John Skelton - MAGNIFICENCE.


[From the ed. printed by Rastell, n.d.;–in which the list of characters is placed at the end of the drama]



These be the Names of the Players:

Counterfeit Count[enance].
Crafty Conveyance.
Cloaked Collusion.
Courtly Abusion.
[Sad] Circumspection.

Felicity. All things contrived by man's reason,
The world environed of high and low estate.
Be it early or late, wealth hath a season.
Wealth is of wisdom the very true probate;<2>
A fool is he with wealth that falleth at debate:
But men nowadays so unhappily be ured,
That nothing than wealth may worse be endured.
To tell you the cause me seemeth it no need,
The amends thereof is far to call again;<3>
For, when men buy wealth, they have little dread                                10
Of that may come after; experience true and plain,
How after a drought there falleth a shower of rain,
And after a heat oft cometh a stormy cold.
A man may have wealth, but not, as he
Aye to continue and still to endure;
But if prudence be proved with sad circumspection,
Wealth might be won and made to the lure,<4>
If nobleness were acquainted with sober direction;
But will hath reason so under subjection,
And so disordereth this world over all,                                                 20
That wealth and felicity is passing small.
But where
wonnes wealth, an a man would weet?                               [Enter LIBERTY]
For Wealthful Felicity truly is my name.

Liberty. Mary,<5> Wealth and I was appointed to meet,
And either I am deceived, or ye be the same.

Fel. Sir, as ye say, I have heard of your fame;
Your name is Liberty, as I understand.

Lib. True you say, sir; give me your hand.

Fel. And from whence come ye, an it might be asked?

Lib. To tell you, sir, I dare not, lest I should be masked                               30
In a pair of fetters or a pair of stocks.

Fel. Hear you not how this gentleman mocks?

Lib. Yea, to knacking earnest what an it preve?<6>

Fel. Why, to say what he will, Liberty hath leave.

Lib. Yet Liberty hath been locked up and kept in the mew.<7>

Fel. Indeed, sir, that liberty was not worth a cue!<8>
Howbeit Liberty may sometime be too large,
But if reason be regent and ruler of your barge.

Lib. To that ye say I can well condescend<9>:
Show forth, I pray you, herein what you intend.

Fel. Of that I intend to make demonstration,
It asketh leisure with good advertisement.                                                   40
First, I say, we ought to have in consideration,
That Liberty be linked with the chain of continence,
Liberty to
let from all manner offence;
For Liberty at large is loth to be stopped,
But with continence your courage must be cropped.

Lib. Then thus to you—

Fel. Nay, suffer me yet further to say,
And peradventure I shall content your mind.                                               50
Liberty, I wot well, forbear no man there may:
It is so sweet in all manner of kind;
Howbeit, Liberty maketh many a man blind;
By Liberty is done many a great excess;
Liberty at large will oft wax reckless:
Perceive ye this parcel?

Lib. Yea, sir, passing well:
an you would me permit
To show part of my wit,
Somewhat I could infer                                                                                60
Your conceit to debar,<
Under supportation
Of patient toleration

Fel. God forbid ye should be let
Your reasons forth to fet;
Wherefore at liberty.
Say what ye will to me.

Lib. Briefly to touch of my purpose the effect;
Liberty is laudable and privileged from law,
Judicial rigour shall not me correct—                                                           70

Fel. Soft, my friend; herein your reason is but raw.

Lib. Yet suffer me to say the surplus of my saw<10>;
What wot ye whereupon I will conclude?
I say there is no wealth whereas Liberty is subdued;
I trow ye cannot say nay much to this;
To live under law it is captivity;
Where dread leadeth the dance, there is no joy nor bliss;
Or how can ye prove that there is felicity,
An you have not your own free liberty
To sport at your pleasure, to run, and to ride?                                              80
Where Liberty is absent, set wealth aside.

Hic Intrat MEASURE
("Enter MEASURE")

Meas. Christ you assist in your altercation!

Fel. Why, have you heard of our disputation?

Meas. I perceive well how each of you doth reason.

Lib. Master Measure, you be come in good season.

Meas. And it is wonder<11> that your wild insolence
Can be content with Measure's presence!

Fel. Would it please you then—

Lib. Us to inform and ken—

Meas. Ah, ye be wondrous men!                                                                  90
Your language is like the pen
Of him that writeth too fast.

Fel. Sir, if any word have passed
Me, either first or last,
To you I
arret<12> it, and cast
Thereof the reformation.

Lib. And I of the same fashion;
Howbeit, by protestation,
Displeasure that you none take,
Some reason we must make.                                                                         100

Meas. That will not I forsake,
So it in measure be:
Come off, therefore, let see<
Shall I begin, or ye?

Fel. Nay, ye shall begin, by my will.

Lib. It is reason and skill<14>,
We your pleasure fulfil.

Meas. Then ye must both consent
You to hold content
With my argument;                                                                                       110
And I must you require
Me patiently to hear.

Fel. Yes, sir, with right good cheer.

Lib. With all my heart entire.

Meas. Horatius to record,<15> in his volumes old,
With every condition measure must be sought:
Wealth without measure would bear himself too bold,
Liberty without measure prove a thing of nought;
I ponder by number; by measure all thing is wrought,
As at the first original, by godly opinion,                                                     120
Which proveth well that measure should have dominion:
Where measure is master, plenty doth none offence;
Where measure lacketh, all thing disordered is;
Where measure is absent, riot keepeth residence;
Where measure is ruler, there is nothing amiss;
Measure is treasure:<
16> How say ye, is it not this?

Fel. Yes, questionless, in mine opinion,
Measure is worthy to have dominion.

Lib. Unto that same I am right well agreed,
So that Liberty be not left behind.                                                                130

Meas. Yea, Liberty with Measure need never dread.

Lib. What, Liberty to Measure then would ye bind?

Meas. What else? for otherwise it were against kind:
Liberty should leap and run where he list
It were no virtue, it were a thing unblessed;
It were a mischief, if Liberty lacked a rein,
Wherewith to rule him with the writhing of a
All trebles and tenors be ruled by a mean;<17>
Liberty without Measure is accounted for a beast;
There is no surfeit where Measure ruleth the feast;
there is no excess where Measure hath his health;
Measure continueth prosperity and wealth.                                                  140

Fel. Unto your rule I will annex my mind.

Lib. So would I, but I would be loth,
That wont was to be foremost, now to come behind:
It were a shame, to God I make an oath,
Without I might cut it out of the broad cloth,
As I was wont ever at my free will.

Meas. But have ye not heard say, that will is no skill?
sad direction, and leave this wantonness.                                            150

Lib. It is no mastery<18>.

Fel. Tush, let Measure proceed,
And after his mind hardly yourself address;
For, without Measure, Poverty and Need
Will creep upon us, and us to Mischief lead:
For Mischief will master us if Measure us forsake.

Lib. Well, I am content your ways to take.

Meas. Surely I am joyous that ye be minded thus.
Magnificence to maintain, your promotion shall be.

Fel. So in his heart he may be glad of us.                                                     160

Lib. There is no prince but he hath need of us three:
Wealth with Measure, and pleasant Liberty.

Meas. Now pleaseth you a little while to stand;
Meseemeth Magnificence is coming here at hand.


Magn. To assure you of my noble port and fame,
Who list to know, Magnificence I
But Measure, my friend, what hight this man's name?

Meas. Sir, though ye be a noble prince of might,
Yet in this man you must set your delight.
And, sir, this other man's name is Liberty.                                                    170

Magn. Welcome, friends, ye are both unto me.
But now let me know of your conversation.

Fel. Pleaseth your Grace, Felicity they me call.

Lib. And I am Liberty, made of in every nation.

Magn. Convenient persons for any prince royal.
Wealth with Liberty, with me both dwell ye shall,
To the guiding of my Measure you both committing:
That Measure be master, us seemeth it is

Meas. Whereas ye have, sir, to me them assigned,
Such order I trust with them for to take,                                                      180
That Wealth with Measure shall be combined,
And Liberty his
large with Measure shall make.

Fel. Your ordinance, sir, I will not forsake.

Lib. And I myself wholly to you will incline.

Magn. Then may I say that ye be servants mine,
For by Measure, I warn you, we think to be guided.
Wherein it is necessary my pleasure you know,
Measure and I will never be divided
For no discord that any man can sow;
For Measure is a mean, neither too high nor too low,                                   190
In whose
attemperance I have such delight,
That Measure shall never depart from my sight.

Fel. Laudable your conceit is to be accounted;
For Wealth without Measure suddenly will slide.

Lib. As your Grace full nobly hath recounted,
Measure with nobleness should be allied.

Magn. Then, Liberty, see that Measure be your guide,
For I will use you by this advertisement.

Fel. Then shall you have with you prosperity resident.

Meas. I trow Good Fortune hath annexed us together,                                200
To see how greeable we are of one mind;
There is no flatterer, nor losel so lither,
This linked chain of love that can unbind.
Now that ye have me chief ruler assigned,
I will endeavour me to order every thing
Your nobleness and honour concerning.

Lib. In joy and mirth your mind shall be enlarged,
And not embraced with pusillanimity;
But plenarly all thought from you must be discharged,
If ye list to live after your free Liberty:                                                        210
All delectations acquainted is with me.
By me all persons work what they

Meas. Hem, sir, yet beware of "Had I wist!"<20>
Liberty in some cause becometh a gentle mind,
By cause course of Measure, if I be in the way:
Who counteth without me is cast too far behind
Of his reckoning, as evidently we may
See at our eye the world day by day:
For default of Measure all thing doth exceed.

Fel. All that ye say is as true as the Creed.                                                   220
For howbeit, Liberty to Wealth is convenient,
And from Felicity may not be forborne,
Yet Measure hath been so long from us absent,
That all men laugh at Liberty to scorn;
Wealth and wit, I say, be so threadbare worn,
That all is without Measure, and far beyond the moon.

Magn. Then nobleness, I see well, is almost undone,
But if thereof the sooner amends be made;
For doubtless I perceive my magnificence
Without Measure lightly may fade,                                                              230
Of too much liberty under the offence:
Wherefore, Measure, take Liberty with you hence,
And rule him after the rule of your school.

Lib. What, sir, would ye make me a popping fool?<21>

Meas. Why, were not yourself agreed to the same,
And now would ye swerve from your own ordinance?

Lib. I would be ruled, an I might for shame.

Fel. Ah, ye make me laugh at your inconstancy.

Magn. Sir, without any longer dalliance,
Take Liberty to rule, and follow mine intent.                                               240

Meas. It shall be done at your commandement.

Itaque MEASURE exeat locum cum LIBERTATE et maneat MAGNIFICENCE cum FELICITATE
("Here MEASURE leaves with LIBERTY and MAGNIFICENCE remains with FELICITY")

Magn. It is a wanton thing, this Liberty;
Perceive you not how loth he was to abide
The rule of Measure, notwithstanding we
Have deputed Measure him to guide?
By measure each thing duly is tried:
Think you not thus, my friend Felicity?

Fel. God forbid that it otherwise should be!

Magn. Ye could not else, I wot, with me endure.

Fel. Endure? No, God wot, it were great pain!                                            250
But if I were ordered by just measure
It were not possible me long to retain.

Hic Intrat FANCY
("Enter FANCY")

Fan. Tush, hold your peace, your language is vain.
Please it your Grace to take no disdain,
To show you plainly the truth as I think.

Magn. Here is none forceth whether you float or sink!<22>

Fel. From whence come you, sir, that no man looked after?

Magn. Or who made you so bold to interrupt my tale?

Fan. Now, benedicite,<23> ye ween I were some hafter,
Or else some jangling Jack of the Vale;                                                        260
ween that I am drunken, because I look pale.

Magn. Meseemeth that ye have drunken more than ye have bled.

Fan. Yet among noblemen I was brought up and bred.

Fel. Now leave this jangling, and to us expound
Why that ye said our language was in vain.

Fan. Mary, upon truth my reason I ground,
That without Largesse nobleness cannot reign;
And that I said once, yet I say again.
That without Largesse worship hath no place,
For Largesse is a purchaser of pardon and of grace.                                     270

Magn. Now, I beseech thee, tell me what is thy name?

Fan. Largesse, that all lords should love, sir, I hight.

Fel. But hight you Largesse, increase of noble fame?

Fan. Yea, sir, undoubted.

Fel. Then of very right
With Magnificence, this noble prince of might,
Should be your dwelling, in my consideration.

Magn. Yet we will therein take good deliberation.

Fan. As in that, I will not be against your pleasure.

Fel. Sir, hardely remember what may your name advance.                          280

Magn. Largesse is laudable, so it be in measure.

Fan. Largesse is he that all princes doth advance;
I report me herein to King Lewis of France.<

Fel. Why have ye him named and all other refused?

Fan. For, sith he died, Largesse was little used.
Pluck up your mind, sir; what ail you to muse?
Have ye not Wealth here at your will?
It is but a madding, these ways that ye use:
What availeth Lordship, yourself for to kill
With care and with thought how Jack shall have Jill?<25>                          290

Magn. What? I have espied ye are a careless page.

Fan. By God, sir, ye see but few wise men of mine age;
Covetise hath blown you so full of wind
That colica passio<A painful abdominal spasm> hath groped you by the guts.

Fel. In faith, Brother Largesse, you have a merry mind.

Fan. In faith, I set not by the world two Doncaster cuts.<26>

Magn. Ye want but a wild flying bolt to shoot at the butts:
Though Largesse ye hight, your language is too large;
For which end goeth forward ye take little charge.

Fel. Let see, this check if ye void can.                                                          300

Fan. In faith, else had I gone too long to school,
But if I could know a goose from a swan!

Magn. Well, wise men may eat the fish, when ye shall draw the pool.

Fan. In faith, I will not say that ye shall prove a fool,
But oft time have I seen wise men do mad deeds.

Magn. Go! shake the dog! hey,<27> sith ye will needs!
You are nothing meet with us for to dwell,
That with your lord and master so pertly can prate:
Get you hence, I say, but my counsel;
I will not use you to play with me checkmate.                                             310

Fan. Sir, if I have offended your noble estate,<28>
I trow I have brought you such writing of record
That I shall have you again my good lord,
To you recommendeth Sad Circumspection.
And sendeth you this writing closed under seal.

Magn. This writing is welcome with hearty affection:
Why kept you it thus long? How doth he? Well?

Fan. Sir, thanked be God, he hath his heal.

Magn. Wealth, get you home, and command me to Measure;
Bid him take good heed to you, my singular treasure.                                 320

Fel. Is there anything else your Grace will command me?

Magn. Nothing but fare you well till soon;
And that he take good keep to Liberty.

Fel. Your pleasure, sir, shortly shall be done.

Magn. I shall come to you myself, I trow, this afternoon      [Here Felicity goes out]
I pray you, Largesse, here to remain,
Whilst I know what this letter doth contain.

Hic faciat tanquam legeret litteras tacite. Interim superveniat cantando COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE suspenso grade, qui, viso MAGNIFICENCE, sensim retrocedat; at tempus post pusillum rursum accedat COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE prospectando et vocitando a longe; et FANCY animet silentium cum manu.
As MAGNIFICENCE is reading the letter, COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE comes in on tiptoe, humming to himself, but, seeing MAGNIFICENCE, withdraws quietly; then, a little later, He comes back again, hailing FANCY from a safe distance. FANCY motions him to keep quiet."(PH)

C. Count. What! Fancy, Fancy!

Magn. Who is that that thus did cry?
Methought he called Fancy.                                                                          330

Fan. It was a Fleming hight Hansy.

Magn. Methought he called Fancy me behind.

Fan. Nay, sir, it was nothing but your mind:
But now, sir, as touching this letter—

Magn. I shall look in it at leisure better:
And surely ye are to him behold;
And for his sake right gladly I wold
Do what I could to do you good.

Fan. I pray God keep you in that mood!

Magn. This letter was written far hence.                                                       340

Fan. By lakin, sir, it hath cost me pence
And groats many one, ere I came to your presence.

Magn. Where was it delivered you, show unto me.

Fan. By God, sir, beyond the sea.

Magn. At what place now, as you guess?

Fan. By my troth, sir, at Pountesse;<29>
This writing was taken me there,
But never was I in greater fear.

Magn. How so?

Fan. By God, at the sea side,                                                                       350
Had I not opened my purse wide
trow, by Our Lady, I had been slain,
Or else I had lost mine ears twain.

Magn. By your sooth?<30>

Fan. Yea, and there is such a watch,
That no man can scape but they him catch.
They bare me in hand that I was a spy;<31>
And another bade put out mine eye,
Another would mine eye were bleared,
Another bade shave half my beard;                                                              360
And boys to the pillory
gan me pluck,
And would have made me Friar Tuck,
To preach out of the pillory hole<32>
Without an antetheme<33> or a stole;
And some bade "Sear him with a mark:"
To get me fro them I had much work.

Magn. Mary, sir, ye were afraid.

Fan. By my troth, had I not paid and prayed,
And made largesse, as I hight,<34>
I had not been here with you this night;                                                       370
But surely largesse saved my life,
For largesse
stinteth all manner of strife.

Magn. It doth so, sure, now and then,
But largesse is not meet for every man.

Fan. No, but for you great estates:<35>
Largesse stinteth great debates;
And he that I came fro to this place
Said I was meet for your Grace;
And indeed, sir, I hear men talk,
By the way, as I ride and walk,                                                                    380
Say how you exceed in nobleness,
If you had with you Largesse.

Magn. And say they so in very deed?

Fan. With yea, sir, so God me speed.

Magn. Yet Measure is a merry mean.<36>

Fan. Yea, sir, a blanched almond is no bean.
Measure is meet for a merchant's hall,
But Largesse becometh a state royal.
What, should you pinch at a peck of oats,
Ye would soon pinch at a peck of groats.                                                     390
Thus is the talking of one and of other,
As men dare speak it hugger-mugger;
A lord, a niggard, it is a shame,
But Largesse may amend your name.

Magn. In faith, Largesse, welcome to me.

Fan. I pray you, sir, I may so be,
And of my service you shall not miss.

Magn. Together we will talk more of this:
Let us depart from hence home to my place.

Fan. I follow even after your noble Grace.                                                  400


C. Count. What, I say, hark a word.

Fan. Do away, I say, the devil's turd!

C. Count. Yea, but how long shall I here await?

Fan. By God's body, I come straight:
I hate this blundering <38> that thou dost make.      [Exit FANCY]

C. Count. Now, to the devil I thee betake,
For in faith ye be well met!

Fancy hath catched in a fly-net
This noble man Magnificence,
Of Largesse under the pretence.                                                                  
They have made me here to putt the stone:<
But now will I, that they be gone,
In bastard rhyme, after the doggerel guise,
Tell you whereof my name doth rise.
For Counterfeit Countenance known am I;
This world is full of my folly.
I set not by him a fly,
That cannot counterfeit a lie,
Swear, and stare, and bide thereby,
And countenance it cleanly,                                                                          420
And defend it mannerly.
A knave will counterfeit now a knight,
lurdan like a lord to fight,<40>
A minstrel like a man of might,
A tapster like a lady bright:
Thus make I them with thrift to fight,
Thus at the last I bring him right
To Tyburn, where they hang on height.
To counterfeit I can by pretty ways:
Of nights to occupy counterfeit keys,                                                           430
Cleanly to counterfeit new arrays,
Counterfeit earnest by way of plays:
Thus am I occupied at all
Whatsoever I do, all men me praise,
And mickle am I made of nowadays:
Counterfeit matters in the law of the land,
With gold and groats they grease my hand,
Instead of right that wrong may stand,
And counterfeit freedom that is bound;
I counterfeit sugar that is but found;<42>                                                    440
Counterfeit captains by me are manned;
Of all lewdness I kindle the
Counterfeit kindness, and think deceit;
Counterfeit letters by the way of sleight;
Subtly using counterfeit weight;
Counterfeit language, fayty bon geyte.<43>
Counterfeit is a proper bait;
A count to counterfeit in a receipt;
To counterfeit well is a good conceit.
Counterfeit maidenhood may well be borne,                                                450
But counterfeit coins is laughing to scorn;
It is evil patching of that is torn;
When the nap is rough, it would be shorn;
Counterfeit halting without a thorn;
Yet counterfeit chaffer is but evil corn;
All thing is worse when it is worn.
What would ye, wives, counterfeit
The courtly
guise of the new jet?<44>
An old barn would be underset:
It is much worth that is far-fet.                                                                     460
What, wanton, wanton, now well y-met!
What, Margery Milk Duck,<
45> marmoset!
It would be masked in my net;
It would be nice, though I say nay;
By Creed, it would have fresh array,
And therefore shall my husband pay;
To counterfeit she will essay
All the new guise, fresh and gay,
And be as pretty as she may,
And jet it jolly as a jay:                                                                                 470
Counterfeit preaching, and believe the contrary;
Counterfeit conscience, peevish
Counterfeit sadness, with dealing full madly;
Counterfeit holiness is called hypocrisy;
Counterfeit reason is not worth a fly;
Counterfeit wisdom, and works of folly;
Counterfeit countenance every man doth occupy
Counterfeit worship outward men may see;
Riches rideth out, at home is poverty;
Counterfeit pleasure is borne out by me:                                                      480
Coll would go cleanly,
an it will not be,
And Annot would be nice, and laughs Tehe wehe!
Your counterfeit countenance is all of nicety,
A plumed partridge all ready to fly:
A knuckleboneyard<46> will counterfeit a clerk,
He would trot gently, but he is too stark,
At his cloaked counterfeiting dogs doth bark;
A carter a courtier, it is a worthy wark,
That with his whip his mares was wont to yark;
A custrel to drive the devil out of the dark,                                                 490
A counterfeit courtier with a knave's mark.
To counterfeit thus friars have learned me;
Thus nuns now and then,
an it might be,
Would take in the way of counterfeit charity
The grace of God under benedicite;<23>
To counterfeit their counsel they give me a fee;
Canons cannot counterfeit but upon three,
Monks may not for dread that men should them see.

Hic ingrediatur FANCY, properantur cum CRAFTY CONVEYANCE cum famine multo adinvicem garrulantes: tandem, viso COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE, dicat CRAFTY CONVEYANCE
("Here FANCY comes in quickly with CRAFTY CONVEYANCE, the two talking rapidly and at length to one another. At last, seeing COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE, CRAFTY CONVEYANCE says–" (PH)

Cr. Con. What, Counterfeit Countenance!

C. Count. What, Crafty Conveyance!                                                           500

Fan. What, the devil, are ye two of acquaintance?
God give you a very mischance!

Cr. Con. Yes, yes, sir, he and I have met.

C. Count. We have been together both early and late:
But, Fancy, my friend, where have ye been so long?

Fan. By God, I have been about a pretty prong;
Crafty Conveyance, I should say, and I.

Cr. Con. By God, we have made Magnificence to eat a fly.

C. Count. How could ye do that, an I was away?

Fan. By God, man, both his pageant and thine he can play.                        510

C. Count. Say truth?

Cr. Con. Yes, yes, by lakin, I shall thee warrant,
As long as I live, thou hast an heir apparent.

Fan. Yet have we picked out a room for thee.

C. Count. Why, shall we dwell together all three?

Cr. Con. Why, man, it were too great a wonder
That we three gallants should be long asunder.

C. Count. For Cock's heart, give me thy hand.

Fan. By the mass, for ye are able to destroy an whole land.

Cr. Con. By God, yet it must begin much of thee.                                       520

Fan. Who that is ruled by us it shall be long ere he thé.

C. Count. But, I say, keepest thou the old name still that thou had?

Cr. Con. Why, weenest thou, whoreson, that I were so mad?

Fan. Nay, nay, he hath changed his, and I have changed mine.

Count. Now, what is his name, and what is thine?

Fan. In faith, Largesse I hight,
And I am made a knight.

C. Count. A rebellion against nature,
So large a man, and so little of stature!
But, sir, how counterfeited ye?                                                                     530

Cr. Con. Sure Surveyance I named me. <47>

C. Count. Surveyance! where ye survey,
Thrift hath lost her coffer-key!

Fan. But is it not well? how thinkest thou?

C. Count. Yes, sir, I give God avow,
Myself could not counterfeit it better.
But what became of the letter,
That I counterfeited you underneath a shroud?

Fan. By the mass, oddly well allowed.

Cr. Con. By God, had not I it conveyed                                                      540
Fancy had been deceived.

C. Count. I wot, thou art false enough for one.

Fan. By my troth, we had been gone:
And yet, in faith, man, we lacked thee
For to speak with Liberty.

C. Count. What is Largesse without Liberty?

Cr. Con. By Measure mastered yet is he.

C. Count. What, is your conveyance no better?

Fan. In faith, Measure is like a tetter,
That overgroweth a man's face,                                                                    550
So he ruleth over all our place.

Cr. Con. Now therefore, whilst we are together,—
Counterfeit Countenance, nay, come hither,—
I say, whilst we are together in same—

C. Count. Tush, a straw, it is a shame
That we can no better than so.

Fan. We will remedy it, man, ere we go:
For, like as mustard is sharp of taste,<
Right so a sharp fancy must be found
Wherewith Measure to confound.                                                                560

Cr. Con. Can you a remedy for a phthisic,
That showeth yourself thus sped in physic?

C. Count. It is a gentle reason of a rake.

Fan. For all these japes yet that ye make–

Cr. Con. Your fancy maketh mine elbow to ache.

Fan. Let see, find you a better way.

C. Count. Take no displeasure of what we say.

Cr. Con. Nay, an you be angry and overthwart,
A man may beshrew your angry heart.

Fan. Tush, a straw, I thought none ill.                                                          570

C Count. What, shall we jangle thus all the day still?

Cr. Con. Nay, let us our heads together cast.

Fan. Yea, and see how it may be compassed,
That Measure were cast out of the doors.

C. Count. Alas, where is my boots and my spurs?

Cr. Con. In all this haste whither will ye ride?

C. Count. I trow, it shall not need to abide.
Cock's wounds, see, sirs, see, see!

Hic ingrediatur CLOAKED COLLUSION cum elato aspectu, deorsum et sursum ambulando.
("Enter CLOAKED COLLUSION, walking up and down with a lofty air"(PH)

Fan. Cock's arms, what is he?

Cr. Con. By Cock's heart, he looketh high;                                                  580
He hawketh, methink, for a butterfly.

C. Count. Now, by Cock's heart, well abidden,
For, had you not come, I had ridden.

Cl. Col. Thy words be but wind, never they have no weight;
Thou hast made me play the iurde hayt.<49>

C. Count. And if ye knew how I have mused
I am sure ye would have me excused.

Cl. Col. I say, come hither: what are these twain?

C. Count. By God, sir, this is Fancy small brain;
And Crafty Conveyance, know you not him?                                              590

Cl. Col. Know him, sir! quod he: yes, by Saint Sim.
Here is a leash of
ratches to run a hare:<50>
Woe is that purse that ye shall share!

Fan. What call ye him, this?

Cr. Con. I trow what he is.

C. Count. Tush, hold your peace.
See you not how they press
For to know your name?

Cl. Col. Know they not me, they are to blame.
Know you not me, sirs?                                                                                600

Fan. No, indeed.

Cr. Con. Abide, let me see, take better heed;
Cock's heart, it is Cloaked Collusion.

Cl. Col. Ay, sir, I pray God give you confusion!

Fan. Cock's arms, is that your name?

C. Count. Yea, by the mass, this is even the same,
That all this matter must undergrope.

Cr. Con. What is this he weareth—a cope?

Cl. Col. Cap, sir! I say you be too bold.

Fan. See how he is wrapped for the cold:                                                    610
Is it not a vestment?

Cl. Col. Ah, ye want a rope!

C. Count. Tush, it is Sir John Double-Cloak.

Fan. Sir, an if you would not be wroth—

Cl. Col. What sayest?

Fan. Here was too little cloth.

Cl. Col. Ah, Fancy, Fancy, God send thee brain!

Fan. Yea, for your wit is cloaked for the rain.

Cr. Con. Nay, let us not chatter thus still.

Cl. Col. Tell me, sirs, what is your will.                                                        620

C. Count. Sir, it is so that these twain
With Magnificence in household do remain,
And there they would have me to dwell,
But I will be ruled after your counsel.

Fan. Mary, so will we also.

Cl. Col. But tell me whereabout ye go.

C. Count. By God, we would get us all thither
Spell the remnant, and do together.

Cl. Col. Hath Magnificence any treasure?

Cr. Con. Yea, but he spendeth it all in measure.                                          630

Cl. Col. Why, dwelleth Measure where ye two dwell?
In faith, he were better to dwell in hell.

Fan. Yet where we won, now there wonneth he.

Cl. Col. And have you not among you Liberty?

C. Count. Yea, but he is a captivity.<51>

Cl. Col. What the devil! how may that be?

C. Count. I cannot tell you: why ask you me?
Ask these two that there doth dwell.

Cl. Col. Sir, the plainness you tell me.<52>

Cr. Con. There dwelleth a master man called Measure—                            640

Fan. Yea, and he hath rule of all his treasure.

Cr. Con. Nay, either let me tell, or else tell ye.

Fan. I care not I, tell on for me.

C. Count. I pray God let you never to thé!

Cl. Col. What the devil aileth you? can you not agree?

Cr. Con. I will pass over the circumstance,
And shortly show you the whole substance.
Fancy and I, we twain,
With Magnificence in household do remain,
And counterfeited our names we have                                                         650
Craftily all things upright to save,
His name Largesse, Surveyance mine:
Magnificence to us beginneth to incline
Counterfeit Countenance to have also,
And would that we should for him go.

C. Count. But shall I have mine old name still?

Cr. Con. Peace, I have not yet said what I will.

Fan. Here is a pistle of a postic!

Cl. Col. Tush, fonnish Fancy, thou art frantic.
Tell on, sir, how then?                                                                                   660

Cr. Con. Mary, sir, he told us, when
We had him found we should him bring,
And that we failed not for nothing.

Cl. Col. All this ye may easily bring about.

Fan. Mary, the better an Measure were out.

Cl. Col. Why, can ye not put out that foul freke?

Cr. Con. No, in every corner he will peek,
So that we have no liberty,
Nor no man in court but he,
For Liberty he hath in guiding.                                                                     670

C. Count. In faith, and without Liberty there is no biding.

Fan. In faith, and Liberty's room is there but small.

Cl. Col. Hem! that like I nothing at all.

Cr. Con. But, Counterfeit Countenance, go we together,
All three, I say.

C. Count. Shall I go? whither?

Cr. Con. To Magnificence with us twain,
And in his service thee to retain.

C. Count. But then, sir, what shall I hight?

Cr. Con. Ye and I talked thereof to-night.                                                   680

Fan. Yea, my fancy was out of owl-flight,
For it is out of my mind quite.

Cr. Con. And now it cometh to my remembrance:
Sir, ye shall
hight Good Demeanance.

C. Count. By the arms of Calais, well conceived!<53>

Cr. Con. When we have him thither conveyed,
What an I frame such a sleight,
That Fancy with his fond conceit
Put Magnificence in such a madness,
That he shall have you in the stead of sadness,                                            690
And Sober Sadness shall be your name?

Cl. Col. By Cock's body, here beginneth the game!
For then shall we so craftily carry,.

Fan. For Cock's heart, tarry whilst that I come again.

Cr. Con. We will see you shortly one of us twain.

C. Count. Now let us go, an we shall, then.

Cl. Col. Now let see quit you like pretty men.


Hic Deambulat
("Here he walks up and down")

Cl. Col. To pass the time and order while a man may talk
Of one thing and other to occupy the place;                                                 700
Then for the season that I here shall walk,
As good to be occupied as up and down to trace
And do nothing; Howbeit, full little grace
There cometh and groweth of my coming,
For Cloaked Collusion is a perilous thing.
Double dealing and I be all one,
Crafting and
hafting contrived is by me;
I can dissemble, I can both laugh and groan;
Plain dealing and I can never agree;
But division, dissension, derision, these three                                              710
And I am counterfeit of one mind and thought,
By the means of mischief to bring all things to nought.
And though I be so odious a guest,
And every man gladly my company would refuse,
In faith yet am I occupied with the best;
Full few that can themselves of me excuse.
When other men laugh, then study I and muse,
Devising the means and ways that I can,
How I may hurt and
hinder every man:
Two faces in a hood covertly I bear,                                                             720
Water in the one hand, and fire in the other;
I can feed forth a fool, and lead him by the ear:
Falsehood in fellowship is my sworn brother.
By Cloaked Collusion, I say, and none other,
Cumbrance and trouble in England first began;
From that lord to that lord I rode and I ran,
And flattered them with fables fair before their face,
And told all the mischief I could behind their back,
And made as I had known nothing of the case;
I would begin all mischief, but I would bear no lack.                                 
Thus can I learn you, sirs, to bear the devil's sack;
And yet, I
trow, some of you be better sped than I
Friendship to feign, and think full litherly.
Paint to a purpose good countenance I can,
And craftily can I grope how every man is minded;
My purpose is to spy and to point every man;
My tongue is with favel forked and tined:
By Cloaked Collusion thus many one is beguiled.
Each man to hinder I gape and I gasp;
My speech is all pleasure, but I sting like a wasp:                                         740
I am never glad but when I may do ill,
And never am I sorry but when that I see
I cannot mine appetite accomplish and fulfil
In hindrance of wealth and prosperity;
I laugh at all shrewdness, and lie at liberty.
I muster, I meddle; among these great estates
I sow seditious seeds of discord and debates:
To flatter and to
fleer is all my pretence
Among all such persons as I well understand
Be light of belief and hasty of credence;                                                      750
I make them to startle and sparkle like a
I move them, I maze them, I make them so fond,
That they will hear no man but the first tale:
And so by these means I brew much bale.

Hic ingrediatur COURTLY ABUSION cantando.
("Enter COURTLY ABUSION, singing.")

Court. Ab. Huffa, huffa, tanderum, tanderum, tain, huffa, huffa!<54>

Cl. Col. This was properly prated, sirs! what said a?

Court. Ab. Rutty bully,<55> jolly rutterkin, heyda!<56>

Cl. Col. De que pays estes vous? <57>

Et faciat tanquam exiat beretrum cornice
("With an ironical air he makes as if to doff his hat." PH)<58>

Court. Ab. Deck your hofte and cover a louse.

Cl. Col. Say vous chanter, Venter tre dawce?<59>                                      760

Court. Ab. Wyda, wyda.<60>
How sayest thou, man, am not I a jolly rutter?

Cl. Col. Give this gentleman room, sirs, stand utter!<61>
By God, sir, what need all this waste?
What is this, a beetle, or a batowe or a buskin laced?<62>

Court. Ab. What, weenest thou that I know thee not, Cloaked Collusion?

Cl. Col. And weenest thou that I know not thee, cankered Abusion?

Court. Ab. Cankered Jack Hare<63> look thou be not rusty,
For thou shalt well know I am neither dirty nor dusty.

Cl. Col. Dusty! nay, sir, ye be all of the lusty,                                              770
Howbeit of scape-thrift your cloaks smelleth musty:
But whither art thou walking, in faith unfeigned?

Court. Ab. Mary, with Magnificence I would be retained.

Cl. Col. By the mass, for the court thou art a meet man:
Thy slippers they swap it, yet thou footest it like a swan.

Court. Ab. Yea, so I can devise my gear after the courtly manner.

Cl. Col. So thou art personable to bear a prince's banner.
By God's foot, an I dare well fight, for I will not start.<64>

Court. Ab. Nay, thou art a man good enough but for thy false heart.

Cl. Col. Well, an I be a coward, there is more than I.                                   780

Court. Ab. Yea, in faith a bold man and a hardy;

Cl. Col. A bold man in a bowl of new ale in corns.<65>

Court. Ab. Will ye see this gentleman is all in his scorns?

Cl. Col. But are ye not advised to dwell where ye spake?

Court. Ab. I am of few words, I love not to bark.<66>

Bearest thou any room,<67> or canst thou do ought?
Canst thou help in favour that I might be brought?

Cl. Col. I may do somewhat, and more I think shall.

Here cometh in CRAFTY CONVEYANCE, pointing with his finger and sayeth

Cr. Con. Hem, Collusion!

Court. Ab. Cock's heart, who is yonder that for thee doth call?

Cr. Con. Nay, come at once, for the arms of the dice!<68>                        790

Court. Ab. Cock's arms, he hath called for thee twice.

Cl. Col. By Cock's heart, and call shall again:
To come to me, I trow, he shall be fain.

Court. Ab. What, is thy heart pricked with such a proud pin?

Cl. Col. Tush, he that hath need, man, let him run.

Cr. Con. Nay, come away, man: thou playest the cayser.

Cl. Col. By the mass, thou shalt bide my leisure.

Cr. Con. Abide, sir, quod he! Mary, so I do.

Court. Ab. He will come, man, when he may tend to.

Cr. Con. What the devil, who sent for thee?                                                800

Cl. Col. Here he is now, man; mayest thou not see?

Cr. Con. What the devil, man, what thou meanest?
Art thou so angry as thou seemest?

Court. Ab. What the devil, can ye agree no better?

Cr. Con. What the devil, where had we this jolly jetter?

Cl. Col. What sayest thou, man? why dost thou not supply,
And desire me thy good master to be?

Court. Ab. Speakest thou to me?

Cl. Col. Yea, so I tell thee.

Court. Ab. Cock's bones, I ne tell can                                                           810
Which of you is the better man,
Or which of you can do most.

Cr. Con. In faith, I rule much of the roost.

Cl. Col. Rule the roost! ye, thou wouldest <69>
As scant thou had no need of me.

Cr. Con. Need! yes, Mary, I say not nay.

Court. Ab. Cock's heart, I trow thou wilt make a fray!

Cr. Con. Nay, in good faith, it is but the guise.

Cl. Col. No, for ere we strike, we will be advised twice.<70>

Court. Ab. What the devil, use ye not to draw no swords?                          820

Cr. Con. No, by my troth, but crake great words.

Court. Ab. Why, is this the guise nowadays?

Cl. Col. Yea, for surety, oft peace is taken for frays.
But, sir, I will have this man with me.

Cr. Con. Convey yourself first, let see.

Cl. Col. Well, tarry here till I for you send.

Cr. Con. Why, shall he be of your band?

Cl. Col. Tarry here: wot ye what I say?

Court. Ab. I warrant you, I will not go away.

Cr. Con. By Saint Mary, he is a tall man.                                                     830

Cl. Col. Yea, and do right good service he can.
I know in him no default,
But that the whoreson is proud and haut.

And so they (i.e. CLOAKED COLLUSION and CRAFTY CONVEYANCE) go out of the place.

Court. Ab. Nay, purchase ye a pardon for the pose,
For pride hath plucked thee by the nose,
As well as me. I would, an I durst,
But now I will not say the worst.

COURTLY ABUSION alone in the place

What now, let see,
Who looketh on me
Well round about,                                                                                         840
How gay and how stout
That I can wear
Courtly my gear:
My hair busheth<
So pleasantly,
My robe rusheth
So ruttingly,
Meseem I fly,
I am so light,
To dance delight;<72>                                                                                  850
Properly dressed,
My person prest,
Beyond all size
Of the new guise,
To rush it out
In every rout:
Beyond measure
My sleeve is wide,<73>

All of pleasure,                                                                                              860
My hose
strait tied,
My buskin wide
Rich to behold,
Glittering in gold.
Forsooth I hight;
Shall on him light,
By day or by night
That useth me;                                                                                               870
He cannot
A very fon,
A very ass,
Will take upon
To compass
That never was
Abused before;
A very poor
That so will do,
He doth abuse                                                                                               880
Himself too too,<
He doth misuse
Each man take a fee <75>
To crake and prate;
I befoul his pate.
This new fon jet
From out of France<76>
First I did set;
Made purveyance
And such ordinance,                                                                                     890
That all men it found
Throughout England;
All this nation
I set on fire
In my fashion,
This their desire,
This new attire;
This ladies have,
I it them gave;
Spare for no cost;                                                                                         
And yet indeed
It is cost lost
Much more than need
For to exceed
In such array:
Howbeit, I say,
carle's son,
Brought up of nought,
With me will wonne
Whilst he hath aught;                                                                                    910
He will have wrought
His gown so wide
That he may hide
His dam and his sire
Within his sleeve;
Spend all his hire
That men him give.
Wherefore I
A Tyburn check<77>
Shall break his neck.                                                                                      920

Here cometh in FANCY, crying, Stow, stow!

All is out of harre,<78>
And out of trace,
Aye warre and warre
In every place.
But what the devil art thou,
That criest Stow, stow?

Fan. What, whom have we here, Jenkin Jolly?
Now welcome, by the God holy.

Court. Ab. What, Fancy, my friend! how dost thou fare?

Fan. By Christ, as merry as a March hare.                                                    930

Court. Ab. What the devil hast thou on thy fist, an owl?

Fan. Nay, it is a farly fowl.

Court. Ab. Methink she frowneth and looks sour.

Fan. Turd, man, it is an hawk of the tower;<79>
She is made for the mallard fat.

Court. Ab. Methink she is well-beaked to catch a rat.
But now what tidings can you tell, let see.

Fan. Mary, I am come for thee.

Court. Ab. For me?

Fan. Yea, for thee, so I say.                                                                          940

Court. Ab. How so? tell me, I thee pray.

Fan. Why, heard you not of the fray
That fell among us this same day?

Court. Ab. No, mary, not yet.

Fan. What the devil, never a whit?

Court. Ab. No, by the mass; what should I swear?

Fan. In faith, Liberty is now a lusty spere.

Court. Ab. Why, under whom was he abiding?

Fan. Mary, Measure had him a while in guiding,
Till, as the devil would, they fell a-chiding                                                  950
With Crafty

Court. Ab. Yea, did they so?

Fan. Yea, by God's sacrament, and with other mo.

Court. Ab. What needed that, in the devil's date?<80>

Fan. Yes, yes, he fell with me also at debate.

Court. Ab. With thee also? what, he playeth the state?<81>

Fan. Yea, but I bade him pike out of the gate,
By God's body, so did I.

Court. Ab. By the mass, well done, and boldly.

Fan. Hold thy peace, Measure shall from us walk.                                       960

Court. Ab. Why, is he crossed then with a chalk?

Fan. Crossed! yea, checked out of conceit.

Court. Ab. How so?

Fan. By God, by a pretty sleight.
As hereafter thou shalt know more:
But I must tarry here, go thou before.

Court. Ab. With whom shall I there meet?

Fan. Crafty Conveyance standeth in the street,
Even of purpose for the same.

Court. Ab. Yea, but what shall I call my name?                                           970

Fan. Cock's heart, turn thee, let me see thine array:
Cock's bones, this is all of John de Gay.

Court. Ab. So I am pointed after my conceit.

Fan. Mary, thou jettest it of height.<82>

Court. Ab. Yea, but of my name let us be wise.<83>

Fan. Mary, Lusty Pleasure, by mine advice,
To name thyself. Come off, it were done.<84>

Court. Ab. Farewell, my friend.

Fan. Adieu, till soon.

[Here COURTLY ABUSION goes out].

Stow, bird, stow, stow!                                                                                 980
It is best I feed my hawk now.
There is many evil favoured,
an thou be foul;<85>
Each thing is fair when it is young: all hail, owl!

Lo, this is
My fancy, ywis:
Now Christ it bless!
It is, by Jesse,
A bird full sweet,
For me full meet:
She is furred for the heat                                                                              990
All to the feet;
Her brows bent,
eyen glent:
From Tyne to Trent,
From Stroud to Kent,
A man shall find
Many of her kind,
How standeth the wind-
Before or behind:
Barbed like a nun,<86>                                                                                 1000

For burning of the sun;
Her feathers dun;
Now, let me see about
In all this rout
If I can find out
So seemly a snout
Among this press:
Even a whole mess—
Peace, man, peace!                                                                                        1010
rede, we cease.<87>
So farly fair as it looks,
And her beak so comely crooks,
Her nails sharp as tenter-hooks!
I have not kept her yet three wooks.
And how still she doth sit!
Tewit, tewit! Where is my wit?
The devil speed whit!<88>
That was before, I set behind;
Now too courteous, forthwith unkind;                                                         1020
Sometime too sober, sometime too sad;
Sometime too merry, sometime too mad;
Sometime I sit as I were solemn proud;
Sometime I laugh over loud;
Sometime I weep for a gee-gaw;
Sometime I laugh at wagging of a straw;
With a pear<
89> my love you may win,
And ye may lese it for a pin.
I have a thing for to say,
And I may tend thereto for play;                                                                  1030
But in faith I am so occupied
On this half and on every side,
That I wot not where I may rest.
First to tell you what were best,
Frantic Fancy-service I
My wits be weak, my brains are light:
For it is I that other while
Pluck down lead, and thatch with tile;
Now I will this, and now I will that,
Make a windmill of a mat;<90>                                                                    1040
Now I would, and I wist what.
Where is my cap? I have lost my hat;
And within an hour after
Pluck down a house, and set up a rafter;
Hither and thither, I wot not whither:
Do and undo, both together;
Of a spindle I will make a spar:
All that I make forthwith I mar;
I blunder,<
91> I bluster, I blow, and I blother;
I make on the one day, and I mar on the other;                                            1050
Busy, busy, and ever busy,
I dance up and down till I am dizzy;
I can find fantasies where none is;
I will not have it so, I will have it this.

Hic ingrediatur FOLLY, quatiendo crema et faciendo multum, feriendo tabulas et similia. ("Enter FOLLY, shaking his bauble, capering about, and playing on an instrument." PH)

Fol. Masters, Christ save everichon!
What, Fancy, art thou here alone?

Fan. What, fonnish Folly! I befool thy face.

Fol. What, frantic Fancy in a fool's case!
What is this, an owl or a glede?
By my troth, she hath a great head.                                                              1060

Fan. Tush, thy lips hang in thine eye.<92>
It is a French butterfly.

Fol. By my troth, I trow well!
But she is less a great deal
Than a butterfly of our land.

Fan. What pilled<93> cur leadest thou in thy hand?

Fol. A pilled cur!

Fan. Yea so, I tell thee, a pilled cur!

Fol. Yet I sold his skin to Mackemurre <94>
In the stead of a budge fur.<95>                                                                  1070

Fan. What, flayest thou his skin every year?

Fol. Yes, in faith, I thank God I may hear.

Fan. What, thou wilt cough me a daw<96> for forty pence?

Fol. Mary, sir, Cockermouth is a good way hence.

Fan. What? of Cockermouth spake I no word.

Fol. By my faith, sir the furbisher hath my sword.

Fan. Ay, I trow ye shall cough me a fool.

Fol. In faith, truth ye say, we went together to school.

Fan. Yea, but I can somewhat more of the letter.

Fol. I will not give a halfpenny for to chose the better.                               1080

Fan. But, brother Folly, I wonder much of one thing,
That thou so high fro me doth spring,<
And I so little alway still.

Fol. By God, I can tell, and I will.
Thou art so feeble fantastical,
And so brainsick therewithal,
And thy wit wandering here and there,
That thou canst not grow out of thy boy's gear;
And as for me, I take but one foolish way,
And therefore I grow more on one day                                                        1090
Than thou can in years seven.

Fan. In faith, truth thou sayest now, by God of heaven!
For so with fantasies my wit doth fleet,
That wisdom and I shall seldom meet.
Now, of good fellowship, let me buy thy dog.

Fol. Cock's heart, thou liest, I am no hog.

Fan. Here is no man that called thee hog nor swine.

Fol. In faith, man, my brain is as good as thine.

Fan. The devil's turd for thy brain!

Fol. By my sire's soul, I feel no rain.                                                            1100

Fan. By the mass, I hold thee mad.

Fol. Mary, I knew thee when thou wast a lad.

Fan. Cock's bones, heard ye ever sic another?

Fol. Yea, a fool the t'one, and a fool the t'other.

Fan. Nay, but wottest thou what I do say?

Fol. Why, sayest thou that I was here yesterday?

Fan. Cock's arms; this is a work, I trow.

Fol. What, callest thou me a dunnish crow?

Fan. Now, in good faith, thou art a fond guest.

Fol. Yea, bear me this straw to a daw's nest.                                                1110

Fan. What, weenest thou that I were so foolish and so fond?

Fol. In faith, yet is there none in all England.

Fan. Yet for my fancy's sake, I say,
Let me have thy dog, whatsoever I pay.

Fol. Thou shalt have my purse, and I will have thine.

Fan. By my troth, there is mine.

Fol. Now, by my troth, man, take, there is mine<98>.
And I beshrew him that hath the worse.

Fan. Turd, I say, what have I do?
Here is nothing but the buckle of a shoe,                                                      1120
And in my purse was twenty mark.

Fol. Ha, ha, ha! hark, sirs, hark!
For all that my name
hight Folly,
By the mass, yet art thou more fool than I.

Fan. Yet give me thy dog, and I am content;
And thou shalt have my hawk to a botchment.

Fol. That ever thou thrive, God it forfend!
For God's cope <99> thou wilt spend.
Now take thou my dog, and give me thy fowl.<100>

Fan. Hey, chish, come hither!                                                                       1130

Fol. Nay, turd, take him by time.

Fan. What callest thou thy dog?

Fol. Tush, his name is Grime.

Fan. Come, Grime, come, Grime! It is my pretty dogs.

Fol. In faith, there is not a better dog for hogs,
Not from Alnwick unto Aungey. <

Fan. Yea, but trowest thou that he be not mangy?

Fol. No, by my troth, it is but the scurf and the scab.

Fan. What, he hath been hurt with a stab?

Fol. Nay, in faith, it was but a stripe                                                            1140
That the whoreson had for eating of a tripe.

Fan. Where the devil gat he all these hurts?

Fol. By God, for snatching of puddings and worts.

Fan. What, then, he is some good poor man's cur?

Fol. Yea, but he will in at every man's door.

Fan. Now thou hast done me a pleasure great.

Fol. In faith, I would thou hadst a marmoset.

Fan. Cock's heart, I love such japes.

Fol. Yea, for all thy mind is on owls and apes.
But I have thy poultry, and thou hast my cattle.<102>                                1150

Fan. Yea, but thrift and we have made a battle.

Fol. Rememberest thou not the japes and the toys—

Fan. What, that we used when we were boys?

Fol. Yea, by the rood, even the same.

Fan. Yes, yes, I am yet as full of game
As ever I was, and as full of trifles,
Nil, nihilum, nihil anglice, nifles.<103>

Fol. What, cannest thou all this Latin yet,
And hath so mazed a wandering wit?

Fan. Tush, man, I keep some Latin in store.                                                 1160

Fol. By Cock's heart, I ween thou hast no more.

Fan. No? yes, in faith, I can versify.

Fol. Then I pray thee heartily,
Make a verse of my butterfly;
It forceth not of the reason, so it keep rime.

Fan. But wilt thou make another on Grime?

Fol. Nay, in faith, first let me hear thine.

Fan. Mary, as for that thou shalt soon hear mine:
Est snavi snago with a shrewd face vilis imago.<104>

Fol. Grimbaldus greedy, snatch a pudding till the roast be ready.               1170

Fan. By the heart of God, well done!

Fol. Yea, so readily and so soon!


Cr. Con. What, Fancy! Let me see who is the other.

Fan. By God, sir, Folly, mine own sworn brother.

Cr. Con. Cock's bones, it is a farly freke:
Can he play well at the hoddypeak?<105>

Fan. Tell by thy troth what sport canst thou make.

Fol. Ah, hold thy peace: I have the tooth-ache.

Cr. Con. The tooth-ache! lo, a turd ye have.

Fol. Yea, thou hast the four quarters of a knave.                                         1180

Cr. Con. Wottest thou, I say, to whom thou speaks?

Fan. Nay, by Cock's heart, he ne recks,
For he will speak to Magnificence thus.

Cr. Con. Cock's arms, a meet man for us.

Fol. What, would ye have more fools, and are so many?

Fan. Nay, offer him a counter instead of a penny.

Cr. Con. Why, thinkest thou he can no better skill?

Fol. In faith, I can make ye both fools, an I will.

Cr. Con. What hast thou on thy fist—a kestrel?

Fol. Nay, ywis, fool, it is a dotterel.                                                             1190

Cr. Con. In a coat thou can play well the disour.<106>

Fol. Yea, but thou can play the fool without a visor.

Fan. How rode he by you? how put he you? <107>

Cr. Con. Mary, as thou sayest, he gave me a blur.
But where got you that mangy cur?

Fan. Mary, it was his, and now it is mine.

Cr. Con. And was it his, and now it is thine?
Thou must have thy fancy and thy will,
But yet thou shalt hold me a fool still.

Fol. Why, weenest thou that I cannot make thee play the fon?                   1200

Fan. Yes, by my faith, good Sir John.<108>

Cr. Con. For you both it were enough.

Fol. Why, weenest thou that I were as much a fool as thou?

Fan. Nay, nay, thou shalt find him another manner of man.

Fol. In faith, I can do masteries, so I can.

Cr. Con. What canst thou do but play cockwat?<109>

Fan. Yes, yes, he will make thee eat a gnat.

Fol. Yes, yes, by my troth, I hold thee a groat
That I shall laugh thee out of thy coat.

Cr. Con. Then will I say that thou hast no peer.                                           1210

Fan. Now, by the rood, and he will go near.

Fol. Hem, Fancy, regardez, voyez. <110>

Here FOLLY maketh semblaunt to take a louse from CRAFTY CONVEYANCE'S shoulder.

Fan. What hast thou found there?

Fol. By God, a louse.

Cr. Con. By Cock's heart, I trow thou liest.

Fol. By the mass, a Spanish moth with a gray list.

Fan. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Cr. Con. Cock's arms, it is not so, I trow.

Here CRAFTY CONVEYANCE putteth off his gown.

Fol. Put on thy gown again, for now thou hast lost. <111>

Fan. Lo, John of Bonam,<112> where is thy brain?                                    1220
Now put on, fool, thy coat again.

Fol. Give me my groat, for thou hast lost.

Here FOLLY maketh semblaunt to take money of CRAFTY CONVEYANCE, saying to him

Shut thy purse, daw, and do no cost.

Fan. Now hast thou not a proud mock and a stark?

Cr. Con. With, yes, by the rood of Woodstock Park.

Fan. Nay, I tell thee, he maketh no doubts
To turn a fool out of his clouts.

Cr. Con. And for a fool a man would him take.

Fol. Nay, it is I that fools can make;
For be he cayser or be he king,                                                                      1230
To fellowship with Folly I can him bring.

Fan. Nay, wilt thou hear now of his schools,
And what manner of people he maketh fools?

Cr. Con. Yea, let us hear a word or twain.

Fol. Sir, of my manner I shall tell you the plain.
First I lay before them my bauble,
And teach them how they should sit idle,
To pick their fingers all the day long;
So in their ear I sing them a song,
And make them so long to muse,                                                                 
That some of them runneth straight to the stews;
To theft and bribery<
113> I make some fall,
And pick a lock and climb a wall;
And where I spy a nysot gay,
That will sit idle all the day,
And cannot set herself to work,
I kindle in her such a lither spark
That rubbed she must be on the gall
Between the tapet and the wall.

Cr. Con. What, whoreson, art thou such a one?                                           1250

Fan. Nay, beyond all other set him alone.

Cr. Con. Hast thou any more? Let see, proceed.

Fol. Yea, by God, sir, for a need
I have another manner of sort,
That I laugh at for my disport;
And those be they that come up of nought,
As some be not far,
an if it were well sought:
Such daws, whatsoever they be
That be set in authority,
Anon he waxeth so high and proud,                                                             1260
He frowneth fiercely,
brimly browed,<114>
The knave would make it coy, an he could;
All that he doth must be allowed;
And, This is not well done, sir, take heed;
And maketh him busy where is no need:
He dances so long, hey, trolly lolly,
That every man laugheth at his folly.

Cr. Con. By the good Lord, truth he saith.

Fan. Thinkest thou not so, by thy faith?

Cr. Con. Think I not so! quod he. Else have I shame,                                  1270
For I know divers that useth the same.

Fol. But now, forsooth, man, it maketh no matter,
For they that will so busily smatter,
So help me God, man, ever at the length
I make him lose much of their strength;<
For with folly so do I them lead,
That wit he wanteth when he hath most need.

Fan. Forsooth, tell on: hast thou any mo?

Fol. Yes, I shall tell you, ere I go,
Of divers mo that haunteth my schools.                                                       1280

Cr. Con. All men beware of such fools!

Fol. There be two lither, rude and rank,
Simkin Titivell<116> and Pierce Pykthank;
These lithers I learn them for to lere
What he saith and she saith to lay good ear,
And tell to his sovereign every whit,
And then he is much made of for his wit;
And, be the matter ill more or less,
He will make it mickle worse than it is:
But all that he doth, and if he reckon well,                                                  1290
It is but folly every deal.

Fan. Are not his words cursedly couched?

Cr. Con. By God, there be some that be shrewdly touched:
But, I say, let see
an if thou have any more.

Fol. I have an whole armoury of such haberdash in store;
For there be others that folly doth use,
That follow fond fantasies and virtue refuse.

Fan. Nay, this is my part that thou speakest of now.

Fol. So is all the remnant, I make God avow;
For thou formest such fantasies in their mind,                                              1300
That every man almost groweth out of kind.

Cr. Con. By the mass, I am glad that I came hither,
To hear you two
rutters dispute together.

Fan. Nay, but Fancy must be either first or last.

Fol. But when Folly cometh, all is past.

Fan. I wot not whether it cometh of thee or of me.
But all is folly that I can see.

Cr. Con. Mary, sir, ye may swear it on a book.

Fol. Yea, turn over the leaf, read there and look,
How frantic Fancy first of all                                                                       1310
Maketh man and woman in folly to fall.

Cr. Con. A, sir, a, a! Howe<117> by that!

Fan. A perilous thing to cast a cat
Upon a naked man, an if she scrat.

Fol. Soho, I say, the hare is squat!
For, frantic Fancy, thou makest man mad;
And I, Folly, bringeth them to qui fuit gad,<118>
With qui fuit, brain-sick, I have them brought,
From qui fuit aliquid, to sheer shaking nought.<119>

Cr. Con. Well argued and surely on both sides:                                           1320
But for thee, Fancy, Magnificence abides.

Fan. Why, shall I not have Folly with me also?

Cr. Con. Yes, pardie, man, whether that ye ride or go:
Yet for his name we must find a sleight.<120>

Fan. By the mass, he shall hight Conceit.

Cr. Con. Not a better name under the sun:
With Magnificence thou shalt won.

Fol. God have mercy, good godfather.

Cr. Con. Yet I would that he had gone rather;
For, as soon as ye come in Magnificence' sight,                                           1330
All measure and good rule is gone quite.

Fan. And shall we have liberty to do what we will?

Cr. Con. Riot at liberty rusheth it out still.

Fol. Yea, but tell me one thing.

Cr. Con. What is that?

Fol. Who is master of the mash-vat?

Fan. Yea, for he hath a full dry soul.

Cr. Con. Cock's arms, thou shalt keep the brewhouse bowl.

Fol. But may I drink thereof whilst that I stare?

Cr. Con. When Measure is gone, what needest thou spare?                         1340
When Measure is gone, we may slay care.

Fol. Now then go we hence. Away the mare!<121>

Here FOLLY and FANCY go out.

CRAFTY CONVEYANCE alone in the place.

Cr. Con. It is wonder to see the world about,
To see what folly is used in every place;
Folly hath a room, I say, in every rout,<122>
To put, where he list, Folly hath free chase;
Folly and Fancy all where, every man doth face and brace;<123>
Folly footeth it properly, Fancy leadeth the dance;
And next come I after, Crafty Conveyance.
Whoso to me giveth good advertence,                                                         1350
Shall see many things done craftily:
By me conveyed is wanton insolence,
Privy 'pointments conveyed so properly,
For many times much kindness is denied
For dread that we dare not oft lest we be spied;
By me is conveyed
mickle pretty ware,
Sometime, I say, behind the door for need;
I have an hobby can make larks to dare;<124>
I knit together many a broken thread.
It is great alms the hungry to feed,                                                               1360
To clothe the naked where is lacking a smock,
Trim at her tail, ere a man can turn a sock:
What ho, be ye merry! was it not well conveyed?
As oft as ye list, so honesty be saved;
Alas, dear heart, look that we be not perceived!
Without craft nothing is well behaved;
Though I shew you courtesy, say not that I crave <
Yet convey it craftily, and hardly spare not for me,
So that there know no man, but I and she.
Theft also and petty bribery                                                                          1370
Without me be full oft espied;
inwit dealing there can no man descry,
Convey it by craft, lift and lay aside.
Full much flattery and falsehood I hide,
And by crafty conveyance I will, an I can,
Save a strong thief and hang a true man.
But some men would convey, and can not skill,
As malapert taverners that check with their betters,
Their conveyance welteth the work all by will;
And some will take upon them to counterfeit letters,                                   1380
And therewithal
convey himself into a pair of fetters;
And some will convey by the pretence of sadness,
Till all their conveyance is turned into madness.
Crafty conveyance is no child's game:
By crafty conveyance many one is brought up of nought;
Crafty Conveyance can cloak himself from shame,
For by crafty conveyance wonderful things are wrought.
By conveyance crafty I have brought
Unto Magnificence a full ungracious sort,
For all hooks unhappy<126> to me have resort.                                           1390


Magn. Trust me, Liberty, it grieveth me right sore
To see you thus ruled and stand in such awe.

Lib. Sir, as by my will, it shall be so no more.

Fel. Yet Liberty without rule is not worth a straw.

Magn. Tush, hold your peace, ye speak like a daw!
Ye shall be occupied, Wealth, at my will.

Cr. Con. All that ye say, sir, is reason and skill.

Magn. Master Surveyor, where have ye been so long?
Remember ye not how my Liberty by Measure ruled was?

Cr. Con. In good faith, sir, meseemeth he had the more wrong.                  1400

Lib. Mary, sir, so did he exceed and pass,
They drove me to learning like a dull ass.

Fel. It is good yet that Liberty be ruled by reason.

Magn. Tush, hold your peace, ye speak out of season:
Yourself shall be ruled by Liberty and Largesse.

Fel. I am content, so it in measure be.

Lib. Must Measure, in the mare's name, you furnish and dress?

Magn. Nay, nay, not so, my friend Felicity.

Cr. Con. Not, an your grace would be ruled by me.

Lib. Nay, he shall be ruled even as I list.                                                      1410

Fel. Yet it is good to beware of Had I wist.<127>

Magn. Sir, by Liberty and Largesse I will that ye shall
Be governed and guided: wot ye what I say?
Master Surveyor, Largesse to me call.

Cr. Con. It shall be done.

Magn. Yea, but bid him come away
At once, and let him not tarry all day.


Fel. Yet it is good wisdom to work wisely by wealth.

Lib. Hold thy tongue, an thou love thy health.

Magn. What, will ye waste wind, and prate thus in vain?                            1420
Ye have eaten sauce,<
128> I trow, at the Tailors' Hall.

Lib. Be not too bold, my friend; I counsel you, bear a brain.<129>

Magn. And whatso we say, hold you content withal.

Fel. Sir, yet without sapience your substance may be small;
For, where is no measure, how many worship endure?

Here cometh in FANCY.

Fan. Sir, I am here at your pleasure;
Your Grace sent for me, I ween; what is your will?

Magn. Come hither, Largesse, take here Felicity.

Fan. Why, ween you that I can keep him long still?

Magn. To rule as ye list, lo here is Liberty!                                                   1430

Lib. I am here ready.

Fan. What, shall we have Wealth at our guiding to rule as we list?
Then farewell thrift, by Him that cross kissed!

Fel. I trust your Grace will be agreeable
That I shall suffer none impeachment
By their
demeanance, nor loss reprovable.

Magn. Sir, ye shall follow mine appetite and intent.

Fel. So it be by measure I am right well content.

Fan. What, all by measure, good sir, and none excess?

Lib. Why, wealth hath made many a man brainless.                                     1440

Fel. That was by the means of too much liberty.

Magn. What, can ye agree thus and appose?<130>

Fel. Sir, as I say, there was no fault in me.

Lib. Yea, of Jack-a-Thrum's bible<131> can ye make a glose?

Fan. Sore said, I tell you, and well to the purpose:
What should a man do with you? Lock you under key?

Fel. I say, it is folly to give all wealth away.

Lib. Whether should Wealth be ruled by Liberty,
Or Liberty by Wealth? Let see, tell me that.

Fel. Sir, as me seemeth, ye should be ruled by me.                                      1450

Magn. What need you with him thus prate and chat?

Fan. Show us your mind then, how to do and what.

Magn. I say, that I will ye have him in guiding.

Lib. Master Felicity, let be your chiding,
And so, as ye see it will be no better,
Take it in worth<
132> such as you find.

Fan. What the devil, man, your name shall be the greater,
For Wealth without Largesse is all out of kind.

Lib. And Wealth is nought worth if Liberty be behind.

Magn. Now hold ye content, for there is none other shift.                           1460

Fel. Then waste must be welcome, and farewell thrift!

Magn. Take of his substance a sure inventory,
And get thou <
133> home together; for Liberty shall bide,
And wait upon me.

Lib. And yet for a memory,
Make indentures how ye and I shall guide.

Fan. I can do nothing but he stand beside.

Lib. Sir, we can do nothing the one without the other.

Magn. Well, get you hence then, and send me some other.

Fan. Whom? lusty Pleasure, or merry Conceit?                                            1470

Magn. Nay, first lusty Pleasure is my desire to have,
And let the other another await,<
Howbeit that fond fellow is a merry knave;
But look that ye occupy the authority that I you gave.

Here goeth out FELICITY, LIBERTY, and FANCY.

MAGNIFICENCE alone in the place

Magn. For now, sirs, I am like as a prince should be:<135>
I have Wealth at will, Largesse and Liberty:
Fortune to her laws cannot abandon me,<136>
But I shall of Fortune rule the rein;
I fear nothing Fortune's perplexity;
All honour to me must needs stoop and lean;                                               1480
I sing of two parts without a mean;
I have wind and weather over all to sail,
No stormy rage against me can prevail.
Alexander, of Macedony king,
That all the orient had in subjection,
Though all his conquests were brought to reckoning,
Might seem right well under my protection
To reign, for all his martial affection;
For I am Prince Peerless, proud of port,
Bathed with bliss, embraced with comfort.                                                 
Cyrus, that solemn sire of Babylon,
That Israel released of their captivity,
For all his pomp, for all his royal throne,
He may not be compared unto me.
I am the diamond doubtless of dignity:
Surely it is I that all may save and spill;
No man so hardy to work against my will.
Porsena, the proud provost of Turkey land,
That rated the Romans and made them ill rest,
Nor Caesar July, that no man might withstand,                                           
Were never half so richly as I am dressed:
No, that I assure you: look who was the best.
I reign in my robes, I rule as me list,
I drive down these dastards with a dint of my fist.
Of Cato the count accounted the Khan,
Darius, the doughty chieftain of
I set not by the proudest of them a prawn,
Ne by none other, that any man can rehearse.
I follow in felicity without reverse.
I dread no danger, I dance all in delight:                                                      1510
My name is Magnificence, man most of might.
Hercules the hardy, with his stubborn clubbed mace,
That made Cerberus to couch, the cur dog of hell,
And Theseus, that proud was Pluto to face,
It would not become them with me for to
For of all barons bold I bear the bell,
Of all doughty, I am doughtiest duke, as I deem:
To me all princes to lout may be seen.<137>
Charlemagne, that maintained the nobles of France,
Arthur of Albion, for all, his brim beard,                                                      1520
Nor Basian the bold, for all his
Nor Alaric, that ruled the Gothiance<139> by sword,
Nor no man on mould<140> can make me afeared.
What man is so mazed with me that dare meet,
I shall flap him as a fool to fall at my feet.
Galba, whom his gallants garred for to gasp,<141>

Nor Nero, that neither set by God nor man,
Nor Vespasian, that bore in his nose a wasp,<142>
Nor Hannibal against Rome gates that ran,
Nor yet Scipio, that noble Carthage won,                                                     1530
Nor none so hardy of them with me that durst
But I shall frounce them on the foretop,<143> and gar them to quake.

Here cometh in COURTLY ABUSION, doing reverence and curtsey.

Court. Ab. At your commandment, sir, with all due reverence.

Magn. Welcome, Pleasure, to our magnificence.

Court. Ab. Pleaseth it your Grace to show what I do shall?

Magn. Let us hear of your pleasure to pass the time withal.

Court. Ab. Sir, then, with the favour of your benign sufferance
To show you my mind myself I will advance,
If it like your Grace to take it in degree.<144>

Magn. Yes, sir, so good man in you I see,                                                    1540
And in your dealing so good assurance,
That we delight greatly in your dalliance.

Court. Ab. Ah, sir, your Grace me doth extol and raise,
And far beyond my merits ye me commend and praise;
Howbeit, I would be right glad, I you assure,
Any thing to do that might be to your pleasure.

Magn. As I be saved, with pleasure I am surprised
Of your language, it is so well devised;
Polished and fresh is your

Court. Ab. I would to God that I were half so crafty,                                  1550
Or in elect utterance<
145> half so eloquent,
As that I might your noble Grace content!

Magn. Trust me, with you I am highly pleased,
For in my favour I have you fiefed and seised.<146>
He is not living your manners can amend;
Mary, your speech is as pleasant as though it were penned;
To hear your commune, it is my high comfort;
Point-device all pleasure is your port.

Court. Ab. Sir, I am the better of your noble report;
But, of your patience under the support,                                                      1560
If it would like you to hear my poor mind—

Magn. Speak, I beseech thee, leave nothing behind.

Court. Ab. So as ye be a prince of great might,
It is seeming your pleasure ye delight,
And to acquaint you with carnal delectation,
And to fall in acquaintance with every new fashion;
And quickly your appetites to sharpen and address,
To fasten your fancy upon a fair mistress,
That quickly is
envived with ruddies of the rose,<147>
Inpurtured with features after your purpose,                                                1570
The strains of her veins<
148> as azure Indy blue,
Enbudded with beauty and colour fresh of hue,
As lily-white to look upon her lere,
Her eyen relucent as carbuncle so clear,
Her mouth embalmed, delectable and merry,
Her lusty lips ruddy as the cherry:
How like you? ye lack, sir, such a lusty lass.

Magn. Ah, that were a baby to brace and to bass!
I would I had, by Him that hell did harrow,<149>
With me in keeping such a Philip Sparrow!                                                  1580
I would hawk whilst my head did
So I might hobby for such a lusty lark.<151>
These words in mine ear they be so lustily spoken,
That on such a female my flesh would be wroken;
They touch me so thoroughly, and tickle my conceit,
That wearied I would be on such a bait:
Ah, Cock's arms, where might such one be found?

Court. Ab. Will ye spend any money?

Magn. Yea, a thousand pound.

Court. Ab. Nay, nay, for less I warrant you to be sped,<152>                     1590
And brought home, and laid in your bed.

Magn. Would money, trowest thou, make such one to the call?<153>

Court. Ab. Money maketh merchants, I tell you, over all.

Magn. Why, will a mistress be won for money and for gold?

Court. Ab. Why, was not for money Troy both bought and sold?
Full many a strong city and town hath been won
By the means of money without any gun.
A mistress, I tell you, is but a small thing;
A goodly ribbon, or a gold ring,
May win with a saute the fortress of the hold;                                             1600
But one thing I warn you, press forth and be bold.

Magn. Yea, but some be full coy and passing hard-hearted.

Court. Ab. But, blessed be our Lord, they will be soon converted.

Magn. Why, will they then be entreated, the most and the least?

Court. Ab. Yea, for omnis mulier meretrix, si celari potest.<154>

Magn. Ah, I have spied ye can much brooken sorrow.

Court. Ab. I could hold you with such talk hence till tomorrow;
But if it like your Grace, more at large
Me to permit my mind to discharge,
I would yet show you further of my conceit.                                               1610

Magn. Let see what ye say, show it straight.

Court. Ab. Wisely let these words in your mind be weighed:
By wayward wilfulness let each thing be conveyed;
Whatsoever ye do, follow your now will;
Be it reason or none, it shall not greatly skill;
Be it right or wrong, by the advice of me,
Take your pleasure and use free liberty;
And if you see anything against your mind,
Then some occasion of quarrel ye must find,
And frown it and face it, as though ye would fight,                                   
Fret yourself for anger and for despite;
Hear no man, whatsoever they say,
But do as ye list, and take your own way.

Magn. Thy words and my mind oddly well accord.

Court. Ab. What should ye do else? are not you a lord?
Let your lust and liking stand for a law;
Be wresting and writhing, and away draw.
An ye see a man that with him ye be not pleased,
And that your mind cannot well be eased,
As if a man fortune to touch you on the quick,                                            1630
Then feign yourself diseased and make yourself sick:
To stir up your stomach you must you forge,
Call for a
caudle and cast up your gorge,<155>
With 'Cock's arms, rest shall I none have
Till I be revenged on that whoreson knave!
Ah, how my stomach wambleth! I am all in a sweat!
Is there no whoreson that knave that will beat?'

Magn. By Cock's wounds, a wonder fellow thou art;
For ofttimes such a wambling goeth over my heart;
Yet I am not heart-sick, but that me list                                                       1640
For mirth I have him curried, beaten, and
Him that I loved not and made him to lout,
I am forthwith as whole as a trout;
For such abusion I use now and then.

Court. Ab. It is none abusion, sir, in a noble man,
It is a princely pleasure and a lordly mind;
Such lusts at large may not be left behind.


Cl. Col. Stand still here, and ye shall see
That for your sake I will fall on my knee.

Court. Ab. Sir, Sober Sadness cometh, wherefore it be?                              1650

Magn. Stand up, sir, ye are welcome to me.

Cl. Col. Please it your Grace, at the contemplation<157>
Of my poor instance and supplication,
Tenderly to consider in your advertence,
Of our blessed Lord, sir, at the reverence,
Remember the good service that Measure hath you done,
And that ye will not cast him away so soon.

Magn. My friend, as touching to this your motion,
I may say to you I have but small devotion;
Howbeit, at your instance I will the rather                                                   1660
Do as much as for mine own father.

Cl. Col. Nay, sir, that affection ought to be reserved,
For of your Grace I have it nought deserved;
But if it like you that I might rowne in your ear
To show you my mind, I would have the less fear.

Magn. Stand a little aback, sir, and let him come hither.

Court. Ab. With a good will, sir, God speed you both together.

Cl. Col. Sir, so it is: this man is hereby,
That for him to labour he hath prayed me heartily;
Notwithstanding to you be it said,                                                               1670
To trust in me he is but deceived;
For, so help me God, for you he is not
I speak the softlier, because he should not weet.

Magn. Come hither, Pleasure, you shall hear mine intent.
Measure, ye know well, with him I cannot be content,
And surely, as I am now advised,
I will have him reheted and despised.<158>
How say ye, sirs, herein what is best?

Court. Ab. By mine advice with you, in faith, he shall not rest.

Cl. Col. Yet, sir, reserved your better advisement,                                       1680
It were better he spake with you ere he went,
That he know not but that I have
All that I can his matter for to speed.<159>

Magn. Now, by your troth, gave he you not a bribe?

Cl. Col. Yes, with his hand I made him to subscribe
A bill of record for an annual rent.

Court. Ab. But for all that he is like to have a glent.<160>

Cl. Col. Yea, by my troth, I shall warrant you for me,
An he go to the devil, so that I may have my fee,
What care I?                                                                                                  1690

Magn. By the mass, well said.

Court. Ab. What force ye, so that ye be paid?

Cl. Col. But yet, lo, I would, ere that he went,
Lest that he thought that his money were evil spent,
That ye would look on him, though it were not long.

Magn. Well canst thou help a priest to sing a song!

Cl. Col. So it is all the manner nowadays,
For to use such hafting and crafty ways.

Court. Ab. He telleth you truth, sir, as I you ensure.

Magn. Well, for thy sake the better I may endure                                        1700
That he come hither, and to give him a look
That he shall like the worse all this

Cl. Col. I care not how soon he be refused,
So that I may craftily be excused.

Court. Ab. Where is he?

Cl. Col. Mary, I made him abide,
Whilst I came to you, a little here beside.

Magn. Well, call him, and let us hear him reason,
And we will be communing in the mean season.

Court. Ab. This is a wise man, sir, wheresoever ye him had.                        1710

Magn. An honest person, I tell you, and a sad.

Court. Ab. He can full craftily this matter bring about.

Magn. Whilst I have him, I need nothing doubt.

Hic introducat COLLUSION MEASURE, MAGNIFICENCE aspectante vultu elatissimo
("CLOAKED COLLUSION brings MEASURE forward, while MAGNIFICENCE looks on him very loftily." PH )

Cl. Col. By the mass, I have done that I can,
And more than ever I did for any man:
I trow, ye heard yourself what I said.

Meas. Nay, indeed; but I saw how ye prayed,
And made instance for me by likelihood.

Cl. Col. Nay, I tell you, I am not wont to fode
Them that dare put their trust in me;                                                             1720
And thereof ye shall a larger proof see.

Meas. Sir, God reward you as ye have deserved:
But think you with Magnificence I shall be reserved?

Cl. Col. By my troth, I cannot tell you that;
an I were as ye, I would not set a gnat<161>
By Magnificence, nor yet none of his,
For, go when ye shall, of you shall he miss.

Meas. Sir, as ye say.

Cl. Col. Nay, come on with me:
Yet once again I shall fall on my knee                                                          1730
For your sake, whatsoever befall;
I set not a fly, and all go to all.

Meas. The Holy Ghost be with your Grace.

Cl. Col. Sir, I beseech you, let pity have some place
In your breast towards this gentleman.

Magn. I was your good lord till that ye began
So masterfully upon you for to take
With my servants, and such masteries gan make,<
That wholly my mind with you is miscontent;
Wherefore I will that ye be resident                                                             1740
With me no longer.

Cl. Col. Say somewhat now, let see, for yourself.<163>

Meas. Sir, if I might permitted be,
I would to you say a word or twain.

Magn. What, wouldst thou, lurdan, with me brawl again?
Have him hence, I say, out of my sight;
That day I see him I shall be worse all night.

Here MEASURE goeth out of the place [with COURTLY ABUSION, who, as he carries him off, exclaims]

Court. Ab. Hence, thou haynard, out of the doors fast!

Magn. Alas, my stomach fareth as it would cast!

Cl. Col. Abide, sir, abide, let me hold your head.                                        1750

Magn. A bowl or a basin, I say, for God's bread!
Ah, my head! But is the whoreson gone?
God give him a mischief! Nay, now let me alone.

Cl. Col. A good drift, sir, a pretty feat:
By the good Lord, yet your temples beat.

Magn. Nay, so God me help, it was no great vexation,
For I am panged ofttimes of this same fashion.

Cl. Col. Cock's arms, how Pleasure plucked him forth!

Magn. Yea, walk he must, it was no better worth.

Cl. Col. Sir, now methink your heart is well eased.                                      1760

Magn. Now Measure is gone I am the better pleased.

Cl. Col. So to be ruled by Measure, it is a pain.

Magn. Mary, I ween he would not be glad to come again.

Cl Col. So I wot not what he should do here:
Where men's bellies is measured, there is no cheer;
For I hear but few men that give any praise
Unto Measure, I say, nowadays.

Magn. Measure, tut! what, the devil of hell!
Scantly one with Measure that will dwell.

Cl. Col. Not among noble men, as the world goeth:                                     1770
It is no wonder therefore though ye be wroth
With Measure. Where all nobleness is, there I have passed:
They catch that catch may, keep and hold fast,
Out of all measure themselves to enrich;
force what though his neighbour die in a ditch.
With polling and plucking out of all measure,
Thus must ye stuff and store your treasure.

Magn. Yet sometime, pardie, I must use largesse.

Cl. Col. Yea, Mary, sometime in a mess of verjuice,
As in a trifle or in a thing of nought,                                                            1780
As giving a thing that ye never bought:
It is the
guise now, I say, over all;
Largesse in words, for rewards are but small:
To make faire promise, what are ye the worse?
Let me have the rule of your purse.

Magn. I have taken it to Largesse and Liberty.

Cl. Col. Then it is done as it should be.
But use your largesse by the advice of me,
And I shall warrant you wealth and liberty.

Magn. Say on, methink your reasons be profound.                                      1790

Cl. Col. Sir, of my counsel this shall be the ground:
To choose out ii-iii of such as you love best,
And let all your fancies upon them rest;
Spare for no cost to give them pound and penny,
Better to make iii rich than for to make many;
Give them more than enough and let them not lack,
And as for all other let them truss and pack;
Pluck from an hundred, and give it to three,
Let neither patent 'scape them nor fee;
And wheresoever you will fall to a reckoning,                                            
Those three will be ready even at your beckoning,
For them shall you have at liberty to
Let them have all, and the other go without:
Thus joy without measure you shall have.

Magn. Thou sayst truth, by the heart that God me gave!
For, as thou sayst, right so shall it be:
And here I make thee upon Liberty
To be supervisor, and on Largesse also,
For as thou wilt, so shall the game go;
For in Pleasure, and Surveyance, and also in thee                                        1810
I have set my whole felicity,
And such as you will shall lack no promotion.

Cl. Col. Sir, sith that in me ye have such devotion,
Committing to me and to my fellows twain
Your wealth and felicity, I trust we shall obtain
To do you service after your appetite.

Magn. In faith, and your service right well I shall requite;
And therefore hie you hence, and take this oversight.

Cl. Col. Now, Jesu preserve you, sir, prince most of might!

Here goeth CLOAKED COLLUSION away, and leaveth MAGNIFICENCE alone in the place.

Magn. Thus, I say, I am environed with solace;                                           1820
I dread no dints of fatal destiny.
Well were that lady might stand in my grace,
Me to embrace and love most specially:
Ah, Lord, so I would
halse her heartily,
So I would clip her, so I would kiss her sweet!

Here cometh in FOLLY

Fol. Mary, Christ grant ye catch no cold on your feet!

Magn. Who is this?

Fol. Conceit, sir, your own man.

Magn. What tidings with you, sir? I befool thy brain-pan!

Fol. By our lakin, sir, I have been a hawking for the wild swan.                 1830
My hawk is
ramage,<164> and it happed that she ran,
Flew I should say, into an old barn
To reach at a rat, I could not her warn;
She pinched her pinion, by God, and catched harm:
It was a runner; nay, fool, I warrant her blood warm!

Magn. Ah, sir, thy gyrfalcon and thou be hanged together!

Fol. And, sir, as I was coming to you hither,
I saw a fox suck on a cow's udder,
And with a lime-rod I took them both together.
I trow it be a frost, for the way is slidder:                                                    1840
See, for God avow, for cold as I

Magn. Thy words hang together as feathers in the wind.<165>

Fol. Ah, sir, told I not you how I did find
A knave and a churl, and all of one kind?
I saw a weathercock wag with the wind;
Great marvel I had, and mused in my mind;
The hounds ran before, and the hare behind;
I saw a losel lead a lurdan, and they were both blind;
I saw a souter go to supper ere ever he had dined.

Magn. By Cock's heart, thou art a fine merry knave.                                   1850

Fol. I make God avow, ye will none other men have.<166>

Magn. What sayest thou?

Fol. Mary, I pray God your mastership to save:
I shall give you a gaud of a gosling that I gave,<167>
The gander and the goose both grazing on one grave;
Then Rowland the reeve ran, and I began to rave,
And with a bristle of a boar his beard did I shave.

Magn. If ever I heard such another, God give me shame.

Fol. Sim Saddlegoose was my sire, and Dawcock<168> my dam:
I could, an I list, gar you laugh at a game,                                                    1860
How a woodcock wrestled with a lark that was lame:
The bittern said boldly that they were to blame;
The fieldfare would have fiddled, and it would not frame;
The crane and the curlew thereat
gan to grame;
The snipe snivelled in the snout and smiled at the game.

Magn. Cock's bones, heard you ever such another.

Fol. See, sir, I beseech you, Largesse my brother.

Here FANCY cometh in.

Magn. What tidings with you, sir, that you look so sad?

Fan. When ye know what I know ye will not be glad.                                1870

Fol. What, Brother Brainsick, how farest thou?

Magn. Yea, let be thy japes, and tell me how
The case requireth.

Fan. Alas, alas, an heavy meeting!
I would tell you,
an if I might for weeping.

Fol. What, is all your mirth now turned to sorrow?
Farewell till soon, adieu till to-morrow.

Here goeth FOLLY away.

Magn. I pray thee, Largesse, let be thy sobbing.

Fan. Alas, sir, ye are undone with stealing and robbing!
Ye sent us a supervisor for to take heed:
Take heed of yourself, for now ye have need.                                              1880

Magn. What, hath Sadness beguiled me so?

Fan. Nay, madness hath beguiled you and many mo;
For Liberty is gone and also Felicity.

Magn. Gone? alas, ye have undone me!

Fan. Nay, he that sent us, Cloaked Collusion,
And your painted Pleasure, Courtly Abusion,
And your demeanour with Counterfeit Countenance,
And your surveyor,<169> Crafty Conveyance,
Ere ever we were aware brought us in adversity,
And hath robbed you quite from all felicity.                                                1890

Magn. Why, is this the largesse that I have used?

Fan. Nay, it was your fondness that ye have used.

Magn. And is this the credence that I gave to the letter?

Fan. Why, could not your wit serve you no better?

Magn. Why, who would have thought in you such guile?

Fan. What? yes, by the rood, sir, it was I all this while
That you trusted, and Fancy is my name;
And Folly, my brother, that made you much game.

Here cometh in ADVERSITY

Magn. Alas, who is yonder, that grimly looks?

Fan. Adieu, for I will not come in his clokes. [Here FANCY goes out]      1900

Magn. Lord, so my flesh trembleth now for dread!

Here MAGNIFICENCE is beaten down, and spoiled from all his goods and raiment.

Adver. I am Adversity, that for thy misdeed
From God am sent to
quite thee thy meed.
Vile velyard, thou must now my dint withstand,
Thou must abide the dint of my hand:
Lie there, losel, for all thy pomp and pride;
Thy pleasure now with pain and trouble shall be tried.
The stroke of God, Adversity I hight;
I pluck down king, prince, lord, and knight,
I rush at them roughly, and make them lie full low,                                     1910
And in their most trust I make them overthrow.
losel was a lord, and lived at his lust,
And now, like a lurdan, he lieth in the dust:
He knew not himself, his heart was so high;
Now is there no man that will set by him a fly:
He was wont to boast, brag, and to brace;
Now dare he not for shame look one in the face:
All wordly wealth for him too little was;
Now hath he right nought, naked as an ass:
Sometime without measure he trusted in gold,                                             1920
And now without measure he shall have hunger and cold.
Lo, sirs, thus I handle them all
That follow their fancies in folly to fall:
Man or woman, of what estate they be,
I counsel them beware of Adversity.
Of sorrowful servants I have many scores:
I visit them sometimes with
blains and with sores;
With botches and carbuncles in care I them knit;
With the gout I make them to groan where they sit;
Some I make lepers and lazars full hoarse;                                                   1930
And from that they love best some I divorce;
Some with the
marmoll to halt I them make;<170>
And some to cry out of the bone-ache;
And some I visit with burning of fire;
Of some I wring of the neck like a wire;
And some I make in a rope to totter and walter;
And some for to hang themself in a halter;
And some I visit to battle, war, and murder,<171>
And make each man to slay other;
To drown or to slay themself with a knife;                                                   1940
And all is for their ungracious life.
Yet sometime I strike where is none offence,
Because I would prove men of their patience.
But, nowadays, to strike I have great cause,
Lidderons so little set by God's laws.
Fathers and mothers, that be negligent,
And suffer their children to have their intent,
To guide them virtuously that will not remember,
Them or their children oft times I dismember;
Their children because that they have no meekness;                                     1950
I visit their fathers and mothers with sickness;
And if I see thereby they will not amend,
Then mischief suddenly I them send;
For there is nothing that more displeaseth God
Than from their children to spare the rod
Of correction, but let them have their will;
Some I make lame, and some I do kill;
And some I strike with a frenzy;
Of some of their children I strike out the eye;
And where the father by wisdom worship hath won,                                 
I send oft times a fool to his son.
Wherefore of Adversity look ye beware,
For when I come cometh sorrow and care:
For I strike lords of realms and lands,
That rule not by measure that they have in their hands,
That sadly rule not their household men;
I am God's
prepositor, I print them with a pen;
Because of their negligence and their wanton vagues,
I visit them and strike them with many sore plagues.
To take, sirs, example of that I you tell,                                                        1970
And beware of Adversity by my counsel,
Take heed of this
caitiff that lieth here on ground;
Behold, how Fortune of him hath frowned!<172>
For though we show you this in game and play,
Yet it proveth earnest, ye may see, every day.
For now will I from this caitiff go,
And take mischief and vengeance of other mo,
That hath deserved it as well as he.
Ho, where art thou? come hither, Poverty,
Take this caitiff to thy lore.                                                                           1980

Here cometh in POVERTY [and ADVERSITY goes out]

Pover. Ah, my bones ache, my limbs be sore;
Alas, I have the sciatica full evil in my hip!
Alas, where is youth that was wont for to skip?
I am lousy, and
unliking,<173> and full of scurf,
My colour is tawny, coloured as turf:
I am Poverty, that all men doth hate,
I am baited with dogs at every man's gate:
I am ragged and rent, as ye may see;
Full few but they have envy at me.
Now must I this carcass lift up:                                                                    1990
He dined with delight, with Poverty he must sup.
Rise up, sir, and welcome unto me.

Hic accedat ad levandum MAGNIFICENCE et locabit eum super locum stratum
("Here he lifts up MAGNIFICENCE, and puts a coverlet over him" PH)

Magn. Alas, where is now my gold and fee?
Alas, I say, whereto am I brought?
Alas, alas, alas, I die for thought!

Pover. Sir, all this would have been thought on before:
wotteth not what wealth is that never was sore.

Magn. Fie, fie, that ever I should be brought in this snare!
I weened once never to have known care.

Pover. Lo, such is this world! I find it writ,                                                 2000
In wealth to beware, and that is wit.

Magn. In wealth to beware, if I had had grace,
Never had I been brought in this case.

Pover. Now, sith it will no other be,
All that God sendeth, take it in
For, though you were sometime of noble estate,
Now must you learn to beg at every man's gate.

Magn. Alas, that ever I should be so shamed!
Alas, that ever I Magnificence was named!                                                  2010
Alas, that ever I was so hard happed,
In misery and wretchedness thus to be
Alas, that I could not myself no better guide!
Alas, in my cradle that I had not died!

Pover. Yea, sir, yea, leave all this rage,
And pray to God your sorrows to assuage:
It is folly to grudge against his visitation.
With heart contrite make your supplication
Unto your Maker, that made both you and me,
And, when it pleaseth God, better may be.

Magn. Alas, I wot not what I should pray!                                                  2020

Pover. Remember you better, sir, beware what ye say,
For dread ye displease the high Deity.
Put your will in his will, for surely it is he
That may restore you again to felicity,
And bring you again out of adversity.
Therefore poverty look patiently ye take,
And remember he suffered much more for your sake,
Howbeit of all sin he was innocent,
And ye have deserved this punishment.

Magn. Alas, with cold my limbs shall be marred!                                         2030

Pover. Yea, sir, now must ye learn to lie hard,
That was wont to lie on feather-beds of down;
Now must your feet lie higher than your crown.
Where you were wont to have
caudles for your head,
Now must you munch mammocks and lumps of bread;
And where you had changes of rich array,
Now lap you in a coverlet full fain that ye may;
And where that ye were pomped with what ye would,
Now must ye suffer both hunger and cold:
With courtly silks ye were wont to be draw;                                                2040
Now must ye learn to lie on the straw;
Your skin that was wrapped in shirts of Rennes,
Now must ye be storm-beaten with showers and rains;
Your head that was wont to be
happed most droopy and drowsy,
Now shall ye be scabbed, scurvy, and lousy.

Magn. Fie on this world, full of treachery,
That ever nobleness should lie thus wretchedly!

Pover. Sir, remember the turn of Fortune's wheel,
That wantonly can wink, and winch with her heel.
Now she will laugh, forthwith she will frown;                                             2050
Suddenly set up, and suddenly plucked down.
She danceth variance with mutability;
Now all in wealth, forthwith in poverty;
In her promise there is no
All her delight is set in doubleness.

Magn. Alas, of Fortune I may well complain!

Pover. Yea, sir, yesterday will not be called again:
But yet, sir, now in this case,
Take it meekly, and thank God of his grace;
For now go I will beg for you some meat;                                                    2060
It is folly against God for to
I will walk now with my beggar's bags,
And wrap you the whiles with these homely rags.

Discendo dicat ista verba:
("Going away, he says these words")

Ah, how my limbs be lither and lame!
Better it is to beg than to be hanged with shame;
Yet many had liefer hanged be,
Than for to beg their meat for charity:
They think it no shame to rob and steal,
Yet were they better to beg a great deal;
For by robbing they run in manus tuas quick <174>                                    2070
But begging is better medicine for the neck;
Yea, Mary, is it, yea, so
mote I go:
Ah, Lord God, how the gout wringeth me by the toe!

Here MAGNIFICENCE dolorously maketh his moan.

Magn. O feeble fortune, O doleful destiny!
O hateful hap, O careful cruelty!
O sighing sorrow, O thoughtful misery!
O redeless ruth, O painful poverty!
O dolorous heart, O hard adversity!
O odious distress, O deadly pain and woe!
For worldy shame I wax both wan and blo.                                                 2080
Where is now my wealth and my noble estate?
Where is now my treasure, my lands, and my rent?
Where is now all my servants that I had here of late?
Where is now my gold upon them that I spent?
Where is now all my rich habiliment?
Where is now my kin, my friends, and my noble blood?
Where is now all my pleasure and my wordly good?
Alas, my folly! alas, my wanton will!
I may no more speak, till I have wept my fill.

Here cometh in LIBERTY.

Lib. With, yea Mary, sirs, thus should it be:                                                 2090
I kissed her sweet, and she kissed me;
I danced the darling on my knee;
garred her gasp, I garred her glee,
With Dance on the lea, the lea!<175>
I bussed that baby with heart so free;
She is the boot of all my bale.<176>
Ah so! that sigh was far-fet!
To love that lovesome I will not let;
My heart is wholly on her set:
I plucked her by the patlet;                                                                           2100
At my
devise I with her met;
My fancy fairly on her I set;
So merrily singeth the nightingale!
In lust and liking my name is Liberty:
I am desired with highest and lowest degree;
I live as me list, I leap out at large;
Of earthly thing I have no care nor charge;
I am president of princes, I prick them with pride.<177>
What is he living that Liberty would lack?
A thousand pound with Liberty may hold no tack;                                      2110
At liberty a man may be bold for to break;
Wealth without liberty goeth all to wrack.
But yet, sirs,
hardly one thing learn of me:
I warn you beware of too much liberty,
For totum in toto <178> is not worth an haw;<179>
Too hardy, or too much, too free of the daw;<180>
Too sober, too sad, too subtle, too wise;
Too merry, too mad, too giggling, too nice;
Too full of fancies, too lordly, too proud;
Too homely, too holy, too lewd, and too loud;                                            2120
Too flattering, too smattering, too too out of
Too clattering, too chattering, too short, and too far;
Too jetting, too jagging, and too full of japes;
Too mocking, too mowing, too like a jackanapes:
Thus totum in toto<178> groweth up, as ye may see,
By means of madness, and too much liberty;
For I am a virtue, if I be well used,
And I am a vice where I am abused.

Magn. Ah, woe worth thee, Liberty, now thou sayst full true!
That I used thee too much, sore may I rue.                                                   2130

Lib. What, a very vengeance, I say, who is that?
brothel,<181> I say, is yonder bound in a mat?

Magn. I am Magnificence, that sometime thy master was.

Lib. What, is the world thus come to pass?
Cock's arms, sirs, will ye not see
How he is undone by the means of me?
For if Measure had ruled Liberty as he began,
This lurdan that here lieth had been a nobleman.
But he abused so his free liberty,
That now he hath lost all his felicity,                                                            2140
Not through largesse of liberal expense,
But by the way of fancy insolence;
For liberality is most convenient
A prince to use with all his whole intent,
Largely rewarding them that have deserved,
And so shall a nobleman nobly be served:
But nowadays as hucksters they
huck and they stick,
And pinch at the payment of a pudding-prick;
A laudable largesse, I tell you, for a lord,
To prate for the patching of a potsherd!                                                       2150
Spare for the
spence of a noble, that his honour might save,
And spend c. s.<182> for the pleasure of a knave!
But so long they reckon with their reasons amiss,
That they lose their liberty and all that there is.

Magn. Alas, that ever I occupied<183> such abusion!

Lib. Yea, for now it hath brought thee to confusion:
For, where I am occupied and used wilfully,
It cannot continue long prosperously;
As evidently in reckless youth you may see,
How many come to mischief for too much liberty;                                      2160
And some in the world their brain is so idle,
That they set their children to run on the bridle,
In youth to be wanton and let them have their will;
An they never thrive in their age, it shall not greatly skill:
Some fall to folly themself for to spill,
And some fall preaching at the Tower Hill;<184>
Some hath so much liberty of one thing and other
That neither they set by father nor mother;
Some have so much liberty that they fear no sin,
Till, as ye see many times, they shame all their kin.                                      2170
I am so lusty to look on, so fresh, and so free,
That nuns will leave their holiness, and run after me;
Friars with folly I make them so fain,
They cast up their obedience to catch me again,
At liberty to wander and walk over all,
That lustily they leap sometime their cloister wall.

Hic aliquis buccat in cornu a retro post populum.
("Here someone blows a horn behind the audience" PH)

Yonder is a whoreson for me doth recheat:
Adieu, sirs, for I think lest that I come too late.         [Here LIBERTY goes out]

Magn. O good Lord, how long shall I endure
This misery, this
careful wretchedness?                                                        2180
Of worldly wealth, alas, who can be sure?
In Fortune's friendship there is no steadfastness:
She hath deceived me with her doubleness.
For to be wise all men may learn of me,
In wealth to beware of hard adversity.

Here cometh in CRAFTY CONVEYANCE and CLOAKED COLLUSION, with a lusty laughter.

Cr. Con. Ha, ha, ha! for laughter I am like to brast.

Cl. Col. Ha, ha, ha! for sport I am like to spew and cast.<185>

Cr. Con. What hath thou gotted, in faith, to thy share?

Cl. Col. In faith, of his coffers the bottoms are bare.

Cr. Con. As for his plate of silver, and such trash,                                       2190
I warrant you, I have given it a lash.

Cl. Col. What, then he may drink out of a stone cruse?

Cr. Con. With, yea, sir, by Jesu that slain was with Jews!
He may rinse a pitcher, for his plate is to wed.

Cl. Col. In faith, and he may dream on a dagswain<186> for any feather-bed.

Cr. Con. By my troth, we have rifled him meetly well!<187>

Cl. Col. Yea, but thank me thereof every deal.

Cr. Con. Thank thee thereof, in the devil's date!<188>

Cl. Col. Leave thy prating, or else I shall lay thee on thy pate.

Cr. Con. Nay, to wrangle, I warrant thee, it is but a stone-cast.                  2200

Cl. Col. By the mass, I shall cleave thy head to the waist.

Cr. Con. Yea, wilt thou cleanly cleave me in the cleft with thy nose?

Cl. Col. I shall thrust in thee my dagger—

Cr. Con. Through the leg into the hose.

Cl. Col. Nay, whoreson, here is my glove; take it up, an thou dare.

Cr. Con. Turd, thou art good to be a man of war.

Cl. Col. I shall skelp thee on the scalp; lo, seest thou that?

Cr. Con. What, wilt thou skelp me? thou dare not look on a gnat.

Cl. Col. By Cock's bones, I shall bless thee, an thou be too bold.

Cr. Con. Nay, then thou wilt ding the devil,<189> an thou be not hold.    2210

Cl. Col. But wottest thou, whoreson? I rede thee to be wise.

Cr. Con. Now I rede thee beware, I have warned thee twice.

Cl. Col. Why, weenest thou that I forbear thee for thine own sake?

Cr. Con. Peace, or I shall wring thy be in a brake.<190>

Cl. Col. Hold thy hand, daw, off thy dagger, and stint of thy din,
Or I shall falchion thy flesh, and scrape thee on the skin.

Cr. Con. Yea, wilt thou, hangman? I say, thou cavell!<191>

Cl. Col. Nay, thou rude ravener, rain-beaten javel!<192>

Cr. Con. What, thou Colyn Coward, known and tried!

Cl. Col. Nay, thou false-hearted dastard, thou dare not abide!                    2220

Cr. Con. An if there were none to displease but thou and I,
Thou should not scape, whoreson, but thou should die.

Cl. Col. Nay, I shall wring thee, whoreson, on the wrist.

Cr. Con. Mary, I defy thy best and thy worst.


C. Count. What, a very vengeance, need all these words?
Go together by the heads, and give me your swords.

Cl. Col. So he is the worst brawler that ever was born.

Cr. Con. In faith, so to suffer thee, it is but a scorn.

C. Count. Now let us be all one, and let us live in rest,
For we be, sirs, but a few of the best.                                                           2230

Cl. Col. By the mass, man, thou shalt find me reasonable.

Cr. Con. In faith, and I will be to reason agreeable.

C. Count. Then I trust to God and the holy rood,
Here shall be no great shedding of blood.

Cl. Col. By our lakin, sir, not by my will.

Cr. Con. By the faith that I owe to God, and I will sit still.

C. Count. Well said: But, in faith, what was your quarrel?

Cl. Col. Mary, sir, this gentleman called me a javel.

Cr. Con. Nay, by Saint Mary, it was ye called me knave.

Cl. Col. Mary, so ungodly language you me gave.                                       2240

C. Count. Ah, shall we have more of these matters yet?
Methink ye are not greatly encumbered with wit.

Cr. Con. God's foot, I warrant you I am a gentleman born,
And thus, to be faced I think it great scorn.

C. Count. I cannot well tell of your dispositions;
An ye be a gentleman, ye have knavish conditions.

Cl. Col. By God, I tell you I will not be out-faced!

Cr. Con. By the mass, I warrant thee, I will not be braced.

C. Count. Tush, tush, it is a great default:
The one of you is too proud, the other is too haut.                                       2250
Tell me briefly whereupon ye began.

Cl. Col. Mary, sir, he said that he was the prettier man
Than I was, in opening of locks;
And, I tell you, I disdain much of his mocks.

Cr. Con. Thou saw never yet but I did my part,
The lock of a casket to make to

C. Count. Nay, I know well enough ye are both well-handed
To grope a gardeviance<194>, though it be well banded.

Cl. Col. I am the better yet in a budget.

Cr. Con. And I the better in a male.                                                             2260

C. Count. Tush, these matters that ye move are but sops in ale:
Your trimming and tramming by me must be tanged,<
For, had I not been, ye both had been hanged,
When we with Magnificence goods made chevisaunce.<196>

Magn. And therefore our Lord send you a very vengeance!

C. Count. What beggar art thou that thus doth ban and warray?<197>

Magn. Ye be the thieves, I say, away my goods did carry.

Cl. Col. Cock's bones, thou beggar, what is thy name?

Magn. Magnificence I was, whom ye have brought to shame.

C. Count. Yea, but trow you, sirs, that this is he?                                        2270

Cr. Con. Go we near, and let us see.

Cl. Col. By Cock's bones, it is the same.

Magn. Alas, alas, sirs, ye are to blame!
I was your master, though ye think it scorn,
And now on me ye gaure<198> and spurn.

C. Count. Lie still, lie still now, with ill-hail!

Cr. Con. Yea, for thy language, cannot thee avail.

Cl. Col. Abide, sir, abide, I shall make him to piss.

Magn. Now give me somewhat, for God's sake I crave!

Cr. Con. In faith, I give thee four quarters of a knave.                                2280

C. Count. In faith, and I bequeath him the tooth-ache.

Cl. Col. And I bequeath him the bone-ache.

Cr. Con. And I bequeath him the gout and the gin.

Cl. Col. And I bequeath him sorrow for his sin.

C. Count. And I give him Christ's curse,
With never a penny in his purse.

Cr. Con. And I give him the cough, the murr, and the pose.

Cl. Col. Yea, for requiem aeternam groweth forth of his nose<199>.
But now let us make merry and good cheer!

C. Count. And to the tavern let us draw near.                                              2290

Cr. Con. And from thence to the half street,<200>
To get us there some fresh meat.

Cl. Col. Why, is there any store of raw mutton<201>

C. Count. Yea, in faith, or else thou art too great a glutton.

Cr. Con. But they say it is a queasy meat;<202>
It will strike a man mischievously in a heat.

Cl. Col. In fay, man, some ribs of the mutton be so rank,
That they will fire one ungraciously in the flank.

C. Count. Yea, and when ye come out of the shop,
Ye shall be clapped with a collop,                                                                2300
That will make you to halt and to hop.

Cr. Con. Some be rested there that they think on it forty days,
For there be whores there at all assays.

Cl. Col. For the passion of God, let us go thither!<203>

Et cum festinatione descendant a loco.
("And they go hurriedly out of the place " PH)

Magn. Alas, mine own servants to show me such reproach,
Thus to rebuke me, and have me in despite!
So shamefully to me, their master, to approach,
That sometime was a noble prince of might!
Alas, to live longer I have no delight!
For to live in misery it is harder than death:                                                 2310
I am weary of the world, for unkindness me slayeth.

Hic Intrat DESPAIR
("Enter DESPAIR")

Des. Despair is my name, that Adversity doth follow:
In time of distress I am ready at hand;
I make heavy hearts with
eyen full hollow;
Of fervent charity I quench out the brand;
Faith and Goodhope I make aside to stand;
In God's mercy, I tell them, is but folly to trust;
All grace and pity I lay in the dust.
What, liest thou there lingering, lewdly and loathsome?
It is too late now thy sins to repent;                                                              2320
Thou hast been so wayward, so wrangling, and so wrathsome,
And so far thou art behind of thy rent,
And so ungraciously thy days thou hast spent,
That thou art not worthy to look God in the face.

Magn. Nay, nay, man, I look never to have part of his grace;
For I have so ungraciously my life misused,
Though I ask mercy, I must needs be refused.

Des. No, no, for thy sins be so exceeding far,
So innumerable and so full of despite,
And against thy Maker thou hast made such war,                                       
That thou canst not have never mercy in his sight.

Magn. Alas, my wickedness, that may I wite!
But now I see well there is no better rede,
But sigh and sorrow, and wish myself dead.

Des. Yea, rid thyself, rather than this life for to lead;
The world waxeth weary of thee, thou livest too long.

("Enter MISCHIEF")

Mis. And I, Mischief, am come at need,
Out of thy life thee for to lead:
And look that it be not long
Ere that thyself thou go hang                                                                        2340
With this halter good and strong;
Or else with this knife cut out a tongue
Of thy
throat-boll<204>, and rid thee out of pain:
Thou art not the first himself hath slain.
Lo, here is thy knife and a halter! and, ere we go further,
Spare not thyself, but boldly thee murther.

Des. Yea, have done at once without delay.

Magn. Shall I myself hang with an halter? nay;
Nay, rather will I chose to rid me of this life
In sticking myself with this faire knife.                                                        2350

Here MAGNIFICENCE would slay himself with a knife.

Mis. Alarum, alarum! too long we abide! <205>

Des. Out, harrow<206>, hell burneth! where shall I me hide?

Hic intrat GOODHOPE fugientibus DESPAIR et MISCHIEF: repente GOODHOPE surripiat illi gladium, et dicat:
("Enter GOODHOPE, driving away DESPAIR and MISCHIEF: quickly GOODHOPE snatches away the knife, and says:" PH)

Good. Alas, dear son, sore cumbered is thy mind,
Thyself that thou would slay against nature and kind!

Magn. Ah, blessed may ye be, sir! what shall I you call?

Good. Goodhope, sir, my name is; remedy principal
Against all sautes of your ghostly foe:
Who knoweth me, himself may never slo.

Magn. Alas, sir, so I am lapped in adversity,
That Despair well-nigh had mischieved me!                                                 2360
For, had ye not the sooner been my refuge,
Of damnation I had been drawn in the

Good. Undoubted ye had lost yourself eternally:
There is no man may sin more mortally
Than of wanhope through the unhappy ways,
By mischief to breviate and shorten his days:
But, my good son, learn from Despair to flee,
Wind you from wanhope, and acquaint you with me.
A great misadventure, thy Maker to displease,
Thyself mischieving to thine endless disease!                                               2370
There was never so hard a storm of misery
But through Goodhope there may come remedy.

Magn. Your words be more sweeter than any precious nard,
They mollify so easily my heart that was so hard;
There is no balm, ne gum of Araby.
More delectable than your language to me.

Good. Sir, your physician is the grace of God,
That you hath punished with his sharp rod.
Goodhope, your pothecary assigned am I.
That God's grace hath vexed you sharply,                                                    2380
And pained you with a purgation of odious poverty,
Mixed with bitter aloes of hard adversity;
Now must I make you an
electuary soft,
I to minister it, you to receive it oft,
With rhubarb of repentance in you for to rest;
With drams of devotion your diet must be drest;
With gums ghostly of glad heart and mind,
To thank God of his sond, and comfort ye shall find.
Put from you presumption and admit humility,
And heartily thank God of your adversity;                                                  2390
And love that Lord that for your love was dead,
Wounded from the foot to the crown of the head.
For who loveth God can ail nothing but good;
He may help you, He may mend your mood.
Prosperity toHim<
207> is given solaciously to man,
Adversity by Him therewith now and then;
Health of body his business to achieve,
Disease and sickness his conscience to discrive,
Affliction and trouble to prove his patience,
Contradiction to prove his sapience,                                                             2400
Grace of assistance his measure to declare,
Sometime to fall, another time to beware:
And now ye have had, sir, a wondrous fall,
To learn you hereafter for to beware withal.
How say you, sir? can ye these words grope?

Magn. Yea, sir, now am I armed with Goodhope,
And sore I repent me of my wilfulness;
I ask God mercy of my negligence<
Under Goodhope enduring ever still,
Me humbly committing unto God's will.                                                      2410

Good. Then shall you be soon delivered from distress,
For now I see coming to
youward Redress.

Hic Intrat REDRESS
("Enter REDRESS")

Red. Christ be among you, and the Holy Ghost!

Good. He be your conduct, the Lord of mights most!

Red. Sir, is your patient anything amended?

Good. Yea, sir, he is sorry for that he hath offended.

Red. How feel you yourself, my friend? how is your mind?

Magn. A wretched man, sir, to my Maker unkind.

Red. Yea, but have ye repented with heart contrite?

Magn. Sir, the repentance I have no man can write.                                     2420

Red. And have ye banished from you all despair?

Magn. Yea, wholly to Goodhope I have made my repair.

Good. Questionless he doth me assure
In goodhope alway for to endure.

Red. Then stand up, sir, in God's name!
And I trust to ratify and amend your fame.
Goodhope, I pray you with hearty affection
To send over to me Sad Circumspection.

Good. Sir, your request shall not be delayed.

Et Exeat
("And he goes out")

Red. Now surely, Magnificence, I am right well apayed                              2430
Of that I see you now in the state of grace;
Now shall ye be renewed with solace:
Take now upon you this habiliment,
And to that I say give good advertisement.

MAGNIFICENCE accipiat indumentum
("MAGNIFICENCE takes the garment.")

Magn. To your request I shall be comformable.

Red. First, I say, with mind firm and stable <209>
Determine to amend all your wanton excess,
And be ruled by me, which am called Redress:
Redress my name is, that little am I used
As the world requireth, but rather I am refused:                                          2440
Redress should be at the reckoning in every account,
And specially to redress that were out of joint:
Full many things there be that lacketh redress,
The which were too long now to express;
But redress is
redeless, and may do no correction.
Now welcome, forsooth, Sad Circumspection.

Here cometh in SAD CIRCUMSPECTION, saying

Sad Cir. Sir, after your message I hied me hither straight,
For to understand your pleasure and also your mind.

Red. Sir, to account you the continue of my conceit,<210>
Is from adversity Magnificence to unbind.                                                   2450

Sad Cir. How fortuned you, Magnificence, so far to fall behind?

Magn. Sir, the long absence of you, Sad Circumspection,
Caused me of Adversity to fall in subjection.

Red. All that he saith, of truth doth proceed;
For where Sad Circumspection is long out of the way,
Of Adversity it is to stand in dread.

Sad Cir. Without fail, sir, that is no nay<211>;
Circumspection inhateth<212> all running astray.
But, sir, by me to rule first ye began.

Magn. My wilfulness, sir, excuse I ne can.                                                   2460

Sad Cir. Then of folly in times past you repent?

Magn. Soothly, to repent me I have great cause.
Howbeit, from you I received a letter<213>
Which contained in it a special clause
That I should use largesse.

Sad Cir. Nay, sir, there a pause.

Red. Yet let us see this matter thoroughly engrossed.

Magn. Sir, this letter ye sent to me, at Pontoise was enclosed.

Sad Cir. Who brought you that letter, wote ye what he hight?

Magn. Largesse, sir, by his credence was his name.                                     2470

Sad Cir. This letter ye speak of, never did I write.

Red. To give so hasty credence ye were much to blame.

Magn. Truth it is, sir; for after he wrought me much shame,
And caused me also to use too much Liberty,
And made also Measure to be put from me.

Red. Then Wealth with you might in no wise abide.

Sad Cir. Ah ha! Fancy and Folly met with you, I trow.

Red. It would be found so, if it were well tried.

Magn. Surely my wealth with them was overthrow.

Sad Cir. Remember you, therefore, how late ye were low.                          2480

Red. Yea, and beware of unhappy abusion.

Sad Cir. And keep you from counterfeiting of Cloaked Collusion.

Magn. Sir, in Goodhope I am to amend.

Red. Use not then your countenance for to counterfeit.

Sad Cir. And from crafters and hafters I you forfend.

(You know what Hic intrat means by now, surely?)

Magn. Well, sir, after your counsel my mind I will set.

Red. What, brother Perseverance! surely well met.

Sad Cir. Ye come hither as well as can be thought.

Per. I heard say that Adversity with Magnificence had fought.

Magn. Yea, sir, with Adversity I have been vexed.                                     2490
But Goodhope and Redress hath mended mine estate,
And Sad Circumspection to me they have annexed.

Red. What this man hath said, perceive ye his sentence<214>?

Magn. Yea, sir, from him my courage shall never flit.

Sad Cir. According to truth they be well devised.

Magn. Sirs, I am agreed to abide your ordinance,
Faithful assurance with good peradvertance.

Per. If you be so minded, we be right glad.

Red. And ye shall have more worship than ever ye had.

Magn. Well, I perceive in you there is much sadness,                                  2500
Gravity of counsel, providence, and wit;
Your comfortable advice and wit exceedeth all gladness.
But friendly I will
refrain you further, ere we flit,<215>
Whereto were most meetly my courage to knit:
Your minds I beseech you herein to express,
Commencing this process at Master Redress.

Red. Sith unto me foremost this process is erected,
Herein I will aforce me to show you my mind.
First, from your magnificence, sin must be abjected,
In all works more grace shall ye find;                                                           2510
Be gentle then of
courage and learn to be kind,
For of nobleness the chief point is to be liberal.
So that your largesse be not too prodigal.

Sad Cir. Liberty to a lord belongeth of right,
But wilful waywardness must walk out of the way;
Measure of your lusts must have the oversight,
And not all the niggard nor the chincherd to play;
Let never niggardship your nobleness affray;
In your rewards use such moderation
That nothing be given without consideration.                                              2520

Per. To the increase of your honour then arm you with right,
fumously address you with magnanimity;
And ever let the dread of God be in your sight;
And know yourself mortal, for all your dignity;
Set not all your affiance in Fortune full of guile;
Remember this life lasteth but a while.

Magn. Redress, in my remembrance your lesson shall rest,
And Sad Circumspection I mark in my mind:
But, Perseverance, meseemeth your problem was best;
I shall it never forget, nor leave it behind,                                                    2530
But wholly to Perseverance myself I will bind,
Of that I have misdone to make a redress,
And with Sad Circumspection correct my wantonness.

Red. Unto this process briefly compiled,<216>
Comprehending the world casual and transitory,
Who list to consider shall never be beguiled,
If it be registered well in memory;
A plain example of worldly vain-glory,
How in this world there is no sickerness,
But fallible flattery enmixed with bitterness;                                               2540
Now well, now woe, now high, now low degree,
Now rich, now poor, now whole, now in disease,
Now pleasure at large, now in captivity,
Now lief, now loath, now please, now displease,
Now ebb, now flow, now increase, now decrease;
So in this world there is no
But fallible flattery enmixed with bitterness;

Sad Cir. A mirror encircled is this interlude,
This life inconstant for to behold and see;
Suddenly advanced, and suddenly subdued,                                               2550
Suddenly riches, and suddenly poverty,
Suddenly comfort, and suddenly adversity;
Suddenly thus Fortune can both smile and frown,
Suddenly set up, and suddenly cast down;
Suddenly promoted, and suddenly put back,
Suddenly cherished, and suddenly cast aside,
Suddenly commended, and suddenly find a lack,
Suddenly granted, and suddenly denied,
Suddenly hid, and suddenly espied;
Suddenly thus Fortune can both smile and frown,                                      
Suddenly set up, and suddenly cast down.

Per. This treatise, devised to make you disport,
Showeth nowadays how the world cumbered is,
To the pith of the matter who
list to resort;
To-day it is well, to-morrow it is all amiss,
To-day in delight, to-morrow bare of bliss,
To-day a lord, to-morrow lie in the dust;
Thus in the world there is no earthly trust;
To-day fair weather, to-morrow a stormy rage,
To-day hot, to-morrow outrageous cold,                                                      2570
To-day a yeoman, to-morrow made a page,
To-day in surety, to-morrow bought and sold,
masterfast, to-morrow he hath no hold,
To-day a man, to-morrow he lieth in the dust;
Thus in this world there is no earthly trust.

Magn. This matter we have moved, you mirthful to make,
Pressly purposed<217> under pretence of play,
Showeth wisdom to them that wisdom can take,
How suddenly worldly wealth doth decay,
How wisdom through wantonness vanisheth away,                                     2580
How none estate living of himself can be sure,
For the wealth of this world cannot endure;•
Of the terrestre rechery<
218> we fall in the flood,
Beaten with storms of many a froward blast,
Ensorded<219> with the waves savage and wood,
Without our ship be sure, it is likely to brast,
Yet of magnificence oft made is the mast;
Thus none estate living of him can be sure,
For the wealth of this world cannot endure.

Red. Now seemeth us sitting that ye then resort                                           2590
Home to your palace with joy and royalty.

Sad Cir. Where everything is ordained after your noble port.

Per. There to endure with all felicity.

Magn. I am content, my friends, that it so be.

Red. And ye that have heard this disport and game,
Jesus preserve you from endless woe and shame!


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