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Of wymens malyce & wrath, . ; . //. i-j i 

Of the great myght & powerr of Folys, . :?; ? 12 
An addicion of Alexander barclay in the lawde of 

kynge Henry y e viij., . . 1 6 

Of y e vayne cure of Astronomy, .% . 18 
Of the folysshe description or inquysycion of dyuers 

conntres or regyons, . . . .23 

Of folys y* stryue agaynst theyr betters nat wyllynge 

to se theyr foly, . . .. . 28 
Of folys that can nat vnderstande sport & yet wyll 

haue to do with folys, . - 33 
Of folys that hurte euery man nat wyllynge to be 

hurt agayne, . 38 

Of folys improuyndent, .... 43 
Of folys that stryue in the lawe for thynges of small 

valour, ... 48 
Of dyshonest folys in wordes of rybawdry, or vyle 

langage, 53 

Of the abusion of y e spiritualte, . . 57 
Of carde players, and dysers, . . .69 

Of proude, vayne and superflue bostys of Folys, . 64 

vi Tabula. 

A rehersinge of dyuers sortes of Folys oppressyd with 

theyr owne foly, . . . * * 75 
Of the extorcion of men of warre, scrybes and other 

offycers, . . . . - . . 80 
Of folysshe messangers, . .86 
Of the foly of Cokes, butlers, and other offycers of 

housholde, ..... 90 
Of the pryde of Charles and rude men of the 

countrey, ..... 95 

Of folys that despise and abhorre pouertye, . 99 

Of suche Folys as begyn to do well and contynue nat, 1 08 
Of folys that despyse deth and make no prouysyon 

therfore, . . . . .113 

Of folys that despyse god, . . sy* > 1 23 

Of blasphemers of god, . ?V 4M 128 

Of the plage and indignacyon of god, . ;v/ 136 

Of folysshe exchaunges, . \^\ /-'^ 141 
Of children that dysdayne to honoure & worshyp 

theyr parentis, . . . .147 

Of claterynge and vayne langage vsyd of prestes 

& clerkes in y e Quere, . . ^ I 53 

C Of the elacion or bostynge of pryde, . vV ; 158 

Of vsures and okerers, . . . ;v 166 
Of the vayne hope y l folys haue to succede to heryt- 

age of men yet lyuynge, -i^f/ . \>. 170 

Of the vyce of slouthe, i:a s ; c, icj^rtn 184 
Of Folys that gyue & that after repent of that they 

haue gyuen, . . . . ;^ 179 

Of Folys that kepe nat the holy daye, . . 174 
Of mysbeleuynge folys as Sarrazyns, Paynems, 

turkes and other suche lyke, . . <s~j.) 188 

Tabula. vii 

Of the ruyne, inclynacyon and decay of the fayth of 

Christ by slouthe of estatis, . ..*> -^ 192 

A specyall exhortacion and lawde of the kynge 

Henry the viij., . ... ' -.- .*.- 205 

Of flaterers and glosers, v-.^i . W~ 210 

Of taleberers & Folys of lyght credence vnto the same, 214 
Of marchauntis and other occupyers y* vse falshode 

and gyle, ...-*, *\ . \. -;, 219 

Of the falshode of Antichrist, . . ,pm 224 

Of hym that dare nat vtter the trouthe for fere of 

displeasour, &c., ., ,, . .', . ;''.. 231 

Of suche as withdrawe & let other from good dedes, 235 
Of leuyng gode \varkes vndone, . , ^ 239 

Of the rewarde of wysdom, ..; < .: ; 244 

Of folys that wyl nat beware of mysfortune, .; 249 
Of bacbyters of good workes & ayenst suche as shall 

dysprayse this boke, . . . j 254 

Of the immoderate vylenes in maners vsed at the 

table, . . . ,gi Bq;r; 259 

Of folys disgysed with visers and other counterfayt 

apparayle, . . . :'. { ir 267 

The discripcion of a wyse man, . * n b*M- 273 

C Alexander barclay to his welbeloued frende syr 

Johnn Bysshop of Excester, . ^ ^Viv 278 

Of folys that despyse wysdome & Phylosophy and 

a commendacion of the same, . uefc K^T 281 

Of concertacyon or stryuyng bytwene vertue & vol- 

uptuosyte, . . . . .286 

The obieccion of lust blamynge vertue, >q-. di.3\ 289 
The answere of vertue agaynst the obieccion of 

voluptuosyte, . I.; 3 -r&d Di. * 296 

viii Tabula. 

The vnyuersall and generall Shyp or Barge : wherin 

they rowe that erst hath had no charge, :\*> 306 
The vnyuersall shyp of craftysmen or laborers, , 313 
Of folys that ar to worldly, . . .';. . 317 

A brefe addicion of the syngularyte of some newe 

Folys, . . . . .322 

C A conclusion of this Boke with a Balade of our Lady, 333 

Of the yre immoderate, the wrath and 
great lewdnes of wymen. 

For wrathfull men I purposyd to ordayne 
A slowe Asse theyr hastynes to asswage 
But nowe must they forgo that beste agayne 
For wymen clayme the same by theyr great rage 
Theyr furour passyth, in dede and in langage 
All men in erth : none may with them compare 
He is well happy whiche may of them be ware. 


2 Of the wrath and great lewdnes ofwymen. 

My balade bare of frute and eloqueuce 
And I also with all my herte and mynde 
Wolde wymen lawde and prayse with reuerence 
And namely suche as ar founde true and kynde 
But of that sort, but fewe a man shall fynde 
So the yll cause, and theyr nature cruell 
To say the trouth doth me constrayne and bynde 
And of theyr vyces somwhat brefely to tell 

I haue longe louyd, loue nowe, and euer shall 
Them to commende that in vertue haue delyte 
And that ar good and chaste namely of all 
But bad, that full of wrath ar, and despyte 
It is conuenyent of theyr madnes to wryte 
And theyr condycions repreue without all drede 
So am I bolder and redyer to endyte 
For no wyse woman shall these rebukes rede 

The mother of Graccus. Cornelia prudent 
Chaste and discrete, and of beauty souerayne 
Shall nat my Balade rede : for intent 
Was euer in vertue, hir honour to mentayne 
No godly woman, that doth from synne refrayne 
Shall I disprayse but rather them defende 
Therfore in my wordes I shall boldly and playne 
Lawde iust and good, and the yll discommende 

She that hath bene brought vp in honestye 
Fedynge hir mynde with wysdome and prudence 
And kept hir gode name in youth by chastyte 
The fere of God alway in hir presence 

Of the wrath and great lewdnes of wymen. 3 

Suche ren nat lyghtly to vyle synne and offence 
And doth no thynge, but gode and commendable 
O that suche one is worthy reuerence 
Better than all golde, than ryches more lawdable 

A woman iust and to goodnes inclyned 
If wrath and yre hir husbonde do inflame 
With hir good counsell shall mytigate his mynde 
And peas his wrath, an example of the same 
We haue by kynge Assuerus by name 
Whiche commaundyd all the hebreans to be slayne 
But his Quene hester worthy of dede and fame 
With hir fayre wordes apeasyd hym agayne 

The kynge Dauyd despysed by Naball 

That wronge purposyd to punysshe hastely 

Yet was he apaysyd by a woman lyberall 

Abygayll by name, whiche very womanly 

Causyd hym that yre to temper by and by 

His hande withdrawynge, and swerde of punysshment 

So good wymen counsell well and rightwysely 

Put yll gyue counsell after the worst intent 

Salomon the wyse infect with the foly 
Of wymens counsell and blynde aduysement 
To his great hurte fell to Idolatry 
Renounsynge the seruyce of god omnypotent 
Of womans tunge : who can the malyce stent 
Forsoth no man : for all theyr felycyte 
Is set in spekynge of wordes imprudent 
For in theyr tunge is all theyr cruelte 

4 Of the wrath and great lewdnes of wymen. 

Thcyr cruell tunge is sharper than a dart 
Therwith they labour to brynge men to yll name 
And with the same they stryke some to the herte 
With thoughtfull wounde, no thynge can hele the same 
They neuer haue done, and yet haue they no shame 
Without occasyon to chyde with noyse and cry 
In cruell wordes is all theyr myrth and game 
Sawynge theyr sede of chatrynge lyke the pye 

O god aboue : o kynge moite glorious 
v Of heuen and erth the whiche hast rauysshyd hell 
Delyuer vs from the tungys venemous 
Of frowarde wymen, cursyd and cruell - 
For a thousande mo myschcuys than man can tell 

I'lnrnlr ol'ihcyr mad ;nul disordird lanj'.aju' 

One woman chydynge makyth gretter yell 
Than sholde an hundrcth pyes in one cage 

The pore husbonde with some is so bested 
That he no rest hath one houre of the day 
Nor in the nyght whim he is in his bed 
There she hyin techyth a brawlynge crede to say 
And if he there ought vnto hir denay 
She gronyth grutchynge, with hir complayntis styll 
Ye foure dayes after let hym do what he may 
He shall hir nat asswage tyll she hath chid hir fyll 

Thus is hir chydynge to this pore man great wo 
Moreouer in woman is gyle and sotyltye 
And secrete malyce whiche none can take hir fro 
And for that she wolde fayne commendyd be 

Of the wrath and great lew dnes ofwymen. 5 

She hym commaundeth as moche more wyse than he 
In hir owne conceyt despysynge his doctryne 
And if hir husbonde to any thynge agre 
By no maner mean wyll she therto inclyne 

She wyll that no thynge be perfourmyd of his wyll 
All must be rulyd after hir folysshe mynde 
And that in thynges, wherin she hath no skyll. 
So oft the husbonde fawtles great hurte doth fynde 
And also lossys whiche his herte sharply bynde 
By the lewde dedys and langage of his wyfe 
And though a woman s wordes be but wynde 
Yet of them growe bothe : murder losse and stryfe 

Right so Amphyon of Thebes myghty kynge 
For the offences : and selfe wyll of his wyfe 
Bycause he dyd hir wyll in euery thynge 
For his owne foly at laste he lost his lyfe 
Wordes amonge wymen is comon and ryfe 
And fere of shame, from many gone is quyte 
So one Calphurnia in a case playntyfe 
Hir bare tayle shewyd to the iuge in despyte 

But for to speke of womans wrath and yre 
No beste in erthe to wrath is so inclynde 
As she : hir wrath in hete passyth hote fyre 
No tunge can tell the rancour of hir mynde 
This wrath in woman is rotyd so by kynde 
That if she be onys set in hir madnesse 
She passyth all the cruell bestis of Inde 
The bere the wolf fell lyon, and the lyones. 

6 Of the wrath and great lew fines ofwymen. 

The cruell Tyger to woman is nat lyke 
Whiche whan hir whelpis from hir den taken be 
Rangyth about in furour them to seke 
For madnes gnawynge and terynge stocke and tre 
A wrathfull woman is yet more mad than she 
^. Cruell Medea doth us example shewe 

Of womans furour great wrath and cruelte 
Whiche hir owne children dyd all to pecis hewe 

Progne also may be to vs example 

Whiche sode hir owne childe after she had hym slayne 

The story in Ouyde is wryten longe and ample 

But if Juuenall had nat wryten playne 

Of wymen the wrath, theyr cruelte and trayne 

The same shulde nowe haue wryten ben by me 

But foly it is to wryte the same agayne. 

Therfore I leue it for cause of breuyte 

The herte of woman is ay deuysynge scornys 

Disceyt and cautele falshode lesynge and gyle 

It is more sharpe than knyfe, pryckynge as thornes 

If she be pacient : it lastyth but a whyle 

Hir stomacke swellyth by bytter gall and vyle 

Hir body full of rancour and madnes 

But where she settyth, man by worde to reuyle 

From hir stynkynge mouth commyth all vnhappynes 

No maner vyce shall she vntouchyd leue 
She troubleth maners of men that ar lawdable 
And of theyr gode name doth falsly them bereue 
She troublyth right and peas most profitable 

Of the wrath and great lewdnes ofwymen. 7 

Brakynge hir fayth by synne abhomynable 
The bed defylynge, Dean can nat withdrawe 
Them from that vyse theyr mynde is so vnstable 
They take theyr pleasour in synne agaynst the lawe 

She that hir mynde doth to this vyce subdue 

Gyuynge hir body to this mysgouernaunce 

To husbonde, nor to none other man is true 

Yet kepeth she a solem countenaunce 

As none were lyke hir in Englonde nor in Fraunce 

Iii all vertues, and knowynge nought of syn 

But if that she were well sought she is perchaunce 

A wolfe or gote within a Lammys skyn 

A woman is lyke a clyster laxatyf 

In mannys purs voydynge that is within 

If man shulde euer be rulyd by his wyfe 

Hir proude aparayle sholde make his thryst full thyn 

As well can some spende as theyr good man can wyn 

And moche faster, but if that coyne do fuyle 

She labowryth nat to get it without syn 

But craftely to forge it with hir tayle 

I fynde in the worlde that there be thynges thre 
Right harde to knowe, the fourth that no man may 
Knowe nor perceyue, first, whan a byrde doth fle 
Alonge in the ayre : no man can spye hir way 
The way of a Shyp in the se thoughe it be day 
Harde is to se whiche way the shyp hath gone 
The thirde harde thynge as I have oft heard say 
Is the way of a serpent ouer a stone 

8 Of the wrath and great lewdnes of wymen. 

But the fourth way that of all hardest is 
Of yonge man is, in youthes lustynes 
A vycyous womans way is lyke to this 
Whiche after hir synne and great vnhappyness 
Fedyth hir with mete of blynde delyciousnes 
Than wypyth hir mouth and sayth in audyence 
With mynde assured and past all shamefastnes 
I haue nat commyttyd yll, synne nor any offence 

Thre other thynges on erth I fynde certayne 
Whiche troubleth the grounde and also the see 
The fourth nouther see nor londe may well sustayne 
The firste is a churle that hath a bonde man be 
And so by fortune come vnto hye degre 
The seconde is a fole whan he is dronke and full. 
The thirde a wrathful! woman, full of cruelte 
He that hir weddyth, hath a crowe to pull 

Yet is the fourth wors and more eleuate 
That is a hande mayde lowe of hir lynage 
Promotyd from a begger and so come to estate 
Succedynge hir lady as heyr in herytage 
Of suche procedeth moche malyce and outrage 
Disdayne great scorne, vilany and debate 
For the frenche man, sayth in his langage 
No thynge is wors than a churle made a state 

I wolde fayne cesse of womans gyle and treason 
And theyr great falshode whiche none can well defende 
I nought wyll speke, howe some by mortall poyson 
Theyr husbondes brynge to sodayne deth and ende 

Of the wrath and great lewdnes of wymen. 9 

Examples habunde : who lyst therto intende 

Of Agrippina, and Poncia wode of mynde 

Whiche on theyr husbondes dyd mortall hande extende 

Of many suche we may in wrytynge fynde 

What shall I wryte the cursyd cruelte , 

Of the susters of Danaides echone 
Fyfty in nomber, whiche by iniquyte 
Slewe all their husbondes reseruyd one alone 

chast lucres, alas where art thou gone 
From theyr presence all wymen ner, the chace 
Thou art belouyd, nowe almost of none 

And bawdy tays hath nowe thy rowme and place 

Fals Clytymnestra cruell of hir dede 

May trouble the hertis of all men on the grounde 

And cause them of other suche to take hede 

Whose manyfolde malyce doth mynde of man confounde 

The prudent Porcia to fewe men nowe is bounde 

Or associat by the way of mariage 

This Porcia kept hir body chast and sounde 

Trewe to hir husbonde Cato the great sage 

The Chast Sabyn is nat weddyd nowe a dayes 
To many men : as she was wont to be 

1 meane that fewe inclyne, nowe to hir wayes 
Wherfore I say that well happy is he 

That hath a woman kepynge hir honeste 
Pacient of mynde, in suche is great confort 
She is a Jewell that louyth chastyte 
It is pyte that so fewe, be of that sort 

io Of the wrath and great lewdnes ofwymen. 

Ye gentyll wymen, and other great and small 

Be nat displeasyd with these true cours sentences 

For certaynly I haue nat wryten all 

The vyce of wymen theyr synnes nor offences 

If I had red all the lyberall sciences 

And all my lyfe shulde there about intende 

Yet coude I neuer wryte all inconuenyences 

By wymen done, nor theyr malyce comprehende 

But whyle I lyue the good shall I commende 
And them exalt at euery tyme and season 
I may haue leyser ynoughe therto tyntende 
Syns of them is no plenty but great geason 
But suche folys as ar voyde of all reason 
And shame to all wymen by theyr mysgouernaunce 
As powlynge yre disceyte sclaunder and treason 
Them shall I blame with wrathfull countenannce 


Ye wrathfull wymen by vyce lesynge your name 
Correct your selfe, and labour ye with payne 
In your lyuynge for to deserue no blame 
Assay with mekenes to get your name agayne 
By that mean may ye, all your wyll obtayne 
Let chastyte you gyde and pacience 
For to be frowarde, (it is a thynge in vayne 
Vnto hym to whom ye owe obedyence 

The lawe commaundyth you to do reuerence 
Vnto your spousys with honour and mekenesse 

Of the wrath and great lewdnes ofwymen. 1 1 

And nat displease hym by your wylfull offence 
As hasty langage disceyte and vnkyndnes 
If ye lyue well than shall God sende riches 
To you in erth, with welth and ioy mundayne 
And if ye fortune to fall in to lewdnes 
These great gyftis shall ye Justly lese agayne 

Of the great myght and power of Folys, 

Blynde foly hath hir tends abrode displayde 
In euery place, from them no felde is fre. 
With hir madnes, the worlde is hole dismayde 
She hath all men in hir captyuyte 
But namely suche as ar of moste degre 
Of most riches power lynage and myght 
Vnder hir standard submyt them selfe to fyght 

Of the great myght and power of folys. 

Thou folysshe man trustynge in thy ryches 
Therby contendynge to haue preemynence 
Howe be it that thou art gyuen to viciousnes 
And none so bolde to shewe the thy offence 
The more thou errest in thy blynde negligence 
For if that thou be hye of rowme and name 
If thou offende the more shall be thy shame 

Thoughe all thy wordes be full of folysshenes 

And all thy dedys to no good ende do come 

Yet wylt thou be reputyd in ryches 

Bebefore all other and also in wysdome 

O howe oft tymes (of these folys) wyll some 

Commende them self and lawde their glorious name 

Whan they se that none other wyll do the same 

These folys them boste of dedys of valyaunce 
And worthy actis done by them in batayle 
Howe be it that lawde wherby man doth auaunce 
Hym self by his owne mouth is of but small auayle 
And vyle before men of wysdome and counsayle 
But suche fowlys that of eche hatyd be 
Them self may commende by gode auctoryte. 

These Folys say that londe is fortunate 
Whiche is gouernyd, by ryche Prynce or kynge 
But better is that londe whiche longyth to a state 
Whiche is induyd with wysdome and cunnynge 
Workynge by counsell in euery maner thynge 
For who that rayneth in wysdome and vertue 
The great Vlixes shall scantly hym subdue 

1 4 Off the great myght and power offolys. 

A wyse Prynce gydeth hymselfe by reason 

And his Realme by Justyce and equyte 

Ordeynynge eche thynge, accordynge to the season 

Nowe with rygour : and oft by benygnyte. 

Nat beynge parcyall to hye nor lowe degre 

No coyne nor brybe can change or turne his mynde 

But so he iugeth as lawe and right doth bynde 

Suche louyth vertue, next god omnypotent 
And grace hym gydeth with godly chastyte 
Wherby his Realme becommyth excellent 
His londe increasynge in great prosperyte 
His counsell discrete and full of grauyte 
Graciously gydeth the subiectis on his grounde 
And so departynge this Prynce in heuyn is crownde 

Well is that londe and ioyous may it be 
Whiche is defendyd by suche a noble estate 
But wo be that londe, whose crowne of royalte 
Is gyuen to a childe, whose counsell drynketh late 
Gyuen to the wombe, to Ryot and debate 
Suche frowarde counsell shall blynde his innocence 
And cause hym decay from his hye excellence 

A fole promotyd to riches and renowne 
Syttynge in his stage or chayre of rowme royall 
Blyndeth iustyce tournynge the lawes vp set downe 
By vyle rewardes and gyftis temporall 
Another by fauour, letteth true iustyce fall 
Damnynge innocence by fals iniquyte 
Thus hdsly ouerthrowen is iust symplycyte 

Of the great myght and power offolys. 15 

Justyce ought be wayed in an euyn balance 
By egall mesure, all fauour set a syde 
Nat rygorously for wrath or displeasaunce 
The fere of god ought a iuges mynde to gyde 
But moche I fere lyst the fals sede abyde 
In erthe yet : of them whiche by fals polecy 
Vnto deth iuged Susanna wrongfully 

And of Andronicus whiche hath Onias slayne 
Thoughe both be dede, the sede of them abyde 
Wherof fals traytours begyn to growe agayne 
Infectynge falsly the worlde on euery side 
Maystershyp, and money euery thynge doth gyde 
Bynadab by gyftis hath broke his othe alas 
Tryphon by the same disceyued Jonathas 

In hope of brybes men of great dignyte 
Blyndyth the lawes, and some doth oft betray 
Theyr kynge and countrey sellynge theyr honeste 
Example of Jugurtha whiche oft by Rome dyd say 
Whyle he frome it departyd on a day 
O Rome Rome, who that had store of golde 
By thy owne gyders, thou falsly sholde be solde 

Trust me (on grounde, no maner man we fynde 

Of so great wrath malyce nor rancoure 

But the holy Crosse shall mytygate his mynde 

All men doth it great worshyp and honour 

Money ouer man is like a conquerour 

No herte so stronge whiche it doth nat ouercome 

It is preferred both vertue and wysdome 

1 6 Of the great myght and power offolys, 

Whan mony labours it leuyth nought vndone 
It all ouercomyth with hye and lowe degre 
And shortly to speke for a conclusyon 
It thousandes blyndeth of men of dignyte 
With dyuers folyes, whiche they themself nat se 
Thus doth the nomber of Folys rayne so wyde 
Ouer all the worlde : that no man can them gyde. 


O noble prynces, in worshyp decorate 
Infix your myndes to vertue and prudence 
Remember it is more dishonour to a state 
Than to a sympyll man to fall to vyle offence 
And where as of God ye haue preemynence 
Aboue lowe people, labour with full intent 
To pass them in vertue, and so with dylygence 
Lerne to lyue by the rede Rose redolent 

Though that we Brytons be fully separate 
From all the worlde as is sene by euydence 
Wallyd with the se, and longe ben in debate 
By insurreccion yet God hath made defence 
By his prouysion ordeyned us a prynce. 
In all vertues most noble and excellent 
This prynce is Harry clene of conscience 
Smellynge as the Rose ay freshe and redolent 

Drawe nere ye Prynces of myndes eleuate 
Meknes may ye lerne beynge in his presence 
And godly wysdome as hath apered late 
In dyuers dedys done, by his excellence 

Of the great myght and power ofjblys. 1 7 

Subduynge without blode great inconuenyence 
Punysshynge the proude, louynge the innocent 
Wherfore to his dedys gyue your aduertence 
Folowynge the smell of the Rose redolent 

By his reygne is all Englonde lawreat 
With godly peas nat nedynge great defence 
Murdred is Mars, and with woundes sawciate 
The bondys of peas hath dryuen the tyrant hens 
Banysshed is batayle by his magnyficence 
And peas confermyd by god omnypotent 
The blynde Venus chefe grounde of neglygence 
Is exyled from the rede Rose redolent 

In hym is iustyce with petye sociate 
Vpon the poor he spareth no expence 
Nor on the Churche after lyke maner rate 
Proinotynge men of wysdome and science 
Seruynge his maker with loue and reuerence 
Wherfore O englonde be true of thy intent 
With faythfull herte do hym obedyence 
Thanke god whiche hath the Rose vnto the sent 


Of the vayne cure of Astronomy. 

He is forsoth of purpose vayne and blynde 

Of mynde mysbeleuynge and without aduysement 

Whiche stedfastly thynkyth in his mynde 

To knowe thynges to come playne and euydent 

Onely by the sterrys of the fyrmament 

Yet churlys voyde of cunnynge and wysdome 

Ar no we a dayes Astronomyers become 

Of the vayne cure of Astronomy. 19 

Here call we to our folysshe company 
Suche folys as labour and stody with great payne 
To iuge the planetis, by theyr Astronomy 
And other craftis without profyte and vayne 
Come hyther Astronomyers haue ye no disdayne 
Ye planetystis and wytches, and other of this sort 
Whiche honour the sterres onely : as your confort 

Suche iuge the dedys of men both more and les 
Expoundynge the sterres by theyr vayne iugement 
They labour wenynge by theyr folysshnes 
To knowe the secrete of god omnypotent 
On this vayne stody so set is theyr intent 
That what so euer they in the sterres se 
Without all dout they thynke the same shall be 

On the sterrys is all theyr felycyte 
And in the planetis ar they full dilygent 
And than vtter with great audacyte 
All that the same do showe or represent 
The preuy workynges of euery element 
And secrete causys of other bodyes aboue. 
They note to knowe to what effect they moue 

Some gase vpon the wandrynge of the mone 
Another deuysyth the cours of Phebus clere 
Gasynge on the Sonne at mornynge nyght or none 
And by other planetis shewyth what doth apere 
Howe some of them whan they do gyde the yere 
Engendreth plenty pleasour myrth and ioy 
And howe some other doth man and beste destroy 

2O Of the vayne cure of Astronomy. 

Some techyth what thynge sad Saturne doth manace 
And what cruell Mars doth note and signifye 
Some expoundyth Venus with hir pleasaunt face 
Howe she men bryngyth oft tyme to vylany 
Another is in hande to trete of Marcury 
Howe eche of these planetis doth men predestynate 
And howe Jupiter theyr wrath doth mytygate 

These folys say that in theyr bokes they fynde 
That men borne vnder the constellation 
Of Saturne : to theft and robbynge ar inclynyd 
Yet fynde we suche true ofte by probacion 
And gode and iust without all decepcion 
They say that children of Mars without fayle 
Shall be disposyd and full gyuen to Batayle 

Yet fynde we often by playne experience 

That suche as vnder this planete borne be 

Ar nat inclyned after theyr sentence 

But gyuen ay to peas and tranquyllyte 

Right so by Venus we often tymes se 

That though she dispose hir children vnto lust 

And bodely pleasour, yet ar they : chast and iust 

Thus it aperyth both playne and openly 

That it is foly to gyue great confydence 

To the vnsure science of Astronomy 

Wherfore haue done Just man, note this sentence 

A man of wysdome vertue and science 

If he the wayes of vyces set asyde 

Shall gyde the sterris, and they shall hym nat gyde 

Of the vayne cure of Astronomy. 2 i 

Thynke well the sterris and eche elyment 
The hole firmament and planetis euerychone 
Stande in the handes of god omnypotent 
None can them gyde saue this hye lorde alone 
Therfore mad man, let thy foly be gone 
Wylt thou knowe the secretis of thy creatour 
Leue of thy blyndnes, thy foly and furour 

Takest thou this labour and charge vpon the 
As who sayth god whiche reyneth eternall 
Wolde shewe his secretis and godly pryuytye 
By sterre or planete to any man mortall 
Wherfore it is best me thynke that we leue all 
Vnto the iugement and wyll of god aboue 
Whiche gydeth all : howe euer the sterris moue 

He by his myght hath made the fyrmament 

With all the sterres and planetis of the same 

Whiche at his wyll ar euer obedyent 

And he them rulyth, therfore what hurt or shame 

What mysfortune aduersyte or blame 

Can all the planetis to man or childe pretende 

If god moste glorious by his myght vs defende 

Thus is it foly, voyde labour and vanyte 

To gyue great credence vnto Astronomy 

It is great Foly also in certaynte 

To trust vnto fortune, to byrth or desteny 

A vertuouse lyuer may all the same defye 

Lyue well and than trust surely to goddes grace 

The sterris ne fortune shall in the haue no place. 

22 Of the vayne cure of Astronomy. 


Leue of your foly, whiche labour this science 
And let this your clokyd errour be refusyd 
Vnto the stems gyue nat to great credence 
For many one therby hath ben abusyd. 
And many one haue stodyed sore and musyd 
To wryte Pronosticacions, whiche haue be founde 
Of none effect, and than falsly excusyd 
For suche shewe before after as they ar bounde. 

Of the folysshe descripcion and inquisicion 
of dyuers contrees and regyons. 

Who that is besy to mesure and compace 
The heuyn and erth and all the worlde large 
Describynge the clymatis and folke of euery place 
He is a fole and hath a greuous charge 
Without auauntage, wherfore let hym discharge 
Hym selfe, of that fole whiche in his necke doth syt 
About suche folyes dullynge his mynde and wyt. 

24 Of the folys she description and inquisicion 

That fole, of wysdome and reason doth fayle 
And also discression labowrynge for nought. 
And in this shyp shall helpe to drawe the sayle 
Which day and nyght infixeth all his thought 
To haue the hole worlde within his body brought 
Mesurynge the costes of euery royalme and lande 
And clymatis, with his compace, in his hande 

He coueytyth to knowe, and compryse in his mynde 

Euery regyon and euery sundry place 

Whiche ar nat knowen to any of mankynde 

And neuer shall be without a specyall grace 

Yet suche folys take pleasour and solace 

The length and brede of the worlde to mesure 

In vayle besynes, takynge great charge and cure 

They set great stody labour and besynes 

To knowe the people that in the east abyde 

And by and by theyr mesures after dres 

To knowe what folke the west and north part gyde 

And who the sowth, thus all the worlde wyde 

By these folys is meated by ieometry 

Yet knowe they scant theyr owne vnwyse body 

Another labours to knowe the nacions wylde 
Inhabytynge the worlde in the North plage and syde 
Metynge by mesure, countrees both fyers and mylde 
Vnder euery planete, where men sayle go or ryde 
And so this fole castyth his wyt so wyde 
To knowe eche londe vnder the fyrmament 
That therabout in vayne his tyme is spent 

of dyuers contrees and regions. 

Than with his compace drawyth he about 
Europe, and Asye, to knowe howe they stande 
And of theyr regyons nat to be in dout 
Another with Grece and Cesyll is in honde 
With Apuly, Afryke and the newe fonde londe 
With Numydy and, where the Moryans do dwell 
And other londes whose namys none can tell 

He mesureth Athlant, calpe, and cappadoce 

The see of Hercules garnado and Spayne 

The yles there aboute shewynge all in groce 

Throwynge his mesure to Fraunce and to Brytayne 

The more and lesse, to Flaundres and almayne 

There is no yle so lytell that hath name 

But that these Folys in hande ar with the same 

And regyons that ar compasyd with the se 
They besely labour to knowe and vnderstande 
And by what cause, nature or propertye 
These doth flowe, nat ouercouerynge the londe 
So he descrybyth his cercle in his honde 
The hole worlde : leuynge no thynge behynde 
As in the Doctrynes of Strabo he doth fynde 

Whiche wrote in bokes makynge declaracion 
Somtyme hym groundynge vpon auctoryte 
Howe eche Royalme and londe had sytuacion 
Some in brode feldes some closyd with the see 
But ye geometryans that of this purpose be 
Ye ar but folys to take suche cure and payne 
Aboute a thynge whiche is fruteles and vayne 

26 Of the foly s she description and inqutsicion 

It passyth your reason the hole worlde to discus 
And knowe euery londe and countrey of the grounde 
For though that the noble actour plinius 
The same purposyd, yet fawty is he founde 
And in Tholomeus great errours doth habounde 
Thoughe he by auctoryte makyth mencyon 
Of the descripcion of euery regyon 

Syns these actours so excellent of name 

Hath bokes composyd of this facultye 

And neuer coude parfytely perfourme the same 

Forsoth it is great foly vnto the 

To labour about suche folysshe vanyte 

It is a furour also one to take payne 

In suche thynges as prouyd ar vncertayne 

For nowe of late hath large londe and grounde 
Ben founde by maryners and crafty gouernours 
The whiche londes were neuer knowen nor founde 
Byfore our tyme by our predecessours 
And here after shall by our successours 
Parchaunce mo be founde, wherin men dwell 
Of whome we neuer before this same harde tell 

Ferdynandus that late was kynge of spayne 

Of londe and people hath founde plenty and store 

Of whome the bydynge to vs was vncertayne 

No christen man of them harde tell before 

Thus is it foly to tende vnto the lore 

And vnsure science of vayne geometry 

Syns none can knowe all the worlde perrytely 

of dyuers contrees and regyons. 27 


Ye people that labour the worlde to mesure 

Therby to knowe the regyons of the same 

Knowe firste your self, that knowledge is moste sure 

For certaynly it is rebuke and shame 

For man to labour, onely for a name 

To knowe the compasse of all the worlde wyde 

Nat knowynge hym selfe, nor howe he sholde hym gyde 

Of hym that wyll nat se his owne folysshe- 
nes: and that stryueth agaynst his 

The folysshe Marcia dyd with Apollo ttryue 
But he ouercome : loste sone the victory. 
And for his foly was fleyd beioge alyue 
For that he comparyd to ioyous Armony. 
His foulysshe Bagpype royde of al melody. 
Yet kept he styUe his Bagpype in his hoode : 
Nat willynge his foly to knowe nor voderstoode. 

Of hym that wyll nat se his jblysshenes. 29 

Ouer al the worlde eche folysshe Creature. 
If he by his foly, or neglygence offende. 
Hath suche condicion within hym by nature 
That to mennys mockes nought wyl he intende. 
Nor knowlege his foly, nor stody hym to amende. 
But as one obstynate, continue in his synne. 
O folysshe Marcia : for this thou lost thy skynne. 

This folysshe Marcia with Phebus dyd contende. 
Comparynge with hym in songe of Armony 
But for that Marcia cowde nat his part defende 
He fieaed was alyue moche pyteously. 
To whose example we se that comonly 
Many mad brayned and blynde Foles ar alyue 
Which voyde of reason, with prudent men dar stryue. 

And euery fole that is voyde of dyscressyon 
At al tymes thynketh hymself wyse and prudent. 
Though he be destytute of wysedom and of reason. 
Suche ar so blynde that they can nat aduyse. 
Howe men by mockes and scornes them despyce. 
Lawghinge to derision theyr maners and lewde dede. 
Yet se they nat the foles erys vpon theyr hede. 

Thys fole thus lawghed to scorne and derision 

Taketh al in sporte lawhinge with them also. 

Nat thynkynge hym contemned for his mad condicion, 

Lewde, and disordred. but where so euer he go 

He best is content with them that so wyl do. 

He loueth to be flatered and clawed by the sleue 

That thynge that he wolde here : he gladly doth bdeue. 

30 Of hym that wyll nat se his folysshenes. 

Who that hym prayseth in scorne and in mockage. 
And in derision doth magnyfy his name 
Anone he enclyneth vnto that lewde langage : 
Auaunsinge hymselfe and presumynge on the same 
Stryuynge with his better to his rebuke and shame. 
So hangith on his shulders hys pype contynually 
Wherby men may his lewdnes notefy. 

If suche a fole haue patrymony and londe 

Or in his Coffres great treasour and riches 

He shall haue frendes and felawys at honde 

To egge hym forwarde vnto vnhappynes 

And sawynge in hym sede of moche vnthryftynes 

And than to spoyle hym : and leue hym pore and bare 

Wherby he after must lyue in payne and care 

Wastfull youth oft spendeth, all his hole substaunce 
On suche Felawys folowynge alway theyr mynde 
Rennynge hedely to vngracious gouernaunce 
But whan of his good no more is left behynde 
And he theyr falshode and preuy gyle doth fynde 
He than auysyth hym of his olde estate 
Begynnynge to spare, but than it is to late 

So whan he by them is brought to pouertye 

Hauynge no thynge his bodye to sustayne 

Than all his frendes away fast from hym fle 

As trayters vntrue leuynge the Fole in payne 

Than cryeth he on god, and sore doth hym complayne 

With wofull wordes, mournynge with herte full faynt 

And than forthynkyth : but late is his complaynt 

and that stryueth agaynst his strenger. 3 

But who that in his costes is so ryfe 

That he that spendyth within a yere or twayne 

Whiche were ynoughe the dayes of his lyfe 

With honest rule his body to mayntayne 

He is a fole spendynge his good in vayne 

But they on whome he so his good doth spende 

Shall more to his money, than to his loue intende 

Wherot precedyth pouerty and contempt 
Scorne and derisyon nede and aduersyte 
And from all honour these folys ar exempt 
That thus wast theyr good in prodygalyte 
For who that is of small power and degre 
And with his betters wyll in expence stryue 
Without all dout that Fole shall neuer thryue 

And also folys that stryueth in the lawe 
Agaynst an estate them passynge in ryches 
Shall theyr owne flesshe vnto the bonys gnawe 
Or he that is voyde of reason and wytles 
And dare presume by his presumptuousnes 
Agaynst a man of hye wysdome and lore 
He shall byde a fole, euen as he was before. 

Ye folys voyde of wysdome and scyence 
That wyll presume with cunnynge men to stryue 
And ye feble Folys that by your insolence 
Thynke you more stronge than any man a lyue 
And ye pore Folys whiche labour to contryue 
Mean to ouercome suche as better ar than ye 
I you ensure that ye shalt neuer thryue 
But outher be brought to shame or pouerte 

3 2 Of hym that wyll nat se his folysshenes. 

And thou that art a courter or a knaue 

Or a bonde chorle, and all thy hole lynage 

Thynke well thou shalt but small profyte haue 

To stryue with thy mayster come of hye parage 

I fynde it moste for mannys auauntage 

Within his bondes his body to preserue 

And nat in riches, strength wysdome nor langage 

To stryue agaynst the streme, lyst he in swymmynge sterue 

Of folys that vnderstonde nat game and 
can no thynge take in sport, and yet 
intermyt them with Folys. 

Who that with Folys or children wyll play 
Or meddyll with suche as wyt and reason want 
He ought them to suffer folowynge theyr way 
And them endure, as for that small instant 
Lyst for his maners mad and ignorant 
I call hym hyther to gyde the helme and sayle 
If the shyp brake, the les is his auayle 


34 Qffb 5 th a * vnderstonde nat game 

That man shall one be of our folysshe sort 
Whiche without wysdome and aduysement 
Wyll besely with folys and children sport 
And can nat them indure with meke intent 
And mad he is that wyll in mynde assent 
To haue ado or accompany with boyes 
And can nat suffer theyr folysshnes and toyes 

He is a Fole also, that hath great game 

Whan childe or dronkard blamyth one absent 

If he can nat also indure the same 

And quenche madnes with wordes pacyent 

For without dout who that wyll be present 

And conuersaunt with caytyfs in theyr bourdes 

Or els with children, must suffer theyr lewde wordes 

Yet some ar besy on euery man to rayle 
With voyde wordes, and talys mad and vayne 
With scornes and mockes behynde eche mannys tayle 
And yet disdayneth to abyde the same agayne 
Theyr madnes doth theyr myndes so constrayne 
That with euery Fole they gladly haue to do 
And can nat suffer what doth belonge therto 

He that wyll labour a beast to hunt or chace 
With his pleasour must take payne and besynes 
Folowynge the same about from place to place 
His lynes, colers, and lesshes he must dres 
And often also abyde, full great hardnes 
So he that wyll by yll worde man ouerturne 
Must holde hym sure, lyst he vnwarly spurne 

and can no thynge take in sport. 

One worde in sporte spokyn, another lyke requyrys 

Rayle with a Fole, or childe that can nat gyde 

Hym selfe by reason, thy sportis lyke, desyres 

He is a fole whiche can it nat abyde 

For lyke wyll haue lyke, if thou be by the syde 

Or in the company of Fole or innocent 

To suffer theyr foly thou moste be pacyent 

A fole hastely rendreth yll for yll 

And oft for good, and loue most profytable 

They render hatered malyce and yll wyll 

Whiche is a thynge wronge and intolerable 

Yet this nature in folys abydeth stable 

That seldome or neuer, they goodnes pay agayne 

They other scorne, of scornys hauynge disdayne 

With suche Folys none wyse ought intermyt 
But coueyt amonge wyse men to be conuersaunt 
And so they do, but Folys voyde of wyt 
Takyth theyr rowme amonge other ignoraunt 
The company of folys to folys is pleasaunt 
For it is a prouerbe, and an olde sayd sawe 
That in euery place lyke to lyke wyll drawe 

A precious stone wrappyd in myre and fen 
Lesyth his colour and semyth nat of pryce 
Right so one good, amonge vnthrifty men 
Distayneth his name, with theyr yll name and vyce 
And doth to hym selfe great wronge and preiudice 
For eche man is reputyd of the same sort 
As is the company wherto he doth resort 

3 6 Qffty s that vnderstande nat game 

Wherfore me thynke it best, for euery creature 
To auoyde the bandes and mad enormyte 
Of suche Folys whiche can no man endure 
By theyr blynde pryde and desyre of dignyte 
They coueyt to gouerne both hye and lowe degre 
No dolour troubleth a Folys mynde so sore 
As whan a man of reason is set hym before 

If twenty men be in one company 

Som of hye byrth, some wyse, some lyberall 

If one fole be amonge them certaynly 

He thynkes hym selfe moche wyser than they all 

Thus shortly to speke, a folysshe man rurall 

If he a churle, a fole and vnthrift be 

The more he lokyth to come to hye degre 

Suche folys promotyd haue no pacience 

To suffer theyr folawes, so hye set is theyr mynde 

And to theyr betters they haue no reuerence 

They can nat them endure, they ar so blynde 

So by experience as we often fynde 

A fole thoughe he neyther haue wysdome nor cunnynge 

Yet thynketh hym selfe aboue all worldly thynge 

Hereof the Bybyll examples doth expres 

Howe the fals Aman (howe beit he was vnwyse) 

Had dyuers statis of wysdome and riches 

To hym obeynge, and yet dyd them despyse 

But for that Mardocheus wolde nat ryse 

Out of his place to do to hym honour 

His mynde was fyllyd with malyce and dolour 

and can no thynge take in sport. 3 7 

In so moche that he wolde haue had hym slayne 
For this small faut, but god gaue remedy 
To mardocheus for to escape his trayne 
And so fals Aman his treason dyd abye 
And hanged was, for Mardocheus worthely 
And that before Mardocheus face and iyene 
By the persuasion of Hester noble quene 

But of this proces to drawe vnto conclusyon 
What man that intendeth for to lyue quyetly 
And wyse to be callyd without abusion 
Let hym auoyde mad and folysshe company 
But if he nedys wyll vnto suche aply 
Let hym mekely endure theyr game and sport 
Els shall he be one of this my folysshe sort. 


O wyse man thou ought lewde company auoyde 

For it is dayly prouyd by experyence 

That with a thynge corrupt, a sounde thynge is distroyed 

Right so good men oft fall in to great offence 

And iugyd yll, though they gyde them by prudence 

And that for hauntynge of company diffamyd 

For thoughe one be gyuen to godly innocence 

As is his company right so shall he be namyd. 

Of them that wylfully offende nat takynge 
hede to the ende, and hurtyth euery 
man nat thynkynge to haue theyr 
malyce rendryd agayne. 

That fole castyth a dart into the ayre 

And gasyth after it without aduysement 

Of the fallynge downe therof nat beynge ware 

Whiche labouryth with dedys and wordes vyolent 

To get many foes hurtynge the innocent 

And lokyth nat agayne lyke to endure 

One yll turne requyreth, another be thou sure 

Of them that wylfully offende. 39 

Here touche I folys, and men without counsell 
Whiche puttyth many vnto besynes and payne 
And them sore greuyth by theyr dedys cruell 
Nat thynkynge to be seruyd with the same agayne 
That fole forsoth is of a frantyke brayne 
Whiche other men wyll hurt rebuke and blame 
And wyll nat suffer of them agayne the same 

Consyder man, oft tyme within thy mynde 

The wronge that thou woldest do to thy neyghbour 

"Whether thou myght in thy herte paciently fynde 

The same to suffer of hym without rancour 

Malyce or yll wyll, wrath or displeasour 

For thou oughtest nat do to any creature 

That thynge whiche thou of hym wolde nat endure 

He that wyll other men thurst by violence 

In to a sak by extorcion and wronge 

Must in lyke maner arme hym with pacyence 

And suffer some blowys nowe and than amonge 

To one yll turne another doth belonge 

He that is besy euery man to displeas 

Or to indamage shall neuer lyue in eas 

One namyd Peryllus a workman excellent 
A bull of bras forgyd by his subtylte 
Wherin a Tyrant myght put men to tourment 
Deuysynge deth of moste payne and cruelte 
But this workman to proue his faculte 
Was by that Tyrant put to deth in lyke wyse 
As he for other dyd ordayne and deuyse 

40 Of them that wylfully ojfende 

O vnwyse Fole whome madnes doth abuse 
Howe darest thou be so hardy for to do 
That to another whiche thy selfe wolde refuse 
Of hym to be done, to the, yet some do so 
Makynge a pyt to others hurte and wo 
Wherin hymselfe is destroyed at the last 
And some in theyr owne snarys ar taken fast 

So cursyd Aman in lyke wyse dyd ordayne 
For Mardocheus a maner of tourment 
Wheron he hoped to haue hangyd hym in payne 
His lyfe consumynge with suche punysshement 
But the ende happened nat after his intent 
For at the last Aman hym selfe with care 
Was hangyd vp, and that in his owne snare 

On wronge and malyce yll wyll and iniury 
All moste all men hath nowe set theyr intent 
Wherfore let wyse men for them fynde remedy 
For thoughe that it be a thynge conuenyent 
To trust to other, yet be thou prouydent 
Of mannys gyle falshode and sotelte 
So mayst thou escape oft tymes, aduersyte 

Suche men as put to moche confidence 

In other vnknowen, often great domage wyn 

Suffrynge losse and hurt by theyr owne neglygence 

For whan thou lokest vpon the vtter skyn 

Thou knowyst full lytell what trust is within 

For oft vnder flowres lurketh the serpent 

So paynted wordes hydeth a fals intent 

nat takynge hede to the ende. 4 1 

Be nat a gest thou man who euer thou art 

To suche as louynge outwarde thou seest apere 

Malyciously within, and of enuyous hart 

He byddeth the ete and drynke, and make good chere 

With loue as farre as thou canst se or here. 

But whan suche traytours most swetly on the smyle 

Than ar they besyest the falsely to begyle 

Vnder fayre wordes pleasaunt and lyberall 
And smylynges fals and disceyuable 
Suche beryth venym to poyson the withall 
Auoyde suche men : thou wyse man and laudable 
Theyr dedes ar so fals and so abhomynable 
That whan thou gyuyst vnto them moste credence 
They shall the brynge to moste inconuenyence 

Ye : oft he lawygheth as he were true and gode 

Grauntynge thy wordes what euer thynge thou say 

Whiche in his mynde : wolde fayne se thy herte blode 

And of thy secrete counsell the bewray 

Beware of suche men as moche as thou may 

For amonge swete herbys oft growyth stynkynge wedes 

All flaterynge caytyfs ar nat true in theyr dedes 

But whan these caytyfes hath hurt a mannys name 

Or done hym in body or goodes preiudice 

They thynke he ought nat to render them the same 

Thoughe it may be done by lawe and by iustyce 

But certaynly who that hym doth exercyce 

In doynge other losse, hurt, or greuaunce 

Shall lyue a fole and dye by some myschaunce 

Of them that wylfully offende. 


O men malycious fals and iniuryous 

Whiche set your myndes fals meanes to deuyse 

To hurte your neyghbours by malyce odyous 

And thynke nat to be seruyd in lyke wyse 

Ye ar abusyd therin I you promyse 

For he that here to his neyghbour is cruell 

And doth hym in dede or worde, hurt or despyce 

Shall outher be rewardyd here, or els in hell. 

Of foles without prouysion : that prouyde 
nought in the somer to lyue by in the 
wynter nor in youth to lyue by in 

Who that maketh for hymselfe no purueaunce. 
Of fruyt and corne in somer season clere. 
Whan of the same is store and habundaunce 
Shal after lyue in hunger all the yere 
Sowkynge his fyngers lyke as the Bere doth here. 
And he that in youth wyl nought for hym prouyde 
In age must the paynes of pouertye abyde. 

44 Qffl es without prouysion. 

Amonge our Folys I nomber hym for one 
Whiche lyueth ydylly and in slewthfulnes 
Makynge in the somer no prouysion 
To auoyde the wynters, payne and colde hardnes 
What man wyll nat curse and disprayse his madnes 
Whiche at no tyme wyll for hym self prouyde 
Of sustenaunce, in nede hym selfe to gyde 

He that begynneth without aduysement 

Can nat prouyde that thynge that is to come 

Nor scantly that whiche must be done present 

Thus ar his dedys done all without wysedome 

Of this company yet fynde I other some 

Whiche nought wyll saue them self to fynde with all 

But all out wastyth, by Ryot prodygall 

These folys of theyr myndes ar so blynde 

That nought they saue to theyr owne vtylyte 

On wyse prouysion they set no thynge theyr mynde 

But if they be dryuen by extreme necessyte 

As hunger thrist colde, or other aduersyte 

So oft whan suche ar vexed with moste nede 

The wolde prouyde, but than they can nat spede 

A fole of propertye that is neglygent 

For thynge to come prouydeth nought atall 

But on one daye settyth all his intent 

So in that space if any nede do fall 

To hym. he shall vpon his neyghbour call 

For helpe and socour, and sore to hym complayne 

And aske relefe whiche he shall nat obtayne 

Qffoles without prouys ion. 45 

Whan suche folys haue theyr wombes full 
They force no more, ne take no farther thought 
Theyr vayne myndes to farther thynges is dull 
Saue on that whiche from hande to mouth is brought 
But he is wyse, and of reason wantyth nought 
Whiche here hym gydeth by vertue and wysdome 
And so prouydeth for the tyme to come 

Wherby his wyfe, his children and ofsprynke 
May without care outher besynes or payne 
With honestye haue theyr fode and theyr lyuynge 
Without occasion theyr good name to distayne 
1 count hym wyse that thus doth set his brayne 
And in the Somer can make suche purueaunce 
Wherby all his may haue theyr sustenaunce 

And that in wynter, and the hardest of the yere 

But hym I count moche folysshe and vnwyse 

And voyde of reason, whiche makyth styll good chere 

And by no men wyll the tyme to come aduyse 

But folys folowe moste comonly this gyse 

To slepe all Somer whan the season is moste clere 

And labour in the hardest season of the yere 

Suche no thynge labour, ne to no worke intende 
But to ydylnes, a vyce yll and damnable 
That whiche is gotten vnwysely thus they spende 
So that whan wynter comys they ar nat able 
To haue one lofe of brede vpon theyr table 
Nor other thynge theyr hunger to asswage 
An ydell man is worthy suche wage 

4 6 Of fole s without prouysion. 

In wynter he abydeth a lyfe myserable 
Whiche in the Somer prouydyd hath no thynge 
That to his vse is nede and profytable 
Who that in July whyle Phebus is shynynge 
About his hay is nat besy labourynge 
And other thynges whiche ar for his auayle 
Shall in the wynter his negligence bewayle 

And who that can nat hym selfe wysely prouyde 
Of wode and vytayle and other sustenaunce 
Shall in the wynter nat knowe where to abyde 
For colde and hunger with other lyke greuaunce 
Lerne man of the symple Emet purueaunce 
Whiche gathers and puruays euery thynge in season 
Shame is to man of beste to lerne reason 

For euery thynge god hath a tyme puruayde 
And gyuen reason to man hym selfe to gyde 
By good prouysion, if that his mynde be layde 
Vnto the same, and sleuth to set asyde 
But that yonge man that wyll in age abyde 
Without prouysion, wherby he myght hym fede 
Shall worthely in his age dye for nede 

Of that Fole who shall haue compassion 
Whiche by his Foly, great slouth and neglygence 
Vpon hym selfe intendyth to haue none 
But all out wastyth by immoderate expence 
So to conclude in brefe and short sentence 
That fole hath nat the way hym selfe to gyde 
Whiche in due season can nat eche thynge prouyde 

Ofjbles without prouys ion. 47 


O blynde man vnwyse, wastynge and neclygent 
Lerne of the Emet to labour craftely 
And in thy youth to be so dylygent 
Wherby in age, thou lyue mayst easely 
For he that wyll nat his mynde therto aply 
In youth and Somer to labour without fere 
In age and wynter shall lyue in penury 
And sowke his clawys for hanger lyke the bere. 

Of great stryuers in the la we for thynges 
of nought. 

He is a fole, whether it be man or wyfe 
Whiche hym delyteth in iugement and lawe 
And euer contendyth in discorde and in stryfe 
In small tryfyls, and scantly worth a strawe 
Suche, theyr owne flesshe vnto the bonys gnawe 
And labour by theyr sotelty and gyle 
To blynde iustyce, and the lawes to defyle. 

Of great stryuers in the law. 49 

A cause conuenyent doth me bynde and constrayne 
To blame mo Folys : and that in myghty nomber 
Whiche I haue suffred tyll this tyme to remayne 
To se if they wolde waken from theyr slomber 
Suche ar mad Folys whiche other men inconber 
With besy pledynge, wherby them selfe ar brought 
By longe contynuaunce vnto the poynt of nought 

For small occasion for lytell thynge or nought 
Vnwyse men stryue deuysynge falshode and gyle 
Nowe euery fole hath set his mynde and thought 
To seke the extreme of lawe, but though they smyle 
At the begynnynge, after within a whyle 
Theyr laughynge shall turne to sorowe and damage 
And onely the lawyers catchyth the auauntage 

Yet ar these folys ioyous in theyr mynde 

They norysshe stryfe without ende, them amonge 

And some by falshode can crafty meanes fynde 

By fals delayes theyr mater to prolonge 

Suche Folys drawyth the lawe thus wyse a longe 

To that intent that by rightwyse iugement 

Transgressours sholde nat haue worthy punysshement 

These folys that thus theyr maters doth diffarre 

Shall in that space theyr owne goode waste and spende 

To that purpose theyr neyghbour also to marre 

So ar they both made beggers at the ende 

Than must they to some agrement condiscende 

Theyr cause and mater discussed neuer the more 

O mad Folys so sholde they haue done before 


50 Of great stryuers in the law 

Some suffer them selfe for defaut of aparaunce 
To be outlawyd, and other some suspendyd 
Out of the Churche for hys mysgouernaunce 
And yet nought caryth, therfro to be defendyd 
Howe belt they myght : and haue theyr mater endyd 
Suche assay by falshode to prouoke the lawe 
And than it fle, and them therfro withdrawe 

But suche Folys that thus so besely 

Pursue the lawe, with stryfe and brawlynge vayne 

Consyder nat that they ren in great enuy 

Amonge theyr neyghbours whiche shall them pay agaynn. 

With theyr owne malyce and gyle to theyr great payne 

But in the mean space the lawyers a made ryche 

Leuynge these Folys and theyr mater in the dyche 

Thou besy fole intende vnto this clause 

That euery lawyer shall gyue more aduertence 

To mony and gyftis than vnto thy cause 

For after he hath set thy wordes and sentence 

In his fat boke, fyllyd with offence 

And there pryckyd with his couetous pen 

Thou neuer shalt thryue whyle thy name is therin 

Yet thou vnwysely art redy to intende 

Vnto thy cause, and though it fortune be 

Skant worth a grote, yet gladly wylt thou spende 

Thy hole good theron so sekynge pouerte 

For howe beit that the lawes ought be fre 

Yet sergeaunt at turney promoter Juge or scribe 

Wyll nat fele thy mater without a preuy brybe 

for thynges of nought. 

Therfore thou acloyest with money or rewarde 
The kepars of the lawe to make them to the bounde 
In so moche that thoughe thy mater be but harde 
Yet money shall make it haue moche better sounde 
And to be playne that case hath euer best grounde 
That is best anoyntyd with maystershyp and golde 
Thoughe it be false it strongly is vpholde 

And without dout the lawyers dylygence 
Is in his pledynge euer moste substancyall 
Whan of thy purse he hath had experyence 
And knowyth thy hande to hym fre and lyberall 
Wherfore we often vnto our mater call 
From far places men of greatest disceyt 
And fayrest wordes to prolonge our debate 

And with theyr fayre and paynted eloquence 

To glose our mater in wordes of no substaunce 

So that Juge that by way of innocence 

Gydeth the lawe in Just and right balaunce 

Of suche pleders is led the blynde mannys daunce 

So that they playnly proue before his syght 

The right to be wronge, and the wronge to be right. 


men malycious thus besy in the lawe 

For euery mater and thynge of nought to stryue 

1 reade you your myndes from suche stryfe withdraws 
And from suche falshode as ye oft contryue 

5 2 Of great stryuers in the law. 

Or I ensure you ye shall neuer thryue 
But wast your goodes therwith to get enuy 
Lyuynge in discorde whyle ye ar a lyue 
And at the ende your wylfulnes defye 

Alas mad Fole, and man vnmerciable 
What menest thou thy neyghbour to oppresse 
And for thynge of nought to be so vengeable 
To put both thy self and hym to besynes 
Wastynge your goodes about vnhappynes 
Leue man thy malyce and mytygate thy mynde 
For who that can lyue in peas and quyetnes 
Shall welth and rest both loue and riches fynde 

Where as that Fole that is alway inclynde 

To stryfe and pledynge for thynge of none auayle 

And none occasion : labours the lawe to blynde 

Becomynge a begger at last for his trauayle 

And at the laste shall euery man assayle 

This Fole with malyce, for his accostomyd stryfe 

So that his foly he shall mone and bewayle 

And so be wery of his wretchyd lyfe. 

Of foles abhomynable in fowle wordes 
of rybawdry. 

The lothsome wordes that nowe adayes we vse 
And shamefull commonynge, full of wantonnes 
Ar wont good maners to infect and abuse 
Indusynge yll maners, yll lyfe and viciousnes 
With countenaunces and dedes of vnhappynes 
For as the wyse man sayth in a parable 
Fowle wordes infectyth maners commendable 

54 Qffoh* abhomynable in 

In our tyme nowe both waman childe and man 
Without nomber worshyp with humbyll reuerence 
The festis abhomynable of vyle grobyan 
With all theyr myght honour and theyr dylygence 
Compassynge his auters with lawdes and insence 
With wordes and vsys, Fowle and abhomynable 
Suche men myscheuous to hym ar acceptable 

To his vyle temple renneth yonge and olde 
Man, woman, mayden, and with them many a childe 
And bere with them insence as I before haue tolde 
Worshyppynge his festis with theyr langage defylde 
And wordes from whiche all goodnes is exylyd 
And with vyle langage of rybawdry the grounde 
Whose yl example doth sympyll youth confounde 

Shamefastnes is exylyd and all his hole lynage 
And in his place is vylenes byd behynde 
Vngoodly maners, vngoodlyer langage 
Whiche ar the clene destruccion of mankynde 
Lo here a fole, that with suche vyce is blynde 
A vyle swyne, and foule ledyth by the ere 
His bestely lyfe of this vyle beste to lere 

These Folys also ar in suche an outrage 

To rynge the bell of theyr mad rybaudry 

That men may knowe theyr lyfe by theyr langage 

Wherby they vtter theyr lewdnes openly 

Thus all the Shyppes of our folysshe company 

Ar led by the wawes of this see mundayne 

By the foule swyne folowynge hir lyfe and trayne 

fowle wordes of ry bawdry. 55 

Lyst our Folys of theyr right cours myght fayle 
Or by great charge brake or els be drowned 
The swyne of the se them draweth at hir tayle 
And them nat suffreth to synke or stryke on grounde 
But if all the Folys that of this sort ar founde 
Sholde drynke no ale nor wyne durynge this yere 
We nedyd nat to fere, that they sholde be moche dere 

But these Folys the trouth to determyne 
Bycause the sowe so doth hir pygges multyply 
Therfore they folowe the maners of the swyne 
In rybawde wordes full of shame and vylany 
Suche maners in this tyme doth men best magnyfy 
And them promotyth moche rather than wysedome 
O where ar honesty and shamefastnes become 

They ar exyled and haue no rowme nor place 
In erth at this season with hye nor lowe dere 
But suche as vse rybawde wordes voyde of grace 
Ar nowe promotyd sonest to dignyte 
And howe be it that they mcche vnworthy be 
Who that of his langage is moste obhomynable 
Is taken in the court as man moste commendable 

The hogge promotyd out of the myre and dust 
Vyle and vngoodly of body and vsage 
Promotyth and admyttyth men after his lust 
The vylest settynge moste hye vpon his stage 
And some ar so past shame in theyr langage 
So fowle and lothly, that they moste comenly 
Haue all theyr wordes in viciouse rybawdry 

56 Offowle words of ry bawdry. 

So that if mad Horestes myght them se 

Hauynge respect vnto theyr lothlynes 

He myght well say they were more mad than he 

And wonder on theyr langage full of viciousnes 

For all theyr delyte is in delyciousnes 

Glotony and drynke, but he hath gayest name 

Whiche rybawde wordes can mengle with the same 

Thus who that offreth the Fende suche sacrafyce 
With rybawde wordes, foule and abhomynable 
Gyuynge occasion to youth to fall to vyce 
Suche in his dedes is greatly reprouable 
And shall as a fowle both pore and myserable 
Shamefully lyue without moche better ende 
Before his deth if he hym nat amende. 


Man vse thy tunge in myrth and honeste 

And laude thy maker therwith with reuerence 

To that intent god gaue it vnto the 

And nat to vse it is incouenyence 

In rybawde wordes is great synne and offence 

And to youth great example, and damage 

But thoughe thou be clene of dede and conscience 

Yet men shall the Juge after thy langage. 

Of the abusion of the spiritualte. 

Here must I yet another barge ordayne 

For many folys of the spiritualte 

Whiche to the intent to auoyde labour and payne 

In theyr meane youth take on them this degre 

But after whan they a whyle prestis haue be 

To haue forsaken the worlde they repent 

Where firste they sholde better haue prouyd theyr intent 

58 Of the abusion of the Spiritualte. 

Yet somwhat here remayneth of my charge 
Whiche must be touchyd and here of very right 
Amonge our Folys haue a sympyll barge 
And that is this, As moche as I haue insyght 
Euery man laboures no we with all theyr myght. 
Vnto the order of presthode to promote 
His sonne : howe beit he be a very sote 

If he be folysshe or of his wyt vnstable 

Mysshapyn of his face, his handes or his fete 

And for no besynes worldly profitable 

For the holy Churche than thynke they hym most mete 

And so thou rurall churle, a man may wete 

Thou woldest nat thy sone haue preste for this intent 

To serue and to pleas our lorde omnypotent 

But to the intent to lyue in eas and rest 
And to auoyde all worldly besynes 
And in his lust to fede hym with the best 
Contynuynge in vyce, and moche vnhappynes 
Suche Folys haue theyr myndes on ryches 
On cursyd lucre pleasour ioy and welth 
Carynge nought at all for theyr soulys helth 

They care nought for wysdome vertue nor doctryne 
Cursyd mony troubleth the goodly sacryfyce 
And to the same theyr mynde they so inclyne 
That it them ledyth to eche vnhappy vyce 
And yet they thynke them self to exercyse 
By way of wysdome and gouernaunce laudable 
Thoughe they be worthy a bagpype and a bable 

Of the abusion of the Spiritualte. 

The order of presthode is troublyd of eche fole 
The honour of religion euery where decays 
Suche caytyfs and couriers that neuer were at scole 
Ar firste promotyd to presthode nowe adays 
O Numa Numa thou folowyd nat suche wayes 
In thy olde Temples suche folys to consecrate 
But suche as were wyse, and with vertue decorate 

And suche as had in cunnynge be brought vp 
Godly of maners and of lyfe laudable 
But nowe blynde Folys nought knowynge saue the cup 
Falshode and flatery ar brought out of the stable 
Sreyght to the auter, and without any fable 

kMo prestes ar made than lernyd men or clerkes 
As it aperyth playne by theyr folysshe warkes 

From the kechyn to the quere and so to a state 
One yester day a courier is nowe a prest become 
And than haue these folys theyr myrides so eleuate 
That they disdayne men of vertue and wysdome 
But if they haue of golde a myghty some 
They thynke them abyll a man to make or marre 
And ar so presumptuous, and proude as Lucifarre 

O godly order O prestly innocence 

O laudable lyfe wysdome and humylyte 

Alas why haue we you put from our presence 

And you exylyd with godly grauyte 

Our lyfe is nowe led in all enormyte 

And all by our foly and amasyd ignoraunce 

The prelatis ar the cause of this mysgouernaunce 

60 Of the abusion of the Spiritualte. 

O cursyd hunger of syluer and of golde 
For your loue and desyre immoderate 
To folys and boyes presthode is nowe solde 
And to men myscheuous fyllyd with debate 
The godly honour longynge to a state 
Replete with wysdome cunnynge and grauyte 
Ar nowe nat ordred right as they ought to be 

O folys cursyd, o men moche myserable 

Say say what Furour your myndes doth constrayne 

To this holy order whiche is to you damnable 

If ye in vertue your lyues nat mentayne 

Away with this mynde withdrawe your fete agayne 

Assay your lyfe longe before or ye begyn 

For it is damnable to man ensuynge syn 

Yet certaynly I fynde by euydence 
That in the worlde is no sort of degre 
Whiche is more gyuen to inconuenyence 
Than ar suche Folys of this spiritualte 
O where is chastnes and dame humylyte 
Alas they ar dede and nat with vs aquayntyd 
But flaterynge falshode hath our facis payntyd 

Alas our order is fallen in errour 
The path is left wherin we ought vs kepe 
/ With what relygion do we our lorde honour 
Alas the Shepherd is lewder, than the shepe 
This great disorder causyth my herte to wepe 
Alas what lewdness is cloked vnder cowlys 
Who can expresse the foly of theSe folys 

Of the abusion of the Spiritualte. 61 

/ YY ~^\ 

O holy orders of Monkes and of Freres 

And of all other sortes of relygion 

Your straytnes hath decayed of late yeres 

The true and perfite rule of you is done 

Fewe kepyth truly theyr right profession 

In inwarde vesture, dyet, worde, or dede 

Theyr chefe stody is theyr wretchyd wombe to fede 

O holy Benet with god nowe glorifyed 
O glorious Austen, o Francis decorate. 
With mekenes, the placis that ye haue edefyed 
Ar nowe disordred and with vyces maculate 
Enuy, Pryde, Malyce, Glotony and debate 
Ar nowe chefe gyders in many of your placis 
Whiche grace and vertue vtterly out chasys 

These holy faders rehersyd afore by name 

Composed rules holy and laudable 

For men religious, to lyue after the same 

Whiche nowe but lytell to them ar agreable 

But in theyr lyfe from them moche varible 

O holy Benet Francis and Augustyne 

Se howe your children despyseth your doctryne 

But to speke shortly and in generall 

We fynde but fewe suche prestis now certayne 

As moyses in the olde lawe first of all 

To serue in goddes Temple dyd ordayne 

But vnwyse men rasshe, and mad of brayne 

Becomyth prestis onely for couetyse 

Gouernynge the Churche in a disordred wyse 

62 Of the abusion of the Spirhualte. 

Loke who that nowe of mynde is eleuate 
And that gentylman that mysshapen and wytles is 
Shall be made a:preste, and after a prelate 
To gyde the Churche, full bacwardly I \vys 
But suche as here the same doth gyde amys 
And in theyr lyfe them selfe. nat gydyth well 
May after theyr deth abyde rewarde in hell 

Ye that ar gyders of goddes heritage 
Be in your dedes to hym faythfull and true 
Instruct his flocke with vertuous langage 
And good example to gcodnes and vertue 
Teche them the wayes of lewdnes to eschewe 
Rather with your workes than payntyd eloquence 
For the rude pepyll moste gladly them subdue 
To that thynge wherof they se experyence 

v ! j ...... \ . s 

Expell couetyse, and desyre of dignyte 

Beware of Venus, hir dartis are damnable 

Take nat on you the order and degre 

Of presthode : without that ye be somwhat able 

For this is often prouyd without fable 

That whan the Shepherde is folysshe outher blynde 

Vnto his mayster he is nat profitable 

Nor to his flocke : as he shall after fynde 

The greattest rote of all mysgouernaunce 
That nowe is vsyd amonge the comonte 
Procedith of folysshe prestis ignoraunce 
Whiche haue no wysdome way nor faculte 


Of the abusion of the Spirttualte. 63 

To hele such shepe as they playne scabbyd se 
And straynge abrode without aduysement 
They let them alone : so spiritually they dye 
Wherfore the kepar is worthy of punysshement 

The cause why so many prestis lackyth wyt 
Is in you bysshops, if I durst trouth expresse 
Whiche nat consyder what men that ye admyt 
Of lyuynge cunnynge person and godlynes 
But who so euer hym self therto wyll dresse 
If an angell be his brokar to the scribe 
He is admyttyd howe beit he be wytles 
Thus solde is presthode for an vnhappy brybe 

Of the prowde and vayne bostynge 
of Folys. 

My hande is wery my wyt is dull almoste 

Fayne wolde I rest to refresshe my wyt agayne 

But a folysshe bande, that vse them selfe to host 

Of thynge nat done by them in wordes vayne 

To wryte theyr lewdnes doth me bynde and constrayne 

For some them bost in Phesyke and the lawys 

Or in dedes of war : howe beit they ar but dawes 

Ofprowae and vayne bostynge. 65 

Here had I purpoysd as I before haue sayde 

To haue stynt my tonge and seased for a whyle 

Or of my boke here a conclusion made 

And so these folys no farther to reuyle 

But than aduysement dyd me beholde : and smyle 

Saynge that my purpose was intendyd in vayne 

And I but euen in the myddes of my payne 

This worde to me was halfe a di scon fort 

For almoste wery was I of my trauayle 

With that of Folys I sawe a myghty sort 

Of dyuers sortis and dyuers aparayle 

Some rayde as knyghtes in whyte harnes and mayle 

And other as Doctours, and gyders of some scoles 

But euer me thought that they sholde be but folys 

Some other Crowned as Poetis lawreat 

And other as Doctours expert in medycyne 

Of whose maners condicions and estate 

And stately bostynge of strength and of doctryne 

Here shall I wryte, who lyst therto inclyne 

And first I proue that euery day we se 

That bostynge Folys leste of theyr dedes be 

Some is a knyght hym bostygne of his londes 
With his gylt sporys, and other cognysance 
Another a Doctour and the lawys vnderstondes 
And sene all the scolys of Italy and Fraunce 
The knyght hym bostyth and boldely dare auaunce 
Of his olde lynage, nobles and auncetry 
Recountynge the discent of all his progeny 


66 Ofthe prowde and 

Ye in so moche that oft he hath no shame 

Hym selfe of the stocke of the Romayns senatours 

Or of some kynges progeny to name 

Els other whiche hath ben myghty conquerours 

And yet perchaunce his first progenytours 

Came first of all vnto theyr chiefe estate 

By fals extorcion, oppression or discayte 

Suche folys ar proude of suche noblenes 

Whiche they haue neuer nether cowde obtayne 

By theyr owne vertue theyr strength or theyr boldnes 

But in the gettynge therof for to be playne 

Noblenes is gotten with dilygence and payne 

By iustyce vertue strength and rightwysnes 

And nat by rygour oppression or ryches 

Say folye by what vertue or worthynes 

Hast thou deseruyd this renowe specyall 

Or what hast thou done wherby this noblenes 

Wheron thou bostest, is thus vnto the fall 

If it were sought I trowe no thyrige atall 

Saue that thou lust suche folysshe wordes to fayne 

Wherby thy foly and pryde aperyth playne 


Lo sayth a fole I haue be longe in warre 

In straunge countrees and far beyonde the se 

To dyuers Nacions my dedys knowen ar 

Both spayne and Egypt and Fraunce spekes of me 

In so many countrees in warrys haue I be 

That all the people of Est, west, North and South 

My name and laudys haue onely in theyr mouth 

vayne bostynge of Folys. 67 

But yet perchaunce this fole that thus hym bostis 
Was neuer in war nor out of his owne londe 
Some other as Doctours come from strange costis 
Coueytynge that name though they nought vnderstonde. 
With euery folysshe thynge they ar in honde 
Spekynge vayne wordes without wysdome and prudence 
Yet count they them wyse and of parfyte eloquence 

They boste theyr stody and vant of theyr cunnynge 
With stately wordes proude loke and countenaunce 
And thoughe suche folys lernyd haue no thynge 
With theyr solem pryde they defende theyr ignoraunce 
As none were wyser in all the scolys of fraunce 
If they can reken and tell eche bokes name 
They thynke them self great doctours by the same 

So lede they foly about fast by the hande 
Bostynge theyr laudes and name in euery place 
Howbeit theyr owne dedes on se or on lande 
Were neuer so noble suche lawdes to purchace 
But to be short proude folys ar in that case 
Rotyd by nature that them they moste auaunt 
In that wherin they ar moste ignoraunt 


Desyst ye folys your bostynge wordes and vayne 
Let other men commende your honestye 
And godly lyfe, for it is foly playne 
To prayse your selfe though that ye worthy be 
Than moche gretter shame is it to lye 
Bostynge that thynge the whiche ye neuer had 
In cunnynge strength lynage or degre 
Of all bostynge this namely is moste bad. 

68 Of prow de and vayne bostynge. 

But yet men olde of our predecessours 

In theyr olde prouerbes often comprehende 

That he that is amonge shrewyd neyghbours 

May his owne dedes laufully commende 

Syns his yll wyllers wyll nat therto intende 

Also I fynde that there thre sortes be 

Of people lyuynge, whiche may themselfe defende 

In lesynge, for they haue auctoryte to lye 

The first is pylgrymes that hath great wonders sene 
In strange countres, suche may say what they wyll 
Before tho men that hath nat also ben 
In those same places, and hath of them no skyll 
The seconde ar men aged suche may bost theyr fyll 
Without repugnaunce. And men of hye degre 
Before theyr seruauntis may playne say what they wyll 
Yet ar they nought but folys if they lye 

Of carde players and dysers. 

The damnable lust of cardes and of dyce 

And other gamys prohybyte by the lawe 

To great offencis some folys doth attyce 

Yet can they nat them self therfro withdrawe 

They count theyr labour and los nat worth a strawe 

Carynge nought els : therin is theyr delyte 

Tyll thryft and helth from them be scapyd quyte 

70 Of carde players and dysers. 

Lo yet agayne of Folys assemblyth mo 

Vnto my shyppys in hope of auauntage 

But oft it hapnyth or they depart and go 

Theyr lust them turneth to losse and great damage 

By theyr lewde gamys furour and outrage 

Suche ar great gamners hauynge small substance 

Whiche often fall to great losse and myschance 

Sayth poetis that in hell ar Furyes thre 

The folys to punysshe that ar sende to the same 

For theyr nat lyuynge here in equyte 

It nedyth nat them here to count by name 

The fourth Fury is encresyd by this game 

Whiche (than the other) is more furious and bad 

For here in erth it makyth folys mad 

But of men gyuen vnto this furiousnes 

Of vnsure game, chefe cause of stryfe and wo 

And moche losse : somwhat I shall expresse 

But first I say some ar so gyuen therto 

That where so euer they labour ryde or go 

If they be onys inflamyd with the game 

To theyr destruction theyr mynde is on the same 

In hope to get (that they haue lost) agayne 
All theyr hole pleasour is set to throwe the dyse 
So of one losse oft tymes make they twayne 
Wherby oftyme they ren in preiudyce 
And get occasion of theft and other vyce 
But thre dyse rennynge square all of one sort 
To suche Folys is chefe confort ioy and sport 

Of car de players and aysers. 71 

Suche folowe this game stryuynge nyght and day 
Tournynge the dyse somtyme by polecy 
Them falsly settynge assaynge if they may 
Some vyle auauntage for to obtayne therby 
But than if they nat set them craftely 
Anone begynneth brawlynge and debate 
Blasfemynge and othes the pot about the pate 

Exces of watchynge doth players great damage 
And in that space oft Venus doth them blynde 
Makynge them hoore longe or they come to age 
Also this game troubleth oft theyr mynde 
With wrath them makynge vnstable as the wynde 
Theyr mynde it disclosyth theyr wyt infextynge to 
It also theyr reasons troublyth with inwarde wo 

A couetous herte by game is kept in fere 
And styrred to yre euer whan it can nat wyn 
Whiche yre vnto the stomake doth great dere 
Besyenge the mynde pryuely within 
The wyt thus troublyd of wysdome is but thyn 
And so the more that wrath doth hym inflame 
The more back ward e and lewdly goeth his game 

These folys vngracious of theyr gouernaunce 
Care for no thynge : theyr lust is fyxed fast 
On vnsure fortune : and hir vncertayne chaunce 
Whiche them promotyth to beggers at the last 
Watchynge without season tyll theyr wyt be past 
Ye two nyghtes or thre as folys voyde of grace 
No thyrst nor hunger can moue them from that place 

72 Of car de players and dysers. 

But in the mean season if that any discorde 
Amonge them fall, the woundes of god ar sworne 
His armys, herte and bonys, almoste at euery worde 
Thus is our sauyour amonge these caytyfs torne 
And wordes of malyce myschefe and great scorne 
They throwe to god renounsynge oft his name 
Whan that mysfortune doth bacwarde gyde theyr game 

These folys in furour vpon our lorde thus cry 

As if he caryd for theyr myscheuous game 

Or whan they for theyr lossys ar sory 

That god aboue sholde also be the same 

But whyle these Folys blasfeme thus christes name 

The wymen and maydes, whiche is abhomynable 

In game and othes to men ar euen semblable 

There is almoste no maner of degre 

Man, childe, woman, pore man, or estate, 

Olde or yonge, that of this game ar fre 

Nor yet the clargy, both pore preste and prelate 

They vse the same almoste after one rate 

Whan by great los they brought ar in a rage 

Right fewe haue reason theyr madnes to asswage 

I wyll nat say but it is commendable 

For recreasion somtyme to vse suche sport 

So it be done in season and tyme laudable 

And amonge persons mekely of one sort 

And nat for lucre, but pleasour and confort 

Without all othes and with perfyte pacyence 

In losse and gayne, in suche game is none offence 

Of carde players and dysers. 73 

But yet the Lucre that is won therby 

Is nat allowed ne by the lawes approbate 

For to be gotten true and right wysely 

For god almyghty doth suche yll getters hate 

And theyr wronge gamys also, causynge debate 

Enuy and murder, and euen for the same cause 

They ar prohybyte also by the lawes 

And to be playne great inconuenyences 
Procedyth to many by this vnlawfull game 
And by the same oft youth doth sue offences 
To his destruccion and all his frendes shame 
For whan all theyr good is wastyd by the same 
Often some by foly fallyth to be a thefe 
And so ende in shame sorowe and myschefe 


Consyder ye players the great losse and damage 
That comyth of this game vsyd vnlaufully 
Firste of it comyth no maner auauntage 
But if one put hym firste in ieoperdy 
And that small lucre that gotten is therby 
Though thou about the same hast moche payne 
Thynke well that it is gotten wrongfully 
The lawe the byndeth : it to restore agayne 

Wherfore me thynke that man doth surest play 
That with this madnes medlyth nat atall 
But in his cofres his moyney kepis alway 
For that is sure howe euer the cardes fall 

74 QfcardfpLnm amddjstrs. 

Or UUMI as Tables yse or bal 

And better a hrtd sore dan wcbe in fere and dot 


: ~. : _ : " . : - ~ r " ~ ~ ; i .- : r i 

(lot) of goods and body fy*de 

There TO nraer wy*e 

Of folys oppressyd with theyr owne foly. 

Of folys I wot there is great company 

Within my boke in fygures and scripture 

But in this Shyp namely ar there many 

Whiche theyr owne foly can by no meane endure 

Suche in this Barge shall of a rowme besure 

Thoughe they haue rowme I can graunt them no rest 

For with the Asse they rudely ar opprest 

76 Of folys oppressyd 

Within my shyp : and also on euery syde 
Ar so many folys saylynge before the wynde 
So swyftly that me thynke they wyll nat byde 
But sone depart, and so leue me behynde 
The faute and cause is in my sleuthfull mynde 
But the slowe Asse hye on my backe doth skyp 
And warnyth me so enter I the shyp 

The shyp I enter, and worthy am therto 
Amonge my folys my self may clayme a place 
For my great slouth in eche dede that I do 
But neuertheles I am nat in that case 
To occupy great rowme before eche mannys face 
A lytell and strayt corner for me is best 
That I may slepe therin and take my rest 

I coueyt nat to be in places wyde 
I am content with a corner of stray tnes 
Vpon the hatchys I coueyt nat to byde 
For there is to moche labour and besynes 
And also the Asse betokenynge sleuthfulnes 
Sholde haue to moche space on me to tred 
If I at large about by it were led 

Yet in my sleuth if I coude be pacient 
And folowe the Asse without all repugnaunce 
But alway redy at his commaundement 
I sholde be put to moche lesse greuaunce 
And so haue hope to scape this perturbaunce 
My membres fre, from suche wo and payne. 
But well I fell my trust is but in vayne 

with theyr owne Jo ly. 77 

But this one thynge my herte and mynde doth glad 
And in my payne is the moste chefe confort 
That mo companyons by the same Asse ar lad. 
Of my condicion lyuynge, and lyke sort 
Whose owne foly, whiche they take for a sport 
By longe contynuaunce themself doth sore oppres 
Tournynge theyr myrth to wo and wretchydnes 

These ar they whiche wyll nat aply theyr mynde 
To wyse mennys counsell and aduysement 
Wherby they myght both welth and profyte fynde 
If to suche counsell they gladly wolde assent 
These ar suche folys as furious of intent 
By wrath ar dryuen to dyuers great offence 
For none occasion, without reason and prudence 

These ar suche Folys as by stryfe and debate 

And other suche whiche lewdly by enuy 

And no cause gyuen theyr neyghbours hurt and hate 

And so to malyce theyr cursyd myndes aply 

These ar suche Folys as suffer paciently 

For lacke of betynge theyr children folowe vyce 

To theyr great shame, theyr losse and preiudyce 

These ar they that by malyce at all hours 

Ar cruell and greuous, and put to losse and payne 

Suche as they ouer may : both straunges and neyghbours 

By cursyd lesynges whiche they iniustly fayne 

These ar they that of all men haue disdayne 

With dronken dryuyls gyuen hole to glotony 

These ar the felawes of this mad company 

7 8 Of folys oppressyd 

Moreouer into my Shyp shall they ascende 

That ar streght shoed whiche them doth sharply greue 

But yet they se nat therto, it to amende 

Suche ar they that on no goodnes wyll byleue 

All wastynge folys whiche to theyr great myscheue 

Sell and waste theyr londes suche ar of this sort 

And they that more spende than theyr londes may support 

These ar mad Folys and abhomynable 
And cursyd of god : that ar bawdes to theyr wyues 
Lettynge them to hyre, and thoughe that profytable 
This way they thynke, yet right fewe of them thryues 
These ar mad Folys that lewde ar of theyr lyues 
Knowynge what payne is ordeyned for eche syn 
Yet moue they nat, but styll abyde therin 

These ar proude beggers, and other stately folys 
Sclanderers lyers, and Jurours of the syse 
Phesicians and lawyers, that neuer went to scolys 
And fals Tauerners that reken one pot twyse 
Tapsters and hostlers that folowe that same gyse 
These ar fals offycers that lyue vpon brybes 
As excheters officials Counstables and scribes 

Folys of these sortis and mo than I can tell 
For theyr myslyuynge and great enormyte 
Of the slowe Asse shal be tred downe to hell 
If they nat mende them self before they dye 
But in the mean tyme shall they be here with me 
In my folys Shyp, on se rowynge with payne 
If they amende, depart they shall agayne 

with theyr owne foly. 79 


O folys oppressyd with your mysgouernaunce 

Amende your lyfe expell this your offence 

Ye can nat excuse your self by ignoraunce 

Ye ar taught to leue your inconenyence 

By godly Prechers men of hye prudence 

Also the punysshement whiche god doth often sende 

To other Folys shulde moue you to amende. 

Of the extorcion of knyghtis, great 
offycers, men of war, scribes and prac- 
tysers of the lawe. 

Whyle knyghtes and scribes exchetours and constables 

And other offycers whiche haue auctoryte 

Vnder the kynge : as Shryfs by fayned fables 

Catche a rurall man rude, and of symplycite 

If he haue money, These theues so cruell be 

That what by crakynge thretenynge and extorcion 

They spoyle this pore man, so that sympyll is his porcion 

Of the ex for don of knyghfis. 8 I 

To our folysshe Shyp I sommon and assyte 
Constables scribes lawyers and Sowdyours 
Exchetours Sheryfs, and knyghtes that haue delyte 
To abuse theyr offyces, by falshode and rygours 
They gyue me occasion to blame theyr errours 
And for that in theyr charge they often tryp 
By false abusion, they shall be in my shyp 

Hast hyther I requyre, my Nauy is a flote 
Longe tary hurtyth, for hawsyd is the sayle 
The anker wayed, within borde is the bote 
Our shyp decked after a homely aparayle 
By suche passyngers I loke for none auayle 
But fere displesour, bycause I shall be trewe 
Yet shall I so. ensue what may ensue 

Good offycers ar good and commendable 
And manly knyghtes that lyue in rightwysenes 
But they that do nat ar worthy of a bable 
Syns by theyr pryde pore people they oppres 
My mayster kyrkham for his perfyte mekenes 
And supportacion of men in pouertye 
Out of my shyp shall worthely be fre 

I flater nat I am his true seruytour 

His chaplayne and bede man whyle my lyfe shall endure 

Requyrynge god to exalt hym to honour 

And of his Prynces fauour to be sure 

For as I haue sayd I knowe no creature 

More manly rightwyse wyse discrete and sad 

But thoughe he be good, yet other ar als bad 


82 Of the extorcion of knyghtls. 

They shall vnnamyd my shyppis haue in cure 

And other offycers who so euer they be 

Whiche in extorcion and falshode them inure 

Hopynge by the same to come do dignyte 

And by extorcion to augment theyr degre 

Mansell of Otery for powlynge of the pore 

Were nat his great wombe, here sholde haue an ore 

But for his body is so great and corporate 

And so many burdens his brode backe doth charge 

If his great burthen cause hym to come to late 

Yet shall the knaue be Captayne of a barge 

Where as ar bawdes, and so sayle out at large 

About our shyp to spye about for prayes 

For therupon hath he lyued all his dayes 

But hym I leue, and so retourne agayne 

Namly to speke of the vnrightwysenes 

Of knyghtes and fals scribes whiche fully set theyr brayne 

To brynge pore people into gretter wretchydnes 

Than they were erst and so them to oppresse 

For playnly to speke fals knyghtes and scribes be 

Of one maner lyuynge practyse and faculte 

The scribe in wrytynge with his disceytfull pen 
Syttynge in his syege acloyde with couetyse 
By subtyle wordes spoylyth the symple men 
Whiche come to hym, desyrynge right iustyce 
The knyght in warre is gyuen to the same Yyce 
Robbynge and spoylynge by feldys : preuely 
But the scribe oppressyth the pore men openly 

Of the extorclon of knyghtis. 83 

The knyght in warre in tyme of frost or rayne 
Or the colde snowe as man masyd with rage 
Subduyth his body to ieopardye or payne 
Damnynge his soule for brybynge auauntage 
The iniust scribe ensuys the same vsage 
Defylynge his soule with his pen and black ynke 
Whose couetyse causyth his soule in hell to synke 

The cursyd hunger of syluer and of golde 
After one maner doth these two so inflame 
That for the Lucre therof theyr soules ar solde 
The one a thefe without all fere and shame 
In tyme of warre in spoylynge hath his game 
Murdrynge men and brennynge towne and vylage 
Nought sekynge but Lucre by spoylynge and pyllage 

The pore chorle vnexpert and innocent 
Suspectynge nought for his true symplycyte 
Is by this scribe compellyd by falshode vyolent 
To pay for his pennys tyll he a begger be 
Thus lyue knyghtis and scribes after one degre 
Oppressynge the pore, them puttynge to great payne 
Vnto them self by falshode gettynge gayne 

Eche of them askyth Lucre and wynnynge 
Nought carynge whether it be wronge or right 
Thus cursyd is the sort that haue theyr lyuynge 
In robbynge pore people by violence and myght 
But if they had lustyce and mercy in theyr syght 
Theyr oflFyces mynystrynge by lawe and equyte 
Both of god and man rewardyd sholde they be 

84 Of the extorcion of knyghtis. 

Who that is rightwyse good, men shall hym commende 
And lawde his name, and his dedes magnyfye 
The knyght is ordeyned by manhode to defende 
Wydowhode and age from wronge and iniury 
With fatherles children, and suche as lyue in penury 
And with dynt of swerde to defende the comon welth 
Expellynge theuys, sauynge true mannys helth 

The scribe is ordeyned hymself to exercyse 
To wryte with his pen iust lawes and verytable 
And shewe by his craft the rule of right iustyce 
But nowe theyr dedys ar moche varyable 
For knyghtes and scribes by wayes disceyuable 
By the swerde and pen right cursydly intende 
Them to oppres, whome they ought to defende 

As wydowes pore men and children pryuate 
Of Father and mother and feble men by age 
By suche oppression they increase theyr estate 
And by successyon of all theyr hole lynage 
Alas the childe oft forgoys his heritage 
Without : right longe or he be of discression 
And all by fals knyghtis spoylynge and oppression 

In erth no gyle, nor falshode is doutles 

Nor yll that is to scribes comparable 

But touchynge thoppression and vnhappynes 

Of other offycers it is innumerable 

And namely sowdeours ar nowe moste vengeable 

And other courters : that scant the kynges way 

Of theyr spoylynge may be quyte by nyght or day 

Of the extorcion of knyghtis. 85 

What shall I wryte of powlynge customers 
And spoylynge serchers Baylyfs and Constables 
Sergeauntis and catchpollis and other offycers 
Whiche with others plate garnysshe gay theyr tables 
Theyr howsys stuffed with brybes abhomynbles 
Suche by oppression become thus excellent 
Contynuynge in falshode for lacke of punysshement 

Ye knyghtes vnrightwyse and offycers iniust 
Auoyde your extorcion done by cruelte 
Auoyde this desyre, mad and myscheuous lust 
Whiche ye haue in spoylynge of the comonte 
Better is for you to lyue in pouertye 
So plesynge god with vndefyled name 
Than by oppression to come to hye degre 
And than after deth be damnyd for the same 

Of fblysshe messengers and Pmsuy 

- .: 

Of folysshe messangers. 87 

I had purposyd nat to haue tane on honde 

To cary in my shyp any messangers 

Or pursuyuauntis that occupy on londe 

For I myself and all my maryners 

Kepe on the see, with our folysshe partners 

So far from londe, and rowynge with suche payne 

That no messanger may vs reuoke agayne 

Yet some of them coueyt to haue place 

To them assigned within a folysshe barge 

And with our folys to be so moche in grace 

Of all theyr messages to haue the cure and charge 

To this intent to ren euer out at large 

With letters or Charters, about dyuers londes 

Somtyme in theyr mouth and somtyme in theyr hondes 

Somtyme other wyse them hydynge pryuely 

To kepe them sure, from moystnes of the rayne 

And so to go without all ieopardy 

In his Journey and salue to come agayne 

But some of these folys take vpon them payne 

To execute more, than is in theyr message 

To theyr owne scorne, and lordes great damage 

But yet oft tyme (Howbeit theyr promes) 
Was in all hast to theyr message to entende 
They it prolonge by ouer moche dronkennes 
Taryenge theyr charge, and bryngynge nought to ende 
By theyr slowe paas, thus he that dyd them sende 
Thynkyth his mater well done and brought to pas 
But by theyr prolongynge it is euyn as it was 

88 Of folysshe mess angers 

And often these messangers so wysely them gouerne 
That whyle they sholde be in hande with theyr mesage 
They range about to eche alehous and tauerne 
With the swete wyne theyr great hete to asswage 
Tyll he be brought into the dronken rage 
Than opyns he his letter it redynge twyse or thryse 
And all for this purpose newe lesynges to deuyse 

His letter he openyth as fals and past all shame 

To knowe the secrete therof to this intent 

With his fals tunge to glose vpon the same 

And oft in his message he is so neglygent 

To lese his letters, and so as imprudent 

He can nat that shewe that men to hym commyt 

Retournynge without answere so folysshe is his wyt 

A true messanger and of parfyte dilygence 

Is moche worthy, and greatly commendable 

For lyke as in Somers feruent vyolence 

The colde wynde and snowe to man is delectable 

And as to men wery : rest is moche confortable 

So a messanger spedy faythfull and parfyte 

Retournynge to his lorde doth hym as great delyte 

Suche true messangers no man wyll discommende 
That is of wysdome mynde pacient, or doctryne 
But folysshe' messangers here I comprehende 
Whiche in theyr message to folysshe wordes inclyne 
More tendynge to theyr botell full of ale or wyne 
Than to theyr message, for this is prouyd playne 
That sende a fole forth, and so comys he agayne 

and purs uyuaunfis. 8 9 

Suche folys haue theyr mawes so feruent 
In hete by rennynge, and excessyue langage 
Fyllyd with foly : That no drynke can it stent 
Nor with moystnes that feruent hete asswage 
But a faythfull man that doth truly his message 
Is to be lawdyd. But we dayly proued se 
That wyse wyll do wysely, and folys as they be. 


Ye follysshe messangers gyuen to neglygence 

To slouth and ryot in your besynes 

Reduce your myndes to parfyte dilygence 

So may ye to your lordes do confort and gladnes 

Be true in his myssage, gyue you to secretnes 

If ye do nat I Barclay, shall certayne 

For eche of you my folys lyueray dres 

That is a hode to kepe you from the rayne 

Of folisshe Cokes and buttelers and other 
offycers of howsholde that wast theyr 
maysters good without mesure. 

Lo nowe comys a sort by dosyns multyplyed 
Vnto my shyp : of dyuers cokes and buttelers. 
A rowme to them may nat be well denyed 
Nor to all other suche howsholde ofFycers 
These folys hast fast to be my maryners 
Rowynge with suche myght that all the se fomes 
Suche increas our Nauy, by vylenes of other wombes 

Of foils she cokes and buttelers. 9 1 

This sort of seruauntes whome thou dost here espy 

Gyuen to theyr wombe by lust obhomynable 

Of meat and drynke and superflwe glotony 

Ar to theyr maysters but lytell profytable. 

Oft Cokes and butlers ar so disceyuable 

Of nature, to theyr mayster and folowe this offence 

That nought they set by his losse by theyr expence 

These folys reuellynge on theyr maysters coste 

Spare no expence, nought carynge his damage 

But they as Caytyfs often thus them boste 

In theyr glotony with dissolute langage 

Be mery companyons and lusty of cowrage 

We haue our pleasour in deynty mete and drynke 

On whiche thynge only we alway muse and thynke 

Ete we and drynke we therfore without all care 
With reuyll without mesure as longe as we may 
It is a royall thynge thus lustely to fare 
With others mete, thus reuell we alway 
Spare nat the pot another shall it pay 
Whan that is done spare nat for more to call 
He merely slepys the whiche shall pay for all 

Thus fewe or none of kepars shall we fynde 
Trewe in theyr dedys, and after one intent 
Though maysters to theyr seruauntis be full kynde 
Agayne is the seruaunt fals and fraudelent 
So howsholde seruauntes though they seme innocent 
And without falshode before theyr lordes face 
They wast all and more in another place 

9 2 Of foils she cokes and buttelers. 

Whan mayster and maystres in bed ar to rest 

The hordes ar spred, the dores open echone 

Than farys the Coke and Butteler of the best 

Other both togyther, or eche of them alone 

With wyne and ale tyll all the best be gone 

By galons and potels they spende without care 

That whiche theyr lorde for his owne mouth dyd spare 

They ar nat content amonge them selfe to spende 
Theyr maysters goodes in suche lyke glotony 
But also for other glotons they do sende 
And strange dronkardys to helpe out theyr vylany 
By whose helpe they may the vessellis make dry 
And he that hath way to drynke at eche worde 
Amonge these Caytyfs is worshyppyd as a lorde 

Amonge these wasters is no fydelyte 

They haue no hede nor care ne aduertence. 

Of the great losse, and the cause of pouertye 

Growynge to theyr lorde by this wastfull expence 

But hym begyle behynde his backe and presence 

The mayster or lorde lyinge in his bed 

Full lytell knowys howe his howsholde is led 

But whyle the seruauntes fals ryot thus ensue 
Wastynge theyr maysters good and hole substance 
The mayster thynkes his seruauntes good and true 
But if it fortune after by some chaunce 
That the mayster haue a desyre or plesaunce 
Of his best drynke with his louers to haue some 
The vessell empty shall yelde nought but bom bom 

Of foils she cokes and buttelers. 93 

Than shall the lorde perceyue the great disceyte 

Of his wastfull seruauntes and theyr fals abusion 

But his perceyuynge than is all to late 

So it apereth that great collusion 

Comyth vnto many, and extreme confusion 

By vntrue seruauntes as Cokes and butlers 

And by all other housholde offycers. 

I thynke it shame to wryte in this my boke 
The great disceyte gyle and vnclenlynes 
Of any scolyon, or any bawdy Coke 
His lorde abusynge by his vnthryftynes 
Some for the nonys theyr meat lewdly dres. 
Gyuynge it a tast to swet to salt or stronge 
Bycause the seruauntes wolde eat it them amonge 

This company, and bende vngracious 

Ar with no pety mouyd, nor yet care 

They wast : and ete theyr mayster out of hous 

Deuourynge his good, tyll he be pore and bare 

And with what meates so euer the lorde shall fare 

If it be in the kechyne or it come to the hall 

The coke and scolyon must taste it first of all 

In euery dysshe these caytyfs haue theyr handes 

Gapynge as it were dogges for a bone 

Whan nature is content fewe of them vnderstandes. 

In so moche that as I trowe, of them is none 

That dye for age : but by glotony echone 

But suche folys were nat theyr hasty lokes 

To my folysshe shyp sholde chosen be for Cokes 

94 Of foils she cokes and buttelers. 


In this shyp myght I compryse or comprehende 
Seruauntis of euery craft and facultye 
Whiche in lewde ryot theyr maysters goodes spende 
Bryngynge them therby to carefull pouertye 
But as for this tyme they shall passe by for me 
Syns by theyr maysters folysshe neglygence 
They haue occasion so ryotous to be 
By great cause gyuen of inconuenyence. 

But to you seruauntis I tourne my pen agayne 
Exortynge you to your maysters to be true 
And nat thus to spende and wast his good in vayne 
And so to harde nede therby hym to subdue 
Lewde felawshyp se that ye euer eschewe 
Beware of ryot, be content wyth your degre. 
For who that agaynst his mayster is vntrewe 
In his owne labour is seldome sen to thye. 

Of the arrogance and pryde of rude men 
of the countrev. 

of the countrey. 

The rustycall pryde of carles of the londe 
Remaynyth nowe, whiche I intende to note 
Whiche theyr owne pryde nat se nor vnderstonde 
Wherfore they coueyte with me to haue a bote 
And so they shall, but whan they ar a flote 
Let them me pardon, for I wyll take no charge 
Of them : but them touche and let them ren at large 

Of the arrogance and pry de 

Of husbonde men the lyfe and the nature 
Was wont be rude and of symplycyte 
And of condicion humble and demure 
But if a man wolde nowe demande of me 
Howe longe agone is syns they thus haue be 
I myght well answere it is nat longe agone 
Syns they were symple and innocent echone 

And so moche were they gyuen to symplenes 
And other vertues chefe and pryncipall 
That the godly trone of fayth and rightwysnes 
Had left great townes lordes and men royall 
And taken place amonge these men rurall 
All vertues : stedfastnes iustyce and lawe 
Disdayned nat these pore cotis thekt with strawe 

There was no disceyt nor gyle of tymes longe 
Amonge these men^: they were out chasyd and gone 
For iustyce (as I haue sayd) was them amonge 
And of longe tyme there kept hir chayre and trone 
Of brynnynge Auaryce amonge these men was none 
No wrongfull lucre nor disceytful auauntage 
Infect the myndes of men of the vyllage 

That is to say they knewe none vsury 

No hunger of golde dyd theyr myndes confounde 

They knewe no malyce : nor pryde of theyr body 

Nor other vyces that trowbleth nowe the grounde 

They coueyted nat to greatly to abounde 

In proude aparayle, lyke Cytezyns excellent 

But theyr hole lyfe was symple and innocent 

of rude men of the countrey. 97 

But nowe the lyfe of eche carle and vyllayne. 
Is in all maners chaungyd euen as clene 
As if the trone moste noble and souerayne 
Of rightwysenes : amonge them had neuer bene 
Of theyr olde vertues nowe is none in them sene 
Wherby they longe were wont themself to gyde 
Theyr lyfe is loste and they set hole on prytle 

Theyr clothes stately after the courters gyse 

Theyr here out busshynge as a foxis tayle 

And all the fassions whiche they can deuyse 

In counterfaytynge they vse in aparayll 

Party and gardyd or short to none auayle 

So that if god sholde theyr bodyes chaunge 

After theyr vesture theyr shape sholde be full strange 

Thus is theyr tnekenes and olde symplycyte 
Tournyd by theyr foly to arrogance and pryde 
Theyr rightwysenes, loue and fydelyte 
By enuy and falshode nowe ar set asyde 
Disceyt and gyle with them so sure doth byde 
That folke of the towne of them oft lerne the same 
And other newe yllis causynge reprofe and shame 

Theyr scarsnes nowe is tournyd to couetyse 
They onely haue golde and that, in abundaunce 
Theyr vertue is gone, and they rotyd in vyce 
Onely on riches fixed is theyr plesaunce 
Fye Chorles amende this mad mysgouernaunce 
What mouyth you vnto this thyrst feruent 
Of golde : that were wont to be so innocent 


98 Of arrogance and pry de. 

What causeth you thus your lyfe to change 
To cursyd malyce from godly innocence 
Nowe Carles ar nat content with one grange 
Nore one ferme place, suche is theyr insolence 
They must haue many, to support theyr expence 
And so a riche, vyllayne proude and arrogant 
Anone becomyth a couetous marchant 

Than labours he for to be made a state 
And to haue the pryuelege of hye nobles 
Thus churlys becomyth statis nowe of late 
Hye of renowne without all sympylnes 
But it is great foly and also shame doutles 
For Carles to coueyt this wyse to clym so hye 
And nat be pleasyd with theyr state and degre 

Fye rurall carles awake I say and ryse 
Out of your vyce and lyfe abhomynable 
Namely of pryde, wrath, enuy and couetyse 
Whiche ye insue, as they were nat damnable 
Recouer your olde mekenes, whiche is most profytable 
Of all vertues, and be content with your degre 
For make a carle a lorde, and without any fable 
In his inwarde maners one man styll shall he be. 

Of the contempt and dispysynge of 

In this our tyme we pouertye out chase 
From vs, but ryches doth euery man content 
The pore is oppressyd to grounde in eche place 
He onely is mocked and countyd imprudent 
As it were a naturall fole, or innocent 
He that is pore, and wyse, must hym submyt 
Vnto a riche fole whiche in a trone shall syt. 

ioo Of the contempt and 

I cary of folys within this present barge 

A marueylous nomber and almoste infynyte 

Whiche on vayne ryches only haue theyr charge 

And hath on it more pleasour and delyte 

Than in good vertues that myght theyr soule profyte 

They set more store the peny to posses 

Than of good, maners, worshyp, or holynes 

All men forsaketh in this tyme to sustayne 
The weght and burthen of godly pouerte 
The cursyd hunger of ryches doth constrayne 
The hertis of men and that of eche degre 
Good lyuers of no valour countyd be 
If they lacke riches, theyr goodnes to support 
To theyr company none forsyth to resort 

They that haue honoured wysdome here before 

And loued vertue, and in the same precede 

In this our tyme promotyd ar no more 

To lawde and honour whiche ought to be theyr mede 

To rightwyse men nowe no man taketh hede 

But onely they haue bribes in plente 

That ar moste riche and hyest in degre 

But syns it is so that plenty and abundaunce 
Of vayne riches and blynde and frayle treasour 
Doth them that hath the same lyghtly auaunce 
To loue, to frendshyp, to lawdes and honour 
And he that lackyth the same is in dolour 
Therfore all men more gladly it ensue 
Than lawdable lyfe gode maners or vertue 

dispysynge ofpouertye. 101 

The worlde rermyth on suche chaunce nowe adayes 

That none by vertue riches can attayne 

But who that wyll be riche must folowe nowe suche wayes 

Firste must he flater and of honour haue disdayne 

He spare must none othes though they be fals and vayne 

And that he hath sayde by and by forsake. 

Nowe swere and promes, anone them both to brake 

He must promes and vowe both to god and man 

And neuer care nor force to kepe the same 

By falshode or brybynge get what he can 

His wordes and dedes both without fere and shame 

By cruell delynge he must hym get a name 

Nought must he care for synne nor vyolence 

Nouther present nor past, styll redy to offence 

He must with rauysshynge clawes exercyse 
Vsury, rubbynge from people innocent 
Brybes and spoylynges and tyme therfore deuyse 
He must bere talys faynyd and fraudelent 
And with the lyes trouble myndes pacient 
And into the erys of good men and laudable 
He droppyth venym by wordes vengeable 

O damnable lyfe pollutyd all with vyce 

O deuylysshe maners alas we may complayne 

The worlde is wrappyd in suche syn by couetyse 

Whiche doth all vertue and godlynes distayne 

All thynge is solde, for frayll treasour and vayne 

Laufull and vnlaufull vertue lawe and right 

Ar solde for money whiche blyndyth mannys syght 

1 02 Of the contempt and 

Were nat blynde treasour and vnhappy ryches 

Many one for theyr synnes and offence 

Sholde worthely haue dyed in wretchydnes 

And other escapyd for theyr innocence 

The peny damnyth : somtyme gyuynge sentence 

So that oft tymes in tyme of iugement 

It reddyth murdrers and Theues fro punysshement 

Thus synnes greuous escapyth quyte and fre 
By money, whiche is so good an aduocate 
That it man reddyth what euer his trespas be 
From deth and peryll if it come nat to late 
It gettyth loue of pore man and estate 
It wolues and Foxis delyuereth from tourment 
And hangeth vp, doues and Lambes innocent 

The ryche by oppressyon augmentyth theyr ryches 

Whiche is at last to theyr owne great damage 

Lyke as the Bybyll playnly doth expres 

Howe Achab wolde haue had the herytage 

Of Nabeth : descendynge to hym by his lynage 

Wherfore this Naboth rightwysly withstode 

The kynges wyll and that by reason gode 

Where as this rightwyse man full wretchydly 
By this ryche kynge, by oppression playne 
And his Quenes falshode was damnyd wrongfully 
For his denyenge, and so with stonys slayne 
For whiche thynge this kynge after had payne 
By wretchyd deth whiche god to hym dyd sende 
Of extorcioners this is the comon ende 

dispysynge of pouertye. \ 03 

Thus the pore onely for theyr symplycrte 
Is tred vnder fote by suche as haue myght 
Thus bagges must be had of pure necessyte 
For without them no man can haue his right 
But whan the golden age the worlde dyd lyght 
And rayned amonge men, than was pouerte 
Of great lawde and glory with men of eche degre 

Than was theyr fode seas, theyr lyuynge lyberall 

Theyr labour comon, they knewe no couetyse 

All thynge was comon than amonge them all 

The lawe of nature from them expellyd vyce 

Without violence or rygour of iustyce 

But none of all these our firste progenytours 

Theyr myndes blyndyd with gatherynge great treasours 

But thoughe by ryches nowe men be enhaunced 
Yet in tyme past men haue by pouertye 
In lawde and glory theyr royalmes hye auaunsyd 
And come therby vnto so great dignyte 
That theyr hye name and fame can neuer dye 
Rome was firste pore, and pore was the senate 
And in Rome pore was many a great estate 

Yet were they nobly disposyd to batayle 

So that whyle they lyuyd in theyr symplenes 

No other Nacion agayne them coude preuayle 

But after whan they gaue theyr myndes to ryches 

Oft strange Nacions them sharply dyd oppres 

By this example it apereth openly 

That to a good warrour ryches is ennemy 

IO4 Of the contempt and 

The noble Curius in scarsnes and vertue 
Rulynge in Rome, at the Romayns desyre 
Dyd the Samnytyens manfully subdue 
And the Ausonyans vnto the same empyre 
With all other that durst agaynst Rome conspyre 
Of whome many for his souerayne wysdome 
Of theyr frewyll dyd subiect to hym become 

What man doth nat Publicola commende 

Whiche by scarsnes deseruyd hath honour 

And heuenly worshyp whiche none can comprehende 

Hystoryan, Poet, nor other oratour 

We lawde Fabricius a mean Conquerour 

Whiche the rewardes of Pyrrhus dyd despyse 

Wherby men knewe he louyd no couetyse 

Yet led this Fabricius his lyfe in scarsyte 

With lytell riches to hym moche acceptable 

Regulus also a man of great dignyte 

For his suffysaunce reputyd is laudable 

In small substance he thought to lyue most stable 

Thus is that man both wyse and excellent 

That with ynoughe can holde hym selfe content 

The firste begynnynge and origynall 

Of all the worlde was firste in scarsyte 

Therby were Cytees byldyd first of all 

And kynges establyd in theyr royalte 

With theyr kyngdomes. and men of eche degre. 

Pouerte of all the lawes was Inuentryce 

Mother vnto vertue, confonderes of vyce 

dispysynge of pouertye. \ 05 

By scarsyte Grece hath gotten suche a name 
Of laude and worshyp whiche neuer shall decay 
That all the worlde hole, spekyth of the same 
But howe the lordes thereof lyued alway 
In stedfast vertue somwhat shall I say 
The iust Arystydes inuentour of iustyce 
Was euer pore, nat gyuen to couetyse 

Epamynundas also lyued in vertue 
And he beynge Duke possessyd small ryches 
Yet neuer kynge nor Prynce coude hym subdue 
By suffysaunce suche was his worthynes 
The noble Poet homerus eke : doutles 
Whyle he descrybed the sore ruyne of Troy 
Was pore, and set on couetyse no ioy 

Socrates with godly wysdome decorate 
Set neuer his mynde on ryches or treasour 
Yet was neuer kynge so ryche nor estate 
Than was more worthy than he was of honour 
In all the worlde is no thynge at this houre 
So proude nor hye whiche hath nat first of all 
Had chefe begynnynge of a Ryuer but small 

The worthy Cyte callyd Tarpye by name 
Of small begynnynge is nowe made excellent 
Rome hath also farre sprede abrode hir fame 
Thoughe it were byldyd (as lerned men assent) 
Of symple Shepherdes pore and innocent 
O what a Cyte, and what a se royall 
Hath had first name of pore men and rural 1 

106 Of the contempt and 

Where as the cursyd hunger of ryches 

Hath oft these Cytees destroyed and lost agayne 

Hath nat the Romayns byd oft great wretchydnes 

And for Couetyse oppressyd in great payne 

For the same vyce Cartago hath certayne 

Suffred ruyne by fortune myserable 

Where as puerte brynges men to ende laudable 

Alas why Coueyt we so faruently 

Exces of ryches as men myndles and blynde 

Syns it so many hath brought to mysery 

Yet ryches gotten is vnsure as the wynde 

Dyd nat proude Cersus therby destruccion fynde 

Endynge in payne great wo and wretchydnes 

By the immoderate and lewde loue of ryches 

Wherfore let men of eche sort of degre 
Loue pouertye as thynge moste commendable 
For suerly ryches is nought but vanyte 
Rulyd by chaunce vncertayne and vnstable 
And to the Hauer oftentyme damnable 
For a ryche man settynge theron his mynde 
Shal into heuen right hardly passage fynde 


Withdrawe your myndes men from to great ryches 

Set nat your thought vpon vnsure treasour 
Rede howe the Gospell examples doth expres 
Of the pouertye of Christe our sauyour. 

dlspysynge ofpouertye. 107 

Thoughe he of all was lorde and creatour 
And seconde parsone of the holy Trinite 
Yet he for vs hath suffred great dolour 
And in all his lyfe wylfull pouerte. 

Wherfore blynde man make clere thy ignoraunce 
Take here example by god omnypotent 
Holde thou thy selfe content with suffysaunce 
Voluntary scarsnes is a vertue excellent 
That folowed the fathers of the olde testament 
And also the discyples and Apostles in the newe 
But to pouertye thoughe thou wylt nat consent 
Than kepe thou mesure, and couetyce eschewe 

Of them that begyn to do well and con- 
tynue nat in that purpose. 

Vnto this Plough of Folys many ren 
Begynnynge to labour with dylygence and payne 
But they wyll nat contynue longe therin 
But shortly after cast of theyr worke agayne 
No maruayle. for so volage is theyr brayne 
That without reason they gyue moche gretter hede 
As wytles Folys the bare Coko do fede 

Of them that begyn to do well. 109 

First whan the Carle takys his ploughe in honde 

He is so besy therwith and dylygent 

As if that he wolde Ere out his londe 

Vpon one day or he leue of, or stent 

To the first labour men ar lest insolent 

But I shall tell the if thou gyue audyence 

Of this my meter what is the chefe sentence 

Some men ar lyuynge that for awhyle begyn 
To lyue well ynoughe and outwarde represent 
For to contynue in good lyfe without syn 
Entrynge the way of vertue excellent 
But shortly after chaungyd is that intent 
They come nat vnto the top of the Mountayne 
Wherin is vertue and good moste souerayne 

These ar those Folys that taketh hastely 

The ploughe in hande, as for a cours or twayne 

And than agayne it leuyth by and by 

These well deserue for theyr vnstable brayne 

In our lewde barges for to be put to payne 

And besy labour, and alway to trauayle 

To rowe our barges and hye to hawse the sayle 

The wyse man in descripcion of vertue 

Hath set the same on the hyght of a hyll 

Whiche vnto heuen a certayne way doth shewe 

To suche men as with theyr full myndes wyll 

To that hyghe top theyr hole Journey fulfyli 

But to this hyll, fewe ar that go forwarde 

But many thousandes wolde clymbe therto bacwarde 

1 1 o Of them that begyn to do well 

They ar suche that set all theyr hole lykynges 
On ryches pleasour and euery dedely synne 
And onely muse on these lowe worldly thynges 
As if man myght hye goodnes by them wynne 
Whiche haue no grace nor vertue them within 
These men that ar of mynde thus varyable 
To the children of Israeli ar moste comparable 

Whiche whan they were delyuered of destres 
And out of Egypt, and past that cruell payne 
By hande of moyses, suche was theyr wylfulnes 
That oft they wysshyd that they were there agayne 
And all for hunger of one day or scant twayne 
They rather wolde vytayle in sore captyuyte 
Than with small penaunce, haue plesaunt lybertye 

These worldly thynges to Egypt I compare 
Wherin mankynde abydeth in bondage 
Oft by his foly sufrrynge great payne and care 
But whan theyr mynde is red from this outrage 
And they delyuered, and all theyr hole lynage 
Forsakynge the worlde, for vertue moste souerayne 
Than for small hardnes anone they turne agayne 

Alas these people of myndes ar so rude 

That they had leuer be in captyuyte 

Of Faro the Fende, and his blynde seruytude 

Than in Christis seruyce lyuynge in lybertye 

But though the way of Christis seruyce be 

Harde to be kept by blynde and frayle mankynde 

Parseuer, and thou shalt a Crowne in heuen fynde 

and contynue nat in that purpose. 1 1 i 

But many (alas) retourne agayne to vyce 
And bacwarde agayne go to theyr olde offence 
And he that the seruyce of god dyd exercyse 
In mekenes vertue and lowe obedyence 
Is fallyn nowe to all inconuenyence 
Alas the state of them is moche vnsure 
Whiche chaunge good for yll agayne nature 

The quakynge seke in bed lyenge prostrate 
Halfe dede halfe lyuynge, by some mortall wounde 
And of all his myghtis of manhode clene pryuate 
Can nat be hole, but if plasters be bounde 
Vnto his grefe to clens it by the grounde 
Purgynge it by suche playsters mundifycatyue 
And than it closynge by playsters sanatyue 

And corrosyues, somtyme he must endure 
To purge that flesshe whiche is putrefyed 
Kepynge and obseruynge good dyet alway sure 
But by this way whan his payne is modefyed 
His wounde nere hole, fresshe and claryfyed 
Withdrawe he his playsters for a day or twayne 
His sore reneweth and rottyth than agayne 

And oft becomyth wors than it was before 
Corruptynge the flesshe and skyn on euery syde 
Right so it fortunes by a gostely sore 
In vertue we ought perseuerantly abyde 
Whiche to the heuenly regyon shall vs gyde 
It nought auayleth thyself to boste and cry 
That thou haste somtyme lyued rightwysly 

112 Of them that begyn to do well. 

It is nat ynough from vyce the to defende 
One day or twayne or onys to haue done well 
But that man that contynuys to the ende 
Shall neuer nede to fere the paynes of hell 
For it expressed is playne in the gospell 
Who that perseueryth in vertue and in grace 
To his last ende, in heuen shall haue a place 

Therfore I pray, and humbly you beseke 

Lerne good and vertue, and be therin actyfe 

Nat onely for one day nor yet one weke 

But it contynue the dayes of all your lyfe 

Thynges thus begone, of man, childe, mayde, or wyfe 

Ar moste acceptable to god our sauyour 

And nat to do well, and leue within an hour. 


O youth full frayle blynde youth I say agayne 
In thy tendernes stody thou to begyn 
To serue thy maker in vertues souerayne 
And se thou surely rote thy self therin 
That thou the neuer pollute with dedely synne 
And if thou fall agayne ryse hastely 
Than shalt thou sothly heuen obtayne and wynne 
If thou perseuer and so lyue stedfastly. 

Of folys that despyse deth makynge no 
prouysion therfore. 

O cruell deth, o fury fauourl?s 
So fyers art thou of loke and countenaunce 
That thou nought sparest vertue nor ryches 
Beauty nor byrth, strength nor valyaunce 
Eche creature thou bryngest to vttraunce 
Thou shewest none his season nor his tyde 
So is he vnwyse that wyll the nat prouyde. 


114 Qffb s ^at despyse deth 

O Brether in Christ conioyned by byleue 
Our blynde presumpcion doth vs sore abuse 
Trust of longe lyfe our soules oft doth greue 
We haue playne warnynge and yet we it refuse 
Vnwarely we wander, and no thynge we muse 
On deth : but despyse his furour intretable 
Whiche sure shall come, though tyme be varyable 

Man dye thou shalt : this thynge thou knowest playne 

But as for the tyme, howe, where, and whan 

These ar and shall be kept vncertayne 

Fro the, and me, and almoste from euery man 

Thus dye thou must prouyde it if thou can 

We all must therto, olde, yonge, yll and goode 

Our lyfe styll passyth as water of a flode 

Ly, stande, or go, ete, slepe, or drynke 
Or in what so euer thynge thou the exercyse 
Yet deth cometh thoughe thou nat theron thynke 
But for that we dye in suche varyable wyse 
Thou this day : if suche a chaunce doth ryse 
Thy neyghbour shall folowe outher first or last 
Therfore on hope all men theyr myndes cast 

On hope to lyue set mortall men theyr mynde 
Thoughe they be seke yet thynke they nat to dye 
So this vayne hope doth them disceyue and blynde 
If deth them stryke in that infirmyte 
Ye and also we often tymes may se 
That deth is lyke to men opprest in age 
And to yonge children and men of hye corage 

makynge no prouysion therfore. i 1 

Thy ernest is layde, the bargen must abyde 
It may nat be broke, but where as synne doth growe 
And a pore wretche in vicious lyfe mysgyde 
Suche wretches thynke that deth is neuer to slowe 
And many one in vyce habounde and flowe 
Alway thoughe they that dye in synne mortall 
(As Dauyd sayth) dye must rufull deth of all 

Deth is (as I haue sayd) so intreatable 

That all he consumeth, as his wyll doth aply 

Thoughe one in beauty be incomparable 

In strength or riches, thoughe god hym magnyfye 

It nought auayleth : at last yet must he dye 

Prolongyd is no tyme, if furour the submyt 

Of cruell deth, thou must obey to it 

Thy strength decays r and thy breth wexeth short 
Thy vaynes labours, and be somwhat colde 
Thy body wexeth styf without comfort 
Anone thy beauty pleasaunt, semeth olde 
Thy vysage chaungynge by lokes manyfolde 
Somtymes Pale with colour chaungeable 
Somtyme as lede, from deth scant varyable 

Thy herte quaketh thy vaynes lesyth myght 
Corrupt blode doth thy colour putryfye 
Thy throte hurtlyth, thy wordes, and thy syght 
Theyr naturall offyce shall vnto the denye 
With suche passions all mortall men shall dye 
For lyfe shall fayle whan deth shall take his place 
No man of lyfe can charter here purchace 

1 1 6 Qfjbfy* that despyse deth 

O deth howe bytter is thy remembraunce 
And howe cruell is it thy paynes to indure 
To them that in erth settyth theyr plesaunce 
On wretchyd ryches, vnstable and vnsure 
And on vayne pleasours : yet euery creature 
Must from this riches (though they be loth) depart 
Whan deth them woundeth with his mortall dart 

It is thynge Folysshe to trouble and encomber 

That man that restyth and slepyth quyetly 

His tyme was come, and we in the same slomber 

Shall be opprest : god wot howe sodaynly 

We all must therto, there is no remedy 

It hath to many ben profyte, and gladnes 

To dye or theyr day to auoyde this wretchydnes 

And ende the myseries, and labours of this lyfe 
And many one as wery of this short lyfe and payne 
Them selfe hath murdred with theyr owne hande and knyfe 
And some with poyson also them selfe hath slayne 
With snare, with water or with some other trayne 
The cause why they them selfe haue thus destroyd 
Was worldly payne and mysery to auoyde 

Yet better were it lyue a lyfe myserable 

Than thus to dye, yet so haue nat they thought 

But naturall deth to some is profytable 

To suche as therby out of bondage ar brought 

And paynfull Pryson, In all the worlde is nought 

Concernynge payne, dole wo and mysery 

But that deth fyndeth therfore a remedy. 

makynge no prouyslon therfore. 117 

Deth with his fote doth worldly thynges tred 

O howe many that hath ben in captyuyte 

And bytter Pryson doth deth clene quyte and red 

By it all fetters and Chaynes lowsyd be 

All worldly tourment all payne and cruelte 

Is red by deth : and they that sholde haue bene 

In payne contynuall, by deth ar quyted clene 

Deth is delyuered, and from fortune lyberall 
It tourneth downe the Castels and the toures 
Of kynges Prynces and other men royall 
With lyke cruelte of payne and sodayne shoures 
As pore mennys howsis lyuynge in doloures 
For deth hym selfe behaueth in one rate 
And in lyke mesure to begger and estate 

And thoughe that fortune cruell and vniust 
Exalt yll lyuers and rightwyse men oppres 
Deuydynge honour and ryches where hir lust 
Deth all the same doth order and redres 
With egall payne by weght of rightwysnes 
There is no prayer, rewarde, nor myght that may 
Of deth prolonge one houre of the set day 

This dredfull deth of colour pale and wan 

To pore and ryche in fauour is egall 

It spareth neyther woman childe nor man 

But is indifferent both to great and small 

For as sayth Flaccus, Poet heroycall 

With one fote, it stryketh at the dore 

Of kynges palaysys, and of the wretched pore 

I i 8 Qffify* that despyse deth 

It caryth nought for Pryde, ne statelynes 
Nor myght, as we se oft by experyence 
It is nat peasyd with treasour nor ryches 
With cunnynge of Retoryke ne-glosyd eloquence 
To Pope and Begger it hath no difference. 
With throte lyke wyde on echone doth he gape 
None can his clawes auoyde, fle, nor escape 

Yet he nat grauntyth to any creature 

As symple man great Lorde or Prynce souerayne 

Of dethes hour, to be stedfast and sure 

To euery man his comynge is sodayne 

Except to them that ar condemned playne 

Whiche by theyr foly lewdely prouoke theyr tyme 

By theft or murder or ellys some other cryme 

It maketh no force : there is no difference 
Whether thou dye yonge or els in extreme age 
For this is sure eche creature shall hense 
Both state and Begger shall pas the same passage 
Lyue an hundryth wynter increasynge thy lynage 
Yet to thy lyfe deth, ende shall set and gyue 
But fewe ar that nowe one hundreth wynter lyue 

And than at last : whether he by lefe or lothe 
His wretchyd Carcas shall the voyde graue fulfyll 
And many one also to his ende gothe 
(As wery of his lyfe) at his desyre and wyll 
No man hath fauour (of deth) to byde here styll 
The father dede : the sone shall after hastely 
And oft dyes the sone before the Father dye 

makynge no prouysion therfore. 119 

One after other, out of this lyfe we shall 

Syster and brother, neuewe syre and dame 

Tyll at the last from lyfe we gone be all 

And the elementis pourgyd by fyry flame 

To mourne for deth therfore thou art to blame 

Or crye for the dede, and dolefully to wepe 

Thy cryenge (fole) shall nat wake hym of that slepe 

Thynge worldly that to man is delectable 

This deth disdaynes, ne no commaundement 

Can turne nor fere hym : his promys is so stable 

His cruell daunce no man mortall can stent 

Nor lede his cruell cours after his intent 

The pope nor Emperour, if they be in his hande 

Hath no maner myght his sore cours to whhstande 

The bysshop, lorde, the Pore man, lyke a state 

Deth in his daunce ledyth by the sleue 

He oft causeth men them self to fatygate 

And wery in his daunce, longe or they wolde byleue 

But thoughe his besy coursys doth them greue 

He gyuys no space to man to stande nor syt 

But sue the trompe tyll he come to the pyt 

There neuer was man of so great pryde ne pompe 

Nor of suche myght, youth nor man of age 

That myght gaynsay the sounde of dethes trompe 

He makes man daunce and that without courage 

As well the state as man of lowe lynage 

His cruell cours is ay so intretable 

That mannys myght to withstande is nat able 

I 2 o Ofjblys that despyse deth 

Whan thou art dede, what profyte or auayle 
Hast thou in toumbes hye ryche and excellent 
That Corps that lackes all suche gay aparayle 
Shall be ouercouered with the fyrmament 
The blynde, Arthemisia yet was of this intent 
A sumtuous toumbe and ryche to edefye 
By vayne opynyon hir name to magnyfye 

This toumbe was shynynge with syluer and pure golde 

So gayly couchyd and set with precious stone 

Alayd with asure and coloures manyfolde 

That of the seuen wonders of kyngdomes echone 

That ar vnder Son : that rekened is for one 

Yet this gay tombe abyll for any kynge 

To hir pore soule profyted no thynge 

Chemnys also as dyodorus sayes 

Byldyd a speere hye and wonderous 

To bere remembraunce of his tyme and dayes 

This speere was costely dere and sumptuous 

And of quantyte so great and marueylous 

That a thousande men and. iii. hundreth fulfyde 

In twenty yeres coude it skantly bylde 

The brother of the sayd chemnys in lyke wyse 
Brought all his Royalme vnto pouertye 
Whyle he another lyke speere dyd deuyse 
For his vayne toumbe, so that his comonte 
And other workmen after one degre 
Were longe compellyd in this worke to etc 
Herbys and rotis for lacke of other mete 

makynge no prouyslon therfore. 121 

One Rodopis callyd by suche a name 

Byldyd suche another vayne sepulture 

The riche Amasis also dyd the same 

But what was this, els but a vayne pleasure 

It is great Foly to any creature 

To make so great expences and trauayle 

About vayne thynges that ar of none auayle 

So great expences, suche Folysshe coste and vayne 

Is done on toumbes and all by pompe and pryde 

That this my shyp can it scarsly contayne 

But the soulys helth (alas) is set asyde 

Whiche euer sholde lyue and without ende abyde 

And the caryon and fylth : is magnyfyed 

By suche vayne toumbes that nowe ar edefyed 

Beholde a toumbe and precious sepulture 

Thought it be gay : aduyse what is within 

A rottyn caryon vyler than all ordure 

By this proude toumbe the soule no welth can wynne 

But is Damnyd if the body dyed in synne 

So is it Foly great coste and vanyte 

To vse in Toumbes suche curyosyte 

Euery grounde vnto god is sanctyfyed 

A right wyse man that well doth lyue and dye 

Shall in hye heuen in soule be glorifyed 

In what euer grounde his wretchyd Carcas lye 

But where a toumbe is byldyd curyously 

It is but cause of Pryde to the ofsprynge 

Helpynge the soule right lytell or no thynge 

122 Qffh 5 that despyse deth. 


Man kepe thy body from synne exces and cryme 
And if thou fall aryse shortly agayne 
Be euer redy, prouyde thy deth by tyme 
For dye thou shalt that one thynge is certayne 
And oft deth stelyth on man by cours sodayne 
He warneth none, but who that dyes in syn 
Dyes worst of all, and sure is of hell payne 
Thus is it peryll longe to abyde therin 

Vnto an Archer deth may I well compare 
Whiche with his dart stryketh somtyme the marke 
That is last age delyuerynge them from care 
Of mundayne thought, and payne of worldly warke 
Somtyme he shotyth ouer : as he were darke 
Of syght, and somtyme to short : or els asyde 
But well is hym that takyth thought and carke 
At euery season his dartis to prouyde. 

Of Folys that despyse god. 

Whan that man synneth or therto doth assent 
Thoughe god be of moche mercy and great pacience 
Suffrynge hym escape without punysshement 
And often is nat hasty to punysshe eche offence 
Yet thou blynde Pole voyde of all prudence 
He gyueth nat the his berde to draw and brast 
For euery synne he punyssheth first or last. 

124 Q/" Folys that despyse god. 

What man myght suffer with mynde pacient 
These folys that stryue agaynst theyr creatour 
With wordes despysynge our lorde omnypotent 
And hym denyenge as nat theyr gouernour 
Both day and nyght increasynge theyr errour 
All goddes preceptis these folys thus confounde 
With vicious wordes whiche doth theyr soules wounde 

They vtter wordes, full of all folysshenes 
Agaynst the Father of heuen they hym nat drede 
No more than he were, of no myghtynes 
Lyke to mankynde, or come of mannys sede 
Of his great power they haue no fere nor hede 
Nor yet aduertyce his rightwyse iugement 
Ne that yll doers ar worthy punysshement 

What menest thou by god the Father eternall 
Howe takest thou hym, howe countest thou his lawe 
Whiche by thy presumpcion foule and infernall 
Dare be so bolde his berde this wyse to drawe 
By his hye myght thou countest nat a strawe 
And than whan god, by mercy and pyte 
A whyle the suffreth for thy dede to go fre 

And doth nat punysshe this synne in contynent 

Therfore thou thynkest that god hath pardoned the 

Bycause the lyghtnynge or thounder vyolent 

And other tempestous stormes whan they be 

Ouertourneth downe an oke or other tre 

And suffreth the and thy hows to be vnbrent 

Thus thynkest thou : the pardonyd by god omnypotent 

Of Folys that despyse god. 125 

O people of cursyd hope and confydence 
What ioy haue ye : or what a lewde delyte 
Without amendement alway to sue offence 
And more to offende, bycause ye haue respyte 
Is godes lustyce (thynke ye) decayd quyte 
Nay god is more rightwyse than creature terrene 
All thynge he seys, no thynge can stop his iyen 

Thynkest thou that thy lyfe shall euer endure 
That thou mayst haue longe tyme our lorde to pray 
And in thy last age of pardone to be sure 
O fole vnrulyd lay this lewde mynde away 
Trust nat to lyfe, for vnsure is thy day 
We all must dye : but he that styll doth syn 
In hope of longe lyfe he often dyes therin 

God suffreth the oftymes to offende 

And folowe thy wyll and sensualyte 

To proue if thou thy lewde lyfe wylt amende 

Expellynge thy carnall and blynde fragilyte 

But if thou contynue in thy iniquyte 

The more space that thou hast had before 

Thy payne and tourment shall after be the more 

Alas suche ar infect with great offence 

That thus on synne infix alway theyr mynde 

They haue no wysdome grate, goodnes, ne prudence 

But kepe theyr herte in darke errour and blynde 

That to true byleue it no thynge is inclyned 

Whan synfull errour is set in theyr intent 

They god despyse, and his commaundement 

126 Of Folys that despyse god. 

These folys in nianer nought care for goddes myght 
Whiche by his worde hath made eche element 
The sonne : the mone, the derkenes and the lyght 
The day, the nyght, the sterrys and firmament 
Whiche knowys all tymes eche hour and eche moment 
Both the tyme past and tyme that is to come 
Our lyfe and deth he knowys by his wysdome 

/ O man myserable : o wretchyd creature 

Sholdest thou agaynst thy souerayne lorde rebell 

Whiche to thyntent : that thou sholde nat endure 

Eternall deth. sende to tourment cruell 

His onely son to red thy soule fro hell 

The whiche also with his blode hath the bought 

Therfore loue hym, and turne this frowarde thought 

Thou art nat so redy to gyue the to penaunce 
And to set thy mynde on vertue parfytely 
Forsakynge thy synne and olde mysgouernaunce 
But god is als redy to take the to mercy 
Thus mayst thou thynke both sure and stedfastly 
That if thou for thy synnes mourne and wayle 
God shall the here, and quyte the thy trauayle 

But who that hath herte harde in suche a wyse 
And rotyd in suche malyce and furour 
That by the same by worde he dare despyse 
His god, his maker, his helth and sauyour 
By synne, contempt or lyuynge in errour 
Suche (but if he chaunge his intent) 
Is damnyd, to endure infernall punysshement. 

Of Folys that despyse god. 127 


O people proude, and of goodnes ignoraunt 
Enclyne your myndes sore blyndyd by offence 
Mollyfy your hertis that ar harde as adamant 
Expell ye this pryde and stately insolence 
Presume ye no more in worde, nor conscience 
Your lord, defender, and maker to despyse 
For who that doth, shall outher here or hence 
At last be rewardyd, and that in ferefull wyse. 

Of Blasphemers and sweres of the name 
of god, and of his Sayntis. 

Nowe commyth to cours to wryte of the errours 
Of men abhomynable, of women mayde and childe 
Whiche agaynst Christ ar newe tourmentours 
His skyn terynge, wors than lowes it defylyd 
O man myscheuous by whome Christ is reuylyd 
Thou worthy art to dye in soule and in body 
That luge that it suffreth sore shall it abye. 

Of Blasphemers and sweres 129 

O Myrthles myse of eloquence barayne 
Cast out thy terys and mourne without mesure 
For from sore waylynge my selfe can nat refrayne 
Nor as I thynke none erthly creature 
Consyderynge howe men in malyce them inure 
If there were reason within harde stele or flynt 
From carefull terys I wot they coude nat stynt 

If beste had reason, wyt, or mannys brayne 
To note and aduyse mannys mysgouernaunce 
Without all dout I thynke it wolde complayne 
For mannys synne, and wylfull ignoraunce 
Therfore all ye that haue wyll and pleasaunce 
To rede of the Folys of this iniquyte 
Expell hye corage, and than come wepe with me 

For certaynly, I trowe no man coude wryte 
The vyce nowe vsed, agaynst all ordynaunce 
Nor yet that rede, whiche other men indyte 
Without sore waylynge, and terys in habundaunce 
For well I wot my herte is in greuaunce 
Whan I consyder and wryte, thus wyse of syn 
Seynge howe the worlde defylyd is therin 

But though I haue had great dilygence with payne 
Before this, to blame blynde Folys abhomynable 
Yet this my labour almoste was tane in vayne 
For none to this present sort ar comparable 
These folys in theyr dedys ar so detestable 
That all synne and vyce vnder the firmament 
Theyr vicious hertis can nat pleas nor content 


I 3 Of Blasphemers ana sweres. 

Yet seke they \vors : agaynst our lorde aboue 
By theyr yll tunge they tourment newe with payne 
And though he onys dyed in erth for mannys loue 
These caytyfs hym tourment nowe in heuen agayne 
These folys (with newe sperys) set theyr brayne 
To wounde, our lorde, whiche, can do hym no grefe 
Saue that he seyth man seke his owne myschefe 

Agaynst Christ they cast and throwe great othys 
Blasphemynge agaynst dyuyne commaundement 
Wordes of Enuy whiche god almyghty lothys 
They throwe agayne hym as trayters vyolent 
O cursyd creatures, with armour impotent 
That lorde that dyed to red them out of payne 
They haue good wyll to tere his herte agayne 

The one blasphemys by christis hede and brayne 
Grutchynge and grennynge for symple thynge or nought 
Another Caytyfe, or myscheuous vylayne 
By all his holy membres, to swere hath lytyll thought 
Another by the blode wherwith he hath vs bought 
His Face his herte, or by his crowne of thorne 
Wherwith (for them) his skyn was rent and torne 

Another out vomytis wordes execrable 
Agaynst our lordes holy woundes fyue 
His handes his fete and his crosse venerable 
Wheron he dyed to make mankynde a lyue 
That fole that grettest othes can contryue 
Blasphemynge god, men hym moste magnyfye 
Thus newe agayne our lorde they crucyfye 

Of Blasphemers and sweres. 131 

O cruell Caytyfs tyrantis and tourmentours 

O blynde blasphemers, o men brought vp in vyce 

O ye fals folowers, and inherytours 

Of the cruell lowes myschefe and malyce 

To moche immoderate madnes doth attyce 

Your myndes amasyd by othes to tourmerit 

The sayntis of heuen : and god omnypotent 

O ye blasphemers : o tourmentours vnkynde 
Alas what mean ye your maker thus to tere 
Syns in the Gospell we playnly wryten fynde 
That no creature lyuynge ought to swere 
By ought that god made, no nat by a here 
Of his owne hede, our othes ought to be 
(As christ vs techy th) onely (nay) and (ye) 

But nowe in our othes is god omnypotent 

With all his membres and sayntis euerychone 

All that god made, and euery sacrament 

The fere of payne (alas) is from vs gone 

Our hertis harder than flynt or marbell stone 

Alas we tere our Lord that hath vs bought 

By our blasphemynge, and that for thynge of nought 

The tables, tenys, cardis, or the dyce 

Ar chefe begynnynge of this vnhappynes 

For whan the game wyll nat well aryse 

And all the players troubled by dronkenes 

Than suche Caytyfs as ioy in this exces 

At eche worde labour our sauyour to tere 

With othes abhomynable whiche they vngoodly swere 

122 Of Blasphemers and sweres. 

Alas these folys repute it but a game 

To cast suche wordes agayne theyr creatour 

Them selfe forswerynge, blasphemynge christis name 

And he that is moste gyuen to this errour 

Is nowe reputyd moste worthy of honour 

He shall no rule in court nor kechen here 

(As this tyme goys) but he can crake and swere 

The yonge (alas) this vyce doth here and lere 

With stody intentyf, and parfyte, aduertence 

Of suche as ar olde : to blaspheme, and to swere 

The name of god without all reuerence 

In so moche that they thynke it none offence 

To swere the holy Masse, that othe is nowe so ryfe 

In mouth of man, mayden childe and wyfe 

It was onys ordeyned by constytucion 

As I haue harde, that both symple men and hye 

Sholde onely swere by that occupacion 

The whiche theyr Faders dyd vse and occupy 

But nowe eche sweryth the Mas comonly 

Whiche is the prestis seruyce and besynes 

So mennys others theyr Fathers doth expres 

Alas no honour, laude nor reuerence 
Is had nowe vnto that blessyd sacrament 
But boyes, and men without all difference 
Tere that holy body of god omnypotent 
As it were iowes to his passion they assent 
In euery bargayne, in ale hous and at borde 
The holy Mas is euer the seconde worde 

Of 'Blasphemers and sweres. 

And than these houndes can suche excusys fynde 
As to theyr soules without dout ar damnable 
Saynge it is gode to haue the masse in mynde 
And the name of god, and his sayntis honourable 
O erytykes. o houndes abhomynable 
That is a thynge whiche god almyghty lothys 
To take his name in thy foule mouth by othys 

Yet doest thou so, there is no maner place 
Nor no order or state that of this vyce is fre 
For whiche (alas) god hath withdrawyn his grace 
And oft vs chastyth with plage of cruelte 
With dyuers dethes, and moche aduesyte 
For this vyce, luges ordayne no punysshement 
Therfore is it punysshyd by god omnypotent 

With tempest thunder, lyghtnynge hete or colde 
With murder by pestylence or els by some batayle 
And sore diseasys, and paynys manyfolde 
We oft by hunger haue cause also to wayle 
The come destroyed by wynde lyghtnynge or hayle 
Of suche punysshement we wretchys worthy be 
For god suffreth nat our synnes to go fre 

Sennacheryb as the bybyll doth expres 
Nychanor and fyers Antyochus also 
Hath shamely dyed for this vnhappynes 
Nat only they : but many thousandes mo 
And in our dayes I fere lyst payne and wo 
Be to vs sende by ryghtwyse punysshement 
For swerynge in vayne, by god omnypotent 

134 Of Blasphemers and sweres. 

O father almyghty our god and creatour 
In thy hye maiesty syttynge in thy trone 
With blessyd lesu thy sone our sauyour 
And o holy goste whiche ar thre in one 
O god graunt thy grace to this our regyon 
Pardon vs synners differ thy vengeaunce 
Thoughe we deserue it by our mysgouernaunce 

glorious godhed of mercy infynyte 
Consyder howe mankynde is prone alway to vyce 
Graunt vs good lord layser and respyte 

Out of our slombrynge sinnes to aryse 
Let thy great mercy excell thy hye iustyce 
For if thy iustyce sholde put vs to vttraunce 
We sholde be damnyd for our mysgouernaunce 

If thou good lorde denye vs to socour 

On whome may we wretches for socour cry or call 

Alas on none, therfore let our errour 

And synfull dedes clene from thy presence fall 

Brynge vs vnto thy realme celestyall 

Where in thy presence we may set our plesaunce 

And so haue pardon of our mysgouernaunce. 

Alas ye swerers mourne, for ye haue cause 
Wasshe ye away your synne with syghes depe 
For if I sholde vtter my mynde in one clause 

1 say your vnkyndnes causeth me to wepe 
What god hath done for you ye take no kepe 
But tere his body by swerynge hym in vayne 
Thoughe he as a good Shepherd, dyed for his shepe 
That is for you, yet wolde ye hym sle agayne 

O/ Blasphemers and sweres. 135 

Alas blasphemer, of christ thou hast the name 

And callyd art christen, so made by sacrament 

But sothly that name is to thy vtter shame 

Syns thou thy god, and sauyour dare tourment 

O iuges iuges ordayne ye punysshement 

For eche blasphemer wors than is an hell hounde 

For if ye do nat our lorde omnypotent 

Shall vs with our synnes by right iustyce confounde 

Of the plage and indignacion of god, and 
folys that fere nat the same. 

Some folys meruayle and thynketh it great wonder 
Whan god vs stryketh for our yll and offence 
With tempest, hete, sekenes, lyghtenynge or thunder 
Hunger or colde, outher sodayne pestylence 
But certaynly his hye magnyfycence 
Vs worthely punyssheth for our iniquyte 
For vertue alas is gone from eche degre. 

Of the plage and indignaclon of god. 137 

O folys abusyd whome foly doth diffame 

Say what auauntage what profyte or what mede 

Is it to you to haue christis name 

Whan ye nat folowe his lyfe in worde nor dede 

Of his preceptis alas we take no hede 

Yet we repute vs condigne in our corage 

To be callyd christen, and christes herytage 

Who that in vyce his dayes doth meyntayne 

May here the name of christ our sauyour 

But than his name he chalangeth in vayne 

And tyll he amende led in a blynde errour 

So we (alas) often forget our creatour 

Abusynge and brakeynge his hyghe commaundement 

Nat carynge the decrees of faders auncient 

We take christes name, but his doctryne we deny 

And from his way (alas) we sore declyne 

And to all ylles our myndes we aply 

Whiche often doth vs brynge to perelous ruyne 

We ioy of the name, and the true fayth deuyne 

Trustyng therby to eschewe euerlastynge payne 

But godly workes we abhor and disdayne 

lustyce and hir lawes ar banysshyd from eche place 
Mysrule amasyd hir braunches doth extende 
All vertuous doctryne away from vs we chase 
Thus goth the worlde aprochynge to the ende 
Our fayth oftyme doth from hir chayre discende 
She is nat so parfyte as she in tyme hath be 
Nor yet hir two systers hope and charyte 

138 Of the plage and indignacion of god ^ 

Alas we dayly without all drede commyt 
Moche cursyd vyce somtyme by ignoraunce 
Somtyme by malyce, somtyme for lacke of wyt 
As wors than the turke, in our mysgouernaunce 
Thus dame mysrule so ledes vs in hir daunce 
That our blynde youth with to moche lybertye 
Subdueth our bodyes to all enormyte 

So all mankynde with vyce is violate 

Both yonge and olde stronge feble and ympotent 

The ryche, the pore, the vylayne and estate 

That they rebell agaynst our lorde omnypotent 

Howbeit our lorde as a father pacyent 

Sayth man if thou my lawes kepe and loue 

I shall the lede to my hye Royalme aboue 

But if thou by malyce selfe wyll or neglygence 
Dispyse my lawes reputynge them but vayne 
Thou shalt nat escape ay fre for thyne offence 
Without correccion punysshement and payne 
Yet we blynde men of these wordes haue disdayne 
To this great promes alas we nought intende 
Ne labour nat our errours to amende 

Suche is our foly we thynke nat to amende 
But styll precede in our olde mysgouernaunce 
We ar so blyndyd we note no thynge the ende 
Wherfore our lorde, by lustyces balance 
Of suche offenders oft taketh vengeaunce 
With dyuers plagis, and punysshement terryble 
As pockes, pestylence, and other yll horryble 

and offolys that fere nat the same. 139 

Though mercy sauour, yet god of his iustyce 
With dyuers plages sundry sorys and sekenes 
And dredfull dolours punyssheth vs for vyce 
Suche is the order of his hyghe rightwysnes 
Whan men contynue in theyr vnhappynes 
His swerde of vengeaunce vpon them to extende 
And that namely whan they wyll nat amende 

Cruell Mars somtyme vs thretenyth with batayle 
Somtyme our bodyes infect with pestylence 
The corne somtyme distroyed with rayne or hayle 
Than hunger men consumyth without all difference 
This worthely we indure for our offence 
With sore diseasys that neuer were sene before 
But yet our synnes increasyth euer more 

Somtyme our fode with hete is all to brent 

Somtyme by colde abyde we moche payne 

Some hath with thunder theyr bodyes all to rent 

Now frost, nowe snowe, lyghtenynge, tempest, or rayne 

Some with thunder boltis theyr bodyes smyt in twayne 

Some murdred, some hanged some hedyd, some drownde 

And all for offence, and synne done on the grounde 

The dyuers dethes whiche dayly we indure 
And dyuers chaunces whiche dayly on vs fall 
I trowe there is none erthly creature 
That hath the brayne to comprehende them all 
Though that his dayes were nere perpetuall 
And often se we tokens of ferefull punysshement 
By sygnes and sterres of the clere fyrmament 

140 Of the plage and indlgnacion of god. 

We ought these paynes with mekenes to indure 

And nat to grutche therfore, nor god to blame 

For our lewde lyfe forsoth doth them procure 

And for our synnes ar we worthy of the same 

Some nacions haue ben dryuen out in shame 

From theyr owne londe wandrynge in payne and stryfe 

Whiche sothly was for theyr disordred lyfe 

Wherfore thou man thynke sure in thyne intent 
That synne accostomed, by order of iustyce 
Of god aboue, cryeth for punysshement 
Other here or els in hell : for euery vyce 
Hath suche rewarde, wherfore let vs be wyse 
And shortly amende our olde mysgouernaunce 
Lyst god rightwysely take on vs vengeaunce 


O man clere thy syght, beholde thy owne offence 
And mende for the loue of god omnypotent 
For if thy synne stynke alway in his presence 
Iustyce shall nat let the auoyde his punysshement 
And though mercy be nat to the moch vyolent 
Nat suffrynge vengeaunce shortly on the to fall 
Yet mende betyme be nat ouer neglygent 
Beware the ende for that oft payth for all. 

Of folysshe exchanges scorsynges and 

Who that hath a nedy iourney for to ryde 
And for a bagpype his hors wyll sell, playnly 
He is a fole and lewdly doth hym gyde 
And no auauntage shall he obtayne therby. 
So hapnyth it to hym moste comonly 
Whiche for frayle pleasour of one day or twayne 
Forsaketh heuen, sure of euerlastynge payne 

142 Ofjblysshe exchanges 

Some Folys yet shall of a rowme be sure 
Within this shyp a lowe or els a hye 
Suche ar they that greuous charges wyll indure 
Subduynge theyr bodyes to labour besely 
Theyr shulders with burthyns chargynge heuely 
In worldly curys sore labourynge in vayne 
Therby hereafter to byde infernall payne 

They laboure here so sore for wretchyd goodes 

That whan theyr body departyth from this lyfe 

Theyr soule is plungyd in infernall flodys 

So what auayleth them to be so actyfe 

In worldly labour, so thoughtfull or pensyfe 

Here in this erth all other to excell 

And after toren by cruell houndes of hell 

He that here labours in erth for frayle ryches 

Suffreth more sorowe and payne contynually 

Than he that lyueth alone in wyldernes 

And hym in goddes seruyce doth aply 

Abydynge in fastynge, and praynge deuoutly 

So worldly wretchys (as it apereth playne) 

Take here sore labour to wynne euerlastynge payne 

Who that serueth god with parfyte dylygence 
Shall in this lyfe auoyde moche worldly wo 
And be rewardyd in heuen whan he goth hens 
Where as he that serueth this worlde shall nat so 
Yet of this sort fynde we right many mo 
That to haue ryches all besynes employ 
Rather than to get in heuen eternall ioy 

scorsynges and permutations. 143 

Mysrule, wast, falshode, and also couetyse, 
With other vyces as pryde or statelynes 
Vs sorer labours causeth to exercyse 
Than vertue doth : or godly holynes 
For them fewe men wyll take great besynes 
Easy is the way to vyce and men are prone 
To folowe that cursyd way almoste echone 

Before our syght it dayly apereth playne 
What great labours, what charge and besynes 
Proude people indure theyr pryde for meyntayne 
With dyuers garnamentis presentynge statelynes 
Onely on clothynge bestowynge theyr ryches 
Suche set all vertuous besynes asyde 
And onely labour for to meyntayne theyr pryde 

Somtyme suche dare set theyr lyfe in ieopardy 
Nat ferynge lustyce, but the lawe to violate 
For to meyntayne theyr statelynes therby 
By proude apparayle, nat mete for theyr estate 
Right so Couetyse after lyke maner rate 
By ardaunt desyre of hir blynde iniquyte 
Draweth men to peryls both of londe and se 

To dyuers peryls men boldly them subdue 

In hope frayle ryches to purchace and obtayne 

But for the loue of goodnes or vertue 

Right fewe or none wyll put them selfe to payne 

For money man sayles the troublous se of spayne 

And moche of the worlde he compasyth about 

Of ieopardy and peryll without all maner dout 

144 Qffolysshe exchanges 

Who that by couetyse is drawen and opprest 
Is neuer at eas ne quyetnes of mynde 
By nyght nat takynge slepe ne naturall rest 
With fyry ropys this fury so doth them bynde 
They fere no flode, no colde, tempest, or wynde, 
There is no labour nor colde that can them dere 
The hunger of golde them maketh without fere 

O man commyttynge thy lyfe vnto the streme 

Alas note well thy desyrous vanyte 

Howe thou the auenterest in holowe beame 

To pas the see in contynuall ieopardye 

And all this thou doest of gode to haue plentye 

But for the loue of god thy creatour 

Thou skarsly woldest endure a symple shoure 

Some for vayne ryches folowes another vyce 
Watchynge by myght in wynter sharpe and colde 
To encreas his purse, by cardes or by dyce 
There syttynge in paynes and peryls manyfolde 
Such sle them selfe longe tyme or they be olde 
And waste theyr youth without all auauntage 
Theyr soule submyttynge to Lucyfers bondage 

What shall I say or of the maners wryte 
Of dronkardes or glotons Whiche without mesure 
Onely in theyr wombes set theyr hole delyte 
Corruptynge and chargynge them self beyonde nature 
So whan the body can nat suche rule indure 
Theyr lyfe they ende and oft by deth sodayne 
And for this labour rewardyd with hell payne 

scorsynges and permutations. 145 

What shall I say of the paynfull fantasy 
Whiche he abydeth and suffreth day and nyght 
Whiche for his wyfe taketh thought and ielowsy 
Hir alway ferynge, thoughe she be in his syght 
Howe by those Folys whiche settyth all theyr myght 
By force of Armys to be Uenus champyon 
Rather than to wyn the heuenly regyon 

What shall I wryte of the mad mysgouernaunce 
And vayne labour whiche men vpon them take 
Some watchynge in reuell and some to ren and daunce 
Some for worldly pleasour both day and nyght to wake 
But nought wyll we suffer for god almyghtyes sake 
In whose seruyce we rest at ende myght fynde 
We labour here for deth as bestis blynde 

We seke our destruccion : for symple ioy mundayne 
Our myndes ar so blynde : and we so prone to yll 
That heuen we chaunge for euerlastynge payne 
In good workes haue we no pleasour nouther skyll 
Deuyne preceptis we seldome tyme fulfyll 
Banysshyd is vertue decayed is holynes 
And moche of the worlde ensue vnthryftynes 

Let wyse men stody (therfore) to obtayne 
Vertue though the way be in diffyculte 
For thoughe that one neuer infyx his brayne 
To vyce, yet shall the way full esy be 
But certaynly wors than a fole is he 
Whiche wyll in stede of heuenly blyssydnes 
Bye worldly pleasour, endynge in wretchydnes 


146 Offolysshe exchanges. 

Remember Fole it is great hurte and losse 
For worldly pleasour to lese ioy eternall 
Remember also howe god dyed on the crosse 
Shedynge his blode the to redeme withall 
This payne he suffred for the and for vs all 
Consyder his sorowes, be kynde to hym agayne 
Lese nat ne change nat his ioy celestyall 
For folysshe pleasour, or frayll and worldly payne 

Of folysshe children y 1 worshyp nat their 
fader and moder. 

Them also I repute tor Folys blynde 
Whiche haue no honour worshyp ne reuerence 
To father and mother, but ar to them vnkynde 
And nat consyder what payne and dylygence 
What labour, thought, great costis, and expence 
Theyr parentis had for them in theyr yonge age 
But they rewarde the same with great outrage 

148 Offotysshe children 

That foule is full of all vnhappynes 

And suerly worthy of euerlastynge payne 

Whiche for his frendes loue and great kyndnes 

Rewardeth them with vnkyndnes agayne 

But hym I iuge a gretter fole certayne 

Whiche on his children bestowys all his substaunce 

And lyues hym selfe (for nede) in harde penaunce 

And where as he myght his age well relefe 
With his owne goodes at euery tyme of nede 
There lyeth he gronynge, in payne wo and myschefe 
His vnkynde children takynge of hym no hede 
And where he labowred right sore his son to fede 
Sparynge from hym selfe to fynde hym to the scole 
In age his son hym taketh for a fole 

And where as he ought his father to honour 
To worshyp and loue by dyuyne commaundement 
The vnkynde caytyf wyll do hym no socour 
But suffreth hym abyde both pore and indigent 
And often this Caytyf with handes violent 
As past all grace shame or godly fere 
With strokes doth his Father hurt and dere 

Or suffreth hym vtterly to dye for lacke 

Or els hym dryueth vnkyndly to the colde 

With a cowpyll of croches a walet on his backe 

Whan he hath spoylyd hym of that he wolde 

So whan the Father is tedyous and olde 

His children thynke he lyueth alto longe 

Oft wysshynge hym to be drownyd outher honge 

y t worshyp nat theyr Jader and moder. 149 

There is no pyte that can suche wretches moue 

An east theyr Faders wo and pay nf nil age 

They shewe hatered for fauour and hye loue 

O folysshe Fader consyder in thy corage 

Thy to great pyte thy olde and blynde dotage 

Whiche to thy sonne hast gyuen suche store of gode 

Whiche the dede wyssheth nat grauntynge the thy fode 

He suffreth the to lyue with hunger harde bested 
And god wot howe glad wolde he be in his mynde 
If thou by cruell deth were from hym red 
Yet is his owne lyfe vnstable as the wynde 
And shortly shall dye leuynge that gode behynde 
And for his vylayne, and frowarde vnkyndnes 
His soule berest euerlastynge blessydnes 

And that worthely, for after my sentence 
He well deserueth an yll and shamefull ende 
Whiche wyll nat honour, with loue and reuerence 
His fader and mother as his myght may extende 
And also all them of whose blode he doth discende 
And who that agaynst his parentis wyll rebell 
Is sothly worthy to haue a roume in hell 

And oft it is sene by examples euydent 

That short space they lyue and shamefully they dye 

Whiche to theyr parentis ar nat obedyent 

And sufFreth them lyue in nede and penury 

Disdaynynge them to honour and worshyp reuerently 

Examples in the Bybyll we haue in sondry wyse 

Howe they haue endyd that doth theyr faders despyse 

150 Ofjblysshe children 

The goodly Absolon of beauty excellent 

Of pleasaunt fygure thoughe he so goodly were 

For beynge vnto his Fader inobedyent 

And his purposynge hyra and all his to dere 

And to rob his Royalme, was hangyd by the here 

By sodayne chaunce and goddes punysshement 

And with thre sperys his herte in sonder rent 

For that Cham discouered his faders pryuete 

As in contempt hauynge of hym disdayne 

Was he nat cursyd by goddes maiestye 

And bonde to his bretherne whiche was to his great payne 

Thoughe Sennacheryb by his owne sonnes were slayne 

They hopynge to obtayne his royalme for theyr mede 

Yet none of them theyr fader dyd succede 

Balthasar kynge somtyme of Babylon 
In sorowfull yeres longe lyued worthely 
For his proude mynde and fyers transgression 
Agaynst his father, for that he cruelly 
Dismembred hym : but sothly if that I 
Sholde all suche wretches paynes comprehende 
In this my boke, I neuer sholde haue ende- 

The bybyll recordeth howe Toby auncyent 
Approchynge to deth almost in dethys hour 
Gaue his dere sone speciall commaundement 
With all reuerence his mother to honour 
Salomon therfore of sapyence the flour 
Hauynge no respect to his hye excellence 
Vnto his mother dyd humble reuerence 

y* worshyp nat theyr fader and moder. 151 

Erectynge hym vp from his hye rowme royall 

To mete his mother, and set hir by his syde 

On his right hande as chefe and pryncipall 

By whose example all children ought them gyde 

Humbly to theyr parentis without all grutche or pryde 

But fewe alas nowe wyll vnto this intende 

Whiche causyth them sore repent it at the ende 

If Corylaus had nat ben obedyent 

Vnto his moder and fered hir. certayne 

By Rome he sholde haue suffred punysshement 

And by his foly longe lyued in great payne 

The Bybyll also recordeth to vs playne 

Howe the sonnes of Rechab had great preemynence 

For hauynge to theyr fader loue and obedyence 

Were they nat lauded by god omnypotent 
Yes certaynly but the chefe cause wherfore 
Was for they folowed the commaundement 
Of Rechab theyr fader, denyenge nat his lore 
So shall I conclude shortly and say no more 
That he that to Fader or moder is vnkynde 
Shall here in erth his soule to fendes bynde 

Thou vnkynde childe and inobedyent 
Thynke what thy Fader and Moder dyd for the 
Remember what goodes they haue on the spent 
Or they coude brynge the vnto thy degre 
Endeuer the to them kynde agayne to be 
For all the kyndnes that thou canst shewe : certayne 
Nor all thy worshyp nor thy humylyte 
Can neuer be abyll them to rewarde agayne 

152 Ofjblysshe children. 

Be nat therfore childe vnto them vylayne 
But take thou example of Christ our sauyour 
Howe he alway thoughe he were god souerayne 
His carnall moder benyngly dyd honour 
And Joseph also whiche after the errour 
Of the blynde Jewes to hym was fader sayde 
Yet is he god and gracious gouernour 
Lyke to the Fader before the worlde was made 

But thou aged man that seest thy dayes fade 
Thy strength decay, and thy colour fro the fall 
Thynke well that whan thou all thy good hast layde 
Vpon thy children to auaunce them with all 
Whan thou hast nede perchaunce none of them shall 
Socour thy nede, but from theyr hous the cast 
Therfore I aduyse the, nede nat on them to call 
But whyle thou lyuest to holde sure that thou hast. 

Of the claterynge and bablynge of prestis 
and clerkes in the quere. 

Of folys yet : may we great nomber se 
In the holy querys of chirches small and great 
Whose communycacyon is voyde of honestye 
But on vayne talys theyr myndes clene ar set 
That goddes seruyce is oft hyndred and let 
By suche iapes and dedys of farre and nere 
Whiche they as Folys recount within the quere 

154 Of the claterynge and bablynge 

I haue before touchyd the great enormyte 
The foly, and disorder, without all reuerence 
Whiche in the chirche dayly we may se 
Amonge lay folys, whiche better were be thens 
But nowe shall I touche another, lyke offence 
And that is of Folys whiche in the quere habounde 
Nat saynge the seruyce of god as they ar bounde 

But dyuers toyes and lapis varyable 

They spred abrode, encorabrynge the seruyce 

And namely with theyr tunge wherwith they bable 

Eche one to other, as if they toke aduyse 

And counsell togyder theyr cards to deuyse 

Vnto our shyppes theyr company to cary 

For loth they be to longe fro them to tary 

O goddes temple, o godly ordynaunce 
By holy faders ordeyned to gyde the same 
None labours you to support nor auaunce 
But to decay they suffer, vnto theyr shame 
The godly costomes ar tourned vnto game 
The Seremonyes somtyme kept stedfastly 
Ar nowe defyled by lestis of vylany 

The constitucions ordeyned right holely 
In tyme past by Faders wyse and auncyent 
Holy Chirches honour to meyntayne therby 
Ar halfe abusyd, none suys theyr, right intent 
The seruyce also of god omnypotent 
Is nowe mysusyd : as playnly doth apere 
Nat in the Chirche so moche as in the quere 

of prestis and clerkes in the quere. 155 

There be no tydynges nor neweltees of warre 
Nor other wonders done in any strange londe 
What euer they be and come they neuer so farre 
The prestis in the quere at first haue them in honde 
Whyle one recountyth, the other, to vnderstonde 
His fayned fable harkeneth to the glose 
Full lytell aduertynge howe the seruyce goes 

The bataylys done perchaunce in small brytayne 
In fraunce or Flaunders or to the worldes ende 
Ar tolde in the quere (of some) in wordes vayne 
In myddes of Matyns in stede of the Legende 
And other gladly to here the same intende 
Moche rather than the seruyce for to here 
The rector Chori is made the messanger 

He rennyth about lyke to a pursuyuant 

With his whyte staffe mouynge from syde to syde 

Where he is lenynge talys ar nat skant 

But in one place nat longe doth he abyde 

So he and other them selfe so lewdly gyde 

Without deuocion, by theyr lewde neglygence 

That no thynge can bynde theyr tunges to sylence 

And in the mornynge whan they come to the quere 

The one begynneth a Fable or a hystory 

The other lenyth theyr erys it to here 

Takynge it in stede of the Inuytory 

Some other maketh respons antym and memory 

And all of fables and lestis of Robyn hode 

Or other tryfyls that skantly ar so gode 

Of the claterynge and bablynge 

With tryfyls they begyn and so oft tyme they ende 
Recountynge nueltees, they waste theyr tyme therin 
And where as they ought the seruyce to intende 
Of god almyghty : they spende the tyme in syn 
And other some, vnto the quere doth ren 
Rather for lucre and cursyd couetyse 
Than for the loue of the dyuyne seruyce 

The peny them prycketh vrito deuocyon 

But that is outwarde nat rotyd in the harte 

But better were auoyde this hye promocion 

And surer, from the quere to stande a parte 

Than thyder to presume, and if that thou aduert 

Thy owne order and therof the excellence 

So shalt thou nat gyde the in goddes hye presence 

I thynke it better more mete and profytable 
To stande afarre without the Chirche and quere 
Than there to be, and so to that bable 
That for thy noyse none can the seruyce here 
And if thou thynke thy talys and wanton chere 
Or wordes superflue ar to our lorde pleasaunt 
Thou art abusyd and greatly ignoraunt 

But certaynly the prestis that thus lyue 

Disordred in the hous of god our creatour 

Doth yll example vnto lay people gyue 

By theyr mysrule to sue the same errour 

But to them selfe do they great dishonour 

And sclaunder to the Chirche, so that moste comonly 

All prestis (of laymen) ar moche the lesse set by 

ofpresfis and clerkes in the quere. 157 

O folysshe preste vsynge suche fables vayne 
And cursyd cusromes : thynkest thou therby 
Of god any mede or meryte to obtayne 
Nay god is nat pleased with suche lewde foly 
It is conuenyent our lorde to magnyfye 
With parfyte prayer loue reuerence and honour 
And nat with iapys and talys of no valour 

Ye prestis and clerkes amende your myslyuynge 
Defyle nat the Churche with wordes of vanyte 
Remember : there is tyme and place for euery thynge 
As tyme of myrth, and tyme of grauyte 
In euery place ye ought discrete to be 
That men may commende your vertue and goodnes 
But namely in churche vse wordes of honestye 
That is no place for talys, but for holynes 

Of eleuate pryde, and bostynge. 

That lawde is vyle the whiche doth precede 

From mannys owne mouth vttred in wordes vayne 

Of suche foly no wyse man taketh hede 

But by discression, doth hym selfe refrayne 

But pompe and pryde whiche doth all men disdayne 

Engendreth folys : whiche thynkynge to exell 

All other in erth : at last fall downe to hell. 

Of eleuate pryde, and bostynge. 159 

Besyde our folys rehersyd here before 
In dyuers barges almost innumerable 
Yet stately pryde makyth the nomber more 
Whiche is a vyce so moche abhomynable 
That it surmountyth without any fable 
All other vyces in furour and vylenes 
And of all synne is it rote and maystres 

The noblest hertis by this vyce ar acloyed 
It is confounder, of mekenes and vertue 
So by the same is many one destroyed 
In soule and body whiche them to it subdue 
Wherfore let the wyse his statelynes eschewe 
For it hath be sene is sene, and euer shall 
That first or last foule pryde wyll haue a fall 

The first inuentour of this vnhappy vyce 
As doth the scripture playne expres and tell 
Was lucyfer, whiche to hym dyd attyce 
A cursyd nomber both stately and cruell 
In mynde intendynge his maker to excell 
Or els if he coude come to his intent 
For to be egall with god omnypotent 

Thus of all synnes pryde was the first of all 
Bygon by Lucifer, but god omnypotent 
Percyuynge his foly made hym and his to fall 
From heuen to hell to paynes violent 
In horryble shape : before so excellent 
Shynynge in heuen before the angels all 
Thus had his folysshe pryde a greuous fall 

1 60 Of ' eleuate pryde, and bostynge. 

But to be short, and to retourne agayne 
Vnto my auctour : suche as ar stryke with pryde 
Vse for to host them self with wordes vayne 
To spred theyr fame theyr name and lawes wyde 
And though that they vngraciously them gyde 
Yet as mad men they host they vaunt and raue 
And of that whiche they neuer deserued haue 

Lo sayth a fole attached with this vyce 

I haue ben norsshed at the vnyuersyte 

In dyuers contrees and stodyes of great pryce 

Both in these partyes and eke beyonde the se 

At bonony, Parys and Padway haue 1 be 

Wherfore I ought to haue preemynence 

And the chefe place with lawde and reuerence 

Another bostyth hym self that he hath ben 

In Grece at scolys and many other londe 

But if that he were aposyd well I wene 

The grekes letters he skant doth vnderstonde 

But thou vayne boster if thou wylt take on honde 

To stody cunnynge and ydylnes despyse 

The royalme of Englonde myght for the suffyse 

In englonde is suffycyent discyplyne 

And noble men endued with scyence 

And if thou lyst to aply to theyr doctryne 

Thou mayst lerne wysdome and noble eloquence 

Haunt them that haue therin preemynence 

And to theyr Instruccion with all thy myride intende 

It is no great boste to haue sene the worldes ende 

Of eleuate pryde and bostynge. 1 6 1 

But syns mad pryde Enmy to all vertue 

Subdueth the worlde vnder baner brode displayde 

Thoughe folys obey, let wyse men it eschewe 

For Lucyfer, as I before haue sayde 

Corrupt with this vyce, had heuen to him denayde 

And as first actour of this infectyfe sore 

Was dryuen downe to hell with his, for euer more 

And nowe hym folowe men, children and wymen 
Fallynge from erth for this myscheuous pryde 
To infernall flodes and that darke dredefull den 
Where without ende in payne they must abyde 
This fende with his felawes layeth on euery syde 
Theyr nettis of pryde wherwith they goostly quell 
Foles without nomber, drawynge with them to hell 

Let man haue wysdome and beautye souerayne 
Strength, vertue, cunnynge, honour and ryches 
And this one vyce shall all the same dystayne 
Defylynge worshyp by his proude statelynes 
But namely this pryde is lady and maystres 
Ouer womankynde, whiche playnly without fayle 
Apereth by theyr lokes, and stately apparayle 

Whkhe wymen whan that they on pryde do muse 
The same representynge outwarde in theyr habyte 
Both yonge and olde of men they sore abuse 
Whan theyr frayle beautye doth mennes hertes byte 
And to be playne : in pryde, wymen haue such delyte 
That if some were as they ar almost all 
The pryde in them at last sholde haue a fall 


162 Of eleuate pryde and bostynge. 

As I haue sayde. whan wymen set theyr mynde 
Them selfe to garnysshe by thys stately pryde 
Men that ar wyse, make they as folys blynde 
Nat knowyng howe by reason them to gyde 
As dyd ludith : whiche whyle she dyd abyde 
Were the Tent of Holofernes capytayne 
By hir feble hande he wretchydly was slayne 

And all by reason that he was so inflamyd 
By hir fayre shape, hir clothynge,.and beauty e 
Yet was this ludith of lyuynge nat dyffamyd 
But yonge and olde euer kept hir chastyte 
And in lyke wyse lesabell, whan that she 
Thought by hir beautye lehu to betray 
By pryde she payntyd hir face to make hir gay 

Betray I say, to pardon hir offence 

Agaynst the wyll of god omnypotent 

Whiche myght haue turnyd to inconuenyence 

To noble lehu, by goddes punysshement 

These thynges consydered wysdome with voyce prudent 

Both lowde and shy 11 (sayth) cryeng to mankynde 

From womans pryde and beauty drawe thy mynde 

Of all erthly thynges enclyne nat to theyr gyle 
For with theyr iyen replete with wantonnes 
Pure hertes and chaste they enfect and defyle 
But suche as ar gyuen to vertue and goodnes 
To mesure and mekenes expellynge statelynes 
They worthy ar of lawdes for theyr humylyte 
For seldome or neuer they breke theyr chastyte 

Of eleuate pryde and bostynge. 163 

If Barsabe throughe hir blynde neglygence 
In bathynge had nat discoueryd hir beauty 
Dauyd had nat fallen to that cruell offence 
Of murder, engendred by vyle auoutry 
But to be playne, and for to speke shortly 
Thousandes ar disceyued and brought to wofull fall 
By pryde, and eke they folys abyde withall 

But god almyghty dispyseth and doth hate 
These stately folys blyndyd with ignoraunce 
Whose myndes ar so hye and eleuate 
That they nat se theyr owne mysgouernaunce 
Wherfore our lorde oft taketh vengeaunce 
Of theyr abusyon, and with infernall payne 
Whiche is rewarde to fowle pryde and disdayne 

O that he is happy whome this vnthryfty syn 
Of pryde or vayne glory with his hasty furour 
Hath nat subdued, ouercome, nor entred in 
Nor the vayne desyre, of ryches nor honour 
And happy is he whiche thynketh euery hour 
Of howe great valour is the royalme celestyall 
Beynge ware of pryde by Lucyfers fall 

Suche one nat forsyth of honour no hye name 
Nat carynge in this worlde to haue preemynence 
Nor other exces longynge vnto the same 
Whiche ar attysers of men to all offence. 
But proude folys voyde of wysdome and scyence 
By vayne pryde stodyeth all other to excell 
And than at the last they fall downe vnto hell 

1 64 Of eleuate pryde and bostynge. 

Of proude Lucyfer thus they assay the fall 

Receyuynge a rewarde for theyr statelynes 

Drownynge theyr proude hertis in flodes infernall 

Where payne is eternall, wo, and bytternes 

More tedyous than all tunges can expres 

This is of pryde rewarde at the last ende 

A thynge of the hyest thus nedes moste descende 

Presumptuous pryde hath euer a shamefull ende 

So haue they that coueyt other to excell 

As we of Chore : Datan : and Abiron fynde 

Whiche by pryde agaynst Moyses dyd rebell 

Wherfore they and theyrs alyue sanke downe to tell 

Thus well is hym that foloweth vertue 

And that with mekenes can stately pryde subdue. 


O men meke your myndes : ensue humylyte 
And also ye wymen, refuse your statelynes 
For certaynly the more hyghe that ye be 
The more ye ought to gyue you to mekenes 
For pryde is the rote of all vnhappynes 
Supporter of vyce, and enmy to vertue 
Therfore it is sayd (and true it is doutles) 
That pryde goth before, but shame do it ensue 


O pryde despytous, o hasty tyranny. 
Infernall fury with venym maculate 
Fy on thy fraylte, out on the I cry 
For with thy venym thou hast intoxicate 

Of eleuate pryde and bostynge. 1 65 

So many kynges, so many a great estate 
Thou man destroyest, if thou may hym subdue 
Wherfore we ought the to desprayse and hate 
Thou goest before But shame doth the ensue 

By the is Lucyfer damned eternally 

Expulsed to payne, from goddes hyghe presence 

And all mankynde endureth mysery 

For that thou causyd hym by thy offence 

Of pryde : to desyre to haue suche excellence 

To knowe gode and yll, that all mankynde myght rewe 

Tyll Aue : for Eue had made a recompence 

Thus, o blynde pryde ay shame doth the ensue 

The pryde of them that byldyd Babylon 
Was nat asswagyd without great vengeaunce 
The kynge transformyd from mannys fassyon 
Vnto a brute bestis shape and countenaunce 
Dyd nat Agar hir selfe also auaunce 
By pryde despysynge hir lady bycause she knewe 
Hir selfe conceyued, but hir mysgouernaunce 
Was sharply punysshed, and shame dyd it ensue 

But shortly to drawe me to a conclusyon 
Thou hast made thousandes to ende in care and wo 
By the, had moab payne and confusion 
Holofernes, Aman, Nichanor, and Pharao 
Balthasar, Anthiochus, Herode and many mo 
In the olde testament and also in the newe 
But shortly to speke, and farther nat to go 
Pryde goeth before, and shame doth ensue 

Of vsurers, and Okerers. 

Vnto our shyp let them come hastely 

Whiche by theyr ardent desyre of frayle ryches 

Theyr myndes set on deuourynge vsury 

These ar the theues that by theyr cruelnes 

Spoyle the pore people and greuously oppres 

They boste theyr gaynes they bye they sell agayne 

Spoylynge and oppressynge, on gyle is all theyr brayne. 

Ofvsurers, and okerers. 167 

A Shamfull sort of Folys doth remayne 

Wors than all other spoken of before 

Whose synfull lyfe and fals disceytfull trayne 

I shall reuyle with wordes sharpe and sore 

This sort is vtter ennemy to the pore 

Full of lyes, couetyse gyle, and foule vylenes 

Content with no treasour, nor innumerable ryches 

The power of the lawe ought sharpely to chastyce 
With extreme rygour and mortall punysshement 
This sort infectyf that foloweth this vyce. 
This rauenynge sort worthy paynes violent 
Agaynst our lordes dyuyne commaundement 
By theyr vnmekenes, the pore oft maketh bare 
Of londe and goodes, than leuynge them in care 

These wretchyd folys of mynde ar made so dull 
That with theyr money gotten all by fals vsury 
Of corne and vytayle they stuff theyr howses full 
Therby to ingender nede, and paynfull penury 
Vnto the pore, that they may wyn therby 
So of all vytayle these wretches get plentye 
To sell it derer, whan some great darth shalbe 

These vsurers alone haue all the store 

Of wyne and vytayle, whiche sothly myght suffyse 

Many without nomber, of Cytezyns, ryche and pore 

No punysshement they drede ne fere in any wyse 

But lyue the men that theyr maker doth despyse 

No feruent lyghtnynge, ne thunder vyolent 

Can cause these wretches theyr vsury to stent 

i 68 Ofvsurers, and okerers. 

But by all synne, and in all vnlefulnes 

These wretches labour and syngulerly gyue hede 

To multyply theyr foule and vyle ryches 

They brynge forth hunger them selfe they onely fede 

Suffrynge the pore (alas) to sterue for nede 

This sorte, thus, to the pore is so cruell 

That for lacke of petye many one they quell 

Thoughe the lewes lyue in errour and derknes 
Gyuen to vsury (as lobourynge men oft sayes) 
Yet ar they more gyuen to pytye and mekenes 
And almes : than christen men ar nowe adayes 
In vsury we ensue the lewes wayes 
And many other synnes fowle and abhomynable 
Rennynge without mesure whiche is intolerable 

For his vsury, the lewe is out exyled 

From christen costes yet of vs many one 

With the same vyce is infect and defyled 

The pore by the ryche is etyn to the bone 

Almes is banysshed, pytye is there none 

Cruell crauynge spoyleth them that erst had nought 

The pore is vexyd and to a begger brought 

The weyke hath the weyght, the worlde so doth fare 
The spere of extorcyon persyth throughe his syde 
He that nere is naked shall be made fully bare 
He skant hath rowme in any place to byde 
But these vsurers, whome gylefull gayne doth gyde 
Desyreth no plenty of corne vpon the grounde 
But onely that theyr owne garners may habounde 

Ofvsurers, and okerers. 1 69 

These caytyfs wysshe the feldes baryne in this wyse 
To theyr owne profyte and others great greuaunce 
That hunger and darth may by the same aryse 
But for bycause that they haue habundaunce 
They laugh anone and haue a great plesaunce 
If there be skant of corne and of vytayle 
By mouryn, lyghtnynge, tempest, rayne or hayle 

These wretchyd folys for theyr owne auauntage 
Dayly desyre, and fayne wolde here or se 
A hole comontye to haue losse and damage 
But to conclude : those men vyle caytyfs be 
That seke lucre, enhaunsynge theyr degre 
Or that wyll gather ryches by couetyse 
Or fals vsury, to others preiudyce 

Some gladly lene to haue wynnynge therby 
And some fell dere bycause the payment 
Is set to longe day : yet thynke they verely 
Nat to perysshe the dyuyne commanndement 
Thoughe that suche folys thynke them innocent 
If that they nat mende a rowme they haue in hell 
But in the mean space in my shyp shall they dwell 

O mysbyleuers, o men wytles and blynde 
Gyue nat your myndes to gylefull vsury 
And thou of the chirche reuoke also thy mynde 
Frome the fowle synne of cursyd symony 
And ye marchauntis : that greatly occupy 
Expell this vyce, for sore is the offence 
Your ryches shall moche the soner multyply 
If pytye of the pore be ay in your presence 

Of the vayne hope that Poles hath to 
succede to herytage possession and 

Some ar that hope and hath gode trust alway 

Others goodes by succession to attayne 

Lokynge, and gapynge, hourly nyght and day 

Whan they shall perysshe and dye by chaunce sodayne 

But this they often tymes wysshe in vayne 

For suche as they moste gladly dede wolde haue 

Etyth of that gose that graseth on theyr graue 

Of the vayne hope that Poles \ 7 i 

Who may endure those Folys ignoraunce 
Whose myndes the feruour of wretchyd couetyse 
Maketh mad, and folysshe, to such extreme vttraunce 
That the hole worlde myght say they ar vnwyse 
Of suche mad foles this is the comon gyse 
Contynualiy to gape for the succession 
Of others goodes, ryches and possessyon 

Of heyres this is the comon vse in dede 
Theyr parentis deth to wysshe and to desyre 
To the londe and ryches the soner to succede 
And often by venemous treason they conspyre 
But syth the ruler of the heuenly Impyre 
In no mannys handes putteth deth ne desteny 
Oft se we these folys before the other dye 

I say to suche as others deth loke fore 
It often happeneth, as we may dayly se 
That lyghtly they theyr self departe before 
Wherfore thou fole fyllyd with all iniquyte 
Say : is it nat great foly and shame to the 
And also madnes, to wysshe thy frende damage 
Or deth : for his vyle goode and herytage 

A frende lyuynge is a ryches excellent 

Therfore I say he is a fole doutles 

That in his herte wolde gladly be content 

To se hym dede for lyuelode or riches 

Therfore fole expell this errour and blyndnes 

For this thy hope is full of vanyte 

What knowest thou whan thou thy self shall dye 

172 hath to sue cede to her yt age. 

Deth the assayleth and foloweth hestely 
Thy lyfe shortnyth whether thou slepe or wake 
Thy selfe shall dye : there is no remedy 
And if thou before canst no prouysion make 
Vpon his backe the dull Asse shall the take 
And to our shyp the lede through fen and myre 
For this thy folysshe hope and vayne desyre . 

It is great foly whan thou art farre in age 
To loke dayly whan a yonge childe shall dye 
Hopynge to succede hym vnto his herytage 
Howbeit thou nerer art to thy deth than he 
Yet this vayne hope doth fede and norysshe the 
By the whiche hope though many confort haue 
Yet oft it doth his mayster sore discayue 

Hope man confortyth makynge hym glad and fayne 
Ought to obtayne whan that he doth intende 
But from vayne hope thou oughtest to refrayne 
For it disayueth his mayster at the ende 
So if thou wylt my purpose comprehende 
Whether thou be olde, yonge, or of myd age 
Set nat thy trust to moche on herytage 

For though thou be yonge : as I before haue sayd 
Thy ioyntis stronge in youthes lustynes 
Thy colour quycke, and pleasaunt lyke a mayde 
Thy skyn smoth, and thy herte full of boldles 
Yet deth dayly steleth slyely on the : doutles 
Both yonge and olde must go the same passage 
Thus is it foly to hope on herytage 

Possession and ryches. 173 

Oft mourneth the Fader, the sonnes deth sodayne 
Thus dyeth the yonge oft tyme before the olde 
Dyd nat Pryamus right pyteously complayne 
His sonnes dede whyle they were yonge and bolde 
Them to haue lyued though he right gladly wolde 
Whyle absolon hoped by treason to obtayne 
His faders kyngdome : he wretchydly was slayne 

Pale deth and cruell, as it is often sene 

Maketh hym thy heyre by his stroke mortall 

Whome thou supposyd, and thought sholde neuer haue bene 

So lytell knoweth these folys what may fall 

For this is dayly sene and euer shall 

That god almyghty, owner of euery thynge 

Chosyth heyres at his pleasour and lykynge 

Ye wytles men, full blyndyd with errour 
Set nat vayne hope on worldly herytage 
\ But only on god : lyue after his pleasour 
J And so infourme your ofsprynge and lynage 
It is a vayne hope, a madnes and outrage 
On worldly thynges to hope contynually 
Hauynge small hope within thy dull carage 
Of heuen : where thou myght byde perpetually 

Of folys that kepe nat the holy daye. 

He that doth nat the holy day honour 
With due deuocyon, lawde, and reuerence 
But rather intendyth to couetous labour 
Vayne talys, sportis, or other lyke offence 
Suche ought of dutye and very congruence 
To clym as companyon vp to the cart of Apys 
Whiche (eche day lyke) aplyeth nought but apis. 

Ofjblys that kepe nat the holy daye. 175 

Alas for shame, howe wretchedly mankynde 
Wandryth in the way of obscure darkenes 
They haue no wysdome, ne parfytenes of mynde 
To knowe the cours of godly ryghtwysnes 
Though god of his grace, and infynyte goodnes 
To true christen men hath grauntyd hym to knawe 
By the holy doctryne of his precept and lawe 

And thoughe they be chosen to god and his kyngdome 

As men elect, callyd to the royalme celestyall 

Yet of vs christen men (alas) ar some 

That of his doctryne worshyp nought at all 

We let his lawes clene from our myndes fall 

Our holy fayth despysed half: and defyled 

Hir honour decay es : the fere of payne exyled 

The fader of heuen gaue a commendement 
To moyses wryten in tables of harde stone 
Deuydyd in Ten preceptis, to this intent 
Mankynde to reduce whiche had mysgone 
Amonge the whiche preceptis this was one 
The sabbot to Worshyp and sanctyfy alway 
The seuenth day of the weke called the sonday 

This day was ordeyned in the olde testament 
After worldly werke done all the weke before 
To worshyp and to honour our lord omnypotent 
And bysshops it conferme, and yet besyde this more 
They haue decreed and ordred by holy lore 
Other festis of sayntis in heuen gloryfyed 
To be on theyr dayes halowed and magnyfyed 


Qffty 5 thnt kepe nat the holy claye. 

These dayes were ordeyned for men to exercyse 

Them selfe in prayer, goodnes and vertue 

Our lorde and his sayntis to honour : and lyke wyse 

Of worde and dede all excesse to eschewe 

But for that we more gladly vs subdue 

To worldly tryfyls, and bodely pleasour 

We vyolate the fayth by our wylfull errour 

Those laudable costomes we defyle and vyolate 
By the holy lawes (alas) we set no thynge 
But on the holy day, mad ryot and debate 
Troubleth the seruyce of the almyghty kynge 
The holy day we fyle with eche vnlefull thynge 
As fat festis and bankettis sausyd with glotony 
And that from mornynge to nyght, contynually 

The heuenly festis ar wasshyd with dronkenes 

And whan quyete rest is gyuen to mankynde 

By the holy day : from worldly besynes 

These dronken dastardes set nat theyr mynde 

On churche nor prayer, but drynke tyll they be blynde 

And on the holy day, we dayly se that men 

Soner to the tauerne than to the churche ren 

The tauerne is open before the churche be 

The pottis ar ronge as bellys of dronkenes 

Before the churche bellys with great salemnyte 

There here these wretches theyr Matyns and theyr masse 

Who lysteth to take hede shall often se doutles 

The stallys of the tauerne stuffyd nere echone 

Whan in the churche stallys he shall se fewe or none 

Ofjblys that kepe nat the holy daye. 177 

There one drynketh fastyngk without discression 
Another deuoureth drynkynge out his iyen 
This lyfe they lede : and that before or one 
Of all the sort hath at the churche bene 
But besyde this vyce : it euery day is sene 
That on the holy day suche workes we tende to 
Whiche on the workynge day scantly we wolde do 

Alas man it is a great shame certaynly 

Whyle the prest precheth the deuyne commaundement 

For the to aply vnto bestly glotony 

Or whyle any seruyce of god omnypotent 

Is done in the churche, me thynke in myne intent 

It is great shame to the to take more hede 

To fede thy foule wombe : than thy soule to fede 

And nat to the churche nor auter for to come 
Without thou erst be dronken so bestely 
That whan thou art there outher art thou dombe 
Or els in prayeng thou bokest vnmanerly 
Spuynge vp thy prayers : god wot vndeuoutly 
And where the hole weke thou keptest sobernes 
Thou worshyppest the holy day with dronkenes 

It passeth my myght, I thynke none can ne may 

Wryte all the folyes synnes and offence 

Whiche nowe ar vsed vpon the holy day 

For some folowe Idelnes slouth and neglygence 

Some vse gamys : grounde of great inconuenyence 

Som bete the stretis, and to rybawdry 

On the holy day moste namely them aply 


178 Ofjblys that kepe nat the holy daye. 

Some slaunder, some lye, what shall I say more 
We se some more besy about theyr marchaundyse 
Than they haue ben all the hole weke before 
Thus on the holy day forborne is no vyce 
These folys aply nat them in the seruyce 
Of god, but the sabbot defyle with vylany 
Wherby theyr soulys they dam eternally. 


Cesse fule, and leue of worldly besynes 

Vpon the holy day, and rest of the labour 

Of thy handes aplyenge the hole to holynes 

With worde and dede to lawde thy creatour 

Sanctyfy the sabbot : so sayth our sauyour 

From terrene Lucre that day withdrawe thy mynde 

For with clene herte thy maker to honour 

On the holy day : the scripture doth the bynde 

Of folys that repent of that they haue 

He is a Fole : and voyde of wyt certayne 

That mourneth for that whiche is past remedy 

And by no mean may reuoked be agayne 

For vayne cure suche one vexeth contynually 

Moreouer that man is folysshe certaynly 

Whiche gyueth his frende ought and after doth re] ent 

Suche lesyth the meryte : the gyft in vayne is spent 

180 Offbfys that repent 

If thou lyst to gyue : and to be lyberall 
I shall the shewe what thynge it is in dede, 
It is a \ertue right great and pryncipall 
Of loue, and pytye, if that the same precede 
And if it be nat done for fere and drede 
But of a herte true, stedfast, faythfull and fre 
It gendreth confort, and grounde of amyte 

Who gyueth his frende with mery countenaunce 

Gyft or rewarde : and who so euer he be 

That a straunge man doth worthely auaunce 

With condigne rewarde, by lyberaJyte 

It may be proued and sayde forsuth that he 

Is worthy lawdes and an excellent fame 

And for his goodnes of vertue to haue name 

But he is a fole and full of vylany 

Whiche to his louer gyueth ought at all 

And than agayne repentyth by and by 

Full of sorowe that he was so lyberall 

He is also a fole and a man rurall 

Whiche gyueth with mynde neyther good ne glad 

With lokes pale : and countenaunce sore and sad 

And for that this displeasour doth hym dere 

His frende : he soone out braydeth of the same 

Hym self (for malyce) drawynge by the here 

So hath this fole, by malyce and yll name 

His rewarde lost, for it rebuked and shame 

And no meruayle : for no man that hath skyll 

Shall thanke hym for goodnes done agaynst his wyll 

of that they haue gyuen, i 8 I 

Yet is he moche wors and lewder of intent 
Whichefwhan he hath gyuen a thynge for goddes sake 
Of his dede, or gyft anone hym doth repent 
Thynkynge that god wyll no recompence make 
Of that rewarde whiche to the pore they take 
For that he ne^sendeth to euery fole agayne 
Alway, andjyghtly for one gyft thre or twayne 

Suche folys for lucre, gayne and auauntage 

To haue great gyftis and dowble of valour 

Wolde gyue small gyftis : and that with glad courage 

But loth they ar to departe with great treasour 

Be sure thou fole that god our creatour 

Shall nat thy rewardes ne gyftis accept atall 

But thou gyue them with fre herte and lyberall 

Wenest thou blynde man that god omnypotent 
Careth ought for the small gyftes of mankynde 
Thou art abused if thou be of that intent 
God onely marketh the gode wyll of thy mynde 
And in thy gyftis deuout if he the fynde 
For thy gode wyll and god deuocyon 
He shall to the graunt the heuenly region 

Thus he that of goodnes and lyberalyte 

With mery face and cherefull countenaunce 

Gyuyth to his frende that hath necessyte 

And to other men good of theyr gouernaunce 

By almes and pytye : his dede shall hym auaunce 

To worthy laudes, and thankes manyfolde 

A nd vnto a gode name : which better is than golde 

182 Qffty s that repent 


Those rewardes euer ar namely commendable 

And best of all, that gyuen ar with glad mynde 

But yet is he moche vyle and reprouable 

Whiche euer is takynge : remaynynge styll vnkynde 

In all the worlde nought vyler can I fynde 

Nor wors, than is a fals vnkynde vylayne 

Yet many thousandes ensue that bestly trayne 

A man that is good hauynge wysdome, skyll and wyt 
Lyghtly rewardeth his frendes true kyndnes 
Than moste the other indeuer hym to quyte 
The same agayne with thanke, and faythfulnes 
But if thou wylt gyue, for to haue thanke doutles 
It moste be done with mery loke and mynde 
Els shalt thou neyther thanke, ne meryte fynde 


Whether thou wylt gyue rewarde gyft or present 

To god or man, it must be gladly done 

And with gode wyll : els thy rewarde is spent 

And loste vtterly, with meryte small or none 

Therfore consyder with thy selfe alone 

To whome thou gyuest : for that is wyt and skyll 

And if thou worthy and wyse fynde the person 

Than gyue thy gyft with glad loke and good wyll 

So shall thy kyndnes rewardyd be agayne 

But all is lost that thou dost gyue to fynde 

Four sortis of people : the first is a vylayne 

Or chorle, for agayne thou shalt hym proue vnkynde 

of that they haue gyuen. 183 

The seconde a childe, for his forgetfull mynde 
Expellyth kyndnes, the thirde a man in age 
The fourth a woman varyable as the wynde 
Beynge of hir loue vnstable and volage 

Of the vyce of slouth. 

The Papy sede betokenynge slouthfulnes 

Is sawen in the worlde and fast doth multyply 

The synne of slouth all mankynde doth oppres 

But namely seruauntis them self therto aply 

Despysynge labour, slepynge contynually 

But olde and yonge gyue them to this offence 

Chalangynge theyr wagis : they voyde ofdilygence 

Of the vyce of slouth. 


Though that vyle slouth sprenklyd with dedely slomber 

Be destroyer and confounder of mankynde 

And in all vyce constrayneth hym to slomber 

Yet many it folowe, and on it set theyr mynde 

If thou take hede, thou clere and playne shalt fynde 

That damnable slouth is so corrupt a vyce 

That of his foule rote all yllys doth aryse 

Of slouthys bosom out spryngeth euery yll 

And who that attachyd is with this offence 

No vertuous dede he gladly shall fulfyll 

But slepyth ay in Idelnes and blynde neglygence 

Bytwene hym and the lame is lytell difference 

For both, in maner, lyueth in lyke case 

Nat vsynge theyr membres but slepynge in one place 

A slouthfull man is nere of that nature 

That if he lay besyde a fyre brennynge 

For to be brent : he rather wolde endure 

Than take the payne hym selfe in any thynge 

For to relefe by rysynge or mouynge 

Thus is he a Fole, and worthy wretchydnes 

To gyue other example, of his lewde sleuthfulnes 

A slouthfull creature is as vnprofytable 

As smoke or dust, is for a mannys iyen 

Or as a molle, or vant mete and able 

For to do profyte within a garden grene 

For in no goodnes besyed is he sene 

Saue for to slepe, and watche the fyre alway 

Besy in no thynge, but in vayne sport and play 

1 86 Of the vyce of s lout h. 

Amonge all other the slouthfull man onely 

Withstandeth hym selfe so mad and blynde is he 

In Idelness lyeng styll contynually 

By that prouysyon to purchace pouertye 

But happy is he whiche hath felycyte 

To vse his ioyntis in workes iust and gode 

With labour of his handes gettynge his dayly fode 

But our sauyour oft taketh punysshement 

By godly iustyce and very rightwysenes 

And that oft tyme with hell payne and tourment 

On them that lyue alway in slouthfulnes 

But them that labour in lawfull besynes 

He largely rewardeth, and wryte doth testyfy 

That an Idell man to ete is nat worthy 

The vyce of slouth full harde is to asswage 

Or to subdue : therfore before our dayes 

By it was brought moche peryll and damage 

Into the worlde. and that by dyuers wayes 

For as Juuenall the noble Poete sayes 

Amonge the Romayns dyd growe and sprynge therby 

The rote of couetyse, pryde and lechery, 

And sothly slouth and wretchyd Idylnes 
By wayes remys and dranynge neglygence 
Of all other synne is rote and maystres 
Yonge hartis attysyth to many a sore offence 
The noble Dauyd, a man of hye prudence 
Whyle he submyttyd hymselfe to Idylnes 
Synned in adultery and murder : by blyndenes 

Of the vyce of slouth. \ 87 

Whyle Rome was gyuen to labour and dylygence 

They wan Cartago, as it is wryten playne 

But afterwarde by slouth and neglygence 

That noble Cyte anone they lost agayne 

For whan the romaynes were voyde of care and payne 

Of batayle and labour, and other besynes 

They gaue theyr bodyes to slouth and ydelnes 

They had no warre to exercyse theyr myght 

To them obeyed small, great, lowe and hye 

Enmy was none agayne whome they myght fyght 

Than gaue the youth them selfe to lechery 

Whiche lost theyr force, theyr myght and strength therby 

Amonge them selfe than began they to conspyre 

This wyse decayed theyr excellent impyre 

For whyle the romayns straunge regions dyd assayle 
Expellynge faynt slouth, and nedy Idelnes 
By dedes of Armes and boldenes of batayle 
Therin they subdued theyr hye cowragyousnes 
But after by slouth vyle lust dyd them oppres 
And (alas) so sore they gaue them to the same 
That vtterly they loste theyr glorious name 

Lerne by example o man for to beware 
Of faynt Idelnes and of neglygence 
Suffer nat that slouth take the in hir snare 
For she is rote of all synne and offence 
Gyue the therfore to perfyte dylygence 
Be alway doynge, but se thy dede be gode 
For as I sayde before in a sentence 
An Idell man is nat, worthy of his fode. 

Of straunge Folys and infydels as sarasyns 
paynems, turkes and suche lyke. 

Hytherto I haue me indeuered to repreue 

The folys of our fayth : for theyr enormyte 

But nowe shall I louche wretches of mysbyleue 

Expressynge theyr foly by theyr infydelyte 

But thoughe these Heretykes greatly vnworthy be 

With vs christen men to be : for theyr blynde slomber 

In errour: yet ar they of this our folysshe nomber 

Of straunge Folys and infy deles. i 89 

God aboue : howe moche abundaunt nomber 
Of folys rayneth, from the right way wandrynge 
By mysbyleue, wherin they slepe and slomber 
Leuynge the right lawe of god in euery thynge 
These ar fals Sarasyns, fals of theyr lyuynge 

And other mysbyleuers by blyndnes voyde of grace 
Whiche in our Shyppis loketh to haue a place 

Of these fals forayns renneth so great a bonde 

Vnto our shyppis that the great company 

Of them, ouerspredeth both the brode se and londe 

For of them all nat one, is fautles verely 

These folys ar Forayns : and this is the cause why 

For from the folde of god they falsly them withdrawe 

And the trewe fayth, despysynge goddes lawe 

It were moche better these wretchys to despyse 
And styll to leue them in theyr blynde darkenes 
What haue I to do with the myscheuous gyse 
Of them whome errour so blyndly doth oppres 
For they ar so blyndyd in theyr vayne wyckydnes 
That they wyll be helyd by no medycyne 
Nor from theyr vayne Idolatry declyne 

1 sholde them passe ouer, for there is no doctryne 
No gode monysyon nor good aduysement 

That can them moue, ne cause them to inclyne 
Vnto the holy fayth of our lorde omnypotent 
But as blynde bestis, of one cursed assent 
In the lewde lawes, they onely haue delyte 
Of theyr fals mayster, diceytfull Mahumyte 

190 Of ' straunge Folys and infy deles. 

But touchynge the nomber and the horrible bende 
Of these blynde folys : they ar so infynyte 
That a small volume can nat well comprehende 
Theyr foly. who sholde the hole togyther wryte 
Therfore after my wyt, my laysar, and respyte 
Of theyr sectis onely I shall make mensyon 
For breuyte leuynge theyr fyrst inuencion 


The cursyd lewes despysynge christis lore 
For theyr obstynate, and vnrightwyse cruelte 
Of all these folys must nede be set before 
The nacion of Turkes next to them shall be 
The sarrazyns next whose infydelyte 
Is groundyd so blyndly on mahumetis lawe 
That no instruccion can them fro it withdrawe 

The whiche errour as I in wrytynge fynde 
Two partis of the worlde : as afryke and asye 
With mysbyleue full wretchydly doth blynde 
And of europe great part and quantyte 
Whiche in our shyp caryed shall nedes be 
The houndes of Tartary ar of this sect also 
With other londes and Ilys many mo 

The Scithians and also they of Sarmatyke 
And they of Boeme, by fendes fraudolent 
Ar led and blyndyd with an errour lyke 
Despysynge the lawes of god omnypotent 
Many ar the londes and lies adiacent 
Whiche with lyke errour ar blyndyd and infect 
The owgly Mauryans ar also of this sect 

Of straunge Folys and infy deles. i 9 I 

These with other lyke ar Folys, and blynde dawes 

Hauynge the chefe shyp of foly and errour 

For that they folowe vayne doctryne and fals lawes 

But namely they that be of suche furour 

Wylfully to forsake god theyr creatour 

On fals enchauntement whyle they theyr myndes set 

In the deuelysshe scoles : of Praga and Tolet 

Nygromancians, and fals wytches also 
Ar of this sort, folowynge lyke offence 
Nat onely they that wytche craftis do 
But they also that gyue to them credence 
Or them supportyth with fauour or defence 
For all suche Caytayfs as vnto them assent 
Byleue nat truly on god omnypotent 

It -were to moche and to longe a labour 
To rehers all those folys innumerable 
Whiche worshyp Idollys and lyue in lyke errour 
As vayne sacrifyces, and lawes execrable 
Whiche by theyr iugement moche abhomynable 
Agaynst the holy fayth of Christ dare obiect 
That it is fals, vayne, and of small effect 

Amonge these sayde folys plunged in hell payne 
I may assemble those wretched houndes of hell 
Whiche by dispayre with theyr owne handes ar slayne 
By rope, water, knyfe, or other deth cruell 
But of these mysbyleuers more to wryte or tell 
Or to them enuoy, theyr errour to counsayle 
It were but foly, and, payne without auayle 

Of the ruyne, inclynacion and decay of 
the holy fayth catholyke, and dymyn- 
ucion of the Empyre. 

christen Prynces gyders of Christendome 
Whiche ought our fayth with manhode to defende 

1 you exort, by reason and wysdome 

And hyghe discressyon in mynde to comprehende 
The fall therof, and besely to intende 
It to defende with your labour dilygent 
Leuynge me the hode, that I shewe here present 

Of the ruyne of the holy fay th. 193 

Whyle I remember the sore ruyne and dekay 

Of our christen fayth, and our parfyte byleue 

Howe it decreased! to damage euery day 

The causers therof I nedes must repreue 

Whiche slouthfull suffraunce sothly me so doth greue 

That with wete chekes by teres thycke as hayle 

I am constrayned this, harde chaunce to bewayle 

My dolefull teres may I nat well defarre 

My stomake strykynge with handes lamentable 

For none with Trumpet nor sounde betokenynge warre 

This hurt out chaseth, ne furour vengeable 

Thoughe vnto Prynces the dede were honorable 

To chace out this hurt and inconuenyence 

Alas yet therto none doth his dilygence 

No man is so dull, nor so cruell of hert 

Thoughe that his herte were harder than the stone 

But that this dolefull chanse sholde cause it smert 

And with inwarde syghes sore to complayne and mone 

Seynge thus saynt Petyrs holy chare or trone 

And the fayth decresynge playne in our presence 

By slouth of statis and thoughtles neglygence 

The holy chayr, and apostolyke.See 
Lyeth in decay, plungyd in fere and dout 
And Rome the hede, and chefe of christentye 
Thretenyth ruyne : and all the londe about 
Tremblynge for fere of the vnchristen rout 
Of cursyd Turkes and other infydelys 
Thus is our fortune led forth on feble whelys 


1 94 Of the ruyne, inclynacion and decay 

All christen Royalmes, and christis comonte 
Wandreth, and ar cast in case full myserable 
Flowynge, and swymmynge in the tempestous se 
And wawes of fere, abasshyd and vnstable 
Nat onely our fayth, and lawes honorable 
Decreaseth dayly : but also trouth to say 
All holy ordynaunce we dayly se decay 

But estatis as kynges, and other men royall 
By theyr blynde slouth and ferefull neglygence 
Ar to be blamyd, for they be cause of all 
For though that they be our shelde and defence 
Hauynge in theyr handes, as is sene by euydence 
The armour, and dartis : of warre and chyualry 
These peryls they beholde : fyndynge no remedy 

None taketh helme, spere, ne other armour 
With manly courage, and bolde audacyte 
These peryls to preuent and to socour 
Wherfore o Rome : I fere thy lybertye 
Shall by thy enmyes be reft away fro the 
And thou be brought to bondage payne and care 
If that thy gyders be nat both wyse and ware 

Defence of our fayth by slouth is left behynde 

Saynt Peters shyp is cast from syde to syde 

And all to shaken with tempest wawes and wynde 

Without respyte in eas and rest to abyde 

The fayth of Christ whiche all mankynde doth gyde 

Vnto the hye Royalme and see celestyall 

Declyneth sore, ferynge ruyne and fall 

of the holy fayth. 195 

Suche frowarde Nacions, as ar of mysbyleue 
Prepareth armour in theyr mad crueltye 
Agaynst the churche, the same to hurt and greue 
And it to subdue to sore captyuyte 
Whiche churche quaketh ferynge this ieopardye 
And skant goth fre, but if no ayde be founde 
I fere sore lyst it shall be throwen to grounde 

The turke on euery syde doth it assayle 
Despysynge the fayth : demynysshynge the same 
Whiche cr.uell tyrant (alas) if he preuayle 
Shall of them morder that worshyp christis name 
The fals Prophete, fyllyd with synne and shame 
(I mean Mahumet) by his lawes damnable 
Hath subuertyd people almost innumerable 

His Sectis infectyf he hath out cast and spred 

Nere ouer the worlde, and namely firste of all 

The Arabyens by his fals lawes ar led 

Next by his venym dedely and mortall 

Asye the more obeyeth (as bonde and thrall) 

Vnto his lawes, and so in maner lyke 

To his fals lawes obey they of Afryke 

The Soldan of Egypt and Royalmes of Tartary 
Ar of his sect, and the fals Turke also 
Whiche to our fayth is mortall ennemy, 
Our marchys, marrynge as moche as he may do 
And moche of them annexeth his vnto 
Warrynge dayly on christen royalmes adiacent 
Whiche with his owne was wont to be content 

196 Of the ruyne^ inclynacion and decay 

The londe of Trace, large in a marueylous wyse 
With the royalmes of Septemtrion echone 
Longynge to his fader : coude nat his mynde snfFyse 
We lost haue the Nacions of lybye : echone 
Asia the lesse : from vs is reft and gone 
Whiche in tyme past was true obedyent 
To the holy lawes of Faders auncyent 

Of Europe moche haue we lost and forgone 

Alas the excellent royalme of Hungarye 

By this fals Turke had : vtterly, ben vndone 

If it had nat hym resystyd noblye 

And in lyke maner the men of Dalmacye 

With blody Batayle and woundes wyde and depe 

Cessyth nat they Royalme, from the fals Turke to kepe 

But in theyr dredefull paynes and dolour 
Theyr dayly warre and manly resystence 
Seldome, or neuer, haue they ayde or socour 
Of christen Sowdyours, to be at theyr defence 
Thus by our slouth, and wylfull neglygence 
Our fayth sore fadeth (alas) we it despyse 
Suffrynge our enrayes to enter in this wyse 

Alas no thynge increasyth nowe a dayes 

Vnto our fayth our londes to augment 

But euery thynge contynually decayes 

And namely our fayth and vertue excellent 

Who is so stuburne of stomake or intent 

Whiche coude nat this dolefull fortune sore bewayle 

Rendynge his here his face and apparayle 

of the holy fayth. 197 

Forsoth I thynke so harde hertyd is none 
But bysyde these forsayd losses or damage 
From vs alas the Ilys of Grece ar gone 
Whiche longe tyme kept our fayth and our vsage 
The Traciens from vs ar reft by the outrage 
Of the Turkes : Obeyinge to theyr ydolatry 
So doth Achynus, and eke Masedony 

We Sparta haue lost, by this fyers tyrant 
The crueli Turke, and Tessaly also 
With his swete Laundes goodly and pleasaunt 
We haue lost Thebe, and dyuers Cytees mo 
With dyuers mo lies as Mysia : both the two 
And Constantynoble that Cyte excellent 
Vnto the Turke nowe is made obedyent 

This noble Cyte, worthy and lawdable 
Condigne to be gouernyd by an emperour 
Vnto the noble Rome moste lyke and comparable 
Is nowe in thraldome, bereft his olde honour 
And also the fayth of christ our sauyour. 
What shall I wryte farther of the ruyne 
And fall of our fayth, and holy lawe dyuyne 

To christen men it is great vylany 
And shame : to suffer our fayth thus to decay 
The Turke hath all won : by his tyranny 
Yet that, his mynde contentyth by no way 
But yet more ouer he stodyeth euery day 
Nat cessynge his Army and Batayle to renewe 
Vs and our landes in lyke wyse to subdue 

198 Of the ruyne, inclynacion and decay 

The noble Cecyle is dayly in great dout 
Istria : pannony, and also, Lumberdy 
And dyuers other Nacions there about 
As Sycyll, the Stiryans Venyce and Italy 
These Ilys, and regions quakyth contynually 
The royalme of Naplys lyueth also in dout 
Of the fals Turke besegeynge it about 

The royalme of Denmarke with his hyll ethnay 

As men sayth, brennynge alway with flamynge fyre 

Scantly escapyth the leopardous affray 

Of these fals Turkes, and theyr cruell Impyre 

Agaynst all christen royalmes they conspyre 

But namely subdue they vnto captiuyte 

Suche royalmes as ioynynge vnto theyr marchys be 

O holy Rhodes thou nedys moste entende 
With thy noble knyghtis thy manhode and vertue 
The fayth and Crosse of Christ for to defende 
And to ouerthrowe, and manly to subdue 
The Turkes, and theyr lawes moche vntrue 
O noble place thou moste the payne abyde 
Though thou assaylyd be sore on euery syde 

Bagiazit a Prynce moche proude and pyteles 
With his wylde people full of crudelyte 
Prepareth armour our to people oppres 
By batayle horryble, dayly contendyth he 
Our costes to brynge into captyuyte 
And onely that purpose fyxeth in his hert 
Our holy fayth, by rygour, to subuert 

of the holy fayth. 199 

He is throughe persyd with fury serpentyne 
With madnes enuyroned : and that on euery syde 
Rauynge in his rage, as Bacchus god of wyne 
So that no christen man dare hym abyde 
For with dolefull deth, and blody woundes wyde 
He them sore vexeth, but suche as he doth kepe 
And saue on lyue : he layth in pryson depe 

With no maner blode this thyrst is facyate 

Vnto these Turkes, whiche neuer ar content 

With cruell Batayle they bete agaynst the yate 

Of our christen Royalmes, with strokes vyolent 

Wherfore o Rome, o Cyte excellent 

O flour of our fayth, o Peters holy chear 

Be ware : for why great cause thou hast to fear 

Beholde this Sect vomyteth out madnes 

Enflamyd by the fende with furour infernall 

Our holy fayth, and the, also doutles 

By ferefull rygour for to make bonde and thrall 

The wolfe (alas) sore wastyth ouerall 

The Innocent folde, of christ our sauyour 

Drownynge the sheepe in drede, wo, and dolour 

They al deuour, no man is founde so bolde 
Them to withstande, thus without resystence 
They flee both man, and woman, yonge and olde 
Hauynge no respect to godly Innocence 
Yet we, alas, by slouth and neglygence 
Plungyd in the wawes of voluptuosyte 
Make nojresystence to this calamyte 

2OO Of the ruyne, incly nation and decay 

Of men and names whiche longeth to batayle 

We haue ynoughe : and capytayns excellent 

With strength ynough, bolde corage and counsayle 

We lacke no thynge that is expedyent 

As wyt, and wysdome, wyse practyse and prudent 

But yet suffer we, these turkes to procede 

And them to resyst haue we no care nor hede 

We lese our fayth (alas) and wyllyngly 
To our great shame (fbrsoth) and dishonour 
The cause is : for that slouth doth occupy 
The mynde of euery kynge and gouernour 
Our states slomber, both kynge and emperour 
And Palynurus the hede of christente 
And chefe lodes man : slepyth in his See 

Thy people Peter in ryches abundaunt 
Slepyth in lyke wyse, and in lyke neglygence 
As if that they were blynde and ignoraunt 
Of this great peryll and inconuenyence 
Our holy fayth without faut or offence 
Without helpe lyeth open : to the Turkes hande 
To be defyled, no man doth hym withstande 

None lettyth this cruell ennemy to rage 
By royalmes and Cytees, but as we se playnly 
Theyr owne selfe they subdue vnto bondage 
And ferefiill deth wyllynge and gladly 
Therfbre this turke (alas) moche cruelly 
Where euer he comys, by batayle yiolent 
Demynyssheth the fayth of god onmypotent 

of the holy fayth. 201 

And that as a conquerour valyent and stronge 
But doutles I suppose in myne intent 
That the greuous synnes raynynge vs amonge 
Be the chefe causers of this sore punysshement 
We it deserue : therfore god hath it sent 
As scourge and penaunce for our vyciousnes 
And that by due order of his rightwysnes 

We worshyp ryches, therto we vs subdue 
To golde and treasour we make our sacryfyce 
Our fayth is exyled (alas) so is vertue 
With vs abydeth no thynge, but synne and vyce 
The execrable hunger of golde and couetyse 
And the vayne pleasour of Folys fraudelent 
Subduyth our bodyes to worthy punysshement 

The heuenly vergyn from vs is dryuen hens 
I meane that Justice is blynde in christente 
Or out of the grounde, disdaynynge our presence 
With hir thre systers, strength or audacyte 
Prudence and temperaunce also exylyd be 
Charyte is banysshyd also from eche place 
For whose absence, alas we haue no grace 

All christen Royalmes ar thus corrupt with syn 

And gyuen in so moche to slouth and ydelnes 

That eche man stodyeth part of some royalme to wyn 

Suffrenge the Turkes our fayth thus to oppres 

In tyme past, Rome lanterne of worthynes 

Chose four Susters, of Cytees pryncipall 

Felawes of the fayth, and in honour egall 

2O2 Of the ruyne, inclination and decay 

The firste was Jerusalem in holynes shynynge 

The seconde Alexander so callyd first of all 

After the name of that moste noble kynge 

The thirde Antyoche, a place or hold royall 

The fourth Constantynoble whiche euery man dyd call 

Newe Rome, and onely bycause of the lykenes 

But nowe, mysbyleuers, doth all the same oppres 

These Cytees nowe ar take from vs away 
By the fals enmyes, of our godly byleue 
Besyde all this yet ryseth euery day 
Newe sectis of gentyles our costes for to greue 
And fals prophetis whiche dayly doth repreue 
And defyle our fayth in as moche as they may 
Yet fewe, or none at all doth them gaynsay 

So blynde ar our herds, opressyd in derkenes 
And also our iyen, this peryll wyll nat se 
Therfore we ar worthy to suffer this distres 
Suche is our lyfe, and our fragylyte 
And though we be drowned in depe aduersyte 
Vnto vs denyeth Christ socour for to sende 
For that we nat purpos our lyues to amende 

The Turke to his Idols hath gretter reuerence 
And more deuocion, to his fals lawe and doctryne 
Than we christen men without obedyence 
Haue to our true fayth, and holy lawe dyuyne 
Concorde and peas ar fall into ruyne 
Vnmekenes vs pleasyth : disceyt and vsury 
The pore, and good we, oppres by rebbery 

of the holy fayth. 20 3 

Neyghbour agayne neyghbour, the son agayne nature 

Agaynst the Fader, and echone nowe adayes 

Anothers londes desyreth to procure 

By falshode, oppressyon, or suche disceytfull waves 

The states ar vexyd by foule dyscorde and frayes 

But yet both they and men of lowe degre 

Seke but theyr pryuate profyte and owne vtylyte 

Euery man seketh but for his owne auayle 
Wherby our fayth decayeth dayly so 
Wherfore it is no marueyle without fayle 
Though we our townes and Cytees thus forgo 
Lesynge our royalmes, to our great payne and wo 
And namely suche as were most auncyent 
Best groundyd in the fayth of christ omnypotent 

No thynge is left : nought doth to vs remayne 

Anone the Turke shall with his hoste cruell 

Enter on our costes to our great losse and payne 

Yet labour we nat his furour to expell 

But namely suche as other doth excell 

In byrth and ryches, strength and audacyte 

Labour leste to chalange and defende our lybertye 

The yate is open : The way is open made 

Wherfore o Rome, o Rome moste excellent 

I fere me sore lyst thy honour shall fade 

Thou skant shalt escape, nor fle the punysshement 

The storme on the comyth cruell and vyolent 

A kynge the byldyd and eft a counsellour 

Encreased thy name, and brought the to hnour 

204 Of the ruyne, incly nation ana decay 

Than had this Cyte so hye a name royall 

That through the worlde it spred abrode his fame 

And also vp vnto, the Heuen Imperyall 

Than after was it subgect vnder the name 

Of an emperour, to honour and nat shame 

Yet after it was agayne admyttyd fre 

But nowe may it fere, agayne in seruytude to be 

No man resistyth agaynst this vyolence 

Our fayth also demynysshyth euery day 

By culpable synne, and our noyson offence 

Whiche at the ende hath greuous payne alway 

O christen Prynces therfore do that ye may 

Our fayth to socour, out of captyuyte 

Sauynge your owne londes, your lyfe and lybertye 

O worthy prynces and lordes Italyen 

Ye stoberne Flemynges and ye of Pannony 

O subtyle Lumberdes, Spanyardes and Frenchmen 

And o holy Fader the Pope moste specyally 

Lay to your handes by strength and polycy 

Our fayth to defende, and helpe ye shall nat want 

Throwe out your dartis with handes tryumphant 

Expell your wrath, set statelynes asyde 

Be stedfast in fayth : keep ay in humylyte 

Let Constance and peas amonge you ay abyde 

With knot perpetuall of loue and amyte 

Haue one assent, in concorde all agre 

loyn hande to hande, prepare you vnto warre 

Take soone your armour, and no more tyme diffarre 

of the holy fayth. 205 

If peas be with vs, Concorde and amyte 
We may from our costis the cruell turke expell 
And so kepe our fayth in stedfast lybertye 
One hope we haue, our ennemyes to quell 
Whiche hope is stedfast if we ourself do well 
For Henry the eyght replete with hye wysdome 
By iust tytyll gydeth our Septer of kyngdome 

This noble Prynce begynnyth vertuously 
By iustyce and pyte, his roylme to meyntayne 
So that he and his : without mo company 
May succour, our sores by his manhode souerayne 
And get with his owne hande Jerusalem agayne 
He passyth Hercules in manhode and courage 
Hauynge a respect vnto his tender age 

He passeth Achylles in strength and valyance 
His fame nere as great, but as for his larges 
And lyberalyte, he shewyth in countenaunce 
That no auaryce can blynde his rightwysnes 
Couetyse hath left behynde hym his ryches 
Vnto the hyghe possessyon, of lyberalyte 
Whiche with the same shall kepe, our lybertye 

Let go Pompeius : and Camyllus also 

And Sylla, for none of them wyll I commende 

This Prynce I prayse alonely and no mo 

Whiche is moste abyll our fayth for to defende 

He is moste worthy by honour to ascende 

Vnto a noble Diademe Imperyall 

So is my hope, that he hereafter shall 

206 Of the ruyne, inclynacion and decay 

Than shall he our fayth establysshe and make sure 

Defendynge the Churche and christis herytage 

There shall no Turke be abyll to indure 

His rampynge Lyons rorynge in theyr rage 

Nor none of all the Sarrazyns lynage 

Thus may our Prynce be shelde of christendome 

By strength and ryches, but namely by wysdome 

His armys victorious shall spred abrode theyr fame 
Ouer all the worlde, for he may wyn agayne 
Jerusalem : and the Crosse within the same 
With the holy toumbe : for this is my trust certayne 
That if he begyn : he nought shall do in vayne 
For god and his sayntis shall helpe hym for to fyght 
Saynt george our patron e shall eke augment his myght 

But o englysshe states I humbly you requyre 
Vnto your kynge of hert and mynde be true 
Submyt your selfe gladly to his empyre 
So shall ye lyghtly your ennemyes subdue 
And syth that all Christen prynces doth eschewe 
Labour and payne, for the holy faythes defence 
In the name of god do ye your dylygence 

Though Aufony slepe and also Italy 
The kynges of Sycyll and also of Fraunce 
And they of the Churche for none of them truly 
Defendyth the fayth, but labour to auaunce 
Theyr proper londes, suche is theyr gouernaunce 
That christen kynges this wyse togyder fyght 
Suffrynge the fayth decay before theyr syght 

of the holy fay th. 207 

They knowe the cause, hauynge power and myght 
Yet wyll they nat the holy fayth defende 
Therfore lede ye your Host of men forth right 
These Turkes to subdue. If ye so condiscende 
Than be ye sure Christ shall you socour sende 
Of angels heuenly to your ayde and defence 
And brake theyr Tentis with his hande and presence 

The noble Henry of Englonde is at hande 
Of kynges noblest, of worthy auncetrye 
Whiche shall you helpe to wyn the holy lande 
And brynge these tyrantis vnto Captyuyte 
Enuy who wyll : none rightwyser than he 
Is in the worlde nor of more noblenes 
Nor more habundant in treasour and ryches 

His maiestye presentyth a kynges countenaunce 
His maners honest, and full of noblenes 
He seketh nat his kyngdome to auaunce 
By gyle disceyte : nor other lyke falsnes 
His mynde nat elate with scornfull statelynes 
But in the playne path of goodnes lawe and right 
The fere of god alway before his syght 

As longe as this noble Prynce shall be our gyde 
With vs all honour godnes and ioy shall growe 
With perfyte peas about on euery syde 
In welth and ryches we shall habounde and flowe 
And if there be any of statis hye or lowe 
Whiche by yll councill wolde cause hym to mysdo 
God graunt them no myght, no space ne tyme therto 

208 Of the ruyne, incly nation and decay 

There is no Prynce of greatter excellence 
I trowe none lyuynge of hye nor lowe degre 
Wherfore let them do hym obedyence 
As to theyr hede : and moste of dignyte 
Obey to hym Prynces than trust I ye shall se 
That by his manhode, and counsell souerayne 
All that his lost, we shall : soone wyn agayne 

And ye christen Prynces who so euer ye be 
If ye be destytute of a noble Capytayne 
Take lamys of Scotlonde for his audacyte 
And proued manhode if ye wyll laude attayne 
Let hym haue the forwarde, haue ye no disdayne 
Nor indignacion, for neuer kynge was borne 
That of ought of warre can shewe the vnycorne 

For if that he take onys his spere in hande 
Agaynst these Turkes strongly with it to ryde 
None shall be abyll his stroke for to withstande 
Nor before his face so hardy to abyde 
Yet this his manhode increasyth nat his pryde 
But euer sheweth he mekenes and humylyte 
In worde and dede to hye and lowe degre 

In prudence pereles is this moste comely kynge 
And as for his strength and magnanymyte 
Concernynge his noble dedes in euery thynge 
One founde or grounde lyke to hym can nat be 
By byrth borne to boldnes and audacyte 
Vnder the bolde planet of Mars the champyon 
Surely to subdue his ennemyes echone 

of the holy Jay th. 209 

Mars hath hym chosyn : all other set asyde 

To be in practyse of Batayle without pere 

Saue ryches lacketh his manfull myght to gyde 

He hath nat plentye of all thynge as is here 

The cause is that stormes in season of the yere 

Destroyeth the corne engendrynge so scarsnes 

Whiche thynge moche hurteth this Prynces worthynes 

Let hym be formest, than dout ye nought at all 
For onely his loke (so bolde is his courage) 
The turkes pryde shall make decay and fall 
Lyke to a Lyon in dedes he shall rage 
Thus he beynge gyde the fury shall asswage 
Of the fals Turkes : so that they shall be fayne 
Our christen londes to vs to yelde agayne 

If the Englysshe Lyon his wysdome and ryches 
Conioyne with true loue, peas and fydelyte 
With the Scottis vnycornes myght and hardynes 
Than is no dout but all hole christente 
Shall lyue in peas welth and tranquylyte 
And the holy londe come into christen hondes 
And many a regyon out of the fendes bondes 

O worthy estatis of Christendome echone 
Consyder your power and your habylyte 
Let slombrynge slouth away fro you be gone 
Fere nat to fyght for your lyfe and lybertye 
Let eche man do after his power and degre 
To withstande the Turke and the fayth to defende 
If we manly fyght : and all in one agre 
Than without dout god shall vs socour sende. 

Of flaterers and glosers. 

He that wyll flater a hors of hye coi age 
Clappynge or touchynge : if that he stande to nye 
May happen to haue the fote on his vysage 
To his great hurt : and who that subtylly 
Wyll flater an estate to get some good tht-rby 
He often at the last is cast out of fauour 
For flaterynge pleaseth no wyse man of honour 

Of Caterers and g losers. 21 I 

Our folys yet encreasyth more and more 
But as for those that nowe themselfe present 
I thought to haue set them in a shyp before 
Where as ar seruauntis fals and fraudelent 
But by no meane wyll they therto consent 
They coueyt a shyp for them selfe to attayne 
Therfore for them this shyp I nowe ordayne 

Great lordes seruauntis, wyll nedes sayle apart 
Alone by them self they coueyt for to be 
For they ne can well vse theyr craft and art 
Of gyle and flaterynge amonge the comontye 
And if that ye wyll knowe what men these be 
They ar fals flaterers fyllyd full of gyle 
And fowle corrupcion : as is a botche or byle 

A crafty flaterer, as nowe is many one 

With grettest lordes coueytis alway to dwell 

Also they labour to knowe eche thynge alone 

Yet can they nought kepe secrete in counsell 

But with the comon Folys for that they wyll nat mell 

I ordoyne to them this Barge here present 

Lyst theyr fraude myght be theyr owne impedyment 

The kynges Court nowe adayes doth fede 

Suche faynynge flaterers : and best they ar in grace 

As chefe with theyr lorde, by lyes gettynge mede 

Some with a fals herte, and a payntyd face 

In his lordes seruyce to haue chefe rowme and place 

Into his lordes erys yetyth secretly 

Lyes venemous, debate to multyply 

2 i 2 Of Caterers and glosers. 

Another can pyke vp the fethers properly 
Of his maysters clothys if they syt nat right 
He maketh them yet for to syt more awry 
To take occasion them clenlyer to dyght 
Another ay bydeth in his maysters syght 
Nat to his profyte, but to his charge and coste 
But to support hym, if he do crake or boste 

These faynynge flaterers theyr lordes thus begyle" 
Yet ar theyr lordes therwith right well content 
They laughe out lowde if that theyr lorde do smyle 
What euer he sayth they to the same assent 
And in so moche ar they fals and fraudelent 
That if theyr mayster say that the crowe is whyte 
They say the same, and haue therin delyte 

They flater theyr lorde with wordes fayre and gay 
And vayne roundynges to cause hym to byleue 
That all is trouth whiche they vnto hym say 
Another hym stryketh and claweth by the sleue 
Another with fals talys his neyghbour doth greue 
Vnto a ryche man accusynge hym falsly 
To syt at his dysshe and get some mete therby 

Thus cause these flaterers, malyce and discorde. 
The ryche oft desyreth suche lyes for to here 
Eche flaterer is in chefe rowme with his lorde 
Whan a symple seruaunt must nedes stande arere 
The playne man hungreth, the Iyer hath the chere 
No man in Court shall nowe a lyuynge fynde 
Without that he can bowe to euery wynde 

Of Caterers and glosers. 213 

The tre that bowyth to no wynde that doth blowe 
In stormes and tempest is in moste ieoperdy 
And often with sodayne blastis ouerthrowe 
Therfore these flaterers to eche wynde aply 
And he that can, vpholde his maysters lye 
With ye and nay, and helpe hym if he tryp 
Obteyneth nowe grettest honour and worshyp 

Many one in flaterynge cometh to great honour 

The cause is : for grettest statis nowe a dayes 

To be disceyued ar glad, and haue pleasour 

In a dowble tunge beleuynge that it sayes 

None is nowe beloued, but suche as vse the wayes 

Of adulacion, and that can secretely 

Whysper and rounde thynges ymagyned falsly 

And they that haue lerned to forge tydynges newe 

Ar most made of if they haue the scyence 

By flaterynge wordes to make them to seme true 

None settyth by seruauntis of faythfull dilygence 

But for that punysshement foloweth eche oftence 

We dayly se these flaterers harde bested 

And by theyr owne gyle, they vnder fote ar tred 

Amende fals flaterers : it is a folysshe sport 
And vayne besynes, for a small wretchyd mede 
Folys in theyr lyes to flater and support 
And whan all is done nat to be sure to spede 
Thou shalt fynde truly : if thou take gode hede 
That at the ende flaterers ar nought set by 
But he that is playne, to flater hauyuge drede 
At last shall be rewardyd well and worthely 

Of tale berers and Poles of lyght credence 
vnto the same. 

He is lyght myndyd, and voyde of all prudence 
Whiche alway is wont, without aduysement 
To all vayne talys sone to gyue credence 
Aplyenge his erys therto : with full intent 
For why these brybours fals and fraudelent 
And bablynge lyers, by wordes wors than knyfe. 
Amonge men sawe debate and greuous stryfe. 

Oftale berers. 215 

These folys present I sholde haue callyd skant 
Vnto my shyp to rowe amonge the mo 
But that the Shyp before can them nat want 
So these two sortis wyll nedis togyther go 
For thoughe the flaterer hym selfe behauyth so 
By fayned talys good lyuers oft to greue 
They ar as lewde that wyll the same byleue 

He is a fole that his erys wyll inclyne 

Lyghtly : to his wordes that is of suche vsage 

Newe talys and tydynges dayly to ymagyne 

And that apereth superflue of langage 

For he showeth tokyns of foly and dotage 

Whiche gyueth his erys to here suche wordes vayne 

As myght his neyghbours honestye distayne 

A fole is ay lyght, and hasty of credence 
With erys open to eche tale that is newe 
Wherof oft groweth great inconuenyence 
But a wyse man suche talys can eschewe 
Nat them byleuynge but if he knowe them true 
He is nat hardy the whiche one stryketh sore 
Behynde his backe : nat warnynge hym before 

For who that is vnwarely strykyn so 

Can for the same no helpe ne socour fynde 

No more can he fynde remedy therto 

That of taleberers is sclandred thus behynde 

But nowe is he a mayster that hath suche wyly mynde 

A rightwyse man with fals wordes to diffame 

And many vngoodly gyue credence to the same 

2 1 6 Of tale berers. 

But who so euer vsyth this adulacion 

Or that to vayne wordes gyueth to sone credence 

Ar trayters, and full of abhomynacion 

Cursyd and iniust stynkynge in the presence 

Of god almyght : for by the same offence 

Is sawen the sede of stryfe : and mortall wo 

Amonge great statis : and comontye also 

Therfore that man that quyetly wolde lyue 
And rightwysely : with name of honestye 
To flaterynge talys must nat his erys gyue 
For a fals tunge fulfyllyd with iniquyte 
By mortall venym infecteth eche degre 
Brekynge the bonys (god wot) of many one 
Howbeit the tunge within it hath no bone 

By this vyce : the honour of hym that is absent 
Thoughe it were gotten by way moste vertuous 
Is hurt and distayned by worde malyuolent 
Of it cometh many a vyce full peryllous 
And it often tymes by wayes iniuryous 
Jugement gyueth on man in his absence 
Fals and iniustly by to hasty credence 

By this maner, iustyce and lawe is vyolate 

Vnto the absent moche noysom, harde and sore 

Whan he is falsly accusyd by some state 

Or some other man, nat assytyd before 

Howe can he defende his cause well : whan no more 

Tary is made, but forth right the sentence 

Vnwysely is gyuen by to hasty credence 

. Of tale berers. 217 

The wretchyd A man byleuynge hastely 
By Mardocheus the talys to hym tolde 
Wolde hym haue put to deth vnrightwysly 
If the Quene hester durst nat haue ben so bolde 
The kynge to asswage, by wordes sad and colde 
Wherby fals Aman in paynfull shame and care 
Anone was hanged : and that in his owne smare 

Ouer hasty credence without aduysement 
Sende Saulis sone : myphiboseth by name 
Great care and sorowe by paynfull punysshement 
The noble Alexander most excellent of fame 
Wolde neuer inclyne his erys vnto the same 
For well he wyst to what inconuenyence 
They fall : that ar to hasty of credence. 


Consyder man wheder thou be lowe or hye 

What thynge thou herest, before thou thynke it true 

For flaterers ay speke fayrest whan they lye 

Or whan they lyst to brynge vp talys newe 

Beware of them : Theyr company eschue 

They shall the cause to fall to suche offence 

That all thy lyfe thou shalt it after rue 

To them, if thou be hasty of credence 

Therfore do thou as doth the god palfray 
Whan they begyn to clawe the by the sleue 
Flynge with thy helys : and dryue them so away 
And with sharpe wordes be bolde them to repreue 

2 1 8 Of tale berers. 

Stop fast thy erys, or els fro them remeue 
For be thou sure : to speke in short sentence 
Mo men are marryd, than any wolde byleue 
And greuously offende by to hasty credence 

Of falshode, gyle, and disceyte, and suche 
as folowe them. 

The vayne and disceytfull craft of alkemy 

The corruptynge of wyne and other merchandyse 

Techyth and shewyth vnto vs openly 

What gyle and falshode men nowe do exercyse 

All occupyers almost, suche gyle dyuyse 

In euery chafFar, for no fydelyte 

Is in this londe, but gyle and subtylte 

220 Qffahhode,gyle,anddisceyte, 

O well of muses : o pleasaunt castaly 

susters nyne, with lowe benygnyte 

1 you beseke my wyt to multyply 

By hundred folde, and tunges of lyke plente 
Graunt to me strength to wryte the subtylte 
The fraude, and disceyt, whiche is by gylefull wayes 
Amonge all chraftis vsed nowe adayes 

Without a hundred tunges great wysdome and respyte 

Contynuall labour : and stody without ende 

None can theyr gyles ne all theyr falshode wryte 

Nor all fals folys in balade comprehende 

So many be that thus theyr lyues spende 

That all the shyppes ne galays vnto Spayne 

Nor myghty Carakes can nat them well contayne 

So they that ar abrode fast about may range 
Rowynge on the see : myself theyr lode and gyde 
In dyuers centres farre and londes straunge 
And spred theyr namys about on euery syde 
But dyuers ar the sortis, that the worlde wyde 
In euery part doth infect and defyle 
By fraudes fayned, and fals myscheuous gyle 

Firste fals loue disceyuyth and doth greue 
Both age : and youthe both wylde and prodygall 
Lernyd and lewde : if that they it byleue 
For vnder his tunge is hyd venym mortall 
Frendes and felawes faynynge and fals with all 
Also shalt thou fynde that of suche maner be 
To speke fayre wordes mengled with sotylte 

and suche as folowe them. 221 

Suche in theyr herds haue no fydelyte 
And often we se that wycked and fals counsell 
Disceyueth many by fals lyberalyte 
Disceytfull wordes, dissymuled as gospell 
Doth many abuse and from theyr right expel 1 
And no maruayle, for almoste euery man 
To his pryuate profyte intendeth what he can 

Tone is that caryth for comon auauntage 
Thus comon welth sore fallyth into decay 
But ouerall, men ar fals of theyr langage 
By lyes auaylynge them selfe all that they may 
Brother begylyth brother as we se euery day 
And the sonne the Fader desceyueth oft also 
But though he can nat : yet is his mynde therto 

No bondes of loue, amonge men nowe doth byde 
Fals gyle vs gydeth, blyndyd is conscyence 
And suche as within the cloyster doth abyde 
Fyle theyr relygion oft by the same offence 
Faynynge them sayntis whan they ar in presence 
With ypocresy payntynge theyr countenaunce 
So clokynge and hydynge theyr yll mysgouernaunce 

Some shyne without : and as swete bawme they smell 
But yet theyr hertis ar fyllyd with falsnes 
And within the skyn more yll than man can tell 
As gyle and disceyte, iust men therwith toppres 
And wolues rauysshynge full of vnthryftynes 
Bere shepes skynnes showynge nat that they be 
Foxys within : shewynge out symplycyte 

222 Offolshode, gyle, and disceyte, 

By suche falshode, they many one begyle 

In vniust coyne, is founde also abusyon 

And disceyt : whiche doth all the worlde defyle 

By clyppynge and wasshynge, and lyke dymynusyon 

Bysyde all this, yet in many a regyon 

Suche folys stody to mengle and multyply 

Eche sort of metall men do disceyue therby 

And in theyr wretchyd ryches to abounde 
The clyp, they coyne, and that : counterfayt metall 
And the right kynde of golde they oft confounde 
They sell precious stones nat true ne naturall 
But counterfayt (for true) men to begyle withall 
The coyne by falshode also oft lacketh weyght 
Thus ouer the worlde is nought but gyle and sleyght 

What shall I wryte of gyle and sotyltye 
Vsed in weyght nomber, tale and mesure 
Howe they bye with one, large, or weyghtye 
And sell by a les : theyr conscyence is so obscure 
Marchaundys also in gyle them them selfe inure 
By dyuers wayes makynge them to seme plasaunt 
True men to disceyue that therin ar ignoraunt 

That whiche is nought they make seme good and fyne 

But to touche a teuerners hye experyence 

Howe lyghtly the knaue can brewe a bowle of wyne 

As who sayth that he hath the craft and scyence 

To amende that thynge that goddes hye prudence 

Hath made parfyte, but he his owne to saue 

By newe brewyd wyne, men bryngeth to theyr graue 

and suche as Jo low e them. 223 

In no man is trust, for euery man by gyle 
And preuy falshode hath suche a crafty nes 
His occupacion by fraudys fals to defyle 
Reputynge hym selfe wyse for suche disceytfulnes 
Thus is there no craft, pore, ryche, more or les 
But all ar vpholden with gyle and soteltye 
Whiche falshode causeth that many neuer thye 

But if I sholde tarry so longe here to expres 
All the fals wayes and gyle done wrongfully 
In eche occupacion, and euery besynes 
It were to longe : therfore I say shortly 
That he is happy whiche lyueth perfytely 
Voyde of all fraude : but the trouth to reporte 
In worde and dede, but fewe be of that sort 


Thou that hast to do with worldly besynes 
Outher occupacyon, in court or marchaundyse 
Kepe clene thy conscyence, beware disceytfulnes 
All fraude and gyle take hede that thou despyce 
Than shalt thou to welth, ryches and honour ryse 
And if thou be fals : beware of pouertye 
Besyde hell payne, for Christ sayth in this wyse 
That in his owne mesure eche man shall serued be 

Of the falshode of Antichrst. 

We haue before, a shyp sende forth to see 
Swyft and, well stuffed with many a subtyll rout 
But of lyke folys, yet many one there be 
On our shyp sydes, clymmynge rounde about 
I speke with pacyence : for why I am in dout 
Lyst this company, of proude speche : yll and haul 
With theyr sharpe dartis my feble shyp assaut 

Of 'the fahhode of Antichrist. 225 

But if thou aske who they ar that me incomber 

And what be theyr maners and conuersacion 

Of whens they ar and howe great is theyr nomber 

Of whome I intende to make declaracyon 

Vnto thy questyons this is my relacion 

And fynall answere, that they that thus me greue 

Ar fals Christen men, nat perfyte of byleue 

And fals Prophetis, nat folowynge the right 
Whiche with fals hertis vnperfyte of credence 
Nat duly worshyp the lawe of god almyght 
Nor his holy doctryne, with worthy reuerence 
And other suche as varye the true sence 
Of goddes lawes, expoundynge other wyse 
Than it in the text clere and playnly lyes 

Suche counterfayte the kayes that Jesu dyd commyt 

Vnto Peter : brekynge his Shyppis takelynge 
( Subuertynge the fayth, beleuynge theyr owne wyt 
^ Agaynst our perfyte fayth in euery thynge 

.60 is our Shyp without gyde wanderynge 
/ By tempest dryuen, and the mayne sayle of torne 

That without gyde the Shyp about is borne 

I mean that euery fals interpretour j^ 
And vniust Prophete accordynge in assent 
Defyle the lawes of Christ our sauyour 
And also the fayth, but suche in theyr intent 
Whan theyr owne selfe by errour fraudelent 
Ar all corrupt, with synne agaynst the lawe 
They stody : yet mo to theyr errour to drawe 


226 Of the falshode of Antichrist. 

Many they disceyue, by theyr myscheuous lore 
Of theyr fals lawes castynge abrode the sede 
Yet greuous paynes of Hell byde them therfore 
But suche Hell houndes therof wyll take no hede 
But certaynly all our byleue and crede 
The whiche is able to saue vs from hell payne 
To vs is gyuen in wordes clere and playne 

In our lawe ar founde no wordes disceyuable 

No fals abusyon, nor obscure hardnes 

But many folys of mynde abhomynable 

For an hye name, for honour and ryches 

Or for vayne pryde and fals presumptuousnes 

To shewe theyr cunnynge, they men blynde and abuse 

Makynge the playne lawe, obscure, darke and diffuse 

They holy scriptures rehers moche other wyse 
Than the holy goost them vttred first of all 
The cause is that pryde them vexeth to aryse 
To some hye Rowme, and a glory pryncypall 
O blynde fole awake and to remembraunce call 
The prophetis saynge. confermyd by the lawe 
And so from errour thy synfull mynde withdrawe 

Were it nat ynoughe for the to vnderstonde 
The holy lawes : passynge in that scyence 
But yet presumptuously to take on honde 
To turne frowardly, the true and rightwyse sence 
Chaungynge our fayth, by thy fals neglygence 
Whiche fayth was sende from god omnypotent 
By the holy gost to our faders auncyent 

Of the fahhode of Antichrist. 227 

They seme in handes to here a fals balance 
Whiche falsly techyth the lawe of god almyght 
Some poyntis thynke they heuy and worthy penaunce 
And other some make they but small and lyght 
By glose thus turne we the lawe agaynst right 
Thus they that our faythis doctryne wolde confounde 
Before Antichrist set tentis here on grounde 

They set no tentis agayne hym for to fyght 

But agaynst his comynge they ordayne great treasour 

Other to subdue : for to encreas his myght 

Them drawynge to his infaciable errour 

Many one assembleth as to a conquerour 

Obeynge and berynge his cursed cognysaunce 

Assaynge for to put our fayth to harde vttraunce 

Whiche trayters also them besely doth hast 
With Antichrist theyr mayster and theyr lorde 
Theyr cursed lawes to spred abrode and cast 
Ouer all the worlde, for to infect Concorde 
Bryngynge theyr fals goddes with them at one accorde 
Suche folys ar nat drawen by scourge of punysshement 
But to Antichrist of theyr owne mynde thassent 

To be of his garde they yelde them wyllyngly 

But some shall obey for meney and treasour 

Whome he by lyberall gyftis crafty 

Shall so attyce hym lowly to honour 

Suche foles shall he bye and brynge to his errour 

Se here howe money theyr soules shall defyle 

But some shall he wyn by sotylte and gyle 

228 Of the falshode of Antichrist. 

Some by fals myracles and some by punysshement 

Shall this fals Tyraunt to his seruyce procure 

But than by the myght of god omnypotent 

This wycked Nauy longe tyme shall nat endure 

But whyle these Folys shall thynke them selfe most sure 

Theyr shyppys shall dryue and shortly at the last 

By myght of god they all shall ryue and brast 

Togyther shall they fall vnto the pyt of hell 
And suche be releued as they put vnto payne 
Antichristis Charettes and Cartis shall cesse theyr yell 
And the true lawe and fayth sprynge vp agayne 
But in the mean space, alas we may complayne 
For the shyp of Peter in stormes and tempest 
Is throwen and cast clene destitute of rest 

The Mast nowe meuyth the taklynge and the sayle 
O god wythsaue the wayke shyp to socour 
From the fals Herytikes that dayly it assayle 
With great violence and manyfolde rygour 
For with fals Doctryne, conteynynge great errour 
The holy scriptures some labour to expounde 
But the true fayth full pyteously is drowned 

Thus fals Antichrist, the fayth of Christ to stent 
Into the wyde worlde his messangers doth sende 
As swyfr Currours, onely for that intent 
His Tentis to prepare, his Army to defende 
And to cause the Chrysten to hym to confydence 
By the fals sede of errour that they sawe 
Before his corny nge agaynst our fayth and lawe 

Of the fahhode of Antichrist. 229 

But thre maner thynges I fynde that be ccrtayne 
Whiche ar well worthy for to be notyd here 
For they our fayth support, defende and meyntayne 
The firste is the wysdome and great grace that apere 
From a Bysshops mouth by doctryne playne and clere 
But ouer the worlde if that poynt were well sought 
For the most part it slepeth and is set at nought 

The seconde is of Bokes store and abundaunce 

Whorin ar the lawes of Christ our sauyour 

Whiche rottyth nowe, the cause why in substaunce 

Is for they haue no iust interpretour 

Of the holy lawes, nor good exposytour 

The thyrde is Doctryne, wysdome, and scyence 

But that nowe decayeth by slouth and neglygence 

And if that a man haue cunnynge parfytely 
Labourynge by it to make men leue theyr vyce 
The rude commontye shall set no thynge hym by 
Therfore we nowe our selfe moste exercyse 
In cunnynge to wyn coyne : by blynde Couetyse 
Or some other blyndnes and conceytis newe 
Whiche neyther sleyth vyce, ne shewyth vs vertue 

Of bokis is plenty ynoughe in euery place 

And some but pore theyr Shoppes haue stuffyd full 

But fewe or none haue pleasour nor solace 

The same to stody theyr myndes ar so dull 

The ryche stodyeth, all, from the pore to pull 

Disdaynynge to set his mynde on gode doctryne 

For none saue the pore doth nowe therto inclyne 

2 3 Of the fahhode of Antichrist. 

Suche as ar noble and excellent of fame 

To rede in bokes of wysdome haue great scorne 

The noble and holy lawe this wyse is lame 

And wytty Pallas so by the here is torne 

I mean that wysdome hir greuous fall doth morne 

For they that to hir doctryne moste aply 

Can get no laude, but malyce and enuy 

No mede ne rewarde is gyuen to wysdome 
Thus is the labour of stody lost in vayne 
By suche neglygence, alas the tyme is come 
That fals Prophetis our holy fayth distayne 
They all shall turne if fauour them meyntayne 
And if they that preche for mede and vyle rewarde 
Shall them supportyth : our case shall be full harde 


O ye that to Antichrist disciples be 
Or fore messangers the chrysten to accloy 
Corruptynge the lawes by your iniquyte 
Alas what may I vnto you nowe enuoy 
Your wycked errour your soules shall destroy 
Wherfore I pray you your herte therfro withdrawe 
Els shall ye haue Hell payne destytute of ioy 
v none ar saued that corrupt goddes lawe. 

Of hym that dare nat vtter the trouth for 
fere of displeasour or punysshement. 

Who euer he be, that for loue, fere or mede 
For fauour, thretnynge or suche lyke accydence 
Sayth nat the trouth lyke as it is in dede 
But stoppeth his mouth, and kepeth so sylence 
To please the people allowynge theyr offence 
And sparynge theyr fautes, it playnly doth apere 
Suche to Antichrist is frende and messangcr 

2 3 2 Qffy m that dare nat vtter the trouth 

Many hath a mynde redy prompt and clere 

To knowlege, and to preche the very lawe dyuyne 

And to say the trouth lyke as it doth apere 

But oft, suche, by flatery or thretenynge declyne 

From the way of trouth and verytable lyne 

And so holy trouth and godly veryte 

By fere they leue, disdaynynge it to se 

Sothly I may say they vnderstonde nat right 
That for loue or fere : dare nat the trouth expres 
But hydeth it away from mannys syght 
Doutynge displeasour of them that haue ryches 
Thus is the power of wordly wretchydnea. 
More in theyr myndes than the commaundement 
And chefe preceptis of god omnypotent 

Why sholde he fere to preche and to expres 
The lawes of god gyuen vnto mankynde 
To whome our lorde of his great goodnes 
Hath sende chefe gyftis : as reason of his mynde 
With wyt and wysdome : the way therof to fynde 
To fayne or to lye to hym it is great foly 
Whiche hath the reason the trouth to forty fy 

But for that flaterynge so many doth ouercome 
And rewardes, lettyth the trouth for to apere 
Therfore the Fole, that sholde say trouth is dum 
Hackynge his wordes that no man may them here 
And if he knowe that any one is nere 
Infect and scabbyd, he dare no worde let slyp 
But layeth his fynger anone before his lyp 

for fere of displeasour or punysshement, 223 

But suche a wyse man as Vyrgyll doth discrybe 

Is stedfast, fereles, constant farme and stable 

Nat lettynge, nor leuynge for fauour, loue, nor brybe 

The trouth to shewe, and blame the reprouable 

Ponderyrige the furour of them that ar culpable 

And blamynge the same, playne and openly 

For veryte and trouth nat doutynge for to dye 

The wyse man to vtter the trouth is nat aferde 
Thugh he sholde be closyd within the bull of bras 
Of Phalaris, the tyraunt : or if a naked swerde 
Henge ouer his necke his lyfe so to oppres 
For he that is wyse perfytely : doutles 
Hath so establysshyd his mynde the trouth to say 
That daunger of deth can hym no thynge affray 

No lorde nor man of hye ne lowe degre 

Nor thretnynge wordes, ne other punysshement 

Can cause suche one in any poynt to lye 

He showyth out the lawes of god omnypotent 

In wordes playne, nat fals ne fraudelent 

Nat ferynge to touche the foly and errour 

Of Pope nor prelate, kynge ne emperour 

Saynt Johnn the baptyst our lordes messanger 
Withdrewe hym selfe into secrete wyldernes 
Nat wyllynge amonge the people to apere 
For theyr vayne grutchis and wylfull frowardnes 
Yet dyd he euer the very trouth expres 
As true messanger, the worlde to despyse 
Therfore had he grace our sauyour to baptyse 

2 34 Of hym that dare nat vtter the trouth. 

He that doth one with pleasaunt worde correct 
And colde pacyence that he may condiscende 
To lerne the wayes his vyces to abiect 
And take example his lyuynge to amende 
Vnto thy wordes though he nat than intende 
But the beholde with lokes sharp and harde *". 
Yet tyme shall come whan he shall the rewarde 

If he in hym haue any droppe of grace 

He shall conuerte, rewardynge thy counsell 

Therfor I say who euer is in that case 

For worldly ryches, the trouth nat playne to tell 

Puttynge bodely profyte before eternall well 

Suche shall dye a Fole blynde and ignoraunt 

And may to Antichrist be callyd pursuyuaunt. 

O precher thou deth ought rather to endure 
Than for loue, fauour, fere or punysshement 
The veryte to cloke, or make the trouth obscure 
Or to hyde the lawes of god omnypotent 
And if that any vnto thy deth assent 
For prechynge trouth : receyue it paciently 
So hath many sayntis theyr blode and lyues spent 
Rather than they wolde hyde veryte, or lye 

Of folys that withdrawe and let other 
to do good dedes. 

He that wyll walke in the ryght way of vertue 
And worshyp trouth iustyce and rightwysnes 
And stody all pleasours mundayne to eschewe 
Subduynge the flesshe and fende with his falsnes 
Oft tymes suche one shall fynde contraryousnes 
And byde and endure losse with aduersyte 
By enuy of them that lewde and wycked be 

2 3 6 Qffb 5 ^at withdraws 

He is a naturall Fole : and eke a dawe 
And all his blode corrupt with folysshnes 
Whiche labours to let, hynder and withdrawe 
Good men and iust from dedes of goodnes 
I wyll nat say, but some, there be doutles 
That assay to folowe good maners and vertue 
By stedfast lyfe, all synne for to subdue 

But than thou fole : with all thy force and myght 
Withdrawest hym backwarde full malyciously 
Assaynge to hurt his wyll to good and right 
Whiche he purposyd to kepe contynually 
Thou hym withdrawest : this is the reason why 
That a Fole hath chefe pleasour and confort 
To haue all other lyke hym of the same sort 

A fole is glad his nomber to augment 
And euer is besy them namely to pursue 
To hate and manace with malyce vyolent 
Whiche Justly lyue in goodnes and vertue 
But vyce hym pi easy th, for that doth he insue 
A fole fast stodyeth to hym to drawe echone 
Lyst he of foly myght bere the name alone 

He gyueth counsell fals and reprouable 
With all his myght to hym attysynge mo 
Or els them troublyth by wordes moch vnstable 
Whiche ar iust men, euer wyllynge good to do 
A prysoner lyenge longe in payne and wo 
Hath consolacion and great confort certayne 
To haue many mo be partnes of his payne 

and let other to do good dedes. 237 

Therfore if any whiche hath that gyft of grace 
For to, despyse this worldes wretchydnes 
Withdrawynge hym selfe to some solytary place 
Anone this Fole lyuynge in viciousnes 
Cryeth out, and blamyth suche parfyte holynes 
This iust man condemnynge by wrongful! iugement 
Bycause his lyuynge is nat after his intent 

Suche frowarde folys all goodnes thus defyle 
By wordes iniurious, and oft we here and se 
That with suche wordes the good men they reuyle 
Saynge one to other, lo yonder same is he 
Whiche without make thynketh hym wyse to be 
Secretnes he loueth, and theder is he gone 
Nought can hym pleas, saue that whiche is alone 

In christ and his sayntes he lyueth in dispayre 

All worldly pleasour despysynge vtterly 

He loueth nat to come in open ayre 

But lorkyth in cornes by fals Ipocrysy 

But we with our felawes lyue alway merely 

And though we in erth oft tymes do amys 

Yet hope we hereafter to come to heuyns blysse 

Who that hym gydeth by reason and wysdome 
Folowynge the way of parfyte righwysnes 
Intendynge therby vnto hye heuen to come 
Shall here suche wordes of foly and lewdnes 
Spoken of these folys lyuynge in viciousnes 
And no meruayle, for thou shalt neuer se 
That synners shall with vertuous men agre 

238 Ofjblys that let others to do good dedes. 

Alas thus conuersacyon worldly or mundayne 
Is moche noysora, and so great preiudyce 
That oft of vertue it maketh man barayne 
And hym corruptyth with many a greuous vyce 
And synners labour with all theyr myght to attyse 
Vnto theyr lyuynge, corrupt and detestable 
Suche as of lyuynge ar vertuous and laudable 

Therfore if vertue, good lyfe and honestye 
By thy selfwyllyd, and owne malyciousnes 
Can nat haue place ne rowme to be in the 
Yet trouble thou nat by thy vngraciousnes 
Suche as ar good and lyue in rightwysnes 
Fauour the good, and suffer hym precede 
That is in the way of vertue and good dede 

Amende thy lyfe man : expell thou thy offence 
Submyttynge thy selfe vnto the true doctryne 
Of godly wysdome ensuynge hir prudence 
Wherin is groundyd scripture and lawe dyuyne 
But if that thou wylt nat therto inclyne 
By thy owne malyce and wylfull frowardnes 
Yet hynder them nat, that go after the lyne 
Of good instruccion, and vertuous goodnes. 

Of the omyssyon or leuynge of 
good warkes. 

It is nat ynoughe to here a lampe in hande 
But also thou must haue oyle and lyght therin 
By whiche saynge : this thynge I vnderstande 
That, man nat onely ought for to leue all syn 
But also to do good : suche shall heuyn wyn 
Heuyns yatis shall be opened to them anone 
Whiche do good dedys, after vyce fro them is gone 

240 Of the omyssyon or leuynge 

O hertis of men in wylfull errpur drowned 

And through neglygence oppressyd sore in payne 

Though your yll lyuynge hath brought you to the grounde 

Seke the way of helth : and so ryse vp agayne 

But playne I se whiche causeth me complayne 

The myndes of all men beryed in derknes 

None feryth punysshement of goddis rightwysnes 

Alas mannes lyfe graffyd in synne and vyce 
Contynuyth in vylenes, we plunge in the see 
Our woundyd hertis : disdaynynge to aryse 
Out of the slomber of our iniquyte 
Alas man it is but small auayle to the 
The deuylles lawes, and vyces to eschewe 
Without thou withall sue goodnes and vertue 

So to do good dedes it is a thynge laudable 
As the Churche of god to support and meyntayne 
In paynge tythes to be true and verytable 
And in thy yonge age from vyces to abstayne 
Folowynge vertue in dedes true and playne 
And nyght and day to set thy mynde and wyll 
All other poyntis of the lawe to fulfyll 

But than in age for to go out of kynde 

Thy lyfe defylynge with lewde mysgouernaunce 

It lytell auaylyth as I thynke in my mynde 

A whyle to lyue well, in suche inconstance 

What helpeth it a whyle to haue a short plesance 

The stedfast fayth for to folowe by vertue 

And nat in the same alway to contynue 

of good warkes. 24 1 

.At last whan god shall iuge all marikynde 
And that the trompes sounde shall them vp call 
Vnto his iugement : nat leuynge one behynde 
Than shall there be made a count in generall 
And eche man shall showe out his dedes .all 
Bothe great, and small, receyuynge theyr rewarde 
Some of great ioy : and some of paynes harde 

He that wyll there haue ioy of god almyght 

Must haue his Lampe clere and yllumynate 

And of gode dedes shewynge abrode the lyght 

But whan the Lampe here is voyde or maculate 

And in the kyndlynge therof is slowe or late 

As wyllynge to do well, whan his lyue dayes ar wore 

He often is disceyued, and abusyd right sore 


He is vnware, and clene without wysdome 

That doth no good dedes longynge to charyte 

Tyll the extreme houre of bytter deth do come 

So moche hopynge, and trustynge euer is he 

In hope of recoueraynge from his infyrmyte 

That nought he caryth those wordes that Christ shall say 

Sharply to synners at Domys dredefull day 

But if a wyse man by deth sodaynly fall 
Whiche caryth to prepare his ende before he dye 
His deth ought to be rewed nowght atall 
Syth he here hath lyuyd well and vertuously 
And sende his good dedes of pyte and mercy 
Before deth to make for his soule purueaunce 
O well is hym that hath suche remembraunce 


242 Of the omyssyon or leuynge 

By vertuous dede to prouyde a place before 
With god in the glorious heuen Imperyall 
Where as is lyfe that last shall euer more 
Euerlastynge lyght, and ioy perpetuall 
But that blynde fole shall haue a greuous fall 
Whiche nat inclyneth to vertue nor wysdome 

Nor any good dede tyll his last ende be come 


Suche folys hath nought but foly them within 

Whiche vnto the ferefull day of iugement 

If they sholde lyue, wolde alway lyue in syn 

Nat dredynge infernall payne ne punysshement 

But whan this blynde wretche hath thus his dayes spent 

The grounde hath his Carkas, there his Corps must dwell 

His sory soule beryed in the paynes of hell 

Alas we folowe mortall thynges here 
Vnsure incertayne : and all without wysdome 
And as by our folysshe maners doth appere 
We despyse prouysyon for the tyme to come 
These worldly chargis doth folys thus ouercome 
Fewe hath theyr myndes on god ne gode, stedfast 
Thus meruayle nat, if god despyse them at the last 


O christen soules if ye wyll haue the syght 
Of glorious god in his Royalme celestyall 
Whan ye haue syn ouercome by godly myght 
Ye most you indeuer to do good dedes withall 

of good warkes. 243 

The lampe of thy soule clerely bren than shall 
And at heuen gates knocke, and thou shalt come in 
For that is rewarde, with ioy eternall 
To them that do good : fleynge from wretchyd syn 

But those wretchyd folys whose lampes lackyth lyght 
By remysse myndes, slouth, or wylfull neglygence 
May nat well clayme of our sauyour to haue syght 
Nor to haue Rowme or place in his presence 


Therfore to my wordes, o man gyue aduertence 
Do vertuous dedes, and also vyce refrayne 
Than without dout for this thy hye prudence 
Thou shalt in heuen a glorious place obtayne 

Of the rewarde of wysdome. 

Two wayes lyeth before eche mannys syght 
Of the whiche wayes man nedys one must holde 
The one lyeth leftwarde, the other lyeth right 
At whose ende we oft may se a crowne of golde 
But at the leftis, ende, ar erys many folde 
In sygne of Foly, and many folys be 
Whiche leftwarde go, sekynge captyuyte 

Of the rewards of wysdome. 245 

O Folys of pardon I you requyre and pray 

And vnto you I shall also gyue the same 

Take no displeasour with that that I shall say 

And though my balade your maners touche or blame. 

Nowe shall I wryte what laude what mede and fame 

Ar gyuen to wysdome vertue and rightwysnes 

And what is rewarde moste mete for viciousnes 

Many ar whiche greatly desyreth an hye name 
And famous honour, or tytyll of dignyte 
Some ar desyrous, to spred abrode theyr fame 
To be callyd Doctours, or maysters of degre 
Moste clere in wysdome of the vnyuersyte 
But these names coueyt they nat for this intent 
The christen to infourme, that of wyt ar indigent 

Nor in holy doctrine them self to occupy 

As in scripture or lawes of Christ our sauyour 

Or other godly techynge our fayth to fortyfy 

But onely they ar drawen and led to this errour 

For desyre of fame, vayne lawde, and great honour 

Suche walke in the way that is on the left syde 

On rockes and clyffis and hyghe mountayns of pryde 

They leue the right way of goodnes and vertue 
Of iustyce and wysdome, hauynge no thought atall 
Howe they myght ignoraunt myndes with them endue 
And fede them with that sauour delycious and royall 
And other with theyr wordes hye and retorycall 
Theyr sentences paynt in fauour for to come 
Or therby to purchace a name of hye wysdome 

246 Of the rewarde ofwysdome. 

But sothly all worldly wysdome and prudence 

Vsyd here in erth, is before god almyght 

Of none effect, and all worldly scyence 

Is but as foly in that hye lordes syght 

Thus many one beleue that they go right 

And towarde the right hande vnto the way of helth 

By theyr vayne pleasours, lust and worldly welth 

They suppose to walke in the way of rightwysnes 

Whiche bryngeth man by gode labour contynuall 

Vnto the endles ioy, and seat of blessydnes 

Of the hye kyngdome and place celestyll 

But neuertheles, ignoraunt foly with hir pall 

So blyndeth theyr myndes, that they nat vnderstande 

Mean to kepe duly the path on the right hande 

That way is harde, streyght, and full of diffyculte 
Whiche mankynde ledyth to the heuenly regyon 
But that way is brode, easy and playne to se 
Whiche ledeth man to Hellys depe donygon 
Therfore thou must stablysshe thy intencion 
(If thou wylt be partyner of heuenly ioy and chere) 
To despyse vayne pleasour whyle thou art lyuynge here 

Thou art vnwyse, if that thou set thy thought 
To wyn heuenly ioy by worldly pleasour 
Or to take that thynge whiche thou neuer bought 
Or aske rewarde where thou dyd no labour 
And surely he whiche lyueth in errour 
Folowynge his foly in vyce without all shame 
Shall haue iust rewardes accordynge to the same 

Of the rewarde ofwysdome. 247 

Also the wyse that lyueth rightwysely 
Shall nat depart without rewarde and mede 
But be rewardyd right well and worthely 
With gyftis of heuen, whiche sothly shall excede 
In valour, all the worlde in lenght and brede 
This ioy that I of speke, so passynge in valour 
Is the holy presence of Christ our sauyour 

So Plato dyd folysshe company eschewe 

And all other folyes procedynge of the same 

Walkynge in the way of goodnes and vertue 

Wherby he wan, laude and immortall fame 

But nowe worldly wysdone hath so corrupt the name 

That none it makyth happy vertuous nor wyse 

But hym that with hert and mynde doth it despyse 

Lerne man, lerne, wysdome to vnderstonde 
For trust me though that the way of viciousnes 
And dedely synne, lyenge on the left hande 
Seme full of pleasour and wanton lustynes 
At the ende is dolour wo and wretchydnes 
Mysery vexacion and euerlastynge payne 
And if sodayne deth in this way the : oppres 
To late shall it be for retourne agayne 

Auoyde thou therfore this left and frowarde way 
For a short pleasour take nat eternall payne 
Go on the right hande in as moche as thou may 
And whan thou art there retourne thou nat agayne 

248 Of the rewarde ofwysdome. 

And though the path be nat moche smothe and playne 
But full of sharpe thornes whiche shall the hurte and noy 
Yet at the ende, thou shalt come to certayne 
A heuenly castell replete with myrth and ioy 

Of the despysynge of mysfortune. 

He is a fole and greatly reprouable 

Whiche seyth and felyth suerly in his mynde 

That all his dedes ar moche infortunable 

And where euer he go agaynst hym is the wynde 

But in his mysfortune yet is he so blynde 

That he is improuydent, abydynge wyllyngly 

Despysynge (thoughe he myght) for to fynde remedy 

2 5 Of the despysynge of mysfortune. 

The greuous fallys of men from theyr degre 
The frayle chaunsys, and aduersyte sodayne 
And of vnsure fortune the mutabylyte 
Whiche we se dayly, shewyth vnto vs playne 
That in all thynges that to men apertayne 
Is no Constance, trust or confydence 
Nor sure degre, or stable permanence 

For these vayne thynges the whiche we outwarde se 

Syns they ar so caduke in condicion frayle 

Can none make perfyte in true felycyte 

But that somtyme he may fynde cause to wayle 

Nor no man by preuate wysdome or counsayle 

Nor strength, or labour can make a warke so fast 

But that it shall perysshe and decay at the last 

But here I purpose of suche a Fole to wryte 
To whom eche fortune is aduers and contrary 
And yet hath he chefe pleasour and delyte 
With all his mynde and herte for to apply 
To thynges of fortune, that contynually 
Of cruell chauncis he hath but lytell hede 
Trustynge afterwarde moche better for to spede 

He is nat ware, but bare without wysdome 
That can nat consyder surely in his mynde 
That whan one yll is past : as bad may after come 
If he hym ieparde to suche lyke storme and wynde 
Let suche nat thynke it thynge against kynde 
Nor any meruayle if theyr shyp without ore 
Mast or sayle, be drownyd rent and tore 

Of the despysynge of mysfortune. 251 

If any mysfortune happen on the to fall 

At the begynnynge of thynge that thou wolde do 

If thou go farther may fortune that thou shall 

Haue after that same, other yllys many mo 

For wyse men sayth, and oft it fallyth so 

As it is wryten and sayd of many one 

That one myshap fortuneth neuer alone 

An yll fortune growyth alway more and more 
The ende oft is greuous : and euer vncertayne 
And if thou hast had one mysfortune before 
Another lyke sone, may after fall, agayne 
Thou mayst se example before the elere and playne 
By dyuers changes whiche playnly thou mayst se 
By fallys contynuall, full of aduersyte 

Thus fortune floweth oft synkynge at the last 
And playne shall perysshe if thou the space abyde 
Thus happy is he that is of mynde stedfast 
Doynge his deuoyr the same ay to prouyde 
So muste he do whiche hath desyre to abyde 
In suertye and rest : for dayly thou mayst se 
Howe ferefull fortune sodaynly crepys on the 

Who that dare auenture or ieparde for to rowe 
Vpon the se swellynge by wawes great and hye 
In a weyke vessell, had nede that wynde sholde blowe 
Styll, soft, and cawme, lyst that he, fynally 
And also his shyp : stande in great ieopardy 
Throwyn with the flodes on the se depe and wyde 
And drowned at the last : or rent the syde fro syde 

252 Of the despysynge of my sf or tune. 

And also he whiche hath no craft nor skyll 

And dare auenture on the wylde se to rowe 

By his rasshe mynde his mad brawne and self wyll 

No meruayle is if the wawes hym ouer flowe 

And if he than escape and be nat clene ouerthrowe 

If he after dare ieoparde hym selfe agayne 

To the same peryll : he is a fole certayne 

But he is wyse, and so men may hym call 

Whiche hath nat alway his trust and confydence 

In vnsure fortune and chaunsys inequall 

And of the same can beware by prudence 

That man is haphy, and shall fle the violence 

And furour of the see, though it moche rughly moue 

And with his shyp enter the heuenly port aboue 


Beware of mysfortune, ye men, in that ye may 
And in that thynge that comyth vnfortunate 
Precede nat : but your mynde drawe ye away 
And if by good fortune that ye be eleuate 
To some hye rowme conuenyent for a state 
Whyle ye ar there, ye ought you euen to bere 
For myshape prouydynge both erly and late 
And than if it come ye nede nat greatly fere 

We haue late sene some men promotyd hye 
For whose sharpnes all men fered theyr name 
But for they toke on them than theyr degre 
Myght nat support : they fell down in great shame 

Of the despysynge of mysfortune. 253 

But well myght they haue contynued without blame 
If they had kept them within theyr boundes well 
By right and iustyce : but oft full yll.they frame 
That wyll be besy with to hye thynges to mell 

Of bacbyters of good men and of them 
y* shal disprayse this warke. 

Oft so it hapneth that he that is vnwyse 
With his lewde tunge, and mouth full of enuy 
Doth wyse men and iust sclaunder and despyse 
About the Cattis necke suche men a bell doth tye 
Thynkynge that theyr dedes may be kept secretely 
And to haue no name therof they thynke echone 
But yet the dogge cryeth, stryken with the bone 

Of bacbyters of good men. 255 

No we shall wyse men enioy and haue pleasaunce 
With inwarde myrth and also outwarde sport 
With mery lokes of chere and of countenaunce 
Seynge that we haue gathred so great a sort 
Of folys in one boke : To rede to theyr confort 
The wyse men shall enioy ; and they that loue vertue 
That we by craft haue forged this Nauy newe 

Our shyp sayleth nat abrode vnto presence 
Vnto the rebuke of vertuouse men and wyse 
For in suche is small faut, synne, or offence 
Wherfore no man ought them blame or despyse 
We coueyte nat to perysshe theyr fame in any wyse 
But pray god in ioy to contynue them a lyue 
And that yll lyuers may mende, or neuer thryue 

Amende may they well if they lyst to take hede 
For here haue we gyuen them holsome medecyne 
To rule theyr lyfe, also we haue in dede 
Vnto them gyuen, of maners, good doctryne 
Who lyst them to rede, and to them to inclyne 
If he be wyse : he shall auoyde doutles 
The clowdes of synne : and nettis of folysshnes 

Suche I commende as ar worthy great honour 
But other be whiche sore I hurt and blame 
By my wrytynge : for theyr mysbehauour 
Syns that of Folys they well deserue the name 
Yet may they nat (without theyr owne great shame) 
Disprayse my wrytynge boldly by any way 
Nor rasshly yll wordes ayenst the same to say 

256 Of bacbyters of good men. 

Yet dout I naf: but surely knowe it well 
That some shall "be whiche ayenst my wrytynge 
With harde and frowarde wordes shall rebell 
And it contynue, and hurt in euery thynge 
But if that suche be wyse men and cunnynge 
They shall my youth pardone, and vnchraftynes 
Whiche onely translate, to eschewe ydelnes 

But if some other be troubled by enuy 
As brybours to barke agaynst my besynes 
They ought to cesse, for my boke certaynly 
I haue compyled, for vertue and goodnes 
And to reuyle foule synne and viciousnes 
At first begynnynge lyke as I toke the charge 
Requyrynge pardon if 1 haue ben to large 

To wryte playne trouth was my chefe mynde and wyll 

But if any thynke that I hyt hym to nere 

Let hym nat grutche but kepe hym coy and styll 

And clawe were it itchyth so drawynge hym arere 

For if he be hasty, it playnly shall apere 

That he is fauty, gylty, and culpable 

So shall men repute hym worthy of a bable 

But be they angry or be they well apayde 

This thynge oft prouyd is by experyence 

He that is gylty thynketh all that is sayde 

Is spokyn of hym, and touchynge his offence 

I fele well the hyssynge and malyuolence 

Of some enuyours whiche doth my warke disdayne 

But my playne Balade comfortyth me agayne 

Of bacbyters of good men. 257 

Suche Folys namely agaynst my boke shall barke 

As nought haue in them but synne and viciousnes 

Leuynge all besynes vertuous and good warke 

And gyuynge them selfe to slouth and ydylnes 

Horace the poet doth in his warke expres 

That both wyse and vnwyse dyuers warkes wryte 

Some to gode : and pleasour, and some but small profyte 

But if my warke be nat moche delactable 

Nor gayly payntyd with termys of eloquence 

I pray that at lest it may be profytable 

To brynge men out of theyr synne and olde offence 

Into the noble way of good intellygence 

I care nat for folysshe bacbyters, let them passe 

The swete Cymball is no pleasour to an asse 

Melodyous myrth to bestis is vncouthe 

And the swete graffis of wysdome and doctryne 

Sauoureth no thynge within a folys mouthe 

Whiche to the same disdayneth to inclyne 

Cast precious stones or golde amonges swyne 

And they had leuer haue dreggis fylth or chaffe 

No meruayle : for they : were norysshed vp with draffe 

Therfore o reders I you exort and pray 
Rede ouer this warke well and intentyfly 
Expell hye mynde, put statelynes away 
Barke nat therat : loke nat theron awry 
With countenaunce pale expressynge your enuy 
If ought be amysse : of that take ye no hede 
Tend to the best than shall ye haue the mede 


258 Of bacbyters of good men. 

Be pleased withall, and if that ye ought fynde 
Nat ordred well, and as it ought to be 
Whiche may displeas or discontent your mynde 
In wantonnes, or in to and grauyte 
Or sharply spoken with to great audacyte 
Vnto your correccion all hole I do submyt 
If ought be amys it is for lacke of wyt. 

Ye folys enuyous detractynge eche good dede 
Expell your malyce, and, yre, and ougly syn 
And to your selfe, and your owne warke take hede 
Howe yll infect and foule ye ar within 
Correct your selfe : so sholde ye first begyn 
And than teche other to vertue to aply 
And nat by malyce on them to grutche and gryn 
Or behynde theyr backe them sclaunder by enuy 

Of immoderate vylenes, in maners, vsyd 
at the table. 

It is thynge laufull : and nat vncommendable 

To louche the yll maners, the foule and lothsome wayes 

Whiche dyuers folys nowe vsyth at the table 

Whiche ar so past all shame, that nowe a dayes 

But fewe or none, there honest wordes sayes 

Of pleasaunt norture they haue no care nor hede 

But bestely intende as swyne theyr wombe to fede 

260 Of immoderate vylenes, 

I thought that I had fyllyd suffyciently 

This boke with folys : and men persuynge syn 

And endyd my rebukes : but yet one company 

(Of other folys doth) vnto my nauy ryn 

Cryeng with lowde voyce : captayne abyde, haue in 

I kest an Anker : and restynge at that worde 

Sende forth a bote : them to receyue abrode 

But vnderstonde ye what company they be : 

I you ensure that fewe of all the sort 

Ar gyuen greatly to disceyt or sotylte 

In couetyse, or gayne haue fewe of them comfort 

But they echone that to this shyp resorte 

Ar lothsome Folys of norture clene pryuate 

Fedynge at theyr mete : euyn after swynys rate 

In shamefull vse : -voyde of all shamefastnes 

All theyr hole dedes : ar without reuerence 

But lyke to vnresonable bestis in vylenes 

Bytwene them and swyne as lytell difference 

They spare no coyne, no coste, nor yet expence 

But brede, and mete, dayntyes, bere, ale, and wyne 

They drynke, and deuour, lyke wyse as it were swyne 

The first of this sort whome I intende to blame 
Ar suche as intende theyr lothsome wombe to fede 
Or theyr face be wasshyd or handes : and the same 
Do they or they say theyr Aue, or theyr Crede 
As for theyr Pater noster : of it take they no hede 
And for the great gyftis that they of god obtayne 
They render no gracis ne thankes to hym agayne 

in maners, vsyd at the table. 261 

Theyr lyppis ar foule, dryuelynge on euery syde 
Within theyr handes is vyle fylth and ordure 
Theyr noses droppynge, in vylenes is theyr pryde 
Theyr iyen rawky, and all theyr face vnpure 
By suche vylenes disfygure they nature 
Theyr chekis dyrty : Theyr tethe by rustynes 
Blacke, foule, and rottyn, expressyth theyr vylenes 

No honestye, maner, norture nor clenlynes 
Is in these wretchys, for they the same disdayne 
He is kynge of dronkardes and of dronkenes 
Reputyd of them : the whiche is moste vylayne 
As gruntynge and drynkynge, rebokynge vp agayne 
And that can excyte his felawes to glotony 
Techynge them the bowles and pottis to occupy 

Some drynkes : some quaxes the canykyn halfe full 
And some all out, chargynge hym in suche wyse 
That the wyne semyth for to ryue his skull 
That he hath no power from the borde to ryse 
Than bokes he all vp after the comon gyse 
(So longe he drynkyth) yet other haue no shame 
Seynge all the table couered with the same 

Than drynke they about, euery fole to other 

In order : but he that doth forsake the pot 

Shall no more be taken as felawe frende and brother 

But cast out of company, callyd fole and sot 

The other stryue drynkynge, echone by lot 

It nought auayleth these caytyfs to reuyle 

Shewynge howe this vse theyr soulys doth defyle 

262 Of immoderate vylenes, 

It weryeth the bodye, by anger and syknes 

Styrynge it to wrath, to fyghtynge and varyaunce 

Nought is wors than contynuall dronkenes 

For dyuers sores, great sekenes and greuaunce 

Procedyth therof by longe contynuaunce 

It lowsyth the body, troublynge eche ioynt and vayne 

The wyt it wastyth, blyndynge the mynde and brayne 

O cursyd maners, o vse abhomynable 
O bestelynes, agaynst nature humayne 
Whether is become the reuerence of the table 
The moderate honour of it is lost agayne 
Where is Curius and abstynence souerayne 
Where is olde Persymony wont to be so gode 
Where is the olde mesure of mannys lyfe and fode 

Where is the bryght worshyp therof nowe become 

Where is the clenlynes, and maners euerychone 

Of the borde or table, vsed amonge some 

Of our fore Faders that nowe ar dede and gone 

But we vse nought but bestelynes alone 

In worde and dede corrupt with vylany 

In stede of good talkynge vse we rybawdry 

Gone is the honour and costomes moderate 
Mesure is despysyd : ryght so is honestye 
With bye and lowe : both pore man and estate 
Yet at the table another vse we se 
Whiche is vnlaufull, and ought nat vsed be 
That folys at the borde haue oft the hyest stage 
The boy lokes to syt before a man of age 

in maners, vsyd at the table. 263 

Thus is no order obseruyd at the table 
Honestye hath the hyest place no more 
But eche man is reputyd honorable 
After his ryches, his treasour and his store 
The vyle Churle shall syt and drynke before 
Thus at the table is gyuen all honour 
Nat after vertue, but after vayne treasour 

To mannys maners no respect they haue 

They take gode and yll almoste indifferently 

A gentyl man somtyme is set beneth a knaue 

Without honestye, and moche vnreuerently 

But whan these bestis hath set them selfe thus hye 

In handlynge or tastynge, mete, bere, ale, or wyne 

Them selfe behaue they moche bestelyer than swyne 

One swalloweth into his throte a soppe or twayne 

Another drunkard, goth to, so hastely 

That all together he castyth vp agayne 

Another with fyngers foule and vnmanerly 

Tossyth vp the mete, or lyftyth it a hye 

Vnto his foule nose holdynge it to wete 

If it may lyke hym : and if the sent be swete 

Some drynketh, the lycour on euery syde rennynge 
Of his vyle mouth pollute : foule and horryble 
Some whan the cuppis ar empty hyely synge 
Some voyde mo cuppis than man wolde thynke possyble 
And other some, galons : so that theyr ioyntis ar feble 
They vomytynge agayne, rorynge vnmanerly 
Troublynge the ayre, with barkynge, noyse and cry 

264 Of immoderate vylenes, 

Some synge, and reuell as in bacchus sacryfyce 

As rauysshyd with furour, whiche Bacchus doth blynde 

Theyr myndes : attysynge them vnto euery vyce 

And loke whome this sort moste vngoodly can fynde 

He shall the horde haue ruled by his mynde 

He brastyth a glasse or cup at euery worde 

So that the drynke ouercouereth all the borde 

Some pull from theyr felawes with hande rauysshynge 
And from that mease that nere to them doth syt 
They taste the swettest and best of euery thynge 
Thus Sardanapalus : whiche onely dyd commyt 
His mynde to vyle lust : without reason or wyt 
Hath nowe many felawes : whome lust, corrupt and vyle 
Fedyth and whome lackynge of mesure doth defyle 

Suche ar best pleasyd with thynges Immoderate 
But what man can wryte all vylenes of the table 
And all the folyes vsyd in dyuers rate 
Syns wyse men lyue nat all in way semblable 
Theyr lyuynge and maners ar greatly varyble 
For euery Nacyon at table hathe his gyse 
Some we commende, and other some despyse 

The grekis Latyns, and the men of Almayne 
In theyr behauour many other thynges vse 
Agaynst the vse of Englonde, Fraunce or spayne 
The Turkes and Paynyms haue also in them mysuse 
And men of ynde these wayes afore, refuse 
Hauynge other maner : yet other them despyce 
Thus euery Nacion lyuynge hath his gyse 

in maners, vsyd at the table. 2 65 

Mennys maners ar moche dyuers and varyable 
Theyr wyll vnlyke in pleasour and solace 
Eche royalme hath fedynge dyuers at the table 
And dyuers is theyr lyfe almost in euery place 
Yet ought they all with herte and mynde to embrace 
Wyse talkynge, and maners longynge to honeste 
Auoydynge foule wordes, and bestyalyte 

The swynes lyuynge we all ought to eschewe 

In worde and dede we ought to auoyde excesse 

With communycacion, of goodnes, and vertue 

Folowynge the way of honest clenlynesse 

And with all our herte, our mynde, and lowe mekenes 

Yelde thankes and gracis to god omnypotent 

For suche goodes, as he : vnto vs hath sent 

We ar nat borne into this worlde here 
Alway to ete, as bestis vnresonable 
And euery houre : to vse suche bestely chere 
Ouerchargynge nature by vse abhomynable 
But to refresshe vs by wayes mesurable 
Our lyfe and body togyder to preserue 
And hour of melys, by dyete to obserue 

That mete and drynke shall do all men moste gode 

That is receyued without superflue exces 

To confort the body, and to norysshe the blode 

Our soule is a spyryt as scripture doth expres 

Wherfore it may nat rest in place of drynes 

So must we our blode norysshe and meyntayne 

For in the same our spyryte doth remayne 

266 Of immoderate vylenes vsyd at the table. 

But in euery thynge is ordre and mesure 
By to great exces, and superfluyte 
The soule arid lyfe, may by no mean indure 
And in lyke wyse by to great scarsyte 
But this we fynde that many one, mo dye 
By glotony, excesse, and lyuynge bestyall 
Than by hunger, knyfe, or deth naturall 

In lordes courtis were wont vsyd to be 

Code maners, worthy, honest and commendable 

Wherby all other myght lerne honestye 

But nowe ar the maners there no thynge laudable 

But corrupt, and foule, but namely at the table 

In dronken glotony is theyr chefe, sport and game 

And rybaude wordes without all fere and shame 

Norture fro them by suche vyce is exyled 

Theyr olde name, and fame of honestye 

Ar vnder fote, so worshyp is exylyd 

Nat onely from the court and men of hye degre 

But also from the symple comontee 

Both yonge and olde, vsyth suche excesse 

At tables, without maners of honest clenlynes. 

Ye men vnmanerde, to whome intellygence 
And wysdome ar gyuen, by the Prynce celestyall 
It is to you shame, that no maner difference 
Is bytwene your lyfe, and maners, bestyall 
And that at the table in chefe and pryncypall 
It is an olde saynge that man ought of dutye 
Behaue hym on hyll, lyke as he wolde in hall 
Vsynge and accostomynge hym to honestye 

Of folys disgysyd with vysers and other 
counterfayte apparayle. 

Democritus laughed to scorne and dyd despy se 
These folysshe games and worldly vanyte 
And suche folys as oft them selfe disgyse 
By counterfayt vysers exprssynge what they be 
But other wyse Cynicus a man of grauyte 
Oft tyrrie bewayled the bytter and harde chaunce 
Seynge in the worlde of folys suche abundaunce 

268 Qffty s disgysyd with vysers 

If Democritus sholde nowe agayne be borne 

Or in our tyme, if he lyued : doutles 

He sholde, the men nowe lyuynge laugh to scorne 

For theyr dyuers synnes and wylfull folysshenes 

And Crassus also, for all his great sadnes 

Sholde laugh to scorne, our folysshe lyfe and wayes 

Thoughe he neuer laughed but onys in all his dayes 

But namely sholde he laughe : if that he myght se 
The wayes of men in this our tyme lyuynge 
Howe they with vysers dayle disgysed be 
Them selfe difformynge almost in euery thynge 
Whan they ar disgysyd to them it is semynge 
That no syn is gret : nor soundynge to theyr shame 
Syns theyr foule vysers therof can cloke the fame 

To euery yll : theyr lewde lyfe doth them drawe 
They wander ragynge more madly in theyr vyce 
Than doth suche people as forsake goodes lawe 
Whan to theyr ydols they make theyr sacrifice 
Whose names to tell as for nowe I despyse 
But as for these Folys, arayed in theyr rage 
They kepe almost euyn suche lyke vsage 

The one hath a vyser vgly : set on his face 
Another hath on, vyle counterfayte vesture 
Or payntyth his vysage with fume in suche case 
That what he is hym selfe is skantly sure 
Another by pryde his wyt hath so obscure 
To hyre the busshe of one that late is dede 
Therwith to disgyse his folys dotynge hede 

and other counterfayte apparayle. 269 

Some counterfayte theyr tethe in a straynge wyse 
Some for a mocke hath on gowne of whyte 
And other some in straunge londes gyse 
Aray them selfe, eche after his delyte 
And other some besyde theyr vayne habyte 
Defyle theyr faces : so that playne trouth to tell 
They ar more fowle, than the blacke Deuyll of hell 

Than cary they theyr instrumentis musycall 
About : of theyr louers wyllynge to be sene 
And theyr wanton hertis for to disceyue withall 
But happy is she that can her selfe kepe clene 
From these mad folys : for all that euer they meane 
Is vnder theyr deuyls clothynge as they go 
The deuyllys workes for to commyt also 

They disceyue myndes chaste and innocent 
With dyuers wayes whiche I wyll nat expres 
Lyst that whyle I labour this cursyd gyse to stynt 
I myght to them mynyster example of lewdnes 
And therfore in this part I shall say les 
Than doth my actour : and that in dyuers clauses 
Whiche is nat done without suifycyent causes 

Many one whiche hath nat done amys 

All the hole yere : but kept hym from all vyce 

Fallyth vnto synne : whan this disgysynge is 

For some in baudy wordes them exercyce 

To venus warkes yonge wymen to attyce 

But all theyr maners : if that I sholde shewe playne 

It were to longe : and labour without gayne 

2 ^ o Qffty s disgysyd with vysers 

These folys that them selfe disgyseth thus 
In theyr lewde gestis doth outwarde represent 
The frowarde festis of the Idoll Saturnus 
And other disceytfull, goddes and fraudelent 
Or els rather : forsoth in myne intent 
That they ar wyckyd spiritis I byleue 
Sende out of hell (to erth) mankynde to greue 

With dyuers fassyons they hyde the same vysage 

r hiche god hath made vnto his owne lykenes 
And gyuen to Adam and all his hole lynage 
For to remember his excellent goodnes 
But these lewde wretchys by theyr folysshnes 
Defylyth nature, hauynge a chefe pleasaunce 
i For to disfygure theyr shape and countenaunce 

Yet haue they no fere of god : ne drede of shame 
Them selfe to disfygure this wyse agaynst kynde 
But besyde this : some them selfe fayneth lame 
Some counterfayt them as they were fully blynde 
And yonge gentylmen wyll nat abyde behynde 
Some them disgyse euyn as the other do 
And so go forth as folys amonge the mo 

Some goeth on four disfourmed as a bere 
Some fayne them croked, and some impotent 
Some with theyr fyngers theyr iyen abrode blere 
And yet that is wors : and worthy punysshement 
These folys disgysed moste set theyr intent 
On hyest dayes, and most solemne also 
In suche disfygured maner for to go 

and other counterfayt apparayle. 271 

As is christis feste or his Natyuyte 

At Ester, and moste speciall at wytsontyde 

Whan eche creature sholde best disposyd be 

Settynge all worldly vanytees asyde 

Than Venus stryfes accompanyed with pryde 

Ar led by daunsynge, and other them disgyse 

These holy festis alas thus they despyse 

Whan the bytter passyon of Christ our sauyour 

Sholde be remembred : these wretchyd folys ryn 

To theyr disgysynge, vanyte and errour 

To seke occasyon therby of dedely syn 

Thus lytell they coueyt the heuenly ioy to wyn 

With Crist our sauyour alas suche ryse to late 

For worldly synne them holdyth in one state 

Therfore let these Folys auoyde this mad mysuse 
And folowe the right way of vertuous grauyte 
Let them these lewde disgysynges clene refuse 
For nought is therin : saue worldly vanyte 
It is vnlefull, It can none other be 
Where god made man eche creature to excell 
Than man to make hym selfe a deuyll of hell 

I haue harde that a certayne man was slayne 
Beynge disgysyd as a Fowle fende horryble 
Whiche was anone caryed to hell payne 
By suche a fende. whiche is nat impossyble 
It was his right it may be so credyble 
For that whiche he caryed with hym away 
Was his vysage : and his owne leueray 

272 Qffty s disgysyd with vysers. 

Man be content with thy owne nature 
As god hath made the of shape and countenaunce 
Diffourme nat thy body, thy vysage or fygure 
Nor yet in vesture : in play, disgyse or daunce 
Art thou nat made to goddes owne semblaunce 
Than certaynely thou art greatly to blame 
By the blynde pryde of thy mysgouernaunce 
Presumptuously to counterfayt the same 

The descripcion of a wyse man. 


A man that is gode: endued with sapience 

Repreuyth dedys nat good ne commendable 

He chastyseth wordes : wherof myght growe offence 

And that to the ere haue sounde abhomynable 

But vnto the soule his wordes ar profytable 

He techyth vertue: hauynge inwarde regarde 

To his owne dedys : or he precede forwarde 

274 %y> e description of a wyse man. 

He auoydeth all yll and worldly vanyte 
Sekynge and louynge the harde way of goodnes 
And his hole lyfe in that way ordreth he 
In euery thynge auoydynge great excesse 
The noble virgyll in wrytynge doth expresse 
A wyse man describynge his poyntis nere echone 
What maner man, in our tyme lyueth none 

Of Socrates the hyghe maieste souerayne 

In this part had the hyghest degre 

And went moste nere the hye name to attayne 

For in his maners and lyuynge lyke was he 

To suche a man : as we may wryten se 

In the crafty Poesye of excellent virgyll 

This worthy Socrates was ruler of his wyll 

Within his boundys kepynge alway the same 

He holly of hymselfe dependyd stedfastly 

So constant and parfyte that none coude hym blame 

Except it were by malyce and enuy 

He was prouydent : gode and eche thynge wolde aply 

Vnto the best : nat doynge to any creature 

But that : whiche gladly he wolde agayne indure 

And euery man that is in suche case 

Of this goodnes to kepe the godly way 

Within his herte hath many gyftis of grace 

Shynynge as bryght as is the sonny day 

His owne dedes doth he iuge by rightwyse way 

Nat carynge for the grutches of the rude commonte 

Takynge euyn lyke welth and aduersyte 

The description of a wyse man. 275 

By his prouysyon he euer is safe and sure 

From outwarde thynges his mynde doth he abstayne 

He hath no brybes of any creature 

To fauour syn, or yll men to meyntayne 

He euer is fre : lyberall : true and playne 

With stedfast mynde, he vayne desyre doth hate 

Desyrynge no thynge : but that is moderate 

He all is foundyd in parfyte stablenes 
Nat gyuynge hym selfe to rest in any wyse 
Before he can by good prouysion dresse 
All thynge that to his lyuynge may suffyce 
A pryuat profyte, he alway doth despyse 
In respect of the wele of a hole comonte 
Conioynynge thynge honest with his vtylyte 

He euery day doth some thynge, great or small 
Aparteynynge to goodnes, laude and honesty e 
O wolde god that suche fortune myght vs fall 
That in this our tyme, suche men myght with vs be 
And that men endued with wyt and grauyte 
Myght teche the same, to magnyfy doctryne 
And that the ignoraunt wolde to theyr lore inclyne 

We ought nat sothly to meruayle in this case 
That of the folysshe folke a sort innumerable 
Multyplyeth thus almoste in euery place 
The cause is playne, for certis without fable 
Wysdome is banysshed, as thynge nat profytable 
Out of the worlde with woundes on euery syde 
We graunt no place to hir with vs to byde 

276 The description of a ivyse man. 

Who that wyll labour in this our wretchyd tyme 

To lyue in wysdome vertue and goodnes 

Is clene dispysyd of them that lyue in cryme 

Gyuen to all synne and all vnthryftynes 

They call hym folysshe, rude and full of madnes 

But he that Can fraude crafty : and gylefull wayes 

Hath name of nobles, and wysdome nowe adayes 

Code Aristydes for all his rightwysenes 
In this our tyme sholde nat be of great pryse 
Fabricius and Curius, for all theyr hye goodnes 
Sholde be despysyd : and Cato sad and wyse 
Sholde nowe be mocked of suche as lyue in vyce 
For it is sayde, aud prouyd true and verytable 
That folys hath no pleasour but onely in they bable 

Of noble Plato : what sholde the sect dyuyne 
Do amonge men that nowe adayes ar borne 
They sholde for all theyr wysdome and doctryne 
Of suche folys be laughed vnto scorne 
And if they trouth vttred : be all to rent and torne 
For the lawde and glory of this tyme nowe present 
Ar gyuen vnto folys : men fals and fraudelent 

The company of men that lackyth wyt 
Is best exaltyd (as nowe) in euery place 
And in the chayr, or hyest rowme shall syt 
Promotynge none : but suche as sue theyr trace 
They ryches thynke moste speciall gyft of grace 
But whan a Fole is thus become a state 
He shall with his foly good myndes violate 

The description of a wyse man. 277 

If the noble royalme of Englonde wolde auaunce 
In our dayes : men of vertue and prudence 
Eche man rewardynge after his gouernaunce 
As the wyse with honour and rowme of excellence 
And the yll with greuous payne for theyr offence 
Than sholde our famous laude of olde obtayned 
Nat bene decayed, oppressyd and thus distayned 

If men of wysdome were brought out of the scolys 

And after theyr vertue set in moste hye degre 

My shyp sholde nat haue led so many folys 

Both of men temporall, and of the spiritualyte 

Whiche in the wawes of the tempestuous se 

Of this wretchyd worlde moche payne and wo abyde 

For lacke of wyt, and reason, them to gyde 

But none doth iuge hym selfe for his offence 
With godly wysedome none doth endue his mynde 
None parfytely wyll serche his conscyence 
Suche fautis expellynge as he therin doth fynde 
These worldly pleasours, alas mankynde doth blynde 
So sore : that if the worlde hole were sought 
Fewe sholde be founde that lyue ryght as they ought 

And therfore in wordes both of sadnes and sport 
With folysshe Cotis and hodes I haue disgysed 
Of these Folys a great arid meruaylous sort 
Lyke as my mayster Brant had first deuysyd 
But of these Folys though good men be despysyd 
And had as Folys, no meruayle is truly 
For in a folys syght hye wysdome is foly 

278 The description of a wyse man. 

But though these folys repute men of wysdome 
As wors than they : yet let them lyue and do 
As virgyll techyth, wysely, and they shall come 
To heueri whan that theyr soule shall hens go 
They nought shall knowe of mysery nor wo 
And for theyr lyfe ledynge here in rightwysnes 
Shall be theyr rewarde the heuenly blyssydnes 

Thoughe wysemen here, of folys be cpprest 
Had in derysion : and kept in lowe degre 
For this theyr trouble eternall ioy and rest 
In goddes hye presence to them rewarde shall be 
Wherfore o man I warne and councell the 
Prepare thy selfe to wysdome and prudence 
Do thou hir honour with loue and reuerence 

Wysedome shall men auaunce vnto honour 
So Barclay wyssheth and styll shall tyll he dye 
Parfytely pray to god our creatour 
That vertuous men and wyse may haue degre 
(As they ar worthy) of lawde and dygnyte 
But namely to his frende bysshop by name 
Before all other desyreth he the same 

Whiche was the first ouersear of this warke 
And vnto his frende gaue his aduysement 
It nat to suffer to slepe styll in the darke 
But to be publysshyd abrode : and put to prent 
To thy monycion my bysshop I assent 
Besechynge god that I that day may se 
That thy honour may prospere and augment 
So that thy name and offyce may agre 

The description of a wyse man. 279 

Thy name to worshyp and honour doth accorde 
As borne a bysshop without a benefyce 
Thy lyuynge small : thy name is of a lorde 
And though thou nowe be stryke with couetyse 
That vyce shall slake in the if thou aryse 
(As I suppose) and lyberalyte 
Shall suche fortune for the by grace deuyse 
So that thy name and offyce shall agre 

But if that fortune to thy goodnes enuye 

As though she wolde : the nat honour to attayne 

Yet let hir passe : and hir fraylenes defye 

For all hir gyftis ar frayle and vncertayne 

If she nat smyle on the but haue disdayne 

The to promote to welth and dignyte 

To olde acquayntaunce be stedfast true and playne 

Than shall thy goodnes and thy name agre 

Let pas the worlde for nought in it is stable 
The greatter Baylyf the sorer is his payne 
Some men that late were callyd honorable 
Dyd theyr promosyon after sore complayne 
No wyse man is desyrous to obtayne 
The forked cap without he worthy be 
As ar but fewe : but be thou glad and fayne 
That thy good name and maners may agre 

In this short balade I can nat comprehende 
All my full purpose that I wolde to the wryte 
But fayne I wolde that thou sholde sone assende 
To heuenly worshyp and celestyall delyte 

280 The description of a wyse man. 

Than sholde I after my pore wyt, and respyt, 
Display thy name, and great kyndnes to me 
But at this tyme no farther I indyte 
But pray that thy name and worshyp may agre. 

Of folys that dispyse wysdome and Phylo- 
sophy and a commendacion of the same. 

With dolefull dolour : it sorowyd ought to be 
That nowe adayes the wysdome and doctryne 
Of wyse men, iust, and full of grauyte 
Is nought set by : but fallyth to ruyne 
But folys that to wysdome wyll nat inclyne 
Spyttyth for despyte on hym the whiche is wyse 
And all his dedys doth vtterly despyse 

282 Oj ? fol) vs that dispyse 

The rude commontye, that wyt and wysedome lacke 
Labouryth with all the power that they may 
Wyse men and gode : to thyrst into a sacke 
For vnder fote of Folys without nay 
Phylosophy lyeth, oppressyd nyght and day 
Folys it repute nought worth ne profytable 
They haue delyte : in men to them semblable 

Who euer he be that purposyth in mynde 
The holy Toure of wysdome to attayne 
And coueytyth his rest in it to fynde 
Despysynge worldly welth and ioy mundayne 
He must both hande and tunge fro synne refrayne 
Obseruynge his body in grace by chastyte 
And than of wysedome receyued shall he be 

Phylosophy doth mannys mynde compace 
With syghtis and iyen replete with holynes 
To man it gyueth right many gyftis of grace 
As eloquence : and waye of rightwysnes 
It man confortyth oppressyd in sadnes 
By holy doctryne, and it doth socour fynde 
For all yll mouynges, and fantasyes of mynde 

It techyth man to all vertues to inclyne 

It shewyth the way for to lyue vertuously 

And by suche lore and vertuous doctryne 

It techyth them that truly it aply 

The heuenly way : vnto the sterres a hye 

We sadnes and sorowe may fle by this wysdome 

And greuous chaunces or fallys by it ouercome 

wysdome and Phylosophy. 283 

The father of heuen our lorde oranypotent 

Of his great grace and infynyte goodnes 

Hath sende this scyence to people innocent 

To shewe them the way of grace and rightwysnes 

All hir aparayle agreyth to holynes 

Therwith she oftreth frely to cloth mankynde 

Sawynge hir sede of vertue in theyr mynde 

She coueryth hir hede with vale of chastyte 
Hir body clothyd with pall of the same sort 
The rosys purpyll of fayre humylyte 
Spredyth the grounde where as she doth resort 
Wherfore let euery wyse man haue confort 
Onely in wysedomys presence and seruyce 
For where she rayneth subdued is euery vyce 

She fedeth man with the dylycious drynke 
Of parfyte wysdome : all vyce therby to fle 
And vnto hym that euer on hir doth thynke 
She grauntyth honour of parfyte lybertye 
Whyle she is gyde the herte and mynde are fre 
For she expellyth : vyce and mysgouernaunce 
Whiche ar rote of mysfortune and mychaunce 

She gyueth laudes to all them that hir loue 
And by hir doctryne and worthy sapyence 
The wyse ascendyth to the hye heuen aboue 
And to iust lyuers : and men of innocence 
Heuen yates she opyns theyr dedes to recompence 
Thus wysdome is chefe gyder of our lyfe 
In blyssyd rest : slakynge debate and stryfe 

284 Offofys th at dispyse 

None lyueth so fyers, nor so cruell tyrant 
But that noble wysedome by parfyte pacyence 
Shall hym ouercome : but he that wyt doth want 
For lacke of wysedome oft fallyth to offence 
There is no lorde ne Pry nee of excellence 
That can well gyde his scepter and kyngdome 
Without the helpe and counsell of wysedome 

Wysdome is moder of fayth : and of iustyce 
And all goodnes doth of it growe and sprynge 
But yet moste people nowe insuyth vyce 
Fulfyllynge theyr folysshe lust in euery thynge 
They foly folowe, but wysedome and cunnynge 
They clene dispyse : hauynge scorne and enuy 
At suche god men as them to it aply 

But leue this foly, o wretchyd men alas 

And both yonge and olde fast spede you to obtayne 

The godly gyftis of excellent pallas 

Endeuour your selfe to drynke of hir fountayne 

But o disciples of wysdome : spare no payne 

To help your moder : for if ye be to slacke 

The rude comoutye shall thrust hir in a sacke 


O synfull season : sore drownyd in derkenes 
O wylfull foly o thou proude ignoraunce 
Howe longe shall ye mankynde thus wyse oppres 
That none almost in wysdome hath pleasaunce 

wysdome and Phylosophy. 285 

But men myslyuynge in mad mysgouernaunce 

Ar so with statis in fauour loue and grace 

That with them wysdome can haue none acquayntaunce 

But clene exyled and foly in hir place 

Alas the tyme : that wyse men of mekenes 
Sholde be despysyd : yet fallen is that chaunce 
Nought is set by : saue treasour and ryches 
Playne trouth is foly : and pouertye penaunce 
Boldnes and bostynge ledyth all the daunce 
Venus all techyth for to insue hir trace 
Fals flatery the most part doth auaunce 
But gone is wysdome and foly in hir place 

Foule falshode hath confoundyd faythfulnes 
The newe disgyses hath left Almayne and Fraunce 
And come to Englonde : and eche vnclenlynes 
Doth lede vs wretchys, we make no purueaunce 
Agaynst our ende whan deth shall with his launce 
Consume this lyfe : we may bewayle this case 
Our wordes ar folysshe : so is our countenaunce 
Thus gone is wysdome, and foly in hir place 

Who can rehers eche sort of folysshenes 
That vs mysgydeth through our mysordynaunce 
Lust is our Lady : and glotony maystres 
Sobernes is gone : and stately arrogaunce 
Hath mekenes slayne : alas this is greuaunce 
Vnto my herte : expellynge all solace 
O glorious god direct this perturbaunce 
That wysdome may agayne obtayne hir place 

A concertacion or stryuynge bytwene 
vertue and voluptuosyte : or carnall lust. 

Beholde here man dyrect thy syght to se 
For in this balade I shall vnto the shewe 
The stryfe of vyce and voluptuosyte 
Had in comtempt of goodnes and vertue 
But do thou so that vertue may subdue 
Foule carnall lust whose pleasour is but vayne 
Firste full of myrth: endynge in bytter payne 

Car nail lust. 287 

Whyle Hercules lay slepynge (as I rede) 

Two wayes he sawe full of diffyculte 

The one of pleasour : at ende gyuynge no mede 

The other of vertue auaunsynge eche degre 

But of both these two wayes whan that he 

Had sought the state : the ende, and the strayghtnes 

The way he entred of vertue and goodnes 

Therfore o reder that hast wyll to inclyne 
To souerayne vertue that is incomperable 
Thy mynde aplyenge stedfast to hir doctryne 
Ouer rede this balade for it is profitable 
And though thou thynke it but a fayned fable 
Yet red it gladly : but if thou be to haut 
Fie from it fast and fynde in it no faut 

We pardon requyre where as we do offend e 
Grauntynge the same to other vsynge to wryte 
None doth so well but some may it amende 
But namely if it be done without respyte. 
None without leyser : can voyde of faut endyte 
And mannys wyt, as dayly doth apere 
Somtyme is dull : somtyme parfyte and clere 

With wordes playne : I viciousnes confounde 
Oppressynge men with fals flatrynge semblaunt 
And throwynge Venus tentis to the grounde 
But vertue I lawde : as goodnes moste plesaunt 
Whiche with hir wepen most stronge and tryumphaunt 
Subduyth vyce : and all suche as hir loue 
With hir she ledyth to the hye royalme aboue 

288 A concertaclon bytwene 

Therfore let euery man, mayde, childe, and wyfe 

In theyr yonge age to vertue them inclyne 

Lernynge of hir the way to lede theyr lyfe 

As of maysteres moste holsome in doctryne 

Who hir insuys assayeth no ruyne 

For hir rewarde is sure, and eternall 

In erth here : and in the royalme celestyall 

Thus shall he lyue in perpetuyte. 

But let echone auoyde the viciousnes 

To hym promysyd by voluptuosyte 

Hir warkes ar all oppressyd with blyndnes 

And where as she can wanton youth oppres 

She hym so rotyth in slouth and neglygence 

That nede shall cause hym fall to all offence 

Lust brakyth the mynde : and as we often se 

It blyndyth the vnderstondynge and the wyt 

From mannys hert it chasis chastyte 

All mortall venym hath the chefe rote in it 

None can be helyd that hath hir byt 

But noble blode she most of all doth blynde 

Whiche more on hir : than vertue haue theyr mynde 

Therfore yonge men gyue aduertence and hede 
Here shall ye se : and so shall feble age 
What yll of worldly pleasour doth precede 
And howe she bryngeth some men to great damage 
Than shall ye here what good and auauntage 
What welth what rest, what honour and ryches 
Comys to mankynde by vertue and goodnes 

The obiection of lust blamynge vertue. 

Lo gorgays galantis : lo galantis here am I 

Lo here fayre lust : full enmy to vertue 

Clothyd in laurer : in sygne of victory 

The large worlde I hole to me subdue 

My stremynge standardes alayd with sundry hewe 

In tryumphe shynyth bryghter than the sonne 

I all the worlde to my Empyre haue wonne 


290 The obiection of lust blamynge vertue. 

All fragaunt floures most pleasaunt : gay and swete 

Whose sundry sortis no lyuynge man can tell 

Vnto my pleasour ar spred vnder my fete 

That all the ayre enioyeth of the smell 

The vyolet that in odour doth excell 

About in bosom by me alway I bere 

The same oft tyme inlasyd with my here 

All my vesture : is of golde pure 
My gay Chaplet, with stonys set 
With couerture : of fyne asure 
In syluer net my here up knet 
Soft sylke bytwene lyst it myght fret 
My purpyll pall, ouercouereth all 
Clere as Christall : no thynge egall 

My wanton face : louers to embrace : my wanton iye 
In suche a case : shewe them solace : that none ar fre 
So louers be subiet to me : in euery plame 
My hye beauty e : voyde of bounte : doth them inlace 
To hunt to chace : to daunce : to trace : what one is he 
That beryth face : or hath that grace : on londe or se 
In lyke degre hym selfe to se : my pleasaunt pace 
Is lyght as fle : thus none that be : can me compace 

I cast my pleasours : and hony swete 
Ouer all the worlde none can beware 
Nor loke so surely vnto his fete 
But that I tangle hym in my snare 
Whan I with youth can mete 
With reason nat well replete 
In lust I cause hym flete 
Of grace barayne and bare 

The oblectlon of lust blamynge vertue. 291 

What man is he that can beware 
Whan 1 my nettis abrode display 
Namely to youth I me repare 
I blynde theyr hertis sorest' alway 
I take no thought ne care 
Howe euer the worlde fare 
No season fre I spare 
Frome pleasour : nyght nor day 

With harpe in hande, alway I stande 
Passynge eche hour : in swete pleasour 
A wanton bande : of euery lande 
Ar in my tour, me to honour 
Some of voloure, some bare and poure 
Kynges in theyr pryde, syt by my syde 
Euery fresshe flour, of swete odour 
To them I prouyde, that with me byde 

Whan the stature, of my fygure 
With golde shynyng, is hye standynge 
They that inure, in my pleasure 
With herte wandrynge, moche swetely synge 
Garlandes of golde, to me offrynge 
And me beholde with countenaunce 
Smylynge, laughynge : eche wanton thynge 
On myrth musynge, lernynge to daunce 

Mo men me honour : for my pleasaunce 
Than worshyp the mother of the hye kynge 
I shewe them myrth, she harde penaunce 
I pleasaunt lust : She chast lyuynge 

292 The oblection of lust blamynge vertue. 

Who euer they be, that folowe me 
And gladly fle : to any standarde 
They shall be fre : nat sek nor se 
Aduersyte : nor paynes harde 

No poynt of payne, shall he sustayne 
But ioy souerayne, whyle he is here 
No frost ne rayne, there shall distayne, 
His face by payne, ne hurt his chere 

He shall his hede, cast to no drede 
To get the mede, and lawde of warre 
Nor yet haue nede, for to take hede 
Howe batayles spede, but stande a farre 

Nor yet be bounde, to care the sounde 
Of man : or grounde : or trumpet shyll 
Strokes that redounde, shall nat confounde 
Nor his mynde wounde : but if he wyll 

Who wyll subdue, hym to insue 
My pleasours newe : that I demayne 
I shall hym shewe : way to eschewe 
Where hardnes grewe : and to fle payne 

The swetnes of loue he shall assay 

But suche as my pleasours hate and dispyse 

In hardnes lyue and bytter payne alway 

In dolour drowned, and that in greuous wyse 

Endynge theyr lyfe after a wretchyd gyse 

By couetyse, abstaynynge theyr pleasour 

Chaungynge swetnes for bytter payne and sour 

The obiection of lust blamynge vertue. 293 

By pleasaunt lust I callyd am ouer all 
Prynces pereles and glorious goddes 
Of me procedyth pleasour : as is egall 
To come of a hye and noble Empres 
In me is myrth and songes of gladnes 
And vnder my dayes and hours fortunate 
Age hath first rote to holde vp his estate 

The lusty Parys, by whome the ryche troy 

Gaue place to grece, as subiect to the same 

In my seruyce had pleasour and great ioy 

So that by me he spred abrode his fame 

Those pleasours folowynge of whan I haue the name 

And that remayneth in my auctoryte 

And proude Cleopatra : was seruytour to me 

There is no londe inclosyd with the se 

But that they all haue folowyd my counsell 

As Afryke, Numyde the other I let be 

I wyll nat tary theyr namys for to tell 

But fewe or none ar bytwene heuen and hell 

In hethynes nor yet in chrystente 

But yonge outher olde they all obey to me 

My deynteous dartis about full brode I cast 
Amonge all Nacions vnto the worldes ende 
The Phylosophers that were in tymes past 
As Epicurians to me dyd condiscende 
All theyr hole sect my quarell doth defende 
For all theyr sect to this clause dyd assent 
That lust and pleasour was gode most excellent 

294 *The obiectlon of lust blamynge vertue. 

Without corporall labour : my goodes shall profyte 
Of mete and drynke I haue welth and excesse 
I haue my pleasour, my ioy and my delyte 
In deynty dysshes and swete delyciousnes 
I lede nat lyfe in peryll and hardnes 
Vnder heuy helme, in felde from any towne 
Nat on harde strawe : but soft and costely downe 

If ioy, and pleasour, dyd me nat ay insue 
And lusty myrthe, with corporall pleasaunce 
So myghty kynges wolde nat them subdue 
Vnto my tends, whose myght shall me auaunce 
That all the worlde vnder my gouernaunce 
Shall it submyt, and dwellers of the same 
Shall bere about the badges of my name 

It is longe past syns that men first dyd thus 
Subdue theyr myndes and bodyes vnto me 
The myghty kynge callyd Sardanapalus 
Left dedes that longyd vnto his royalte 
Folowynge my pleasour and voluptuosyte 
And rome victorious at last by hye courage 
Yeldyd it selfe mekely to my bondage 

Eas welth and rest to me alway is best 
Vnto my seruauntis I gyue the same 
And where as nature aperyth goodlyest 
I am moste besy the herte for to inflame 
With fyry brondes to Venus plesaunt game 
No colde ne hunger to yonge men shall I gyue 
But pleasaunt rest : whyle they with me do lyue 

The oblection of lust blamynge vertue. 295 

My lyfe I lede in ioyfull Idylnes 

Nat let nor troubled by any aduersyte 

Therfore o youth that art in lustynes 

And age also that of bad maners be 

Tourne hyther your faces beholdynge my beaute 

And you indeuer your erys to inclyne 

To my preceptis, folowynge my doctryne 

The tyme passyth dayly fro mankynde 

Our dayes of lyfe longe whyle can nat indure 

Therfore on pleasour establysshe we our mynde 

For in my mynde no erthly creature 

After this lyfe of pleasour shall be sure 

Therfore be we mery the time that we ar here 

And passe we our tyme alway in lusty chere 

The answere of vertue agenst this obiec- 
tion of voluptuosyte. 

O Lothsome lust : o mad mysgouernour 
Of all mankynde, and rote of euery vyce 
With thy barayne balade, and corporall pleasour 
Howe darest thou greue me thus in any wyse 
Thy wordes ar vayne : thy myght I clene despyse 
How dare thy cowarde herte me thus assayle 
Syns thou, the bostest : vnmete vnto batayle 

The an s were ofvertiie. 297 

Haue done and answere : disceytfull trayteres 
Howe darest thou wretchyd men this wyse abuse 
Or them disceyue by thy chraft of falsnes 
Why doth mankynde on thy vayne pleasours muse 
Why doth the world e goodnes and grace refuse 
Rennynge to thy foly, subduynge them in care 
As fysshe or byrde to panter, net or snare 

Why Jawdest thou thy lust and pleasour vayne 
Thy wandrynge wayes in syn and bestlynes 
Who that the folowys, shall at the ende certayne 
Fynde no honour, but payne and great distres 
Thy faythfull felawe is bestyall dronkenes 
Thy pursuyuaunt is dredfull worldly shame 
Fleynge about to spred abrode thy name 

Shame them subdueth that them submyt to the 
Thy beautye blyndyd is by mysgouernaunce 
I say nat nay, but fayre thou art to see 
And alway wrappyd in halters of pleasaunce 
Thy iyen wanton, with wanton countenaunce 
Thy here glystrynge or shynynge as golde bryght 
That many thousande destroyed is by thy syght 

Thy purpyll garlandes couchyd with precious stone 
Pure and resplendaunt is all thy apparayle 
Aleyed gayly with perles many a one 
Of purpyll colour of Tyre is thy mantayle 
With precious stones beset as thycke as hayle 
Thy gyrdyls gay, and rynges pleasaunt to se 
But what is this : but worldly vanyte 

2g8 The answers ofverttw 

-^ *-/ 

Thou art nat armyd, nor to no warre dost go 
But standest naked, and all thy body bare 
As chefe champyon vnto blynde Cupido 
Suche feble men that lacke wyt to beware 
Attysest thou falsly into thy snare 
The bowe of Venus, and dartis lye by the 
Hedyd with shame, myshap and pouertye 

In thy one hande is the myscheuous dart 
Of fleshly lust : and pleasour corporall 
Wherwith thou sharply strykest to the hart 
The olde, the yonge : the pore and pryncipall 
Thy other hande bereth in it venym mortall 
Vnto the whiche if man nat well attende 
With all yll shall he be poysoned at the ende 

Of thy fayre forehede : the beauty and bryghtnes 
And all the fassyon, and shape that is in the 
Defyled and blyndyd is, by viciousnes 
And flesshely lust clene voyde of chastyte 
In thy vayne wordes is nought of honestee 
Thou canst no skyll of honest sport ne game 
But rybaude wordes, soundynge all to shame 

Thou art distroyer of all mankynde 
But namely to suche : as sue thy trayne 
The wyt thou dully st, troublynge thy mynde 
The honest name doste thou distayne 
Thou bryngest man to infernall payne 
Wastynge his goodes by wayes prodygall 
But his last ende, alas is worst of all 

agenst this obiection of voluptuosyte. 299 

By the, in the worlde true loue is maculate 
By the, dull slouth doth pyteously oppres 
The lusty bodyes of many a great estate 
Thou ar destroyer of vertue and nobles 
And youth descendyd of byrth of worthynes 
Whan they theyr myndes to thy precept inclyne 
To nought they vanysshe, so fallynge in ruyne 

By the, we greuous sores oft sustayne 

Infyrmytees, sore peryls and mortall 

By the, the soule is drowned depe in payne 

In hell, amonge the fendys infernall 

Thou makest man slouthfull and dull withall 

To chast hartis art thou mortall ennemy 

The wyttis blyndynge, or wastynge vtterly 

Thou wretchyd lust dost stynt abate and swage 

The strength of man, and his audacyte 

Thou bryngest lowe the lusty hye corage 

Of manly youth in his prosperite 

Thou art the mete of all aduersyte 

And cursyd fode of payne, wo, and doloure 

Both to the pore, and men of great honoure 

Of the hath mortall sorys oft theyr rote 
And sore sekenes, where to no man mortall 
Can fynde no socour, no remedy, nor bote 
But for to speke of the, in generall 
Recount all yll : and thou art grounde of all 
Thou art the well, of eche disordred thynge 
Of whose hede, vyle glotony doth sprynge 

?oo The answer e of vertew 

Thou makest youth suche as thou dost attyse 

To lese the vertue of manhode and boldnes 

Theyr hertis dullynge with ferefull cowardyse 

Thou makest age to grow in viciousnes 

Thou makest many to wander in derknes 

Of vicious lyfe, attysynge by thy gyle 

Nought chaste thou techyst : but thynge vnpure and vyle 

Thou hast no reason : ne stedfastnes of mynde 

^ Of wysdome the purest grayne is fro the gone 

* \ 

No parfyte wyt shall man within the fynde 

Of reasons sad, thou certaynly hast none 
And thoughe at the first thou shewe vnto echone 
I Pleasour : and hope vnto honour to ascende 
Thou them disceyuest falsly at the ende 

The hande of many great laude sholde haue obtayned 
By worthy tryumphe, auaunsynge so theyr name 
If thou haddest nat theyr hye purpose distayned 
Them by thy gyle withdrawynge from the same 
So by thy mean obscured is theyr fame 
And by thy venym thou hast intoxycate 
The noble hertis : of many a great estate 

Thou hast ouerthowe the wallys of noble Troy 

The Parthyans, and dwellers of Asy 

By thy deuowrynge lust haue lost their ioy 

And many a Cyte by the, on grounde doth lye 

The Cytees of Grece with wallys strong and hye 

Ly nowe on grounde the wallys with gras ouergrowe 

The Attyke royalmes by the ar nowe full lowe 

agenst this oblection of voluptuosyte. 301 

By the was Sodome and other Cytees drowned 

And that in nomber mo than I can name 

Hath ben destroyed, and made euyn with the grounde 

Corynth (by the) was lost with swerde and flame 

And moche parte of Egypt was the same 

Tarent also, Assyria and eke Trace 

Thou hast destroyed : and that, in wofull case 

What nedyth here to name the royalmes all 
Or all those Cytees and places excellent 
Whiche thou hast made from theyr honour to fall 
By punysshement of our lorde omnypotent 
Some drowned, and some with fyre of heuen brent 
But to be playne we dayly se doutles 
That all thy seruauntis ende in wretchydnes 

But better is my state, my fortune and degre 
For all my seruauntis that vnto me inclyne 
Shall haue rewarde of ioy and blysse with me 
Whiche ioy, in heuen abydeth me and myne 
Vnto vs grauntyd by the grace dyuyne 
By pacyent labour I pore men here auaunce 
To worldly welth, and good in abundaunce 

The yatis of heuen to man ar opened wyde 
And he receyued in ioy that neuer shall cesse 
So that I be his helper and his gyde 
To lede hym theder by way of rightwysnes 
My way his harde, and full of besynes 
But at the ende I haue a restynge place 
Wherin is lyfe euerlastynge and solace 

302 The answere of vert ew 

Stronge Hercules that myghty champyon 

And Julius Cesar an Emperour royall 

And Alexander whose felawe found was none 

Consyderynge well his wyt and dedys all 

These hath renowne that neuer can stynt nor fall 

For that they euer obeyed vnto me 

And many mo by me brought to degre 

I haue auaunsyd to glorious lawde and name 
Poule that was consull of the Impyre romayne 
Whiche dyuers Nacions wan encresynge his fame 
To the sayde romaynes, triumphe and laude souerayne 
And thoughe they suffred peryll and great payne 
Yet hath the loue, and mede of me vertue 
Nat suffred them harde chargis to eschewe 

By me the honour of the hye eloquence 
Of Cicero : and : his parfyte polecy 
Ar spred abrode, shynynge : for excellence 
And noble Virgyll the Prynce of Poetry 
The romayne lynage by vers dyd magnyfy 
He and Homerus : with Poetis euerychone 
Hath won theyr glory and laude by me alone 

Arystotyll ensuynge my iust commaundement 
Hath made his name, and laudes immortall 
And also Plato moste noble and excellent 
The Phylosophers all other, great or small 
Hauynge no name, in goodes temporall 
Hath left the worlde, with all his vanyte 
And at the ende great honour had by me 

agenst this obiection of voluptuosyte. 303 

I clere the wyt, the speche I fortyfye 

With sadnes reason, and pleasaunt eloquence 

I man conferme, augment and edefye 

With honour, laude, and knowlege of science 

And to expres my myght in brefe sentence 

None may here wyn, but by my socour 

Lawde, fame, ne helth, ryches nor honour 

In the is pryde : and all thy wanton wyll 

Is set on ryot and wretchyd lechery 

All vicious wordes doth from thy mouth dystyll 

Thy hole delyte in lust and ry bawdry 

But as for hym that wyll to me aply 

I shall by vertue brynge hym to rightwysnes 

And than to glory by wysdome and ryches 

I shewe my seruauntis true iustyce and pyte 
In the hye Heuen sure fixyd is my mynde 
My hous is kept ay clene by chastyte 
My god is hye : and who that wyll hym fynde 
For to be lyght : his lust must leue behynde 
And so by labour, and parfyte dilygence 
He may attayne that place of excellence 

In vertue, is besy, and dylygent labour 

For no good comys of slouthfull ydelnes 

But swet and payne, at ende shall fynde pleasour 

And parfyte rest : is ende of besynes 

And he that walkes the way of holynes 

And lyues in worshyp, ought to be glad and fayne 

This quyet rest by my helpe to obtayne 

304 The answere ofvertew 

So whether thou lust to wyn name of honour 

By wyt, or warre : by wysdome or by myght 

Or in a Cyte for to be councellour 

Or els by lawe to gyue eche man his right 

Let me vertue alway be in thy syght 

Than shalt thou by my mean, the way prouyde 

In euery case howe, thou mayst best the gyde 

Who that for loue of vertue speciall 

Endureth labour, swet, payne and besynes 

The endles pleasour of ioy celestyall 

Shall be rewarde to hym for his hardnes 

Vertue alone is of suche worthynes 

That gyde it ought and, gouerne euery thynge 

And gode gyftis, parte, as is to it lykynge 

But thou fals lust and pleasour corporall 
All men disceyuest that vnto the inclyne 
Thou first art swete, at last more soure than gall 
Thou many thousandes hast brought vnto ruyne 
And namely suche as of most noble lyne 
Discendyd ar : for gettynge theyr degre 
Defyle theyr byrth : and auncyent name by the 

Thou art so fyers : so hasty and cruell 
That no wylde beste : no : nat the mighty bere 
Can haue respyte within his den to dwell 
Thy cruell clawes so fyersly doth him tere 
That on his skyn remayned skant a here 
Thou sholdest his skyn I trowe rent of also 
Ne had the Lyon : him socoured in his wo 

agenst this objection of voluptuosyte. 305 

Therfore ye men (whyle ye haue tyme and space) 

Expell vayne lust and pleasour corporall 

Whiche dedely yll is barayne of all grace 

And rote or sparcle to kyndell synnes all 

Therfore to Christ for grace se that ye call 

Wherby ye may all carnall lust subdue 

And plant in your myndes goodnes and vertue 

So shall your hertis sauour the true doctryne 

And blessyd fayth of Christ our sauyour 

Whiche fayth shall brynge you to the syght dyuyne 

Of goddes presence, and celestyall pleasour 

But worldly welth, as riches and honour 

Shall in this lyfe be part of your rewarde 

Where as vayne lust endyth in paynes harde 

VOL. jr. 

The vnyuersall shyp and generall Barke 

or barge 
Wherin they rowe : that yet hath had no 


Within my shyp ar folys innumerable 

My shyppys dyuers forgyd here before 

With furious Folys, in foly perdurable 

But nat the les yet here I forge more 

And if perchaunce some one hath had no ore 

Nor place before : condigne for his degre 

In this great Carake nowe shall he rowe with me 

The vnyuersall shyp. 307 

Here shall Jacke, charde, my brother Robyn hyll 
With Myllers and bakers that weyght and mesure hate 
All stelynge taylers : as Soper : and Manshyll 
Receyue theyr rowme : bycause they come to late 
The foulest place is mete for theyr estate 
A rowme for rascoldes hard by the pompe shall be 
That stynkynge placis and knaues may agre 

Come to Companyons : ren : tyme it is to rowe 
Our Carake fletis : the se is large and wyde 
And depe Inough : a pleasaunt wynde doth blowe 
Prolonge no tyme, our Carake doth you byde 
Our felawes tary for you on euery syde 
Hast hyther I say ye folys naturall 
Howe oft shall I you vnto my Nauy call 

Ye haue one confort ye shall nat be alone 
Your company almoste is infynyte 
For nowe alyue ar men but fewe or none 
That of my shyp can red hym selfe out quyte 
A fole in felawes, hath pleasour and delyte 
Here can none want, for our proclamacion 
Extendyth farre : and to many a straunge nacyon 

But to be playne, and speke as intende 
All men ar folys that can nat theiw selfe gyde 
Thus all the worlde may I well comprehende 
Except a fewe : whome I may set a syde 
All hole Asia ; though it be longe and wyde 
And farre from vs, and all nat of our lawe 
Yet ar they redy our sayles vp to drawe 

308 The vny Her sail shyp 

From the farre Costis and hote of Lybia 
The Mawryans and eke the men of ynde 
And all the dwellers almost of Africa 
The Lumbarde nacion vntrue of dede and mynde 
All these within our shyp wyll placis fynde 
So may the dwellers of Cecyle and almayne 
Of Italy Fraunce, Flaunders, Grece, and Spayne 

The Pycardes, Normans and Neapolytayns 
Come in great clusters, our Nauy to augment 
So doth Venycians, Gascowns and Romayns 
And lytell Brytayne is all of lyke assent 
And also the great by ryches excellent 
Whiche nowe is callyd plentyfull in Englonde 
Comyth to our shyp, with Wales, and Scotlande 

The out yles all dyspersyd here and there 
In the mayne se : also come in one bonde 
So many comys that certaynly I fere 
Within my shyp they all can nat well stonde 
Hyther comys also the dwellers of Irelonde 
Denys and Mawrys, Patryke, and Mackmure 
In mantels preckyd, for lacke of precious furre 

In Englonde is no Cyte, nor shyre towne 
Boroughe ne vyllage howe pore so euer it be 
Nor noble Palays of suche a great renowne 
But some maryners sende must they vnto come 
But to be shorte and fle prolixyte 
There is no Nacyon, ne regyon vnder sonne 
But all or some, to this my shyp doth ronne 

for those that yet hath had no charge. 309 

Both yonge and olde, pore man, and estate 
The folysshe moder : hir doughter by hir syde 
Ren to our Nauy ferynge to come to late 
No maner of degre is in the worlde wyde 
But that for all theyr statelynes and pryde 
As many as from the way of wysdome tryp 
Shall haue a rowme and place within my shyp 

My folysshe felawes therfore I you exort 

Hast to our Nauy, for tyme it is to rowe 

Nowe must we leue eche sympyll hauen and porte 

And sayle to that londe where folys abounde and flowe 

For whether we aryue, at London or Brystowe 

Or any other Hauen within this our londe 

We folys ynowe, shall fynde alway at hande 

No speciall place wyll I chose for our rode 

But at auenture : where the wynde shall vs dryue 

But whyle we wretchys, thus sayle and rowe abrode 

On this depe se, our foly doth depryue 

Our soule from helth : and lond of men alyue 

So that in the wawes of this tempestous se 

Oftyme we lyue, in doutfull ieopardye 

Our frayle bodyes wandreth in care and payne 

And lyke to botes trowbled with tempest sore 

From rocke to rocke cast in this se mundayne 

Before our iyen beholde we euer more 

The deth of them that passed ar before 

Alas mysfortune vs causeth oft to rue 

Whan to vayne thoughtis our bodyes we subdue 

3 i o The vnyuersall shyp 

By dyuers chauncis ren we to Jeopardy 
And of our lyfe, god wot we ar vnsure 
Oft of our chauncis we seke no remedy 
But wander forth : our reason moche obscure 
Tempest we suffer : sore fallys we indure 
And to our iournay, so symple hede we take 
That in the se, and Rockis our shyppis brake 

A farre of Scylla : the rorynge we may here 
Yet by our foly, our myndes ar so cruell 
That to the peryls (alas) we drawe vs nere 
And some so wander without gyde or counsell 
That in the hourlynge pyttis of ferefull hell 
Theyr shyppis brake, and there alway remayne 
Within that gulf, in endles wo and payne 

We wander in more dout than mortall man can thynke 
And oft by our foly, and wylfull neglygence 
Our shyp is in great peryll for to synke 
So sore ar we ouercharged with offence 
We se the daunger before our owne presence 
Of straytis rockis, and bankis of sonde full hye 
- . Yet we precede to wylfull ieopardye 

We dyuers Monsters within the se beholde 
Redy to abuse or to deuour mankynde 
As Dolphyns, whallys, and wonders manyfolde 
And oft the Marmaydes songe dullyth our mynde 
That to all goodnes we ar made dull and blynde 
The wolues of these oft do vs moche care 
Yet we of them can neuer well beware 

for those that yet hath had no charge. 311 

We se Polyphemus that foule and great Geant 
In his dredefull den, mankynde also to dere 
Whome great vlixes both bolde and valyant 
Myght for his lokes drede : and quake for fere 
A thousande Monstres ar mo, mankynde to tere 
And to deuour, and brynge vnto hell pyt 
Yet we (alas) our selfe to them submyt 

About we wander in tempest and tourment 
What place is sure, where Foles may remayne 
And fyx theyr dwellynge sure and parmanent 
None certaynly : The cause therof is playne 
We wander in the se, for pleasour bydynge payne 
And though the hauen of helth be in our syght 
Alas we fle from it with all our myght 

Alas, therfore dayly we must indure 
Great payne and wo : and well we it deserue 
For he that of rest (whan he lyst) may be sure 
And wyll none haue : he worthy is to sterue 
We loue no wysdome : ne tende nat to obserue 
Hir lore, and lawes : ne way of ryghtwysnes 
But arme our selfe with foly and falsnes 

Alas, alas the vyle and vayne goddes 

Of folysshnes : and worldly vanyte 

Hath made vs drynke : so of hir cup doutles 

That all our wyttes and reasons blyndyd be 

A wysdome wysedome great pyte it is to se 

Howe fewe to thy preceptis nowe inclyne 

Thy name decayes : and fallys to ruyne 

312 The vnyuersall shyp. 

Alas dere bretherne, alas thou wretchyd man 

O frowarde stocke to thy creatour vnkynde 

Expell thy foly : aply all that thou can 

To folowe wysdome with all thy myght and mynde 

What ioy hast thou to wander in the wynde 

In vyce and errour, without good wyll to stent 

\Cesse man : and seke the : place ay permanent 

Set foly : errour (and vanyte asyde) 
Fie from the wayes : of suche as sue offence 
Labour to obtayne a place : ay to abyde 
Without ende before goddes hye presence 
Lyst that hell monsters by furyous violence 
Swalowe vp thy soule to payne from ioy and blys 
Whyle in this lyfe thou errest or goest amys 

The vnyuersall shyp of crafty men, 
or laborers. 

314 ^he vnyuersall shyp of 

A company gathryd togyther in a rout 
Of folysshe men, and blynde by ignoraunce 
Rowe nowe in botis my shyppis all about 
Suche men ar they that get theyr sustenaunce 
With labour of hande, and lewde of gouernaunce 
But suche as labour truly for theyr fode 
I wyll nat blame, but them repute as gode 

Haste hyther laborers : our sayles ar a loft 

Our shyp fleys swyftly by myght of ore 

But first of all ye folys that labour soft 

And lese the tyme, makynge your maysters pore 

In this shyp present shall ye be set afore 

And than suche as spende theyr wage in dronkenes 

For dronken workmen come neuer to ryches 

But why these Folys vnto my shyp I call 

For to be short this is the reason why 

For as the state of all men mortall 

And eche other thynge chaungyth contynually 

Without condicion, stable : certaynly 

So is the state of labourers, disceyuable 

And moche vnsure, and also chaungeable 

The speciall vyce comon amonge them all 
Is that eche seruaunt fayne wolde a mayster be 
Yet in his craft he knoweth nought atall 
But is a Fole therin : and so shall dye 
And many worke men : as we may dayly se 
Wandreth as folys : in slouth and ydelnes 
Hurtynge theyr wages by theyr folysshnes 

crafty men or laborers. 315 

One laboureth fast for lytell or for nought 

His felawe to put to los or hurte therby 

Yet he hym selfe to pouertye is brought 

By his yll wyll, his hatred and enuy 

And for that this vyce his herte contynually 

Vexyth and troubleth, for nought he offreth forth 

That worke or thynge that is great treasour worth 

Yet this foule abuse and malyce enuyous 
Of laborynge men : oft tyme doth them oppres 
With pouertye, to all mankynde odyous 
If one sell for lytell another sellys for les 
Tyll both be opprest with pouertees hardnes 
Echone despyseth his pryuate auauntage 
To do another displeasour and damage 

Some make theyr ware iniust and disceyuable 
Sellynge it forth for small and lytell pryce 
The trouth appereth playne and verytable 
For in gode ware the pryse doth ay aryse 
But contrary if thou the trouth aduyse 
Where a great thynge for lytell pryce is bought 
It sygnyfyeth that it is stolen, or nought 

All suche as ceueyt the byers to begyle 

With flaterynge wordes fals and dysceyuable 

Disceyuynge other, disceyue them selfe the whyle 

And all other ar greatly reprouable 

Whiche make theyr warke nat true and profitable 

But counterfayte and pleasaunt to the iye 

And nought in profe : men to abuse therby 

3 i 6 The vnyuersall shyp of crafty men. 

The pryse of eche ware decayeth euery day 

And yet the ware is skantly worth the pryse 

Amonge all marchauntis, skant and vneth we may 

Fynde one or two that trouth do ercyse 

But all ar blyndyd so by couetyse 

That nought they force of fals disceytfulnes 

So that they, may therby obtayne riches 

Thus so great chaungis : and mutablyte 

Styreth the hertis of labourynge men to yre 

That the most part abyde in pouertye 

And to be short, echone of them conspyre 

Agaynst other by malyce, hote as fyre 

In all theyr hertis none, other thynge doth rayne 

Saue enuy malyce, hatered and disdayne 

What nede is it in wordes to be large 

Or all the vyce of chrafty men to wryte 

The payne were longe, and great sholde be the charge 

And to the same I haue to small respyte 

For if that any haue pleasour and delyte 

In this our tyme to be constant and wyse 

The comontye shall hym hate and despyse 

Therfore I leue them in theyr folysshnes 

Yet praynge god that they may ones amende 

And so increas in trouth and right wysnes 

That I may haue cause theyr goodnes to commende 

Who iustly lyueth iustly also shall ende 

And who that in his craft is iust and true 

Shall proue in ryches, and prospere in vertue 

Of Folys that ar ouer worldly. 

Oft whyle man labours for to ascende 

By fortune frayle alway forwarde 

And whyle alway he doth intende 

For his sore labour to haue rewarde 

Than is his fortune so sharpe and harde 

To leue his fote, at his moste nede 

And let hym slyp in mortall fere and drede 

318 Of Folys that ar ouer worldly. 

Who that lenyth on braunchys frayle 

Or taketh his holde by leuys lyght 

Can fynde therby but small auayle 

But to the grounde descende downe right 

And though the braunches be stronge and wyght 

Whan thou begynnest to slyp or slyde 

In thy degre harde is to abyde 

And thoughe the braunches be hole and sounde 

And be to wayke the to sustayne 

Yet shalt thou downe come to the grounde 

So if a man take care and payne 

To lyue in vertue, and good souerayne 

Yet all this shall be nought set by 

But if they be gyded craftely 

The strongest braunche or boughe shall fayle 
Without good wysdome if man ascende 
But vnto the top if thou preuayle 
Yet ought thou to thy fete intende 
Eche thynge is prouyd at the ende 
Therfore man ought hym euen to bere 
In hyest rowmes is greattest fere 

In clymmynge vp man hath great payne 
But whan he at the hyest is 
Hauynge great hope there to remayne 
In welth and pleasour ioy and blys 
Yet of the frute small part is his 
For by one blast of wynde sodayne 
In one instant he fallys agayne 

Of Folys that ar oner worldly. 319 

If one be in a rowme a hye 

Men that ar lowe seme to hym small 

But to say trouth and veryte 

Yet may theyr stature be egall 

In lyke wyse though a man royall 

Despyse them lyuynge in pouerte 

Of one metall yet both they be 

This worlde all hole goeth vp and downe 
It ebbes and flowes lyke to the se 
Wexynge and waynynge lyke the mone 
Nowe in welthe and in prosperyte 
Eft in aduers and frowarde pouerte 
But that man folowes hye wysdome 
Whiche takys all thynges lyke as they come 

Thoughe some in treasour and welth abounde 
Thynkynge them self wyse men alone 
Yet whan that they ar brought to grounde 
They and the pore : is all but one 
And thoughe thou suerly marke the bone 
Of begger, and hym, that kynge hath bene 
Small difference shalt thou fynde bytwene 

After the day cometh the nyght 
So after pleasour oft comys payne 
He is in prudence, but porely pyght 
That can nat both in lyke sustayne 
But if I shall be true and playne 
No erthly thynge makes more debate 
Than a vyle chorle come to a state 

320 Of Folys that ar ouer worldly. 

Whan suche a vilayne rude of his mynde 

A hye is set on a myghty tre 

To gentyll blode can he nat be kynde 

Yet he forgettis his owne degre 

But thoughe the thycke leuys let none se 

Howe moche myschefe suche go about 

Yet at the last it wyll come out 

If dethys ax the tre downe throwe 
And if theyr riches as leuys lyght 
Away fro them on grounde do flowe 
Than all theyr falshode is out in syght 
But whyle the tre may stande vp right 
The leuys of ryches hangynge about 
To lorellys often the lorde moste lowt 

The noble fawcons ar oft opprest 
The Egle blyndyd, and byrdes small 
Ar spoyled and dryuen from theyr nest 
Whan the gredy kyte wyll rule all 
But if the kyte than after fall 
By aduers fortune : or his iniquyte 
The fawcons may well haue ioy to se 

Thus well is hym that can attende 
To take his holde by braunchys stronge 
Whan he purposeth vp to ascende 
And in the top to byde there longe 
Without wysdome it shall be wronge 
For who that clymmes by stately pryde 
For greuous wyndes can nat abyde 

Of Folys that ar ouer worldly. 321 

Therfore man who so euer thou be 
That hast mynde and concupyscence 
To brynge the into hye degre 
Or in the seruyce of kynge or prynce 
If thou be brought to excellence 
Kepe petye styll before thy iyen 
Vse iustyce, mekenes, and prudence 
Reraembrynge euer what thou hast ben 

To get loue do thy dylygence 

And if thou wylt haue amyte 

To auncient blode, do reuerence 

Thoughe it be but of lowe degre 

Prouyde the in prosperite 

For mysfortune : for it is sene 

That fortune hath no certaynte 

So thynke thou euer what thou hast bene 

Serue god thy maker aboue all thynge 
And next that with thy herte and mynde 
Be true and loyall vnto thy kynge 
And to his subiectis iust and kynde 
Let auaryce by no way the blynde 
Than myght thou fall or thou wolde wene 
So that no faut in the men fynde 
Care nat to be as thou hast bene 


A brefe addicion of the syngularyte of 
some newe Folys. 

Here maketh myne Autour a specyall mencion 

Of ypocrytis nat parfyte of byleue 

And suche as abuseth theyr relygyon 

But I shall nat so sharply them repreue 

I am full lothe relygious men to greue 

Or discontent : for if I so do wolde 

A myghty volume coude nat theyr vyces holde 

Of the syngularyte of some newe Folys. 

I leue theyr pryde : I leue theyr couetyse 
I woll nat touche theyr malyce nor enuy 
Nor them that Venus toyes exercyse 
I woll nat blame, nor touche openly 
It were but foly, syth is no remedy 
But if I sholde vpon me take the payne 
A newe labour I sholde begynne agayne 

I them nat touche that cunnynge men disdayne 

There were none ende in blamynge all the folys 

The maners, rude, vngoodly, and vylayne 

And assys erys clokyd vnder cowlys 

Knowynge no thynge, contemnynge yet the scolys 

All these to touche and sondry vyces mo 

It were to sore a charge and payne to do 

I wyll nat say that they vse any syn 
Yet oft, forsoth they folowe nat the way 
Of the relygyon that they haue entred in 
Thoughe they the name and, habyte nat denay 
Yet of theyr lyfe full harde it is to say 
But often at ende it proueth euydent 
That vnder floures lurketh the serpent 

The wolfe or Foxe is hyd within the skyn 
Of the symple shepe pore and innocent 
Mekenes without : but pryde is hyd within 
The wordes fayre : but fals is theyr intent 
No sort by falshode, or wayes fraudelent 
May soner disceyue good folke by any way 
Than the wyckyd sort of ypocrytis may 

324 -A brefe addition 

Hange vp the scapler : the amys cowle and frocke 
Or other habyte of eche relygyon 
Vpon a tre clene dede, or rottyn stocke 
Suche ar those folys that haue professyon 
Leuynge theyr right rule in eche condicion 
They here the habyte the vesture or the wede 
And eke the name, without the thynge in dede 

And if that one lyue well and vertuously 
In way of grace : lyke as he ought to go 
The remanent assayle hym with enuy 
And hym oppres with greuous payne and wo 
Vntyll he folowe lyke as the other do 
And leue his way of godly ryghtwysnes 
Folowynge theyr lyfe full of all viciousnes 

The gode ar good and worthy reuerence 

And whan the Shepherde is ware and dylygent 

Rulynge hym selfe by vertue and prudence 

Than grace and goodnes soner shall augment 

Amonge the flocke by example euydent 

But if the Shepeherde by foly hurte his name 

Moste comonly the flocke shall do the same 

Whan that the hede hath no diseas nor payne 
Than all the membres greatly the sounder be 
But if the hede be seke or sore certayne 
Than ouer the body goeth that infyrmyte 
But to be playne we dayly here and se 
That the comontye, in theyr behauour 
Ar suche as is theyr lorde and gouernour 

of the syngularyte of some newe Folys. 325 

Alas what lewde relygion do they take 

Or of what sort is theyr professyon 

That of theyr wombes vyle theyr goddes make 

As wytles bestis, voyde of discressyon 

Thus it appereth that theyr ingressyon 

Into relygion is more for welth and eas 

Than by harde penaunce, our sauyour to pleas 

Thoughe men relygious be countyd in the lawe 
As dede and gone out of this lyfe actyue 
That saynge surely is scantly worth a strawe 
For suche dedys oft tymes they contryue 
That it appereth playne that they ar alyue 
But as for that : a part it shall be layde 
At eche season : trouth ought nat to be sayde 

A heuenly lyfe is to be monke or frere 
Yet is it nat ynoughe to bere the name 
Suche must they be in lyfe as they apere 
In outwarde habyte : accordynge to the same 
Than sholde none haue occasion them to blame 
For certaynly no vertuous man there is 
That wyll hym blame that hath nat done amys 

For he that is of god without all dout 
Wyll be full redy and besy nyght and day 
The workes of god almyght to go about 
The deuyllys seruaunt kepyth another way 
In lust and pleasour walkynge whyle he may 
Seruynge his mayster : and yet in euery place 
He fayneth vertue outwarde in his face 

326 A brefe addicion 

Of suche a vyle and wretchyd ypocryte 
And of his maners playnly as they be 
At this conclusion brefly shall I wryte 
As it is founde in good auctoryte 
Leuynge my auctour for his prolyxite 
And to playne speche, and eke to lyberaU 
For to be drawen in langage maternall 

By these poyntis the whiche I shall expres 
Those ypocrytis shall openly apere 
Whiche outwarde fayne vertue and holynes 
In worde and dede : where men may se or here 
But whan that they haue brought them selfe arere 
And out of syght, and others audyence 
They ar moche wors than, other in offence 

They outwarde in face present humylyte 

As if they were holy and parfyte of lyuynge 

Y>t wolde they nat of men despysyd be 

They fayne them pore : yet wyll they lacke no thynge 

Touchynge theyr habyte, vesture or clothynge 

They wyll the same in costely maner dresse 

Without all care thought, trouble or besynesse 

They loke to be fed, well and delycyously 

Without labour, therin is no delyte 

Some men they flater, but other they enuy 

And other some, they cruelly bacbyte 

Some men to malyce, by falshode they excyte 

As dogges they byte some in playne audyence 

For synne : thoughe they commyt the same offence 

of the syngularyte of some newe Folys. 

As Foxis full of falshode and of gyle 

By sotelte they all theyr workes gyde 

They boldly, other for statelynes reuyle 

Yet as proude Lyons, ar they accloyd with pryde 

And whyle that they in company abyde 

They shewe them outwarde as Lambes innocent 

Lyke rauysshynge wolues yet ar they of intent 

They wyll be luges without auctoryte 
And wytnesses without knowlege, or syght 
They wyll be Doctours of passynge grauyte 
Without processe in stody day, or nyght 
And to be short, by lugement vnright 
They oft accuse good men, them to oppres 
Theyr selfe yet bare of vertue and goodnes 

These ar the tokyns and sygnes euydent 
Whiche in ypocrytis men may note and se 
Also the religyous sholde be obedyent 
And euer perseuer in fayre humylyte 
Beynge content with wylfull pouerte 
Enclynynge euer with all his dilygence 
His chastyte, to kepe by abstynence 

But nowe hath entred into relygyon 
In stede of mekenes and obedyence 
Pryde and disdayne, and fals rebellyon 
Yll wyll, enuy, and other lyke offence 
Wylfull pouertye, expellyd haue they thence 
And all ar gyuen vnto worldly ryches 
Whiche they out wast about vnthryftynes 

328 A brefe addition 

But of theyr chastyte for to be playne 

It for to kepe is great diffyculte 

Where glotony and dronkenes doth rayne 

But where as is abstynence, and scarsyte 

It may be kept, and best contynued be 

The flesshe agaynst the reason doth rebell 

But well is hym that the ardent hete may quell 

But these wretchys haue moche gretter hede 
Theyr wombe to fede tyll they be full as swyne 
As for theyr soule they labour nat to fede 
With godly wordes or holsome discyplyne 
The greattest part to glotony inclyne 
Whiche is the rote of Venus insolence 
Nowe luge ye where is theyr contynence 

By flatery fayre I loke to haue no mede 
Theyr lyfe is godly that kepe theyr order true 
And of theyr right professyon taketh hede 
Passynge theyr lyfe in goodnes and vertue 
And that the fendes workes wyll subdue 
And eke the Fende, fader of all iniquyte 
By sobernes subduynge theyr sensualyte 

Here purpose I no farther to procede 

Let euery man chose for hym selfe a place 

As he shall in this boke ouerse or rede 

For hym moste mete : man knoweth best his case 

And here shall I by goddes helpe and grace 

Drawe all my Nauy, to hauyns for to rest 

For fere of wynter stormes and tempest 


of the syngularyte of some newe Folys. 329 

Wysdome hath gyuen me this commaundement 
My wyt is wery : my hande and hede also 
Wherfore I gladly with all my herte assent 
And lepe a borde, amonge the other mo 
But in my iournay : if that I haue mysgo 
By bytynge wordes or scarsnes of scyence 
1 yelde me vnto men of more prudence 

It is no meruayle (the trouth playnly to say) 
Syth I a mayster without experyence 
Of worldly thynges, haue erred from the way 
By ignoraunce, or slouthfull neglygence 
Let none be wroth for blamynge his offence 
For if his lyfe fro synne be pure and clere 
No maner hurt is sayde agaynst hym here 

Within a myrrour, if thou beholde thy chere 
Or shap of face : if thy colour be pure 
Within the myrrour to the it shall apere 
But if that thou be foule of thy fygure 
The glas shall shewe the same I the insure 
Yet blame thou nat the myrrour for the same 
But thy owne shap thou ought rebuke and blame 

The myrrour showys eche man lyke as they be 

So doth my boke, for who that is in syn 

Shall of his lyfe, the fygure in it se 

If he with good aduertence loke therin 

But certaynly his reason is but thyn 

For his yll lyfe if he my boke despyse 

For them I laude that vertue exercyse 

2 2 o A brefe addicion 

*j *j y 

Let nat the redar be discontent with this 
Nor any blame agayne me to obiect 
Thoughe that some wordes be in my boke amys 
For though that I my selfe dyd it correct 
Yet with some fautis I knowe it is infect 
Part by my owne ouersyght and neglygence 
And part by the prynters nat perfyte in science 

And other some escaped ar and past 
For that the Prynters in theyr besynes 
Do all theyr workes hedelynge, and in hast 
Wherfore if that the redar be wytles 
He shall it scorne anone by frowardnes 
But if the reder wyse, sad and discrete be 
He shall it mende : laynge no faut to me 

It is ynoughe if my labour may be sene 

Of lernyd men, and theyr mynde to content 

For nought is pleasaunt before a Folys iyen 

And to be playne it was nat myne intent 

At my begynnynge to Folys to assent 

Ne pleas theyr myndes by sparynge of theyr vyce 

But it to shewe : and that in playnest wyse 

Therfore let Folys haue theyr wordes vayne 

Whiche nought can do, but without reason chat 

All others dedes, by lewde tunge to distayne 

And if theyr belyes be full, and chekis fat 

Let Clerkes speke, and they haue scorne therat 

They knowe no thinge : yet wolde, they fayne haue prayse 

And theyr owne dedes onely doth them please 

of the syngularyte of some newe Folys. 33 

With suche Folys I ende my besynes 
Whiche all thynge blame, and vtterly dispyse 
Yet all theyr lyfe they passe in ydylnes 
Or in theyr bely fedynge in bestely wyse 
But this I fynde, that no man can deuyse 
A thynge so crafty, so good and excellent 
Or yet so sure : that may eche man content 

"What warke is that : that may eche man content 

No worldly thynge : forsoth I trowe the same 

Thoughe Virgyll were a poet excellent 

Afore all other, shynynge in lawde and fame 

Yet some there were whiche dyd his warkes blame 

Jerome with other Doctours certaynly 

Cowde nat theyr warkes defende well from enuy 

Holde me excusyd : for why my wyll is gode 
Men to induce vnto vertue and goodnes 
I wryte no lest ne tale of Robyn hode 
Nor sawe no sparcles ne sede of vyciousnes 
Wyse men loue vertue, wylde people wantones 
It longeth nat to my scyence nor cunnynge 
For Phylyp the Sparowe the (Dirige) to synge. 

[This curious astrological diagram to the year 1503, is 
prefixed to ten supplementary leaves of verses (not trans 
lated by Barclay) in the Latin edition of the Ship, dated 
August, 1497. I* bears this title: "De Corrupto ordine 
uiuendi pereutibus. Inuentio noua. Sebastiani Brant." 

Anno dnT. 1503 . 
. 2 . die octobris 
post meridiem 
hora nona asce- 
den . ad medium 
vi . climatis. 

The verses that follow are chiefly descriptive of the great 
empires of antiquity, and among them occur twenty lines 
entitled "Figura celi, M.CCCCC.III.," in which the conjunc 
tion of planets, as pictured in the cut, is predicted to be of 
evil omen to the German nation.] 

A conclusyon of this Boke with a Balade 
of the translatour in the honoure of 
the blessyd Virgyn Mary, moder of god. 

334 Conclusyon. 

O Moder maty flour of all womankynde 

In beauty passynge eche erthly creature 

In whome the Fende no thought of synne coude fynde 

O blessyd moder remaynynge Mayden pure 

O lemynge lampe in lyght passynge nature 

Moste clere Crystall by clene virgynyte 

O holy moder, and virgyne most demure 

Direct our lyfe in this tempestous se 

O well of mercy : o godly graffe of grace 
Bryght as the mone, and porte of Paradyse 
In whome Chryst Jesu elect his dwellynge place 
Chosen as the son, O rose passynge all pryce 
Plantyd in Ann without consent of vyce 
O noble fruyte spronge of a barayne tre 
Syns to thy son : thou art our medyatryce 
Direct our lyfe in this tempestous se 

O ceder tre growynge in Lybany 
O rod of Jesse, and spouse of Salomon 
O well of water lastynge eternally 
O gardayne, closyd, o flees of gedeon 
O cyte of god, and sempiternall trone 
Of god elect for thy humylyte 
To the I call : o Lady here my mone 
Direct our lyfe, in this tempestous se 

O Mary, myrrour clere and immaculate 
O tour of Dauyd : with Pynacles without pere 
O pleasaunt olyue, with vertue decorate 
Pyller of fayth, whyle thou wast lyuynge here 


O heuenly starre, of gardyns fountayne clere 
O plesaunt Lyly raoste goodly in beautye 
Compalyd rounde with the sharpe thorne and brere 
Direct our lyfe in this tempestous se 

Hayle moder of mercy : Hayle myrrour of mekenes 
Hayle Quene of blysse : hayle sterre celestyall 
Hayle hope of synners, eternall Emperes 
Whiche by the fruyt of thy closet virgynall 
Mankynde hast wasshyd from synne orygynall 
Lowse of our bondes, and make vs synners fre 
From paynfull pyt and dongeon infernall 
Gydynge our lyfe in this tempestous se 

O Quene vs red out, of captyuyte 

On the we call, in the our confort is 

That by thy prayer to the hye Trinyte 

All shall be pardonyd that we haue done amys 

Syns thou art in eternall ioy and blys 

Our mediatryce : before the deyte 

Our hope is sure : that thou wylt neuer mys 

Our lyfe to gyde in this tempestous se 

O glorious Lady : o Quene most excellent 
Howe may I synner thy lawdes comprehende 
My synfull mouth is nat suffycyent 
Worthy nor able thy goodnes to commende 
My wyt ne reason coude nat therto extende 
Thoughe euery member of myne were tunges thre 
Yet is my trust that thou wylt euer intende 
To gyde vs synners in this tempestous se 

336 Gonclusyon. 

Syns synners stray here in this se mundayne 
In dyuers synnes, by errour and fraylnes 
By thy bryghtnes reduce our way agayne 
Shewe vs thy lyght to clere our thycke derknes 
And to subdue the Prynce of viciousnes 
With all his pompes, his pryde and vanyte 
And come to heuen by way of rightwysnes 
Thou gydynge vs in this tempestous se. 

O blessyd Moder, set hye in goddes trone 

In ioy and blysse surmountynge mannes mynde 

Syns by thy fruyte we saued ar echone 

And heuen yatis opened to mankynde 

Graunt that we dayly by the may socour fynde 

Of soule and body in eche aduersyte 

Let thy lyght. Lady, the Fende subdue and blynde 

And gyde vs wretches in this tempestous se 

Thou art the Sterre, blasynge with bemys bryght 
Aboue these worldes wawes so violent 
Our synnes darke enclerynge with thy lyght 
Mannys mediatryce to god omnypotent 
Wherfore to the, o Lady I present 
This symple Boke thoughe it vnworthy be 
But pore and symple and moche ineloquent 
Rudely composyd in this tempestous se 

O blessyd virgyn, O resplendaunt lanterne 
Defende my Shyp from the malyciousnes 
Offals enuy, withsaue it to gouerne 
From stroke of storme : as most holy patrones 

Conclusyon. 3 \ 7 

My soule and body : to the also Empres 
And all my workes I submyt besekynge the 
That the foule Fende me neuer may oppres 
Whyle I here wander in this tempestous se 

And after whan my soule is seperate 
From this mortall body, and clot of clay 
With thy holy presence, o moder immaculate 
From me expell the ougly fende away 
O moder of mercy syns thou well may 
Thy sonnes presence purchace for me 
By thy ayde and socour that I may say 
That I haue escapyd this stormy se. 

Our Shyp here leuyth the sees brode 
By helpe of God almyght and quyetly 
At Anker we lye within the rode 
But who that lysteth of them to bye 
In Flete strete shall them fynde truly 
At the George : in Richarde Pynsonnes place 
Prynter vnto the Kynges noble grace. 

Deo gratias. 



C, refers to Catuood's edition. 

A, II., 50, 13, C., are. 

ABHYME, I., 135, 12, abyss. 

ABRODE, II., 270, 24, widely dis 

ABUSION, I., 212, 8, abuse. 

ABYDE, I., 284, 2, endured. 

ABYE, II., 37, 4, expiate. 

ACLOYEST, II., 51, i, overloadeth. 

ACLOYDE, II., 82, 23, overloaded. 

ADAMOND, I., 120, 27, C. adamant. 

ADUYSE, II., 29, 18, see. 

ADVERTENCE, II., 92, 16, attention. 

ADUESYTE, II., 133, 12., C. aduer- 

ALAYD, II., 289, 5, mixed. 

ALESTAKE, I., 305, 14, a stake set 
up before an alehouse as a sign. 

ALLTO,I.,288,9; II., 139, 15; II., 
139, 17 ; II., 194, 24, entirely, 

AMYS, II., 324, i, amice. 

ANN, II., 333, 5, Anna the pro 
phetess. See Luke, ii. 36. 

ANY, II., 292, 2, C. my. 

APAYDE, I., 101, 5, satisfied, pleased. 

APAYRED, I., 35, 8, impaired. 

APOSE, I., 288, 1 8, oppose. 

ARERE, I., 297, 26, backward, be 

ASSHE, I., 141, 17, and I., 169, 
25, C. aske. 

ASSYTE, II., 8 1, i, cite. 

ATONS, I., 104, 13, C. at once. 

ATONYS, I., 160, 21, C. at once. 

AT TURNEY, II., 50, 2 7, C. atturney. 

ATTYSE, I,, 296, 6, entice. 

ATTYSERS, II., 163, 25, enticers. 

ATTYSYNGE, I., 239, 2, enticing. 

AUAUNT, II., 67, 20, boast. 

AUAUTAGE, I., 206, 12, C. auantage. 
AUAYLE, II., 8 1, 12, advantage. 
AUOUTRY, II., 163, 4, adultery. 
AUTERS, I., 221, 20, C. aulters. 
AUYCEN, I., 262, 6, Avicenna. 
AYENST, II., 255, 28, C. against. 

BABYLL, I., 133, 5, bauble. 
BAGGES, II., 103, 3, badges. 
BAYLYES, I., 64, i, C. BaylifFes. 
BEAWLYS, L, 144, 23, roaring out. 
BECKE I., 146, 4, bow, salute. 
BEDE MAN, II., 81, 23, one em 
ployed in praying for another. 
BBNDE, II., 93, 15, C. bande. 
BESEKE, II., 112, 8, beseech. 
BETERS, I., 296, (title), those who 

walk up and down. 
BETTER, I., 217, 20, C. bitter. 
BEWARE the ende is the leste poynt 

of his charge, I., 30, 28, C. 

Not viewing the greatest point of 

his charge. 

BLABERYNGE, I., 1 44,23, talking idly. 
BLASINGE, I., 36, [9, blazoning. 
BLASYNGE I., 240, 10, setting or 

spreading forth; II., 335, 9, 


BLYNDNES, L, 216, 22, C. blinde. 
BOCARDO, I., 144, 20, a term in 


BOCSOME, I., 169, 23, obedient, 
BOKEST, II., 177, i8,boke, to vomit. 
BOLDLES, II., 172, 25, C. boldnes. 
BONDE, II., 189, 8, C. bande. 
BOTE, II., 299, 24, help. 
BOTH, II., 15, 28, C. before. 
BOURDES, I., 7, 8, jokes, jests, games. 
BRAST, II., 123, 6, break. 



BRASTYTH, II., 164, 6, bursteth. 
BRAYNE, II., 166, 7, C. gayne. 
BRAWNE, II., 252, 3, (misprint for) 


BRENNYNGE, II., 83, 13, burning. 
BRONDES, I., 149, 2, torches, II., 

294, 26, C. brandes. 
BROUGH, I., 202, 20, C. brought. 
BRYBOURS, I., 64, I. robbers, 


BRYNNYNGE, II., 96, 19, burning. 
BURDEWS, I., 128, 15, Bordeaux. 
BUSSHES, I., 37, 23, beards. 
BYD, II., 106, 3, invited. 
BYDE, II., 226, 3, wait. 
BYDETH, II., 212, 5, remaineth. 
BYDYNGE, II., 311, 12, enduring. 
BYTE, I., 302, 5, smart. 

CADUKE, II., 250, 9. frail, crazy. 
CAME, I. 109, 2i,C. come. 
CANELL, I., 222, 7, kennel. 
GARAGE, II., 173, 21, measure, 


CARAKE, II., 306, 7, a large ship. 
CARE, II., 292, 13, think about; 

II., 310, 27, concern. 
CAREFULL, II., 94, 4, sorrowful. 
CARKE, II., 122, 15, care. 
CARTIS, II., 228, 10, chariots. 
CARYTH, II., 50, 4, C. careth. 
CAST, I., 284, 6, intend, contrite. 
CAUSE, I., 202, n, C. not cause. 
CAUTELL, I., 168, 10, Cautele, I., 

284, 4, a cunning trick. 
CAUTELOUS,!., 49, 5, artfully cautious. 
CERSUS, II., 1 06, 12, C. Croesus. 
CERTAYNE, II., 248, 3, certainly. 
CESYLL, II., 25, 4, C. Sicil. 
CEUEYT, II., 315, 15, C. couete. 
CHAFFAR, II., 219, 6, merchandise. 
CHARETTES, II., 228, 10, chariots. 
CHARGE, I., 231, 26, trouble. 
CHERE, II., 292, 8, countenance; 

295, 14, entertainment. 

CHRAFTY, I., 185, 2, C. politike. 

CLYST, I., 22, 14, Broadclyst, De 

COMMODYTE, I., 127, 3, complais- 

COMON, I., 287, 22, C. commen 


COMPACE, II., 290, 22, encompass. 
COMPALYD II., 3 3 3, -2 3, hedged. 
COMPASE, I., 292, 4, circle. 

CONFYDENCE, II., 228, 26, C. gCUC 

COPYNTANKE, I., 38, 13, copatain, a 

conical hat. 
CORNES, I., 170, i ; II., 237, 18, 

C. corners. 
COSTOMER, I., 43, 24, one who 

collects customs or duties. 
COTIS, II., 96, 14, cottages. 
COUNTRE, I., 298, 1 6, encounter. 
COURS, II., 10, 2, C. course. 
COVERTURE, II., 290, ro, covering 
COY, II., 256, 17, quiet. 
CRAFTELY, I., 204, 17, C. warely. 
CRAFTY, I., 193, 14, C. holsome, 

skilfully made, I., 199, I, C. 

prudent; I., 200, 9, C. prouident; 

H., 274, 13, skilful. 
CRAKARS, I., 12, 16, braggarts. 
CRAKE, II., 132, 7, brag or boast. 
CRAKYNGE, II., 80, 6, boasting. 
CRAUYS, I., 271, 6, C. creuis, the 

craw-fish or lobster. 
CUNNYNGE, I., 261, 25, knowledge. 
CURIUS, II., 262, 12, Dentatus 

Curius, celebrated for his fru 

DAMNYD, II., 102, 24, condemned 

to death. 
DECKE, I., 38, 12, trimmed; applied 

to " slut." 

DEFYE, II., 52, 4, reject. 
DEMAYNE, II., 292, 18, manage. 
DEPARTE, II., 181, u, part. 
DERE,I.,227, 19, injure, hurt; injury. 
DERE, I., 270, n; II., 55, 16, 

C. degree. 

DESPYTOUS, II., 164, 23, very angry. 
DEMYNGE, I., 154, 27, judging. 
DEUYSE, 1,74, i8,C. iudise; judge. 



DEYNTEOUS, II., 293, 22, full of 

DIFFAMYD, II., 37,20, of bad fame. 

DISCEYFULL, I., 245, 1 8, C. disceyt- 

DISCEYUABLE, II., 84, 12, deceitful. 

DISSYMULED, II., 221, 4, dissembled. 

DISTAYNE, II., 101, 25, stain. 

Do, II., 82, 4, C. to ; II., 108, 7, 
(misprint for) to. 

DODART, I., 47, 5, an old, infirm, 
confused person. 

DOMAS, I., 20, 12, C. damas. 

DOME, I., 150, 15, C. dombe. 

DORTOR, I., 294, 21, dormitory. 

DOTYSSHE, I., 86, 8, foolish. 

DRANYNGE, II., 186, 23, draining. 

DREDE, II., 292, 9, fear. 

DRENT, I., 90, 5, drowned. 

DRES, II., 24, 17, direct. 

DRESSE, II., 63, 9, apply; II., 275, 
10, prepare. 

DRUYDANS, I., 292, 8, " Druidas 
de quibus, Julius Caesar, in com 
ment." (Marginal note.] 

DRYUYLS, II., 77, 27, C. driuels. 

DYGHT, II., 212, 4, clean. 

EARNEST, II., 115, I., deposit 
money given to bind a bargain, or 
on hiring a servant. 

EDEFYE, II., 120, 6, build. 

EDITYED, I., 6, 9, C. edifyed. 

EFT, II., 203, 27, again. 

EGALL, II., 293, 3, equal. 

EKE, II., '326, 6, also. 

ENIOYNGE, I., 54, 3, C. seking. 

ENJOYE, I., 151, 4, C. joye. 

ENTENDE, II., 87, 23, attend. 

ENUYE, II., 279, 9, envy. 

ERE, I., 58, 27, C. eare; plough. 

ERCYSE, II., 315, 25, C. exercise. 

ESTATE, II., 14, 16, a wealthy 

EXCHETERS, II., 78, 21, executors. 

FACYATE, II t> 199, 8, (misprint for) 

FARO, II., 1 10, 24, C. Pharao. 
FASYNGE, I., 43, 23, C. facing; 


FATYGATE, II., 119, 17, fatigued. 
FELL,!!., 169, 16, (misprint for) sell. 
FEN, II., 35, 22; FENN, I., 157, 

ii, mud, mire. 

FEREFULL, I., 218, 17, full of fear. 
FERME, I., 159, 23, rent; II., 98, 

4, farm. 

FLEE, II., 199, 2 4, (misprint for) slee. 
FLETE, II., 290, 29, float. 
FOLAWES, II., 36, 1 6, C. felowes. 
FORCE, I., 278, 21, care, regard. 
FORGE, II., 306, 4, invent. 
FORKED CAPPE, II., 279, 22, the 


FOR IT REBUKED, II., l8o, 26, C. 

with great rebuke. 
FORS, I., 51, 6, same as Force. 
FOROUR, I., 79, 3, C. furour. 
FORSYTH, II., 100, 14, C. forceth ; 

endeavoureth ; II., 163, 22, 

esteemeth, careth for. 
FORTHYNKE, I., 278, 2O, grieve, 


FOUL, I., 52, 8, C. foole. 
FOYSON, I., 11, 3, abundance. 
FRAGAUNT, II., 290, i, fragrant. 
FRANTYFE, I., 149, 13, C. frantike. 
FRAME, II., 253, 3, to set about a 


FYERS, I., 165, 9, C. fierce. 
FYNDE, I., 304, 18, supply. 

GAFFYS, I., 123, 4, C. graffes; 

GARDED, I., 36, 19; GARDYD, II, 

97> 12, girded or surrounded with 

a hem. 

GAYLE, I., 27, 1 8, jail. 
GEASON, II., 10, 12, scarce. 
GESTIS, II., 270, 2, gestures. 
GET, I., 63, 20, C. jet, "wantonly 

to goe in and out with the legs," 

to strut or walk proudly. 
GETTERS, I., 146, 28, swaggerers, 


34 2 


GETTETH, I., 143, 27, C. cometh. 
CLOSE, I., 58, 28, comment; II., 

51, 1 6, interpret. 
GOD, II., 217, 23, good. 
CODE, I., 100, 7, C. goode. 
GOODES, I., 234, 7, C. goodnes. 
GOOSTLY, II., 1 6 1, 13, spiritually. 
GORGAYS, II., 289, i, C. gorgious. 
GRAFFYD, II., 240, 8, grafted. 
GRE AT, II., 34, 8, C. great. 
GREE, I., 155, n, agree. 
GREUAUNCE, II., 262, 4, injury. 
GRENNYNGE, II., 130, 16, roaring. 
GROTZ, I., 100, 6, C. grotes. 
GROUNDE, II., 292, 14, an old 

musical term for an air on which 

variations and divisions were to 

be made. Nares. 
GRUTCHYNGE, I., 145, 10, grumbling, 

GYDERS, II., 15, 21, straps to draw 

together the open parts of armour. 
GYLEFULL, II., 169, 23, C. wilfull. 
GYSE, I., 287, 12, fashion. 
GYUYS, I., 184, 23, C. geuen. 

HACKYNGE, II., 232, 25, stammer 

HANT, I., 195, n, follow. 

HAP, I., 140, 14, C. chaunce. 

HAPHY, II., 252, 12, C. happy. 

HAUT, II., 224, 6; II., 287, 13, 

HE, I., 16, 7, C. ye. 

HEDELYNGE, II., 330, ro., C. 

C. hell thy just rewarde. 

HERE, I., 177, 12, hair. 

His, L, 42, 5, C. my ; II., 208, 7, 
C. is. 

HONYNGTON, I., 22, 14, Honiton. 

HORLE, I., 109, 28, C. whirle. 

HoURLYNGE, II., 310, 12, C. 

hurling; rumbling. 
HURTE, I., 141, 24, C. heart. 
HURTLYTH, II., 115, 24, closes or 

clashes together with noise. 

INCOUENYENCE, I., 238, 14, C. in- 

INFACIABLE, II., 227, n, (misprint 
for) insaciable. 

INFECT, I., 5, 13, infected ; I., 126, 
8, contagious. 

INFECTYFE, II., 161, 1 6, contagious. 

INFEXTYNGE, II., 71,13,0. infecting. 

INTREATABLE, II., 1 1 4, 6, not to be en 
treated; II., I i5,8,C.intollerable. 

INURE, II., 291, 19, apply them 
selves to, serve. 

IT, I., 187, 28, C. he. 

IYEN, II., 125, 7, eyes. 

JAPES, II., 153, 6, jests. 

JEOPADOUS, I., 194, 5,C. jeopardous. 

JONATHAS, I., 77, 4., i Mach. xii. 
(marginal note), general of the 
Jews, brother to Judas Macca 
beus, treacherously seized and put 
to death by Tryphon. 

JOWELL, I., 1 20, 22, C. Jewell. 

KEPE, I., 226, 12, care. 
KEST, II., 260, 6, C. cast. 
KYNDE, II., 240, 22, nature, 
natural disposition. 

LACHESYS, I., 188, 27, Lachesis. 
LACKYNGE, II., 264, 14, want. 
LAURER, II., 289, 3, laurel. 
LEASING, (or Lesynge), I., 196, 12, 

LEFE, I., 103, 6, agreeable; II., 

1 1 8, 22, leave. 
LEFTE, 1., 188, 27, (misprint for) 


LEMMAN, I., 244, 18, mistress. 
LEMYNGE, II., 332, 5, shining. 
LESE, I., 140, 17, lose. 
LESHES, I., 221, 23, thongs or 

strings by which dogs are led. 
LESYNGE, II., 6, 18, lie. 
LESYNGYS, I., 53, 3, lies. 
LESYTH, II., 115, 22, loseth. 
LET, I., 90, 7, hindered: I., 194, 

20, leave off. 



LETTYD, I., 297, 5, hindered. 

LEUER, I., 48, i, rather. 

LEUERAY, II., 271, 28, C. liueray. 

LEWDE, I., 52, 5, ignorant, lay, un 
taught, useless. Later, vile, base, 

LEWDNES, I., 127, 5, unlawful 

LODESMAN, II., -200, 14, pilot, 

LONGYNGE, II., 60, 5, belonging. 

LORELLYS, II., 320, 14, worthless 

LOTHLY, I., 1 68, 23, loathsome. 

LOUT, I., 105, 13 ; LOUTE, I., 
146, 4, bend, bow. 

LOWDE, I., 130, 28,C. lowe. 

LOWE, I., 68, n, C. alowe. 

LUSTY, II., 293, 8, pleasant. 

LUSTYNES, II., 295, 3, gaiety. 

LYCYNUS, I., 139, 9. Licinus, the 
extravagant governor of Gaul. 

LYGHTLY, I., 68, 21, quickly; II., 
171, 17, commonly, easily. 

LYKE, II., 263, 21, please. 

LYST, II., 255, 15, please. 

LYUYNGE, I., 187, 2 i, C. leauing. 

LUCRES, II., 9, 9, Lucretia. 

MADE, I., 248, 21, C. mad. 

MAKE, II., 237, 12, companion. 

MAWES, II., 89, i, stomach. 

MARS, PRESTIS OF, I., 292, 12, " De 
quibus Virgilius, II., Georgi- 
corum." (Marginal note.) 

MAS, II., 132, 13, C. sacrament, 
19, eucharist ; 28, offering; II., 

i333> our Lord - 
MASYD, II., 83, 2, stupified. 

MATERS, I., 216, 20, C. mates. 
MEAN, II., 104, 12, temperate. 
MEANES, I., 199, 22, C. no meanes. 
MEASE, II., 264, 9, mess. 
MEDE, I., 134, 15, reward. 
MEKE, II., 164, 15, make meek. 
MELL, II., 211, 19, mix. 
MEN, II., 45, 1 8, C. mean. 
MERY, I., 188, 18, fair. 

MESUES, I., 262, 4, Joannes Mesue; 
there were several famous Arabic 
physicians of this name. 

MESURE, I., 188, 18, moderate; II., 
262, 23, moderation. 

METE, I., 155, 16, fitting. 

MEWE, I., 222, 6, stable. 

MOCHE, I., 112, 26, C. great. 

MONYSYON, II., 189, 23, monition. 

MORYAGE, I., 248, 23, C. mariage. 

MOST, I., 217, 19, C. must. 

MOSTE, I., 6, 8, C. more. 

MOWES, I., 212, 10, mocks, scorn 
ful grins. 

MUNDAYNES, I., 159, 3, worldly. 

MYGHT, II., 144, 16, C. night. 

MYSCHE, I., 253, 27, C. mischiefe. 

MYSE, II., 129, i, muse. 

MYSHAPE, II., 252, 21, mishap. 

MYSORDYNAUNCE, II., 285, 22, mis- 
order, disorderly proceedings. 

NARRYNGE, I., 182, IT, gnarring, 

gnarling, snarling. 
NAY, II., 282, 4, denial. 
NER, II., 9, 10, never. 
NILICOLYANS, I., 135, 23, Egyptians. 
NONS, I., 154, 27, occasion. 
NORTURE, I., 249, 1 1, nurture, train. 
NOTHERS, I., 112, 24, C. an others. 
NOY, II., 248, 2, annoy, hurt. 
NOYSON, II., 204, 10, C. noysome. 

OCCUPY, II., 169, 26, use, trade. 
OCCUPYERS, II., 219, 5, tradesmen. 
OF, II., 164, 7, (misprint for) at; 
II., 195, II, of (misprint for) all. 
OKERERS, II., 166, (title) usurers. 
ONE, I., 199, 23, C. no. 
ON LYUE, II., 199, 7, alive. 

OR, I., 143* 3, c - are - 
OR, II., 60, 13, that. 
ORDAYNE, II., 57, I, order. 
ORTHLY, I., 231, n, C. earthly. 
OTHERS, II., 132, 21, C. othes. 
OUER, II., 77, 24, C. ouercome. 
OUERSENE, I., 178, I, mistaken. 
OUR, I., 182, 2, C. your. 



PALFRAY, II., 217, 23, palfrey. 
PANTER, II., 297, 7, net or snare. 
PAPY, II., 184, i, poppy. 
PARAGE, II., 32, 4, parentage, 


PARCYTE, I., 9, 24, small ness. 
PARTNES, II., 236, 28, C. partners. 
PARTY, II., 97, 12, parti -coloured. 
PARYSSHYNGS, I., 160, 20, C. par- 


PAYNE, II., 316, 10, labour. 
PEAS, II., 3, 8, appease. 
PENS, I., 100, 6, C. pence. 
PERDURABLE, II., 306, 3, everlasting. 
PERTUREAUNCE, II., 285, 27, trouble. 
PERYSSHE, II., 255, 12, injure. 
PHERYSON, I., 144, 20, a term in logic. 
PLAGE, II., 24, 23, C. place. 
PLAGE, II., 136, (title), afflictive 

judgment or calamity. 
PLAME, II., 290, 17, C. place. 
PLEASAUNCE, II., 92, 26, pleasure. 
PODALIRIUS, I., 262, 4, Podaleirius, 

skilled in medicine. 
POLLERS, I., 12, 17, robbers. 
POMPE, I., 19, 2, poop. 
POTELS, II., 92, 6, a measure of 

two quarts. 

POULE, II., 302, 9, Paulus Emilius. 
POWLYNGE, I., 64, 3, robbing, 


PRACTYSE, I., 158, 25, artifice. 
PRECKYD, II., 308, 21, decorated. 
PRECYAN, I., 144, 12, Priscian. 
PROUE, II., 316, 21, thrive. 
PROUYSICION, I., 121, 23, C. pro- 


PROUERTYE, I., 304, i 5, C. pouertie. 
PRYMME, I., 250, I, C. paramour. 
PRYUATE, II., 84, 15, deprived. 
PURUEAUNCE, II., 285, 1 6, provision. 
PYGHT, II., 319, 24, placed. 
PYKERS, I., 15, 21, thieves. 
PYLLYNGE, I., 254, n, peeling. 

QUAXES, II., 261, 15, C. quates. 
QUAYNT, I., 2 1 1, -14, acquaint, in 

QUELL, II., 168, 7, kill. 

RAMPYNGE, II., 206, 4, rushing. 
RAWKY, II., 261, 4, rawlike. 
RAY, I., 35, 1 6, striped cloth; I., 

303, 26, dress. 
READ, I., 193, 14, C. rede. 
READE, I., 26, 28, counsel, (C.'s 

reading,) " Take counsayle of 

learned and expert men before." 
REBOKYNGE, II., 261, 12, belching. 
RED, II., 307, 1 8, rid, deprive. 
REDE, I., 151, i, advice. 
REDDYTH, II., 102, 10, C. riddeth. 
REDUCE, II., 175, 18, bring back. 
REFUSE, II., 164, 16, deny. 
REMYS, II., 186, 23, remiss. 
RENOWE, II., 66, 1 6, C. renowme. 
REPREFE, I.. 32, 21, C. repriefe ; 


REPUGNYNGE, I., 283, 4, repugnant. 
RESPYT, II., 280, i ; RESPYTE, II., 

316, n, respect. 
RETED, I., 44, 12; I., 116, n,C. 


REUYLDE,!., 2 8 8, 9, revealed; shown. 
REWED, II., 241, 24, regretted. 
ROWME, II., 212, 24, place. 
RODE, II., 309, 15, harbour. 
ROTE, II., 293, 7, root. 
ROUNDYNGE, I., 221, 4, a kind of 


ROUNDYNGES, II., 212, 16, whispers. 
ROUSE, I., 91, 14, hedges. 
ROUT, II., 224, 2, company. 
ROWNE, I., 161, 14, C. rowme. 
ROWME, II., 13, 6, place. 
ROYALLUE, I., 199, 11, C. realme. 
RUTHFULLY, I., 68, 27, C. ruefully. 
RYUE, II., 261, 17, split. 

SAD, I., 109, 1 6, serious, sober. 
SALUE, II., 87, 18, C. safe. 
SAUOUR, II., 139, i, (misprint for) 


SCAS, II., 103, 8, C. scarce. 
SCANT, II., 84, 27, scarce. 
SCAPLER, II., 324, i, scapulary. 



SCARSNESS, II., 97, 22, sparingness. 

ScONSYENCE, I., 136, 15, C. COn- 


SCORSYNGES, II., 141, (title) cx- 

SCOSYTH, I., 159, 25, C. choseth. 

SECTOURS, I., 117, 7, executors. 

SEKE, II., in, 8, C. sicke. 

SEMBLAUNT, II., 287, 23, appear 

SEMBLABLE, II., 264, 18, like. 

SENE, I., 109, 16, learned. 

SENTENCE, II., 109, 7, meaning. 

SERUAUTES, I., 238, 7, C. ser- 

SET BY, I., 198, 24, treated with 

SHELDE, I., 114, 15, shield. 

SHENT, I., 22, 17, abashed. 

SHRAPE, I., 47, 16 ; I., 105, 22, C. 

SHYLL, II., 162, 2O, shrill. 

SLAKE, II., 279, 5, subside. 

SLE, I., 198, 9, C. slay. 

SLUT, I., 38, 12, an apron, (Halli- 
well.) Used by Barclay as sy 
nonymous with Copyntanke. 

SMARE, II., 217, 7, C. snare. 

So, I., 177, 14, C. se. 

SOFT, II., 314, 3, easily. 

SOLYM, I., 135, 19, Jerusalem. 

SOME ar that thynke the pleasoure 
and ioy of theyr lyfe, I. 54, I., C. 
Some there are that haue pleasure 
al their life. 

SOPPE, II., 263, 15, C. suppe. 
SORTES CURRIT, I., 144, 19, a term 
in logic. 

SOTE, I., 112, 22, fool. 

SOTHLY, II., 112, 21, truly. 
SPARCLE, I., 194, i, spark. 
SREYGHT, II., 59, 12, C. straight. 
STAGE, II., 262, 27, position. 
STAKE, I., 299, 18, alestake, q.v. 
STATE, II., 8, 24, personage of high 

STENT, I., 31, 12, allotted portion ; 

II., 89, 3, stop. 

STERE, I., 291, 4, C. sterne. 
STERUE, II., 32, 8, perish. 
STRAUNGES, II., 77, 24, C. 

STRENGER, II., 28, (title), C. 


STRYKETH, II., 212, 18, stroketh. 
STUYS, I., 178, 21, C. And as the 

open stues they are set on warke. 
STYNT, II., 65, 2, stopped. 
SUBTYLL, II., 224, 2, fine. 

SuCHE, L, 208, 2, C. SO. 

SUETH, I., 183, 6, followeth. 
SULPICE, I., 144, 12, Sulpicius. 
SUPERFLUE, II., 2 1 5, II, superfluous. 

SUPPORTYTH, II., 230, 14, C. 


SuRMOUNTYNGE, II., 335, 2, SUr- 


SUSTERS, II., 201, 27, C. sisters. 
SUYNGE, I., 60, 13, C. shewing. 
SWERES, II., 128, (title), C. 


SYEGE, II., 82, 23, seat. 
SYLLABIS, L, 144, 27, C. syllables. 
SYSE, L, 27, 17, assise. 

TABLES, II., 1 31, 22, backgammon. 
TACHYD, I., 58, 11, blemished, 


TANE, II., 87, i, taken. 
TARY, I., 194, 13, delay. 
TAYS, II., 9, 12, Thais. 
TELL, II., 164, 12, C. hell. 
TEND, II., 257, 28, attend. 
THE, I., 183, 24, C. in.; II., 44, 

2 1 , (misprint for) they. 
THEDER, L, 154, 25, thither. 
THEE, L, 75, 4, thigh. 
THEKT, II., 96, 14, thatched. 
THEY, L, 255, 29, C. thy; II., 

276, 14, C. theyr. 
THOLOMEUS, I., 20, 22, C. Ptolo- 


THOUGHT, II., 121, i6,C. though. 
THYE, II., 94, 16; II., 223, 7, 

THYNKE, I., 172, 15, C. thinge. 

34 6 


THRYST, II., 7, 16, C. thrift. 

TOPPRES, II., 221, 25, C. to 

To RENT, I., 302, 1 6, quite or com 
pletely, or all rent to, an inten 
sive prefix. 

To TORE, I., 305, 4, similar to To 

TOUR, II., 291, 12, castle. 

TOWLYNGE, I., 64, I, beating with 
an oaken stick. 

TRACE, II., 276, 25, track, path. 

TRAYNE, I., 227, 13, knot; I., 245, 
1 5, deceit; II., 116, 19, stratagem. 

TROUGH, I., 245, 4, through. 

TRYPHON, I., 77, 5, Tynan general. 
See Jonathas. 

TUYCION, I., 25, 24, C. tuition. 

TYDE, I., 304, 17; II., 113, 6, 
time, season. 

UNCHRAFTY, I., 272, 16, C. unwittie. 

VANT, II., 185, 24, a winter trap 
for birds. 

VARY ABLE, II., 114, 7, ig> different. 

VAYLE, II., 24, 14, C. vayne. 

VEN, I., 1 20, 4, C. ben. 

VENGEABLE, II., 52, 7, revengeful, 

VERMAYLL, I.. 196, 17, red. 

VNETH, II., 315, 24, uneath, un 

VNMERCIABLE, II., 52, 5, merciless. 

VNTRETABLE, I., 165, 8, not to be 

VNWARE, I., 177, 19, unaware. 

VOLAGE, I., 126, II, changeful, 
light, giddy. 

VOLOURE, II., 291, 13, C. valour. 

VOYDE, II., 86, 4, make empty. 

VYLAYNE, II., 323, 10, wicked. 

WARE, I., 246, 15, sensible; II., 

250, 22, aware. 
WAREN, I., 134, 25, cunning. 
WARY, I., 305, 12, abuse, curse. 
WAWES, I., 206, 26, waves. 
WAY, I., 155, 15, away. 
WAY, I., 295, 15, C. away. 
WAYTE, I., 290, 12, know. 
WENE, II., 86, 2. think. 
WENYD, I., 138, 27, C. wened ; 

thought, supposed. 
WERAY, I., 70, 27, same as Wary. 
WERE, II., 162, 6, (misprint for) 


WETE, I., 150, 4, know. 
WHAN, II., 293, 12, C. whom. 
WODE, I., 116, 10, C. wood; mad, 


WOMBE, L, 12, 27, belly. 
WORDLY, II., 232, 12, C. worldly. 
WORLDLY, I., 287, 28, (misprint for) 

wordly ; C. world. 
WORTHELY, I., 247, 7, wrathfully. 
WYGHT, II., 318, 5, strong. 
WYNTER, I.. 42, 7, C. wynters. 
WYTCHES, I., 195, 15, C. wretches. 
WYNNYNGE, II., 83, 22, gain. 

YATE, II., 203, 22, gate; Scottish, 

yat, yett. 

YCHE, I., 43, 25, I. 
YE, I., 138, I, yea. 
YETYTH, II., 211, 27, C. putteth. 
YLL, I., 112, 14, C. euill. 
YMPORTABLE, I., 139, 23, intolerable. 
YORDAN, I., 297, 26, chamber pot. 
YOUR, L| 184, 3, C. our. 
YOWLYNGE, I., 297, 24, C. howling. 
YPOCRAS, I., 262, 7, Hippocrates. 
YRESSHE GAME, I., 21, 20, a game 

similar to backgammon. 
YROUS, I., 184, 23, irate. 

CHAPTER I. of the ORIGINAL EDITION, and of the 



i. Chapter I. of the original text of the Ship of Fools, 
as given in Zarncke's edition. 


Den vordantz hat man mir gelan 
Dann jch on nutz vil biicher han 
Die jch nit lyfz, vnd nyt verstan 

Das jch sytz vornan jn dem schyfF 
Das hat worlich eyn sundren gryff 
On vrsach 1st das nit gethan 
Vff myn libry ich mych verlan 
Von biicher n hab ich grossen hort 
Verstand doch drynn gar wenig wort 
Vnd halt sie dennacht jn den eren 
Das ich jnn -wil der fliegen weren 
Wo man von kiinsten reden dut 
Sprich ich, do heym hab jchs fast gut 
Do mit losz ich benligen mich 
Das ich vil biicher vor mir sych, 
Der kiinig Ptolomeus bstelt 
Das er all biicher het der welt 
Vnd hyelt das flir eyn grossen schatz 
Doch hat er nit das recht gesatz 
Noch kund dar vsz berichten sich 
Ich hab vil biicher ouch des glich 
Vnd lys doch gantz wenig dar jnn 
Worvmb wolt ich brechen myn synn 
Vnd mit der ler mich bkumbren fast 

348 Appendix. 

Wer vil studiert, wlirt ein fantast 
Ich mag doch sunst wol sin eyn here 
Vnd lonen eym der fur mich ler 
Ob ich schon hab eyn groben synn 
Doch so ich by gelerten bin 
So kan ich jta sprechen jo 
Des tutschen orden bin ich fro 
Dann jch gar wenig kan latin 
Ich weysz das vinu heysset win 
Gucklus ein gouch, stultus eyn dor 
Vnd das ich heysz donme doctor 
Die oren sint verborgen mir 
Man sah sunst bald eins mullers thier 

2. Chapter I. of Locher's Latin version : 


Inter precipuos pars est mihi reddita stultos 
Prima : rego docili vastaque vela manu. 

En ego possideo multos, quos raro libellos 
Perlego : turn lectos neglige : nee sapio. 

Primus in excelsa teneo quod naue rudentes 
Stultiuagosque sequor comites per flumina vasta : 
Non ratione vacat certa : sensuque latent! : 
Congestis etenim stultus confido libellis 
Spem quoque nee paruam collecta volumina praebent 
Calleo nee verbum : nee libri sentio mentem. 
Attamen in magno per me seruantur honore : 
Pulueris et cariem, plumatis tergo flabellis. 
Ast vbi doctrine certamen voluitur : inquam 
Aedibus in nostris librorum culta supellex 
Eminet : et chartis viuo contentus opertis : 
Quas video ignorans : et vano lumine solor. 
Constituit quondam diues Ptolomeus : haberet 
Vt libros toto quesitos vndique mundo : 
Quos grandes rerum thesauros esse putabat : 
Non tamen archanelegis documenta tenebat : 

Appendix. 349 

Quis sine non poterat vite disponere cursum. 

En pariter teneo numerosa volumina, tardus 

Pauca lego : viridi contentus tegmine libri. 

Cur vellem studio sensus turbare frequenti ? 

Aut tarn sollicitis animum confundere rebus ? 

Qui studet, assiduo motu, fit stultus et amens. 

Seu studeam : seu non : dominus tamen esse vocabor 

Et possum studio socium disponere nostro : 

Qui pro me sapiat : doctasque examinet artes. 

At si cum doctis versor : concedere malo : 

Omnia : ne cogar fors verba latina profari. 

Theutonicos inter balbos sum maximus auctor : 

Cum quibus incassum sparguntur verba latina : 

O vos doctores : qui grandia nomina fertis : 

Respicite antiques patres : iurisque peritos : 

Non in candidulis pensebant dogmata libris : 

Arte sed ingenua sitibundum pectus alebant. 

Auriculis asini tegitur sed magna caterua. 

3. Chapter I. of the French version of Pierre Riviere, 



Le premier fol de la nef suis 
Les voiles regis de man main 
A liures auoir me deduys 
Lesquelz ie ne voy soir ne main 
De ceulx que iay leuz faiz dedain 
Ou ne les entendz. somme toute 
Tel cuyde bien scauoir qui doubte. 

Le premier suis en la nauire 
Les cordes ie tourne ie vire 
Ie suis des compaignons vagans 
Ie suis des grans folz nauigans 
Sur la mer du monde parfonde 
En sens et raison mal me fonde 
Et suis bien fol de me fier 
Et mon cueur et corps dedier 

35 Appendix. 

En la multitude des liures 
Combien que aux esperitz deliures 
Ne donne pas petit espoir 
lapete tous les iours de veoir 
Liures : lesquelz ne puis aprendre 
Ne la substance deulx comprendre 
Toutesfois bien les contregarde 
Et en tout honneur ie les garde 
De pouldre et dimmundicite 
Car par grant curiosite 
Souuent mes poulpitres baloye 
La ou de doctrine tournoye 
Tous les iours disputacion 
Ma maison et ma mansion 
Est de liures resplendissante 
Desquelz veoir ouuers me contente 
Me confortant veoir seulement 
Mes grans volumes vainement 
Sans en comprendre mot en somme. 

Ptolomeus qui fut riche homme 
Constitua quon luy serchast 
Par le monde et quon luy trouuast 
Lesquelz quant ilz furent tous quis 
Pour grant tresor les maintenoit 
Et toutesfois il ne tenoit 
Lenseignement ne la doctrine 
De la sapience diuine 
Combien que sans celle ne peust 
Quelques liures que lors il eust 
Riens de la vie disposer 
Ne chose de bien composer 
Qui luy fust pour lors incolume 
Comme leu iay en maint volume 
Ou ie regarde bien petit 
Et en passe mon appetit 
De veoir seullement la verdure 
Dont est taincte la couuerture 
Car ce seroit a moy folie 
De mectre tant mon estudie 

Appendix. 35 

Es liures et leurs diuers sens 
Que apres ien troublasse mon sens 
Car cil qui trop scauoir procure 
Et trop es liures met sa cure 
En deuient souuent incense 
Aussi chacun est dispense 
Soit bien lettre scauant ou non 
De porter de seigneur le nom. 

Item ie puis en mon lieu mectre 
Quelcun soit en prose ou en metre 
Qui prendra bein la pacience 
Daprendre pour nous deux science 
Et se pres clercs et litterez 
Me voy ie leur concederez 
Leur dire soit tart ou matin 
Affin de ne parler latin 
Et que deulx ne soye repris 
De ce que iay si mal apris. 

O docteurs qui le nom auez 
De scauoir et riens ne scauez 
Pour euiter tous vituperes 
Contemplez que iadis noz peres 
Dont les corps sont mors et periz 
Qui furent es droiz si peritz 
Leur grant science ne comprindrent 
En ces beaulx liures ains laprindrent 
Dung bon et desireux courage 
Sans auoir lesprit si vollage 
Comme les clercs de maintenant 
Dont leur est bien appartenant 
Porter par choses non pareilles 
Des asnes les grandes oreilles 



KAY 4 






Barclay, Alexander 
The ahlp of fools