieval literature will at once 
recognize the tales of the fishwives as modernized 
versions of stories which had long previously been 
published in various collections and in great 
varieties of form. They are not, however, to be 
viewed as important illustrations of the latter : 
it is rather as exhibiting the popular English 
literature of that age that they are to be regarded 
as worthy of publication. Their curiosity and 
value in this respect will be at once acknowledged. 

August 9th, 1848. 




The Water-man's fare of mad merry Western wenches 

whose tongues, albeit like Bell-clappers they neuer 

leaue ringing, yet their tales are sweet, and 

will much content you. 

Written by Kinde Kit of Kingstone. 


Printed for John Trundle, anil arc to bo sold at his shop in Barbican, 
at the signe of the No-body. 



Reader, for thy pleasure have I (this once) left my 
oare and stretcher, and stretched my wit, to set downe 
the honest mirth of ray merry fare fishwives : if I have 
pleased thee, I am fully contented, and aske no more 
for my fare : if not, I have lost both my labour, and 
the reward I hoped for from thee, and do vow never 
more to trouble you with any other words than, " Will 
you have a paire of oares ?" But my hopes are better, 
cause you (looking at my hands) for no other then 
freshwater poetry, shall not be deceived, and therefore 
not offended. So without any fawning tricks (which 
are things used too much in these times) I take my 
leave, wishing thee health ; and if thou sit hard, my 
boat's cushions. Farewell. 

Yours to command, 

Kinde Kit of Kingstone. 

b '2 


In that selected time of the yeere, when no man is 
suffered to be a mutton-monger, without a speciall 
priviledge from those in authoritie : and no man is 
licensed to enjoy a flesh-bit, but those who are so 
weake, that the very sight contents their appetite : 
yet every man desireth flesh, that is no whore-master. 
When butchers goe to beare-baytings on Thursdayes, 
leaving their wives and prentises making pricks in 
shops halfe shut up, like houses infected of the plague : 
when at the same time fishmongers are in the height of 
pride, dashing water in their ill-sented street, like a 
troop of porposes at Flushing Head. When the cookes 
spits are hung up like pikes in a court of gard, and their 
dripping-pans (like targets in a country justice's hall) 
bee mouldie for want of use. At this time of the yeere, 
the pudding-house at Brooke's wharfe is watched by 
the Hollanders eeles-ships, lest the inhabitants, con- 
trarie to the law, should spill the bloud of innocents, 
which would be greatly to the hinderance of these 
butter-boxes.* In briefe, it is the kitchin-stuffe wives 
vacation, which makes them runne to the hedge for 

* A cant term for Dutchmen. Seo Micge, in v. 


better maintenance. Every one knowes this was Lent 
time, a time profitable onely for those that deale with 
liquid commodities : for none but fish must be eaten, 
which never doth digest well (as some physicions of 
this time hold opinion) except it swimme twice after it 
comes forth the water : that is, first in butter, so to be 
eaten : then in wine or beere after it is eaten. Now 
how chargeable this last liquor is, aske in prisons of 
prodigals, who have paid well for it : and how profita- 
ble to the sellers, aske of those aldermen that have had 
their beginning by it. 

In this time of Lent, I being in the waterman's gar- 
rison of Queen-hive (whereof I am a souldier) and 
having no imploiment, I went with an intent to in- 
counter with that most valiant and hardy champion of 
Queen-hive, commonly called by the name of Red 
Knight;* one who hath overthrowne many, yet never 
was himselfe dismounted, or had the least foyle : yet 
doth hee deny to grapple with none, but continually 
standeth ready to oppose himselfe against any that 
dare be his opposite, against whom he hath alway the 
better : for if they yeeld to him in the right of his con- 
quest, he taketh from them a certaine surnme of money, 
according to the time that they have held out : but if 
they scorne to yeeld, hee not onely taketh from them 
their goods, but likewise with his sore blowes he 
taketh from them their sences, making them often to 

* The Bed Knight is an ale-house signe at Queen-hive, where 
the watermen use to tipple. [Mar. note in Orig.] 


fall at his castle gate for dead, voiding at the mouth 
abundance of filth caused by his strokes. 

I had not long held combate with this knight, but 
my man came running in, telling mee he had a fare 
West-ward. This newes made me give over the corn- 
bate, but with some small losse, for hee would not lose 
his ancient priviledge; so I giving him twopence, had 
free liberty to passe his gates, where I found my fare, 
which were a company of Westerne fishwives, who, 
having made a good market, with their heads full of 
wine, and their purses ful of coine, were desirous to go 
homeward. We agreed quickly, and the boy layd the 
cushions : I put them in the boat, and we lanched into 
the deepe, Neptune bee our speed, Westward for 
Smelts. Having passed the troublesome places of the 
Thames (where the wherries runne to and fro like 
weavers shuttles) and being at Lambeth, I might per- 
ceive all my fishwives begin to nod. I, fearing they 
were in a sound,* with my oare sprinkled a little coole 
water in their faces, which made them all to awake : 
which I perceiving, bid them rowze themselves up, and 
to continue their mirth, and keepe them from melan- 
choly sleepe, and I would straine the best voice I had. 
They prayed me so to doe, but yet not to cloy their 
eares with an old fidler's song, as Riding to Rumford, 
or, All in a garden greene. I said I scorned so to do, 
for I would give them a new one, which neither punke, 
fidler, or ballad- singer had ever polluted with their 

* Swoon. A common archaism. 


unsavorie breath : the subject was, I told them, of a 
serving-man and his mistris. They liked the subject 
well, and intreated me to proceed, promising that each 
of them would requite my song with a tale. I said I 
was content, and would thinke well of their requitals. 
So they being all still, I began in this manner ; 

Fairer than the fairest, 
Brighter than the rarest, 

Was the comely creature which I saw. 
Her lookes they were attractive, 
And her body active, 

All beholders' sences for to draw. 
I honour still this comely creature, 

And ever will doe while I live : 
And for her grace and goodly feature, 

All honours due to her I'le give. 

When I first beheld her, 

had Cupid will'd her, 

For to favour him that lov'd her best ! 
Joyes had me possessed, 
Sorrowes had not pressed, 

On my grieved heart that takes no rest. 

1 thinke on her with adoration, 

I musing set upon her beauty : 
On her is all my meditation, 

Yet were to her were but my duty. 

She herselfe is witty, 
All her parts are pretty, 

Nature in her forme hath shewed her skill : 
Her bright beauty maz'd me, 
All her parts well pleas'd me : 

For of pleasant sights I had my fill. 


Then 'gan her hand for to uncover 

Her whitest neck, and soundest pap : 

Than gan I farder to discover 

Most pleasing sights, yet wayl'd my hap. 

Still I stood obscured, 
And these sights indured : 

Yet I to this goddesse durst not speake. 
Had I made a tryall, 
Her most sad deniall, 

My observant heart, oh ! it would breake. 
Therefore will I rest contented, 

With private pleasures that I viewed ; 
And never with love will be tormented, 

Yet love I her for that she shewed. 

Having thus ended, I asked them how they liked my 
song : they said little to it. At last, Well, quoth a 
venerahle matron, or rather a matron of venery, that 
sate on a cushion at the upper end of the boat, let us 
now performe our promises to him in telling every one 
her tale : and since I shall land first, I will begin first : 
so the waterman shall be sure of his requittall pro- 
mised by us, which shall be fishwives tales, that are 
wholesome, though but homely : so set merrily to 
Brainford, my master. I liked this well, and cause I 
would heare them all out, I made but slow haste : And 
cause you shall have some knowledge what rare piece 
this fishwife of Brainford was, I will deseribe her best 
and outward parts.* 

* Outward parts. An expression used by Shakespeare in his 
Merchant of Venice, act iii. sc. 2. 


This fishwife stout, 
That led the rout, 
At Brainford dwelt ; 
She sometimes dealt 
With flesh exchange ; 
But now, though strange, 
She gave it ore, 
And knew no whore. 
She was well set, 
Her body met,* 
Two yards was found : 
Her head from ground 
Was not so hie. 
She went awry. 
Her face was great ; 
She stunke of sweat. 
Let it suffice, 
She had large eyes ; 
And a low brow ; 
Much like a sow, 
That sindg'd had bin, 
Appear'd her chin, 
For it was hayr'd. 
Her nose was mar'd, 
For't had a gap, 
By great mishap, 
As you shall heare ; 
Then give good eare. 


In Windsor, not long agoe, dwelt a sumpter-man, 
who had to wife a very faire (but something wanton) 

* Measured. 

f Malone refers to this tale as having probably led Shakes- 
peare to lay the scene of Falstaff's love adventures at Windsor. 
There seem to be no real grounds for such a conjecture. 


creature, over whom (not without cause) he was some- 
thing jealous, yet had hee never any proofe of her in- 
constancie : but he feared he was, or should be a 
cuckold, and therefore prevented it so much as he could 
by restraining her libertie : but this did but set an 
edge to her wanton appetite, and was a provocative to 
her lust (for what women are restrained from they 
most desire) for long hee could not hold his watchfull 
eye over her, 'cause his businesse call'd him away, 
which alway lay farre from home. He, being to de- 
part from home, bethought himselfe what he were best 
to do : put another in trust with his wife he durst not, 
for no greater shame is there to a man, then to be 
knovvne jealous over his wife : himselfe could tarry no 
longer at home for feare of losing his place, and then 
his living was gone : thus was hee troubled in minde, 
not knowing what to doe. Now he repented himselfe 
that he had used his wife so ill, which had given her 
cause to hate him, and procure him a mischiefe : for he 
saw that he had no other way now to take, but to put 
his credit into his wives hands : therefore the day and 
night before hee went from home, he used her extra- 
ordinary kindely, making more on her then the first 
day they were married. His wife marvelled at this 
suddaine change, and though she liked this usage well, 
yet she thought never the better of him in her heart, 
and in her outward carriage bare herselfe as before, 
which was ever modestly in his sight. The morning 
being come that he was to depart from home (after 
many sweet kisses, and kind embraces given by him) 


hee said : Sweet honey, I cannot blame thee, that thou 
takest my usage heretofore unkindly : but if thou 
knewest (as I meane to shew thee) what my intent 
was, thou wilt change that bad thought for a better 
liking of me. Know then, my love, that I used thee 
thus strangely, to know how deepe thy love was settled 
on me, (for to use a friend frowardly, tryes her love, 
in forbearance of his injuries, and in seeking to please 
him), which I have found by proofe immoveable. Oh, 
my more then deare wife, thy love is fixed sure on me, 
and not to be removed by any crosse* whatsoever. 
Thus did hee seeke to unsnare himselfe, but was caught 
faster, for his wife, perceiving his jealousie, vowed to 
be revenged, and give him good and sufficient cause to 
thinke himselfe a cuckolde ; and, with very joy to see 
him creepe to her after this manner, she let fall a few 
teares, which proceeded rather of inward laughter than 
any griefe. Hee, seeing this, thought they proceeded 
from pure love, yet did hee not thorowly trust her, but 
minded to return ere she was aware of him. To be 
short, they broke their fasts together, and lovingly 
parted. His wife, beeing glad of this, sent for a woman 
in the towne, one that was the procurer of her friend, 
to whom she told all that had hapncd betweene her 
husband and herselfe, requesting her in all haste to 
give her friend notice that her husband was now from 
home, and that shee would meete him when and where- 
soever he pleased. The old woman, glad of this, gave 

* Misfortune. Cf. Mids. Night's Dream, i. 1. 


her lover to understand of this good hap, who soone 
met her at a place in the towne, where they usually- 
met, where they plumed the sumpter-man's cap. There 
she gave the old woman a key which would open her 
doore, by which meanes shee might come to the speech 
of her at any time of the night without knocking, so 
carefull was she to keepe herselfe cleere and spotlesse 
in the eyes of her neighbours, who would not have 
thought well of her, if they had heard noise at her 
doore in the night, and her husband from home. 
Having passed the time away in loving complements, 
they parted, each going their severall wayes, not any 
one of her neighbours mistrusting her, she bare her- 
selfe so cunningly modest. Her husband, being on his 
journey, following his sumpter-horse, thought his wife 
at home, working like a good huswife (when, per- 
chance, she was following a station she tooke more de- 
light in then he, poor man, did in his) ; yet put he no 
more trust in her than he was forced to doe, for hee 
dispatches his businesse so soone as hee could, and 
returned three dayes sooner then he promised her. 
When he came home, he knocked at the doore : there 
might he knocke long enough for his wife, who was 
knocking the vintner's pots with her lover. He, having 
no answere, began to curse and ban, bidding a pope* 
on all whores. His neighbours began to perswade 
him, telling him that she went but new forth, and 
would returne suddenly againe ; and just at that instant 

* An oath not uncommon in writers of this date. 


came she homeward, not knowing her good man was 
returned, for she had appointed the old woman to come 
and call her that night. Seeing her husband, you may 
judge what a taking* this poore woman was in : back 
she durst not goe, for that would have sharpened his 
rage ; and, if shee went forward, she was sure of some 
severe punishment ; yet, taking courage, on she went. 
Her husband entertained her with halfe a doozen gad- 
ding queans, f and such like words, and she excused 
her selfe so well as she could. But, to be briefe, in 
adores they went : then made he the doore fast, and 
came to her (who was almost dead with feare that her 
close play now would be descride), saying, Thou whore, 
long time have I doubted this looseness in thy life, 
which I now have plaine proofe of by thy gadding in 
my absence, and doe thou at this present looke for no 
other thing at my hands then reward fit for so vilde a 
creature as a whore is. At these words she would 
have skreeked out ; but he stopped her mouth, pulling 
withall a rusty dagger from his side, vowing to scowre 
it with her bloud, if shee did but offer to open her 
mouth. She, poore creature, forced more with feare 
then with duty, held her peace, while hee bound her 
to a post hard by the dore, vowing she should stand 
there al night to coole her hot bloud. Having done 
this, about ten of the clock he went to bed, telling her 
that he meant not to sleepe, but watch her if she durst 

* Fright or consternation. Shak. 

f That is, called her those names six times. 


once open her mouth ; but he was better then his word, 
though hee held it not, for he was no sooner in bed but 
he fell fast asleepe, being wearied with riding. Long 
had not he beene so, but the old woman came and 
opened the dore with the key that the sumpter- man's 
wife had given her, and was going to the bed which 
the sumpter-man lay upon to call his wife ; but, as she 
passed by, the poor woman that was bound to her good 
behaviour, call'd her by name (yet very softly), saying, 
Mother Jone, I am heere, mother Jone, pray goe no 
furder, and speake softly, for my husband, mother 
Jone, is abed. This good old woman went to her, and, 
finding her bound, asked her the cause ; to whom the 
afflicted wife related (with still speech, which is con- 
trary to women's nature) every circumstance, for she 
knew her husband fast enough for three houres. Is 
that all ? said the old woman ; then feare not but you 
shal enjoy your friend's bed : with that she unloosed 
her. The sumpter man's wife marvelled what she 
meant to doe, saying, Mother, what meane you ? this 
is not the way that I must take to cleere my selfe. 
Alas ! should he wake, and finde me gone to-morrow, 
he will kill mee in his rage. Content you, said the old 
wife, I will bide the brunt of all ; and heere will I 
stand tyed to this post till you returne, which I pray 
let be so soone as you can. This wanton wife praised 
her counsell, and imbraces the same, and leaving the 
old woman bound (as she desired) in her place, she 
went to her lusty lover, who long time had expected 
her, to whom she related her husband's unluckie com- 


ruing home, her ill usage, and the old woman's kind- 
nesse ; for all which he was sorrie, but could not mend, 
onely hee promised to reward this kinde woman call'd 
Mother Jone : so leaving that talke they fell to other. 
The sumpter-man, who could not soundly sleepe, be- 
cause still he dreamed of homes and cuckolds, wakened 
not long after his wife was gone, and, being wakened, 
he fell to talking after this manner : Now, you queane, 
is it good gadding ? is your bote bloud cooled yet with 
cold ayre? Will your insatiable desires be allayed 
with hunger and cold ? If they be not, thou arrant 
whore, I will tye thee thus up, not onely nine dayes, 
but nineteene times nine dayes, till thou hast lost this 
bote and damnable pride of thine. He doo't, whore, I 
will, I sweare I will. This good old woman, hearing 
him rayle thus frantickly, wished (with all her heart) 
herselfe out of doores, and his wife in her old place. 
Shee durst not speake to him, for feare she should be 
knowne by her speech to bee another, and not his 
wife ; and hee lay still calling to her, asking if her bote 
desires were cooled. At length hee, hearing her make 
no answere, thought her to be sullen, and bid her 
speak to him, or else she should repent it (yet durst 
not the old wife speake). Hee, hearing no speech, 
rose up, and took his knife, swearing hee would marke 
her for a whore, and with those words he ranne to her, 
and cut her over the nose ; all this the old woman in- 
dured quietly, knowing her words would have but 
increased her punishment. To bed went he againe, 
with such words as hee used before, saying that, since 


her bloud would not coole, he would let it out. Having 
lyen a while, he fell asleepe, leaving old Jone bleeding 
at nose, where shee stood till three of the clocke in the 
morning, at which time this honest lasse (the sumpter- 
man's wife) came home. When she had quietly opened 
the doore, she went to the old woman, asking her how 
shee had sped. Marry, quoth shee, as I would wish 
my enemies to speed — ill ! I pray unbinde me, or I 
shall bleed to death. The good wife was sorry to 
heare that she had received such hurt, but fane gladder 
that it did not happen unto herselfe ; so, unbinding 
her, she stood in her place. Homeward went the old 
woman, bethinking herselfe all the way how she might 
excuse that hurt to her husband. At last she had one 
(for excuses are never further off women then their 
apron strings), which was this — she went home to her 
husband, who was a mason, and went every morning 
betimes to worke out of the towne ; him she calleth, 
telling him it was time to goe to worke. The silly 
man rose, and, being ready to goe, he missed a chisell 
(which his wife had hid), and he went up and downe 
groping for it in the darke, praying his wife to helpe 
him to looke for it She made as she had sought for 
it, but, instead of that, she gave him a sharpe knife 
(which a butcher had brought to grinding) ; he, catch- 
ing at this suddenly (as one being in haste), cut all his 
fingers, so that with anger he threw the knife to the 
earth, cursing his wife that gave it him. Presently, 
upon the fall of the knife, she cryed out that shee was 
hurt. The mason, being amazed, went and lighted a 



candle, and, returning, he found his wife's nose cut. 
The silly man (perswading himselfe that hee had done 
it with hurling the knife) intreated her to forgive him, 
for he protested that hee thought her no hurt when hee 
did it ; then fetched he a surgeon, who cunningly 
stitched it up, that it was little whole in a short time. 
The sumpter-man all this while did thinke how he was 
beguiled, who, when he was awaked, lighted a candle 
to see what hurt he had done his wife in his rage. He 
comming neere her, and seeing her face whole, stood 
in a maze, not knowing what to thinke on it, for he 
was sure that he had cut her nose. His wife, seeing 
him stand in this maner, asked him what he did ayle, 
and why he gazed so on her, as though he knew her 
not. Pardon mee, wife, quoth he, for this night hath 
a miracle beene wrought ; I doe see plainely that the 
heavens will not suffer the innocent to suffer harme. 
Then fetched hee his knife, which was all bloudy, say- 
ing, Deare wife, with this knife did I give thee, this 
present night, a wound on the face, the which, most 
miraculously, is whole, which is a signe thou art free 
and spotlesse, and so will I ever hold thee. His wife 
said little (for feare of laughing), oncly shee said she 
knew Heaven would defend the innocent ; so they went 
to bed lovingly together, he vowing never to thinke 
amisse on her. So had she more libertie then before, 
and the old woman had gold for her wound, which 
wound was so well cured (I thanke God !) that you 
can scarce see it on my nose ! Hereat they all laughed, 
saying she had told a good tale for herselfe ; at which 


she bit her lip, to think how she was so very a foole to 
betray herselfe. But, knowing that excuses would but 
make her more suspected, she held her tongue, giving 
the next leave to speake. 

The next that sate to her was a fishwife of Stand on 
the Greene, who said her tale was pleasant, but scarce 
honest :* she taxed women with too much immodestie : 
to salve which, she would tell the adventures of a poore 
gentlewoman, that was used unkindly by her husband. 
They all liked this well, and intreated her to pro- 
ceede : which she willingly consented unto. 


This wife was leane, 

Shee went full cleane. 

Her breath not strong, 

Her body long ; 

She looked pale, 

Yet loved good ale. 
Here teeth were rot, 

Her tongue was not. 
Well could she chat 
Of this and that. 
Pier lips were white, 
And sharpe her sight. 
Her cheekes were thin, 
So was her chin, 
And something hook'd, 
Her nose was crook'd : 
They would have kist, 
But that they wist 

* Honourable ; chaste. 

c 2 


Her mouth was let, 
That twixt was set. 
Twice thirtie yeeres, 
Sha'd past with cares, 
And honest life, 
And still was wife. 
This wife was wise, 
But not precise : 
Thus gan she tell : 
Pray marke it well. 

Her tale.* — In the troublesome reigne of King 
Henry the sixt, there dwelt in Waltam (not farre from 
London) a gentleman, which had to wife a creature 
most beautifull : so that in her time there were few 
found that matched her, (none at all that excelled her), 
so excellent were the gifts that nature had bestowed on 
her. In body was she not onely so rare, and unparal- 
leld, but also in her gifts of minde : so that this crea- 
ture, it seemed that grace and nature strove who 
should excell each other in their gifts toward her. 
The gentleman her husband thought himselfe so happy 
in his choice, that he beleeved, in choosing her, he 
tooke hold of that blessing which heaven proffereth 
every man once in his life. Long did not this opinion 
hold for currant ; for in his height of love, he began so 
to hate her, that he sought her death : the cause I will 
tell you. Having businesse one day to London, he 

* This tale is borrowed from Boccaccio, whose novel is em- 
ployed by Shakespeare in Cymleline. It has been reprinted in 
Malone's Shakespeare, ed. 1821, vol. xiii. 


tooke his leave very kindly of his wife, and accom- 
panied with one man, he rode to London : being 
toward night, he tooke up his inne, and to be briefe, 
he went to supper amongst other gentlemen. Amongst 
other talke at table, one tooke occasion to speake of 
women, and what excellent creatures they were, so 
long as they continued loyall* to man. To whom an- 
swered one saying : This is truth, sir : so is the divel 
good so long as he doth no harme, which is meaner : 
his goodnes and womens loyaltie will come both in one 
yeere, but it is so farre off, that none in this age shall 
live to see it. This gentleman, loving his wife dearely, 
(and knowing her to be free from this uncivill gentle- 
mans general taxation of women), in her behalfe said : 
Sir, you are too bitter against the sexe of women, and 
doe ill (for some ones sake that hath proved false to 
you) to taxe the generalitie of women-kinde with ligkt- 
nesse : and but I would not be uncounted uncivill 
amongst these gentlemen, I would give you the reply 
that approved untruth deserveth : you know my mean- 
ing, sir : construe my words as you please : excuse me, 
gentlemen, if I be uncivill : I answere in the behalfe 
of one, who is as free from disloyaltie, as the sunne 
from darknes, or the fire from cold.f Pray, sir, said 
the other, since wee are opposite in opinions, let us 
rather talke like lawyers, that wee may bee quickly 

* Chaste. See Othello, act iv. sc. 2. 

t This serves to illustrate a passage in the Merry Wives of 
Windsor, act iv. sc. 4, " I rather will suspect the sun with cold, 
than thee with wantonness." The folios incorrectly read gold. 


friends againe, then like souldiers which end their 
words with hlowes. Perhaps this woman, that you an- 
swere for, is chaste, but yet against her will : for many 
women are honest, 'cause they have not the meanes 
and opportunitie to bee dis-honest (so is a thiefe true 
in prison, 'cause he hath nothing to steale) : had I but 
opportunitie, and knew this same saint you so adore, I 
would pavvne my life and whole estate, in a short while 
to bring you some manifest token of her disloyaltie.* 
Sir, you are yong in the knowledge of womens slights ; 
your want of experience makes you too credulous : 
therefore be not abused. This speech of his made the 
gentleman more out of patience then before, so that 
with much adoe he helde himselfe from offering vio- 
lence : but his anger being a little over, hee said, Sir, 
I doe verily beleeve that this vaine speech of yours 
proceedeth rather from a loose and ill manner'd minde, 
then of any experience you have had of womens loose- 
nes : and since you thinke yourselfe so cunning in that 
divellish art of corrupting womens chastitie, I will lay 
downe heere a hundred pounds, against which you shall 
lay fifty pounds, and before these gentlemen I promise 
you, if that within a moneths space you bring me any 
token of this gentlewomans disloyaltie (for whose sake 
I have spoken in the behalfe of all women) I doe freely 
give you leave to injoy the same : conditionally you 
not performing it, I may enjoy your money. If that 
it be a match, speake, and I will acquaint you where 

* Compare Much Ado about Nothing, act ii. sc. 2. 


she dwelleth : and besides, I vow, as I am a gentleman, 
not to give her notice of any such intent that is toward 
her. Sir, quoth the man, your proffer is faire, and I 
accept the same : so the mony was delivered into the 
oast of the house his hands, and the sitters by were 
witnesses : so drinking together like friends, they went 
every man to his chamber. The next day this man 
having knowledge of the place, rid thither, leaving the 
gentleman at the inne, who being assured of his wives 
chastitie, made no other account but to winne the 
wager, but it fell out otherwise : for the other vowed 
either by force, policie, or free will to get some Jewell 
or other toy from her, which was enough to perswade 
the gentleman that he was a cuckold, and win the 
wager he had laid. This villaine (for hee deserved no 
better stile) lay at Waltam a whole day before he 
came to the sight of her : at last he espyed her in the 
fields, to whom he went and kissed her (a thing no 
modest woman can deny) : after his salutation, he said, 
Gentlewoman, I pray pardon me if I have beene too 
bold, I was intreated by your husband which is at 
London (I riding this way) to come and see you : by 
me he hath sent his commands to you, with a kinde in- 
treat you that would not be discontented for his long 
absence, it being a serious businesse that keepes him 
from your sight. The gentlewoman very modestly 
bade him welcome, thanking him for his kindnes, with- 
all telling him that her husband might command her 
patience so long as he pleased. Then intreated shee 
him to walke homeward, where shee gave him such 


entertainment as was fit for a gentleman, and her hus- 
bands friend. In the time of his abiding at her house, 
he oft would have singled her in private talke, but she 
perceiving the same, (knowing it to bee a thing not 
fitting a modest woman) would never come in his sight 
but at meales, and there were there so many at boord, 
that it was no time to talke of love matters : therefore 
hee saw hee must accomplish his desire some other 
way : which he did in this maner : he having layne 
two nights at her house, and perceiving her to bee free 
from lustfull desires, the third night he fained himselfe 
to be something ill, and so went to bed timelier* then 
he was wont. When he was alone in his chamber, he 
began to think with himselfe that it was now time to 
do that which he determined ; for if he tarried any 
longer, they might have cause to think that he came 
for some ill intent, and waited opportunity to execute 
the same : therefore he resolved to doe something that 
night, that might winne him the wager, or utterly 
bring him in despaire of the same. With this resolu- 
tion he went to her chamber, which was but a paire of 
staires from his, and finding the doore open, he went 
in, placing himselfe under the bed : long had he not 
lyne there, but in came the gentlewoman with her 
maiden ; who having been at prayers with her hous- 
hold, was going to bed. She preparing herselfe to 
bedward, laid her head-tyre and those jewels she wore, 
on a little table thereby : at length hee perceived her 

* Earlier. Sec Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 6. 


to put off a littel crucifix of gold, which dayly she wore 
next to her heart : this Jewell he thought fittest for his 
turne, and therefore observed where she did lay the 
same : at length the gentlewoman having untyred her- 
selfe, went to bed : her maid then bolting of the doore, 
took the candle, and went to bed in a withdrawing 
roome onely seperated with arras.* This villaine lay 
still under the bed, lissning if hee could heare that the 
gentlewoman slept : at length he might heare her draw 
her breath long : then thought hee all sure, and like a 
cunning villaine rose without noise, going straight to 
the table, where finding the crucifix, he lightly went 
to the doore, which he cunningly unbolted. All this 
performed he with so little noise, that neither the 
mistris nor the maid heard him. Having gotten into 
his chamber, he wished for day, that he might carry 
this jewell to her husband as signe of his wives disloy- 
altie : but his wishes but in vaine, he laid him downe 
to sleepe : happy had shee beene had his bed proved 
his grave. In the morning, so soone as the folkes were 
stirring, he rose and went to the horse-keeper, praying 
him to helpe him to his horse, telling him that hee had 
tooke his leave of his mistris the last night Mounting 
his horse, away rid he to London, leaving the gentle- 
woman in bed : who, when she rose, attiring herselfe 
hastily ('cause one tarried to speake with her) missed 
not her crucifix : so passed she the time away, as shee 
was wont other dayes to doe, no wit troubled in mindc, 

* Tapestry made at Arras. 


though much sorrow was toward her : onely shee 
seemed a little discontented that her ghest went away 
so unmannerly, she using him so kindely. So leaving 
her, I will speake of him, who the next morning was 
betimes at London ; and comming to the inne, hee 
asked for the gentleman, who then was in bed, but he 
quickly rose and came down to him, who seeing him 
return'd so suddenly, he thought hee came to have 
leave to release himselfe of his wager : but this chanced 
otherwise : for having saluted him, he said in this 
manner : Sir, did not I tell you that you were too 
yong in experience of womans subtilties, and that no 
woman was longer good then she had cause, or time to 
doe ill ? This you beleeved not, and thought it a thing 
so unlikely, that you have given me a hundred pounds 
for the knowledge of it. In briefe, know, your wife is 
a woman, and therefore a wanton, a changeling :* to 
confirme that I speake, see heere (shewing him the 
crucifix) : know you this ? If this be not sufficient 
proofe, I will fetch more. At the sight of this, his 
bloud left his face, running to comfort his faint heart, 
which was ready to breake at the sight of this crucifix, 
which he knew she alwayes wore next her heart, and 
therefore he must (as he thought) goe something neere, 
which stole so private a Jewell. But remembering 
himselfe, he cheeres his spirits, seeing that was suffi- 
cient proofe, and he had wonne the wager, which hee 
commanded should be given to him. Thus was the 

* One who changes. See 1 Henry IV. v. 1. 


poore gentleman abused, who went into his chamber, 
and being weary of this world (seeing where he had 
put onely his trust he was deceived) he was minded to 
fall upon his sword, and so end all his miseries at 
once : but his better genius perswaded him contrary, 
and not so (by laying violent hand on himselfe) to 
leape into the divels mouth. Thus being in many 
mindes, but resolving no one thing, at last he concluded 
to punish her with death, which had deceived his 
trust, and himselfe utterly to forsake his house and 
lands, and follow the fortunes of King Henry. To 
this intent he called his man, to whom he said ; George, 
thou knowest I have ever held thee deare, making 
more account of thee then thy other fellowes, and thou 
hast often told me that thou diddest owe thy life to me, 
which at any time thou wouldest bee ready to render 
up to doe me good. True, sir, answered his man, I 
said no more there, then I will now at any time, when- 
soever you please, performe. I beleeve thee, George, 
(replyed he) : but there is no such need : I onely 
would have thee doe a thing for me, in which is no 
great danger, yet the profit which thou shalt have 
thereby shall amount to my wealth : for the love that 
thou bearest to me, and for thy own good, wilt thou do 
this ? Sir (answered George), more for your love, then 
any reward, I will doe it, (and yet money makes many 
men valiant) pray tell me what it is ? George (said 
his master), this it is, thou must goe home, praying 
this mistris to meete me halfe the way to London : but 
having her by the way, in some private place kill her : 


I meane as I speake, kill her, I say; this is my com- 
mand, which thou hast promised to performe : which, 
if thou performest not, I vow to kill thee the next time 
thou commest in my sight. Now for thy reward it 
shall be this, take my ring, and when thou hast done 
my command, by vertue of it, doe thou assume my 
place till my returne, at which time thou shalt know 
what my reward is ; till then govern my whole estate : 
and for thy mistris absence, and my own, make what 
excuse thou please : so be gone. Well, sir (said 
George), since it is your will, though unwilling I am to 
doe it, yet I will performe it. So went he his way 
toward Waltam : and his master presently rid to the 
court, where hee abode with King Henry, who a little 
before was inlarged by the Earle of Warwick e, and 
placed in the throne againe. George, beeing come to 
Waltam, did his dutie to his mistris, who wondred to 
see him, and not her husband, for whom she demanded 
of George : he answered her, that hee was at Enfield, 
and did request her to meet him there. To which shee 
willingly agreed, and presently rode with him toward 
Enfield. At length they heing come into a by-way, 
George began to speake to her in this manner : Mistris, 
I pray you tel me what that wife deserves, who, through 
some lewd behaviour of hers, hath made her husband 
to neglect his estate, and meanes of life, seeking by all 
meanes to dye, that he might be free from the shame, 
which her wickednesse hath purchased him ? Why, 
George (quoth shee), hath thou met with some such 
creature? Be it whomsoever, might I he her judge, I 


thinke her worthy of death : hou thinkest thou ? 
Faith, mistris (said he), I thinke so too, and am so 
fully perswaded that her offence deserveth that punish- 
ment, that I purpose to bee executioner to such a one 
myselfe. Mistris, you are this woman ; you have so 
offended my master (you know best how yourselfe) 
that he hath left his house, vowing never to see the 
same till you be dead, and I am the man appointed by 
him to kill you ; therefore those words which you 
meane to utter, speake them presently, for I cannot 
stay. Poore gentlewoman, at the report of these un- 
kinde words (ill deserved at her hands) she looked as 
one dead, and uttering aboundance of teares, she at last 
spake these words : And can it be that my kindnes 
and loving obedience hath merited no other reward 
at his hands then death ? It cannot be. I know thou 
onely tryest me, how patiently I would endure such an 
unjust command. Fie tell thee heere, thus with body 
prostrate on the earth, and hands lift up to Heaven, I 
would pray for his preservation ; those should be my 
worst words : for Death's fearfull visage shewes plea- 
sant to that soule that is innocent. Why then, pre- 
pare yourselfe (said George) : for, by Heaven, I doe 
not jest. With that shee prayed him stay, saying : 
And is it so ? then what should I desire to live, having 
lost his favour (and without offence) whom I so dearely 
loved, and in whose sight my happinesse did consist ? 
Come, let me die ! Yet, George, let mee have so much 
favor at thy hands, as to commend me in these few 
words to him : tell him, my death I willingly imbrace, 


for I have owed him my life (yet no otherwise but by 
a wives obedience) ever since I call'd him husband : 
but that I am guilty of the least fault toward him, I 
utterly deny : and doe (at this houre of my death) de- 
sire that Heaven would powre down vengeance upon 
me, if ever I offended him in thought. Intreat him 
that he would not speake ought that were ill on me, 
when I am dead, for in good troth I have deserved 
none. Pray Heaven blesse him ; I am prepared now ; 
strike prethee home, and kill me and my griefes at 
once. George, seeing this, could not withhold him- 
selfe from shedding teares, and with pitie he let fall his 
sword, saying : Mistris, that I have used you so roughly 
pray pardon me, for I was commanded so by my mas- 
ter, who hath vowed, if I let you live, to kill me : but 
I, being perswaded that you are innocent, I will rather 
undergoe the danger of his wrath, then to staine my 
hands with the bloud of your cleere and spotlesse 
brest : yet let mee intreat you so much, that you would 
not come in his sight (lest in his rage he turne your 
butcher) but live in some disguise till time have opened 
the cause of his mistrust, and shewed you guiltlesse, 
which (I hope) will not be long. To this she willingly 
granted (being loth to die causelesse) and thanked him 
for his kindnes ; so parted they both, having teares in 
their eyes. George went home, where he shewed his 
masters ring for the government of the house, till his 
master and mistris returne, which he said lived a while 
at London, 'cause the time was so troublesome, and 
that was a place where they were more secure then in 


the countrey. This his fellowes beleeved, and were 
obedient to his will, amongst whom hee used himselfe 
so kindely, that he had all their loves. This poore 
gentlewoman (mistris of the house) in short time got 
mans apparell for her disguise ; so wandred she up 
and downe the countrey, for she could get no service, 
because the time was so dangerous that no man knew 
whom hee might trust ; onely she maintained herselfe 
with the price of those jewels which she had, all which 
she sold. At the last, being quite out of money, and 
having nothing left (which she could well spare) to 
make money of, she resolved rather to starve then so 
much to debase herselfe to become a begger : with this 
resolution she went to a solitary place beside York, 
where shee lived the space of two dayes on hearbs, and 
such things as she could there finde. In this time it 
chanced that King Edward (being come out of France, 
and lying thereabout with the small forces hee had) 
came that way with some two or three noblemen, with 
an intent to discover if any ambushes were laid to 
take him at an advantage. He seeing there this gen- 
tlewoman, whom he supposed to be a boy, asked her 
what she was and what she made there in that private 
place ? To whom shee very wisely and modestly withall 
answered, that she was a poore boy, whose bringing 
up had bin better then her outward parts then shewed, 
but at that time she was both friendlesse and comfort- 
lesse, by reason of the late warre. He, being moved to 
see one so well featur'd (as she was) to want, enter- 
tained her for one of his pages, to whom she shewed 


herselfe so dutifull and loving, that (in short time) shee 
had his love above all her fellows. Still followed she 
the fortunes of K. Edward, hoping at last (as not long 
after it did fall out) to be reconciled to her husband. 
After the battell at Barnet (where K. Edward got the 
best) she going up and down amongst the slaine men 
(to know whether her husband, which was on K. Henries 
side, were dead or escaped) happened to see the other 
who had been her ghest, lying there for dead : she, re- 
membring him, and thinking him to be one whom her 
husband loved, went to him, and finding him not dead, 
she caused one to helpe her with him to a house there- 
by : where opening of his brest, to dresse his wounds, 
she espied her crucifix ; at sight of which her heart 
was joyfull (hoping by this to find him that was the 
originall of her disgrace) for she, remembring herselfe, 
found that she had lost that crucifix ever since that 
morning he departed from her house so suddenly : but 
saying nothing of it at that time, she caused him to be 
carefully looked unto, and brought up to London after 
her, whither she went with the king, carrying the cru- 
cifix with her, On a time when hee was a little reco- 
vered, shee went to him, giving him the crucifix, which 
shee had taken from about his necke : to whom hee 
said, Good gentle youth, keep the same : for now in 
my misery of sicknes, when the sight of that picture 
should be most comfortable, it is to me most uncom- 
fortable, and breedeth such horrour in my conscience 
(when I think how wrongfully I got the same) that so 
long as I see it I shall never be in rest. Now knew 


she that he was the man that caused the separation 
twixt her husband and herselfe ; yet said shee nothing, 
using him as respectively* as she had before : only she 
caused the man, in whose house he lay, to remember 
the words he had spoken concerning the crucifix. 
Not long after, she being alone, attending on the king, 
beseeched his grace to doe her justice on a villain that 
had bin the cause of all the misery she had suffered. 
He loving her (above all his other pages) most dearely, 
said ; Edmund (for so had she named herselfe), thou 
shalt have what right thou wilt on thy enemy ; cause 
him to be sent for, and I will be thy judge myselfe. 
She being glad of this (with the kings authority) sent 
for her husband, whom she heard was one of the pri- 
soners that was taken at the battell of Barnet, she ap- 
pointing the other, now recovered, to be at the court 
the same time. They being both come (but not one 
seeing of the other), the king sent for the wounded 
man into the presence : before whom the page asked 
him, how he came by the crucifix ? He fearing that 
his villany would come forth, denyed the words hee 
had said before his oast, affirming he bought it. With 
that she called in the oast of the house where he lay, 
bidding him boldly speake what he had heard this man 
say concerning the crucifix. The oast then told the 
king, that in the presence of this page, he heard him 
intreat that the crucifix might be taken from his sight, 
for it did wound his conscience, to thinke how wrong- 

* Respectfully. 


fully he had gotten the same. These words did the 
page averre : yet he utterly denyed the same, affirming 
that he bought it, and if that he did speake such words 
in his sicknesse, they proceeded from the lightnesse of 
his braine, and were untruthes. She, seeing this vil- 
lains impudency, sent for her husband in, to whom she 
shewed the crucifix, saying, Sir, doe you know, doe 
you know this ? It was my wives, a woman vertuous, 
till this divell (speaking to the other) did corrupt her 
purity, who brought me this crucifix as a token of her 
inconstancie. With that, the king said, Sirra, now are 
you found to be a knave : did you not even now affirme 
you bought it ? To whom he answered (with fearefull 
countenance), And it like your grace, I said so, to 
preserve this gentlemans honour, and his wives, which 
by my telling of the truth would have beene much in- 
damag'd : for indeed she, being a secret friend of mine, 
gave me this as a testimony of her love. The gentle- 
woman, not being able longer to cover herselfe in that 
disguise, said, And it like your majesty, give mee 
leave to speake, and you shall see me make this vil- 
laine confesse how hee hath abused that good gentle- 
man. The king, having given her leave, she said, 
First, sir, you confessed before your oast, and myselfe, 
that you had wrongfully got this Jewell : then before 
his majestie, you affirmed you bought it : so denying 
your former words : now you have denyed that which 
you so boldly affirmed before, and have said it was this 
gentlemans wives gift. (With his majesties leave) I 
say thou art a villaine, and this is likewise false. With 


that she discovered herselfe to be a woman, saying : 
Hadst thou (villaine) ever any strumpets favour at my 
hands ? Did I (for any sinfull pleasure I received from 
thee) bestow this on thee ? Speake, and if thou have 
any goodnes left in thee, speake the truth. With that, 
he being daunted at her sudden sight, fell on his knees 
before the king, beseeching his grace to be mercifull 
unto him, for he had wronged that gentlewoman : 
therewith told he the king of the match betweene the 
gentleman and himselfe, and how he stole the crucifix 
from her, and, by that meanes, perswaded her husband 
that she was a whore. The king wondred how hee 
durst (knowing God to be just) commit so great vil- 
lany : but much more admired he to see his page to 
turn a gentlewoman ; but ceasing to admire, he said : 
Sir, (speaking to her husband) you did the part of an 
unwise man to lay so foolish a wager, for which offence 
the remembrance of your folly is punishment inough : 
but seeing it concernes me not, your wife shall be your 
judge. With that Mistris Dorrill (thanking his rna- 
jestie) went to her husband, saying : all my anger to you 
I lay downe with this kisse. He, wondring all this 
while to see this strange and unlooked for change, 
wept for joy, desiring her to tell him how she was pre- 
served : wherein she satisfied him at full. The king 
was likewise glad that hee had preserved this gentle- 
woman from wilfull famine, and gave judgement on the 
other in this manner : That he should restore the 
money treble which he had wrongfully got from 

d 2 


him :* and so was to have a yeeres imprisonment. So 
this gentleman and his wife went (with the kings leave) 
lovingly home, where they were kindely welcomed by 
George, to whom for recompence hee gave the money 
which he received : so lived they ever after in great 
content. How like you of this woman ? Some praised 
her (as shee deserved) extraordinarily. 

But (said the Brainford fishwife) I like her as a 
garment out of fashion ; shee shewed well in that in- 
nocent time, when women had not the wit to know 
their owne libertie : but if she lived now, she would 
shew as vild as a paire of Yorkeshire sleeves in a 
goldsmithes shop. But wee being come almost at 
Brainford, I asked if any of them would land there ? 
They all cryed, No : perswading the two wives that 
dwelt at Brainford, and Stand on the Greene, to goe to 
King-stone, whither they purposed all to goe and be 
merry. Little intreating served them : so putting their 
fish-baskets aboord a fisher-boate, they cryed, On to 
King-stone. I, being well content therewith, set for- 
ward, and the fishwife of Richmond proceeded in tell- 
ing of her tale : but first I will tell you what manner 
of creature she was. 


This Richmond dame 
Was voyd of shame ; 

* In Boccacio, the villain, there named Ambrogiulo, was put 
to a cruel death, and his wealth, which was immense, was given 
to the injured wife. 


She was a scold 
At ten yeeres old : 
And now was held 
The best in field, 
At same fight 
'Twas her delight. 
Her husband kinde 
(A silly hinde) 
Durst not gainsay, 
Or once saj' nay, 
For what she crav'd : 
For then she rav'd, 
And call'd him foole, 
And with a stoole 
Would breake his head. 
Oft in the bed 
If he her tutch'd, 
His beard she clutch'd, 
And claw'd his eyes : 
Yet in no wise 
Durst he resist 
Her cruell fist. 
This wife was yong : 
Onely in tongue 
She was deform'd : 
Had that beene charm'd,* 
She had deserv'd 
A king to ha' serv'd. 

Her tale. — Not long agone, in a town not farre from 
London, dwelt an old widdower, which tookc to wife a 
faire, yong and lusty damozell, over whom his owne 
weakenesse made him jealous, so that continually his 

* Compare Othello, act v. sc. 2. 


eye was on her, and she could not looke awry, but 
with most spitefull words he would revile her, calling 
her so many whores, that it was unpossible to make 
him so many times cuckold : this poore wench lived so 
miserable a life with him, that she rather wished to be 
with the dead, then to live with so froward and such 
a doting old foole : but her wishes were in vaine, and 
her misery still increased : for he complained to her 
friends, how that she shewed not that dutie to him, 
which other wives did to their husbands, but slighted 
him as it had beene a stranger, and that shee de- 
lighted in other mens companies more then his. Upon 
this complaint of his, shee had likewise the ill will of 
her friends, who told her they would continue her foes, 
till they heard she used her husband with more respect. 
At this shee grieved more then at her husbands fro- 
wardnes, having their hate without a cause : and being 
one day at church, she made mone to her pew-fellow 
(which was a wench that would not be out-faced by her 
husbands great lookes) telling her how ill her husband 
used her, for when hee was within doorcs, his eyes 
were never off her, so that she could not speake to any 
friend : and if he went forth, he would locke her in the 
house, like pusse-cat ; and every night he locked the 
doore himselfe, laying the key under his pillow. Why, 
said her pew-fellow, wherefore have you hands, but to 
take the key when hee is asleepe, and to goe whither 
you will, onely you must be carefull to come in at the 
honre he useth to wake ? Fie, I am ashamed, that you 
have no more wit ! Doe as I tell you, and since he bar- 


reth you of your libertie in the day, take it yourselfe 
in the night : for company take no care, come to me ; 
and if wee cannot finde sport to passe away the time, 
wee will sleepe for company. This yong lasse thanked 
her for her counsell, vowing to put it in practice the 
next night, whatsoever did happen : so returning from 
the church with her husband, she went home, where all 
the day she sate demurely in his sight, as she was wont 
to doe, yet could shee scarce have one good word from 
him. Night being come, he locked the door as he was 
wont, and going to bed, he layed the key under his 
pillow, falling quickly asleep, which she pei'ceiving, 
softly tooke the same, opening the doore therewith : 
away she went to her pew-fellow where she revelled 
that night, till three of the clocke in the morning, at 
which time her husband used to wake : then comming 
home, she softly opened the doore, locking the same 
againe with as little noise as she could : then laid she 
herselfe downe by her good man, who, when he waked, 
never mistrusted that his wife had stirred from his 
side : this did shee many times, and never was so much 
as suspected for such a matter. One night above the 
rest* (her good fortune having made her bold) she 
tarrying a little longer then her houre, her husband 
chanced to awake, who presently missing her, call'd 
her by her name, thinking she had beene in the house : 
he, hearing no answere, rose and went about the house 
to looke her, but could not set his eyes on her, and to 

* Above the rest, especially. 


aske for her was in vaine, for his cat could not speake, 
and he had no other to inquire of: for his cat, his 
wife, and himselfe, was all the houshold he had. To 
bed went this old man againe, where hee looked for the 
key, but could finde none : there he lay, vexing and 
chafing himselfe, ever and anon feeling on his bi'owes, 
which he perswaded himselfe were in their spring-time, 
and would shortly bring forth fruit : though the rest of 
his body were in autumns. At length he might heare 
a noise, and lying still, he might perceive his wife come 
stealing to the bed, to whom hee said nothing, hoping 
one night to take her out of the doores, where hee 
would keepe her to her everlasting shame, and give the 
parish notice of her night-walking : so taking no notice 
that he knew any thing, he used her that day very 
kindly, which made her to beleeve that the proverbe is 
true (cuckolds are kinde men), for before she played 
loose with him, she never had that good usage at his 
hand, as she had that day found. This encouraged 
her to goe on in these her mad prankes, so that the 
same night she purposed to walke againe, which she 
did, taking the key from under his pillow (as she was 
wont to doe) she unlocked the doore, and away she 
went to her pew-fellow : hee perceiving it (for he 
slept for sleepe) went downe, and bolted the doore 
after her, so that she could not come in, but he must 
know of it : when he had so done, he layd him downe 
to sleepe. His wife ending her revels, at her usuall 
houre returned home, and very quietly assayed to open 
the doore : but perceiving that it was bolted on the 


inside, her heart was dead (as a spent prodigals at the 
sight of a sergeant) : then repented shee that shee had 
taken that wanton course, knowing a severe punish- 
ment would follow her sweet pleasure : thus shee, 
poore soule, stood at the doore shaking with feare, 
more than cold : but at last (having no other way to 
get in) she resolved to knocke : so laying her hand 
gently on the ring of the doore, she knocked twise or 
thrise before hee would heare her. At last, hee looked 
out of the window, asking who knockt at the doore ? 
Tis I, kinde husband, (answered shee) that have beene 
at a womans labour ; prethee, sweet heart, open the 
doore. All these kinde words would not get her ad- 
mittance, but gained this churlish answere at his hands : 
Hast thou beene at a womans labour ? Then prethee, 
sweet heart, returne, and amongst the residue of the 
wives, help thou to devoure the groning cheese,* and 
sucke up the honest mans ale till you are drunke ; by 
that time 'twill be day light, and I will have thy friends 
at thy returne, who shall give thee thankes for thy 
charitie. The poore woman knew his wicked mind 
toward her by these his mocking words, yet sought she 
to pacifie the same, saying, Alas, kinde love, these 
things are done already ; therefore, pray open the 
doore. No (quoth he), avaunt, whore ; damn'd whore, 
avaunt ! Heere is no place : your labours have not de- 
served such fruits at my hands : no, I have taken you, 

* This was a cheese formerly provided by the husband on the 
occasion of a birth. 


you are intrapt, you are snared, your friends shall now 
know, and all the world see, that you are a most cun- 
ning whore : therefore rest quiet, for there you shall 
stand till morning. This sharpe answere of his kild 
her heart ; but she quickly revived the same with a 
tricke which she hoped would get her admittance, 
which she put in execution after this manner. Am I 
rewarded thus (quoth she) for my charitie toward a 
poore distressed woman ? And is this thy thankes thou 
givest mee for all my care which I have had of thy old 
and crazed carkasse ? I see it is : therefore will I live 
no longer, but presently will make away myselfe, and 
with myselfe thee, for the world judging thee to bee 
author of my death, will give thee the punishment that 
is due unto a murderer. At this the old man laughed, 
bidding her proceed. Which she hearing, tooke up a 
great stone, going therewith to a pond which was 
within a yards length of her house, and standing at the 
brink, said these words : Oh ! blessed element of wa- 
ter, it is thou which wast ordained to end my misery, 
and to revenge me on my wicked husband : therewith 
hurled she in the stone, which made a great noise : then 
placed shee herselfe hard by the doore. Her husband 
thinking shee had leaped in, and considering what 
danger hee might come in if shee was drowned, ranne 
hastily out of doore to helpe her : which his wife see- 
ing, stept in, bolting of him forth.* The old man 

* An incident exactly similar to this occurs in the romance of 
the Seven Sages. See Mr. Wright's edition, printed for the Percy 
Society, lt<45, p. 48. 


stood a long time looking with his spectacles on the 
pond : but perceiving nothing to stirre, hee thought 
her to be di-owned, and with that cryed out he was un- 
done : long inough might he cry, for no neighbours 
dwelt neere him : at length his wife pittied him, saying, 
Alas, good man, what wouldst thou have ? He hearing 
it to be his wives voice, was glad thereof : yet conti- 
nuing his churlish speeches unto her, he bid her open 
the doore, calling her dissembling queane. To all this 
said she nothing : but at last she tooke occasion to 

emptie the on his head, and then said : There 

is some cuckolds to coole your tongues heat : I'le 

warrant thee it is right, 'tis of my husbands making : 
so prethee, fellow, bee gone, and let me sleepe. This 
abuse of hers made the old man to raile more then be- 
fore : but at last, seeing he could get nothing thereby, 
hee gave her good words, intreating her to let him in, 
and hee would forgive all that was past, never letting 
his friends understand of her night-walking. Shee, 
seeing him so meeke, said, Old man, I could well afford 
thee shelter in my house, thou hast not deserved the 
same : but in so doing I shall breake my oath, for I 
have sworne that thou shalt not come through the 
doore not this five houres : now to save my oath, and 
doe the pleasure (in taking thee out of the cold) I will 
open the window in the lower room, that thou mayst 
come in that way. Her husband being glad any way 
to get out of the cold, thanked her for that kindnes. 
Downe came she straight and opened that window : the 
old man glad thereof, thrust in his head, praying her 


to helpe him. She now thinking it time to bee re- 
venged on him, tooke hold of his beard, and with her 
other fist batterd his face, and scratched him in such 
pitious manner, that the old man thought shee would 
have killed him : and therefore, pulling his head out of 
the window, he all be-battered the casements with 
stones, calling her a hundred whores. At this she 
laughed, and bid him bee a patient cuckold, for his 
greatest misery was to come ; so going to a backe 
window, shee espyed a boy, whom she called, willing 
him to goe to such a ones house (naming her pew- 
fellow) and intreat her straight to come and speake 
with her. The boy doing her errand, her pew-fellow 
came : to whom shee told (not without great laughing) 
the whole story of her good hap ; willing her to goe to 
her mother, and the rest of her friends, and (as she 
could well inough without her instructions) frame a 
complaint, how that her husband of a long time had 
used to goe on whore-hunting in the night : yet shee, 
having no just proofe of the same, was loth to speake : 
but now it was her hap to take him forth of the doores, 
where she would keep him, till they came to take some 
order that she might be seperated from him, for she 
feared her life. "With this tale ran her pew-fellow to 
her friends (which dwelled not farre off) to whom she 
told such a pitious story of the miserable life their 
poore kinswoman led with that knowne and proved old 
adulterer; that her friends moved with the wrong she 
sustained, got the parson of the towne to goe with 
them to their kinswomans house, that hee might be a 


witnesse of her wrong. When they came thither, they 
found the old man sitting at the doore, with a face 
more deformed (with beating and scratching) then ever 
was any witches. The mother to this lusty lasse, see- 
ing him sit there with such a deformed face) raised her 
voice to a high key, saying : Ah, thou old knave, thou 
whoremonger, thou decrepit lecher, hast thou alwayes 
complained of my daughter, making mee, and other 
that are her good friends, not onely to reprove her, but 
more (which I speake to my griefe) to hate her, for her 
neglect of dutie toward thee, when the fault was in 
thyselfe, when thou gavest her right to others ? But 
see, now it is come home by thee, shee hath intrapt 
thee in thy snare ; thou art come home with thy face 
mangled like a true ruffian : now thou art the true 
picture of a brothell-house companion : thou hast the 
seales on thy face, which those creatures (called whores) 
doe give : thou hast, villaine, thou hast. He wonder- 
ing to see her mother so against him, of whom he 
hoped to be righted, said : Mother, I confesse these 
seales are the seales of a whore ; but of what whore ? 
Even of what whore thou wilt (quoth she) : thou knave, 
hold thy tongue, confesse not heere, keepe that for the 
gallowes. Beare witnesse, good Sir John,* and the 
rest of my neighbours, that see how my daughter is 
abused : for I purpose to teach this knave how to use 
his wife better ; and not to abuse her, and then threaten 
her with death, if she complaine : come downe, my 

Tliis is, of course, addressed to the priest. 


child, and speake for thyselfe, and let the knave touch 
thee if he dare. The yong wife liked this well, who 
came downe as her mother bid her ; and falling at her 
feet, intreated her (with fained teares) that she might 
be divorced from her wicked husband, or else shee said 
her dayes were but short, for he assuredly would doe 
her a mischiefe. Content thee, daughter (said her 
mother) I will have him consent to let thee goe, giving 
thee that portion hee had with thee, or else I will sell 
cow, coat, house and all, to goe to law with the knave. 
The old man (her husband) perceiving that they were 
all on her side, and how that they would not heare him 
speake in his owne defence : likewise thinking if that 
hee lived with his wife againe, he must be a contented 
cuckold, said, will you heare this ? Take your daughter 
with you : and I will presently give her that portion I 
received, and take all this wrong. This pleased them 
all ; so the priest drew a bill of divorce betweene them, 
and the old man delivered backe her portion, beeing 
glad that he was rid of his wife. His wife on the other 
side was glad that she had escaped that punishment 
which shee deserved : so they all parted seeming friends. 
I, marry, (quoth the fishwife of Brainford) this was a 
wench worth talking of; she deserveth as much praise 
as those women called Amazones, who out of a brave 
minde cut their husbands throates, and so made them- 
selves rulers of themselves. But what praise (quoth 
the wife of Stand on the Greene) had shee deserved, if 
she had been discovered, or failed in this attempt ? 
Nothing but curses in my minde, for she had given 


cause to all men to speake ill of us women : it is not 
the event, but the honesty of the intent, that justifies 
the action. I thinke so too, said a fishwife of Twitnam; 
I doe not like this foolish hardinesse : and men are apt 
to speake ill of us without cause : therefore, to make 
amends, I will tell of a vertuous and chaste dame, one 
whose life may bee a mirrour for all women. 


Not old, not young, 
Not sharpe of tongue 
Was this same wife. 
She lov'd no strife, 
Nor much would prate, 
But lov'd her mate. 
Yet lov'd she lap : 
If 't were her hap 
To meete with those, 
She knew from foes, 
She'd spend her quart 
With all her heart. 
Well lov'd she masse. 
Her time she'd passe 
In working good : 
If neighbours stood 
In neede of ought 
She sold or bought, 
They should it have, 
If they did crave. 
This wife mannerly 
Spake thus soberly. 

Her tale. — Sometime in Brittaine there raigned a 
mighty prince, called Oswald, who for his just govern- 


ment and holy life, had the name of Saint given. This 
Oswald tooke to his wife a vertuous maiden, named 
Beldam, daughter to Kynygils, king of West- Saxons, 
by whom he had one sonne, after whose birth they 
willingly agreed (that they might the better serve their 
Saviour) not to touch one the other after any carnall 
manner. Thus lived this vertuous couple, untill their 
deaths, onely esteeming the service of God, and the 
avoiding of worldly tentations,* for their chiefe plea- 
sure. A hermit, being envious at the report of his 
holy life, one day went to him, asking the king how 
hee could live so holy, and yet live with a wife ? To 
whom the king answered : Marriage is no hinderance 
to holy life, for therein doe we but follow the institu- 
tion of God, which hee ordained for the increase of the 
world : but further to satisfie thee, that it is no hinder- 
ance to my holy life, take thou this ring, and goe to 
her, bidding her use thee as she would use myselfe. 
The hermet glad of this (hoping to have kinde enter- 
tainment at his Queenes hands) went merrily to her, 
delivering her the ring : and told her, that it was her 
husbands will that she should use him in all respects 
as shee would use himselfe, if hee were there. To 
this the queene was willing, and bid him welcome, 
telling him he should be served in all points as the 
king her royall husband was. When the time of supper 

* Temptation ; trial. So in an early manuscript poem, — 
Nor's any place exempted from tentation, 
Save Heaven, to ill that never had relation. 


was come, and the hermet expected some delicate 
cheere, he onely was fed with bread, which was served 
up in a stately manner by divers gentlemen that did 
attend him : likewise when he called for drink, they 
gave him wholesome water to coole his hote desires : 
no other cates* got hee, yet was it no worse then the 
queene herselfe ate of. This stately service, and 
homely fare, scarce pleased the hermet, yet still he 
hoped for better, but his hopes were vaine, for the 
cloth was taken up, and one asked him if hee pleased 
to goe to bed ? To this hee was willing, hoping now 
to sleepe out the remembrance of his hard fare : but 
being come to his chamber, sodaine joy extin- 
guished the griefe he would have slept out, for he saw 
no worser woman then the queene should be his bed- 
fellow. So quickly undressing himselfe, he went to 
bed to her (not forgetting in his thoughts to praise her 
for obeying her husbands will), where having lyne 
a while, thinking of some strange things, lust and the 
evill disposition of his minde beganne to infect his 
soule so, that with a kinde imbrace hee besought the 
queene to shew some mercy towards his affection. 
This vertuous queene, seeing this, rung a bell : then 
presently came in foure women, who took this hermet 
and cast him in a cisterne full of water, that stood in 
the chamber : he being well cooled, they tooke him 
forth, placing him in the bed as they found him. 
There hee lay shivering with cold a good space ; but 

* Provisions. Sop Taming of the Shrew, ii. I. 



at length his bloud being heated, hee fell to thinking 
with himselfe how perchance the queene shewed her- 
selfe thus chaste, to take suspition from her women. 
His lust, seconding this opinion, made him once more 
venture a ducking : so turning himselfe to the queene, 
he began with this speech : Most rare, beaute; *s, ad- 
mirable, and unparalelled woman, I will it onely 
commend thee for thy beauty, and greatnesse of birth 
and place ; but also I will adore thee with more then 
humane worship, for the extraordinarie understanding 
which thou hast above others of thy sexe. With what 
a grave and sober carriage doest thou hide thy hote 
affections, which inwardly doe burne thee ! Oh it is 
strange ! therewith not onely blinding the eyes of 
strangers, but also thy neerest attendants : now I con- 
ceive why thou commandest mee to bee hurled in the 
water cisterne, it was thy policy (thou wonder of thy 
sexe) to avoid suspition in thy servants. I knew this 
well, and therefore did willingly endure the same, that 
I might the more freely enjoy thy beauty now : there- 
with 'gan he clip* her in his armes ; which shee per- 
ceiving, rung the bell : her women presently comming 
in, tooke this yongster, ducking him twise so much as 
they did before, so that they laid him in the bed halfe 
drowned : and having done, presently voided they the 
chamber. The hermet being come to himselfe, had a 
better opinion of K. Oswald and his wife, for he then 
held them for the holyest people in England : and his 

* Embrace. See Anlh. and Cleop. iv. 8. 


hote bloud being cooled, he lay still that night, not 
daring to stirre, lest she giving the alarum, his ene- 
mies would come upon him and put their crueltie in 
execution. The morning being come, hee kindely tooke 
his leave of the queene, telling her he had sufficiently 
tryed *ie kings severe and holy life, and would ever 
after givv. testimonie of the same : so went he to his cell, 
being ashamed of this his foolish attempt, and never 
after would looke into other mens lives, but mended 
his owne. She having ended her tale, they all said 
this queene was a vertuous woman, and worthy to bee 
had in memory, but shee was not to be any president 
for them, seeing shee was a queene, and they were but 
fishwives. Truely (quoth a fishwife of Kingstone that 
sate next to her) if wee would bee thus chaste, alas ! 
our husbands would not suffer us to continue so ; there- 
fore for my part, I will never goe about it : I will tell 
you a tale of one that was a great woman (though she 
was no queene) and yet kept a friend besides her 


This Kingstone wife 
Lov'd little strife : 
She was a bosse, 
That lov'd to tosse 
The ale pot round. 
Few was there found 
Could with her drinke, 
But they would winke, 
And fall asleepe: 
Till she would creepe, 

K 2 


She'd not give ore, 
But call for more, 
Loving the pot, 
All lost she not : 
For she had got 
A nose full hot, 
And red as bloud. 
Within it stood 
Di'monds shining : 
Lower declining 
Stood a rubie. 
If I true be, 
There were more 
Then halfe a score, 
Which shewed like ' 
The sparkes you strike 
From forth a flint : 
Such heat was in't. 
Men might suppose 
(Seeing her nose) 
What broth she lov'd. 
When she had mov'd 
Herselfe, and spit, 
She spake this writ. 

Her tale. — A certaine great lady, having to her 
husband a man old and unfit to her, asked her con- 
fessor whether she might not enjoy a friend which 
might supply her want. The fryer (hoping shee would 
make choise of him) told her she might, for the sinne 
was but little, and did deserve little or no penance. 
She thanked him for this kinde absolution, telling him 
she onely tooke this carefull course, that her husband 
might not die without issue, having his memory buried 


with him in the dust. The priest (still hoping he was 
the man she would select) said, her care was good, and 
no whit offensive, if she chose a friend that would 
keepe it from the world. She said, her diligence would 
choose such a one, and so they parted : the priest be- 
ing still in the minde that he should be the man. But 
this lady meant otherwise : for she chose a gentleman 
that sometime had beene a suter unto her, who loving 
her dearely, and she him, they enjoyed each others 
company without suspect* of any, onely two of her 
trusty servants knowing of it. The priest perceiving 
he was not the man appointed for this businesse, vexed 
himselfe in thinking what a foole he was, that he did 
not make proffer of his servicp, when shee first opened 
her minde unto him. Thus thinking of her beauty, 
and his neglect, hee vowed to performe something 
which might give him content ; with this resolve went 
hee to a pleasant walke thereby, where oftentimes the 
lady used ; there, having obscuredf himselfe, he might 
perceive her with her lover comming that way. He 
lying close, and listening to heare something that might 
bee for his advantage : amongst other things he heard 
her aske why hee had chosen Hercules for his watch- 
word, seeing there were many words, and names, 
which were more proper to that busines ? The priest 
stayed not to heare his answer (thinking he had enough 
in knowing that word which had the power to bring 

* Suspicion. Sec Comedy of Errors, iii. 1. 
| If id. Compare As You Like It, i. 1. 


him to her bed) but closely got him home, waiting the 
comming of night, which he prayed might hasten on, 
that hee might enjoy the pleasure he so wished for. 
To be short, her friend and shee parted when they saw 
time, and night being come, she went to bed, where 
she lay alone (for her old husband was at court) : long 
had she not lyen there, but the priest (beeing well ac- 
quainted with all the turnings in the house) came to 
her chamber-doore and knockt : she asked who was 
there ? Hercules, quoth the priest. With that she 
rose, and (thinking it to be her sweet-heart) let him in. 
The priest caught her in his armes, kissing and using 
other dalliance, so long, till hee had fully satisfied his 
desires : then quietly tooke hee his leave without words, 
which she wondred at. Long had he not been gone, 
when came her sweet-heart, who softly knocked at the 
chamber-doore : she hearing it, asked who was there ? 
Hercules, said he. She, wondring at his sudden return, 
opened the doore, and asked him why hee came ? To 
enjoy thy sweet company (said hee) and to passe away 
this night in such sports as shall content us both. She 
wondring to see him, and hee not knowing what shee 
meant (and thinking she mis-doubted his loyaltie), 
prayed her to tell him the meaning of those words, 
which seemed more strange to him, then rattling Welch, 
or wilde Irish : and he protested likewise, that but 
even then he came from his chamber. The lady now 
knew that shee was deceived, and that some craftie 
knave had got at her hands a more then ordinarie 
kindnesse : and 'cause he should suspect nothing, she 


told him that shee dreamed she had injoyed his com- 
pany that night, and that he parted from her after an 
unkinde manner. Tut, said he, dreames are but false 
shaddowes : now hast thou the substance those shad- 
dowes did present. With such loving words passed 
they the night : and morning being come, her friend 
kindely tooke his leave, secretly going to his chamber. 
She being vexed in her that she was deceived, 
and not knowing by whom, passed away that day, 
hoping ere long to entrap her cunning lover. Night 
being come, after her usual manner she went to bed, 
where she had not long beene, but the priest came to 
the doore, softly knocking. She hoping it was he she 
looked for, went to the doore, demanding who was 
there ? Hercules, said the priest : she knowing it to be 
him (by his voice) that had deceived her, prayed Her- 
cules to come in : and under colour of using him 
kindely, she felt by the short haire on his head, that it 
was the priest. Being glad she had found her too 
officious friend, she intreated him to repose himselfe on 
the bed, till shee cleered the house of some servants 
that she heard up in the next roome : to which the 
priest was very willing, being loth to be descryed at his 
going forth by any of the houshold servants. But shee 
had another meaning : for shee called up her two ser- 
vants, servants which she trusted with her chiefe se- 
crets, bidding them go into her chamber, where they 
should find the priest, whom they should binde, and 
with a sharpe knife (which shee gave to them) cut 
him. They obeying her command, rushed into the 


chamber, where they found the priest (fearing the noise 
he heard) crept under the bed, whom they drew out by 
the heeles, and bound his hands and feete. The priest 
seeing them handle him thus roughly, intreated them 
to forbeare, saying, he was a Church-man, and it was 
sacriledge to offer him violence. He, seeing this pre- 
vailed him nothing, set out his throat : but they soone 
stopped the same, and with a sharpe knife, and a quick 
hand, made him lighter. Then called they their lady, 
who seemed to pitie Sir John, and bid them binde up 
his wound, putting thereto salve which she gave them. 
They, having done this, shee hung a paper about his 
neck, bidding them unbinde him, and turne him foerth 
the doores : which they performed, and shutting the 
doore after him, they went to bed laughing. The 
poore priest hyed him home, getting to bed, where he 
tooke little rest for the paine hee felt ; but he passed 
away the night in cursing the lady, on whom hee could 
not tell how to be revenged. The morning being 
come, hee espyed the writing which hung about his 
neck, hee opening the same, found therein this written. 

Priest, if that thou chance to tell, 
What pleasure through thy wit befell : 
Likewise report not without care, 
What thou hast lost, and what they are. 
So, Sir, farewell : th' ast made amends 
For thy deceit, and we are friends. 

At this the fryer bit his lip, wishing he had as much 
power over her life, as he had over that paper : but 
not knowing how to mend himselfe, but by looking to 


this wound, hee rested himselfe content, and ventured 
to steale no more flesh : and the lady injoyed her friend 
quietly, being never after troubled with the fryer. 

Now tell me (quoth this fishwife) if this lady bee not 
as much praiseworthy for her wit, as the other was for 
her honestie ? Most of them confirmed her argument 
to be sound, and the rest confirmed it by their silence. 
Then the last fishwife, which was of Hampton, said, But 
for a woman out of the abundance of her wit, to abuse 
any man, or herselfe, in such dishonest courses, I thinke 
it not good : 'cause oftentimes the harme which shee 
intendeth, and the shame which shee deserveth, lighteth 
on herselfe : which I will make good by this example. 


This same creature 
Had a feature, 
Would have mov'd 
A man to have lov'd. 
A body sound, 
A face full round ; 
A forehead hye, 
A full black eye ; 
A soft bright haire, 
A skin full faire ; 
A colour ruddy, 
And not muddy. 
A chin dimpled, 
Nose not pimpled ; 
She had a lip, 
Would make one skip 
To have a bit, 
So sweet was it ! 


Shee'd not lowre, 
And looke sowre ; 
Nor in feasting. 
Be protesting, 
She was no such : 
But shee'd bide tucli. 
Beauties rich store, 
And eke much more 
Of honest goodnesse : 
And hated levvdnesse. 

Her tale. — In Devonshire sometime there dwelt a 
maiden, to whom nature (having beene something 
liberall) gave such beauty, that she in all mens judge- 
ments was held the comeliest and fairest creature in all 
those parts : she being a right woman, tooke notice of 
her good parts, and withall grew so proud, that she 
rewarded all those which honestly sought to enjoy her 
love, either with scoffes or unkinde denials. A yong 
gentleman of that countrey long time loved this same 
unkind and unmatched creature, but never could he 
receive better comfort at her hands, then unkinde an- 
sweres, or scornefull lookes. One day (not willing to 
live longer betweene hope and feare) hee resolved to 
have of her either a flat deniall, or firme grant, and 
with this resolution went to her, to whom he spake 
after this manner : Faire Millisant, long time (amongst 
other of your suters) have I dearely loved you, yet 
never did I receive the least token of acceptance at 
your hands : disdaine you my birth ? I am a gentle- 
man, though not descended of the highest houses, yet 
not of the meanest. Dislike you my wealth ? I have 


enough to maintaine a private gentleman. Dislike you 
my parts of body ? They are as nature gave them. I 
could wish they were more pleasing to your minde. 
Do you mis-doubt my love to you ? Set mee some 
taske in mans possibility to performe, and it shall con- 
firme the same. Tell me for what it is you cannot 
love me, and I will reforme the same, and by fashion- 
ing myselfe to your liking, give you testimonie of my 
love. No whit was she moved with his pure love, but 
after her usuall manner determined to abuse the same ; 
and to that purpose she answered him thus : Sir, such 
little libertie hath our sexe, and men such corrupt 
judgements, that our mirth is counted immodesty, our 
civillest lookes lascivious, our words loose, our attires 
wanton, and all our doings apish : to shunne these 
slanders, it behooveth us to bee carefull over ourselves, 
and not through our kindnesses to give inconstant and 
dissembling men occasion to speake ill. I taxe not you 
with this common fault ; yet have I had no proofe that 
your love is any other then dissembling ; therefore till 
I. have made proofe of the same, by your obedience in 
executing my will, looke not for any kinde favour at 
my hands. The words gave him some hope : and he 
being willing to expresse his love to her, desired her 
to acquaint him with that taske whose performance 
would give him that great happinesse of her love : and 
he vowed to doe it, excepting no danger. Shee seeing 
him thus blinde with her love, that for her sake hee 
would undergoe any danger, with a cruell and unmer- 
ciful heart uttered these words : Sir, I shall try you 


whether your love is of that purenesse you praise it 
for ; I charge you, as ever you did respect me, or hope 
to injoy me, for this two yeeres comming to keepe a 
voluntary silence, not speaking to any creature living, 
or to sing, or use any kinde of sound, whereby your 
meaning may be understood : this is my pleasure, 
which if you performe not, never see me : if you will 
do it, let your silence and sudden departure be signe of 
consent. The gentleman hearing this unkind taske, 
was almost struck dead with griefe, yet said he nothing, 
but observing her command, presently departed with 
silence. Being thus silenced by that unmercitull maid, 
hee left his friends, and went into Cornwal, where he 
was entertained by the duke (hee being an excellent 
musician) to teach his children to dance and play on 
sundry instruments wherein he had skill. In his ser- 
vice he bore himselfe so worthily, and used such dili- 
gence in his teaching the children, that the duke de- 
lighted in his company above all other gentlemen, and 
sought all the meanes that was for the recovery of his 
speech : but seeing all this cost was in vaine, and that 
the phisicians did him no good, he caused it to be pub- 
lished, that whosoever could restore his speech, five 
hundred pounds should be their reward : but they not 
performing the cure, should give the duke so much 
mony, or else have imprisonment till they paid it. 
This large, but fearefull promise, was spred all o're the 
countrey thereabouts : and comming to faire Millisants 
eare, she laughed, and to thinke that she could with 
one word doe that, which so great a duke could not 


undoe, with all his expence and care. She knowing it 
was in her power to restore his speech, and being co- 
vetous of the great reward, she went into Cornwall, 
proffering herselfe before the duke to performe the 
cure, or undergoe the punishment. The Duke being 
glad that hee had one that would undertake the cure, 
bid her take her time for the performance of it : shee 
set down three weeks, and that she not performing it 
in that time, was lyable to his sharpest punishment : so 
with a good courage did she begin her cure. The gen- 
tleman seeing his hard-hearted love come to be his 
physician, would neither by signe, or any word make 
knowne, that he had any remembrance what she was, 
but seemed to her as to a stranger, though she gave 
him many kinde words, excusing her rash folly, in that 
she knew him not to be of that worth and estimation, 
which she now saw he was of. All this would get 
never a word from him ; which shee seeing, intreated 
to breake that rash and foolish vow she had caused him 
to make, and she would give him sufficient testimony 
of her love : thus continued she the space of twelve 
dayes, but could never get any cheerefull looke at his 
hand : she now fearing he would be revenged on her, 
and by his wilfull silence suffer her either to pay the 
money, or else to lye in prison, with a kinde and loving 
countenance said these words to him : Sir, if ever you 
loved me (as you vowed you did) let not my former 
unkindnesse be any longer cause of your neglecting 
mee ; my teares are sufficient testimony of the griefe I 
have for it, and I doe proffer up my love to you as sa- 


tisfaction for my former fault : oh then be mercifull, 
and loving me, forgive mee that offence, and through 
my loving duty, let mee possesse your former good 
opinion of me : with these words she kissed him, using 
other toying to cause him speake. All this prevailed 
her nothing, for he did not affoord her one word : yet 
with a seeming unwillingnesse did hee accept her im- 
braces, which he so long enjoyed, that hee made her 
sure for leaving apes in hell.* But to be short, her 
last day she set to performe the cure was come, and 
she could not for all her kindnesse get one word of 
him : and the duke seeing her folly (in undertaking his 
cure, and not performing it) caused her to be impri- 
soned, where shee lay (not being able to pay the money 
was promised as reward to her if she had cured him) 
till the space of his two yeeres were expired. That 
time being come, he went to the duke, intreating him 
to pardon his long wilfull silence, caused by an unmer- 
cifull woman, withall telling him who it was, and the 
whole story of his love, and how he had used her for 
tyrannic The duke was exceeding joyfull to heare 
him speake, and praised his wit for using so ungentle a 
person so untowardly : yet blamed him withall, for 
keeping so rash, foolish, and unreasonable a vow so 
straightly : but both having had penance enough for 
their folly, hee pardoned them both, continuing his love 
to the gentleman, and releasing her, who by that time 
had got the fruit of her owne physicke, but lie that 
owed the fruit would not acknowledge it : so that shee 
* Compare Much Ado about Nothing, ii. 1. 


was to looke a new customer, or else endure the open 
shame belonging to a strumpet : which of them she 
did, I know not, eyther of them was bad enough : and 
had that gentlewoman had no better fortune in abusing 
the fryer, then this by exercising her wit on this gen- 
tleman, shee had deserved no more then this foolish 
woman doth. 

It is true (said the Brainford fishwife) : and since it 
concernes us not, let us leave this pro and contra, let 
every tub stand on its owne bottom : and so our mirth 
and journey ends about one time : for yonder is King- 
stone, whose large and conscionable pots* are praised 
throughout England ; whose ale is of great strength 
and face, as our westerne watermens sicke braines can 
witnesse. Then since it is so neere, let us not bee 
factious, and contend for trifles ; but let us seeke to 
enjoy that which we came for, mirth : that best pre- 
server of our lives : so land us with all speed, honest 

They, hearing her speake but reason, agreed to be 
ruled by her, and therefore gave her the name of Cap- 
taine. "With all haste and ease as I could possible, 
landed I my merry fare of fishwives, who went straight 
to the signe of the Beare, where they found such good 
liquor, that they stayed by it all night : where I left 
them, and so ended my journey Westward for 

* Alluding to the Kingston alo. 

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