From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

Fulgens and Lucrece

Henry Medwall

Characters in the Play
Fulgens, A Roman Senator
Publius Cornelius, a Patrician
Gaius Flaminius, a Plebian
A, a youth, afterwards servant to Gaius Flaminius
B, a youth, afterwards servant to Publius Cornelius
Lucrece (Lucres), daughter to Fulgens.
Joan, handmaid (ancilla) to Lucrece

Here is conteyned a godely interlude of Fulgens cenatoure of Rome, Lucres
his doughter, Gayus Flaminius, and Publius Cornelius, of the Disputacyon
of Noblenes, and is devyded in two partyes to be played at two tymes.
Compyled by mayster Henry Medwall, late chapelayne to the ryght reverent
fader in God Johan Morton, cardynall and archebysshop of Caunterbury.

Intrat A dicens:

001 A. A, for Goddis will,
002 What meane ye, syrs, to stond so still?
003 Have not ye etyn and your fill
004 And payd no thinge therfore?
005 Iwys, syrs, thus dare I say,
006 He that shall for the shott pay
007 Vouch saveth that ye largely assay
008 Suche mete as he hath in store.

009 I trowe your disshes be not bare,
010 Nor yet ye do the wyne spare,
011 Therfore be mery as ye fare.
012 Ye ar welcom eche oon
013 Unto this house withoute faynynge.
014 But I mervayle moche of one thinge,
015 That after this mery drynkynge
016 And good recreacyon

017 There is no wordes amonge this presse --
018 Non sunt loquele neque sermones --
019 But as it were men in sadnes.
020 Here ye stonde musynge,
021 Whereaboute I can not tell --
022 Or some els praty damesell
023 For to daunce and sprynge.

024 Tell me, what calt, is it not so?
025 I am sure here shalbe somewhat ado,
026 And iwis I will know it or I go
027 Withoute I be dryvyn hens.

Intrat B.

028 B. Nay, nay, hardely man, I undertake
029 No man wyll suche mastryes make.
030 And it were but for the maner sake,
031 Thou maist tary by licence

032 Among other men and see the pley --
033 I warand no man wyll say the nay.

034 A. I thinke it well evyn as ye say
035 That no man wyll me greve.
036 But I pray you, tell me that agayn:
037 Shall here be a play?

038 B. Ye, for certeyn.

039 A. By my trouth, therof am I glad and fayn.
040 And ye will me beleve,

041 Of all the worlde I love suche sport.
042 It dothe me so myche plesure and comfort,
043 And that causith me ever to resort
044 Wher suche thing is to do.
045 I trowe your owyn selfe be oon
046 Of them that shall play.

047 B. Nay, I am none.
048 I trowe thou spekyst in derision
049 To lyke me therto.

050 A. Nay, I mok not, wot ye well,
051 For I thought verely by your apparell
052 That ye had bene a player.

053 B. Nay, never a dell.

054 A. Than I cry you mercy:
055 I was to blame. Lo, therfor, I say
056 Ther is so myche nyce aray
057 Amonges these galandis now aday
058 That a man shall not lightly

059 Know a player from a nother man.
060 But now to the purpose wher I began:
061 I see well here shalbe a play than.

062 B. Ye, that ther shall doutles,
063 And I trow ye shall like it well.

064 A. It semeth than that ye can tell
065 Sumwhat of the mater.

066 B. Ye, I am of counsell--
067 One tolde me all the processe.

068 A. And I pray you, what shall it be?

069 B. By my fayth, as it was tolde me
070 More than ones or twyse,
071 As fare as I can bere it awaye
072 All the substaunce of theyr play
073 Shall procede this wyse:

074 When thempire of Rome was in such floure
075 That all the worlde was subgett to the same,
076 Than was there an nobill senatour,
077 And as I remember, Fulgens was his name,
078 Whiche had a doughter of nobill fame.
079 And yet, as thauctor sayth in veray dede,
080 Her nobill vertu dide her fame excede,

081 All be it there was not one allmost
082 Thoroughoute all the cyte, yong ne olde,
083 That of her beaute did not boste.
084 And over that, her verteuse manyfolde
085 In suche maner wyse were praysid and tolde
086 That it was thought she lakkede no thing
087 To a nobill woman that was accordyng.

088 Grete labour was made her favour to attayne
089 In the way of mariage, and among all
090 That made suche labour were specially twayn
091 Whiche more than other dyd besily on her call,
092 On the whiche twayn she sett her mynde especiall,
093 So that she utterly determyned in her hert
094 The one of them to have, all other sett aparte.

095 One of them was called Publius Cornelius,
096 Borne of noble blode, it is no nay.
097 That other was one Gayus Flamy
098 Borne of a pore stocke, as men doth say
099 But for all that, many a fayre day
100 Thorough his grete wisedome and vertueous behavyour
101 He rulyd the comen wele to his grete honoure.

102 And how so be it that the vulgare opynion
103 Hade both these men in lyke favour and reverence,
104 Supposing they had bene of lyke condycion,
105 Yet this seyd woman of inestimable prudence
106 Sawe that there was some maner of difference,
107 For the whiche her answere she differred and spared
108 Tyll both theyre condycions were openly declared.

110 And yet to them both this comfort she gave:
111 He that coude be founde more noble of them twayne,
112 In all godely maner her harte sholde he have.
113 Of the which answere they both were glade and fayne,
114 For ether of them trustede therby to attayne
115 Theffecte of his desyre. Yet when they had do,
116 One of them must nedis his appetit forgoo.

117 Hereuppon was areysyd a grete doute and question.
118 Every man all after as he was affeccionate
119 Unto the parties seyd his opynion,
120 But at the laste, in eschewyng of debate,

121 This matter was brought before the cenate,
122 They to gyve therin an utter sentence
123 Whiche of these two men sholde have the preeminence.

124 And finally they gave sentence and awarde
125 That Gayus Flamyneus was to be commende
126 For the moie nobill man, havynge no regarde
127 To his lowe byrthe of the whiche he dyde dyscende,
128 But onely to his vertue thay dyde therin attende,
129 Whiche was so grete that of convenience
130 All the cyte of Rome dyd hym honour and reverence.

131 A. And shall this be the proces of the play?

132 B. Ye, so I understonde be credible informacyon.

133 A. By my fayth, but yf it be evyn as ye say,
134 I wyll advyse them to change that conclusion.
135 What? Wyll they afferme that a chorles son
136 Sholde be more noble than a gentilman born?
137 Nay, beware, for men wyll have therof grete scorn --

138 It may not be spoken in no maner of case.

139 B. Yes, suche consyderacions may be layde
140 That every resonable man in this place
141 Wyll holde hym therin right well apayde --
142 The matter may be so well convayde.

143 A. Let them convay and cary clene than,
144 Or els he wyll repent that this play began.

145 How be it, the matter touchith me never a dell,
146 For I am nether of vertue excellent
147 Nor yet of gentyl blode. This I know well,
148 But I speke it onely for this entent:
149 I wolde not that any man sholde be shent.
150 And yet there can no man blame us two,
151 For why in this matter we have nought to do.

152 B. We? No, God wott, no thing at all,
153 Save that we come to see this play
154 As farre as we may by the leve of the marshall.
155 I love to beholde suche myrthes alway,
156 For y have sene byfore this day
157 Of suche maner thingis in many a gode place
158 Both gode examples and right honest solace.

159 This play in like wyse I am sure
160 Is made for the same entent d purpose
161 To do every man both myrth and pleasure.
162 Wherfor I can not think or suppose
163 That they wyll ony worde therin disclose
164 But suche as shall stond with treuth and reason
165 In godely maner according to the season.

166 A. Ye, but trouth may not be sayde alway,
167 For somtyme it causith gruge and despite

168 B. Ye, goth the worlde so now a day
169 That a man must say the crow is white?

170 A. Ye, that he must, be God allmyght.
171 He must both lye and flater now and than
172 That castith hym to dwell amonge worldly men.

173 In some courtis such men shall most wyn.

174 B. Ye, but as for the parish where I abide,
175 Suche flaterye is abhorride as dedly syn.
176 And specially lyars be sett asyde
177 As sone as they may with the faute be spied,
178 For every man that favoreth and loveth vertue
179 Wyll suche maner of folke utterly esscheue,

180 Wherfor I can think these folke wyll not spare
181 After playne trouth this matier to procede
182 As the story seyth. Why shulde they care?
183 I trow here is no man of the kyn or sede
184 Of either partie, for why they were bore
185 In the cytie of Rome as I sayd before.

186 Therfor leve all this doutfull question
187 And prayse at the parting evyn as ye fynde.

188 A. Yes, be ye sure, whan thei have all done
189 I wyll not spare to shew you my mynd.
190 Praise who wyll or dispraise, I will not be behynd.
191 I wvll gest theron what so ever shal befall
192 If I can fynd any man to gest withall.

193 B. Pees, no moo wordes, for now they come --
194 The plears bene evyn here at hand.

195 A. So thei be, so help me God and halydome.
196 I pray you, tell me where I shall stand.

197 B. Mary, stand evyn here by me, I warand.
198 Geve rome there, syrs, for God avowe.
199 Thei wold cum in if thei myght for you.

200 A. Ye, but I pray the, what calt, tell me this:
201 Who is he that now comyth yn?

202 B. Mary, it is Fulgence the senatour.

203 A. Ye, is?
204 What; The father of the forseide virgyn?

205 B. Ye, forsoth, he shall this matere begyn.

206 A. And wher is feyr doughter Lucrece?

207 B. She comyth anon. I say, hold thy pece.

Intrat Fulgens dicens:

208 Fulgens. Everlastyng joy with honoure and praise
209 Be unto our most drad Lord and Savyour,
210 Whiche doth us help and comfort many ways,
211 Not lefyng us destitute of his ayde and socour,
212 But lettith his son shyne on the riche and poore,
213 And of his grace is ever indifferent
214 All be yt he diversely commytteth his talent.

215 To some he lendith the sprete of prophecy,
216 To some the plenty of tonges eloquence,
217 To some grete wisdome and worldly policy,
218 To some litterature and speculatyf science,
219 To some he geveth the grace of preemynence
220 In honour and degre, and to some abundance
221 Of tresoure, riches, and grete inheritaunce.

222 Every man oweth to take gode hede
223 Of this distribution, for who so doth take
224 The larger benefite, he hath the more nede
225 The larger recompense and thank therfor to make.
226 I speke these wordes onely for myne owne sake
227 And for non other person, for I know well
228 That I am therin chargid as I shall you tell.

229 When I consider and call to my remembraunce
230 The prosperous lyfe that I have allwey
231 Hyderto endured withoute any grevaunce
232 Of wodly adversitie, well may I sey
233 And thynke that I am bound to yeld and pay
234 Grete prayse and thankes to the hye Kynge
235 Of whom procedith and growith cvery gode thing.

236 And certes, if I wold not praise of boste
237 The benefytis that he hath done unto me,
238 Yet is it well know of lest and most
239 Thrughoute all Romehemperiall cyte
240 What place in the cenate and honorable degre
241 I occupye, and how I demean me in the same --
242 All this can they tell that knowith but my name.

243 To speke of plenty and grete abundaunce
244 Of wodly riches therunto belongyng,
245 Houses of pleasure and grete inheritaunce,
246 With riche apparell and every other thing
247 That to a worthy man shold be according,
248 I am and ever have be in metely gode case,
249 For the whiche I thank allmighty God of his grace.

250 Than have I a wyfe of gode condicyon
251 And right conformable to myn entent
252 In every thing that is to be done.
253 And how be it that God hath me not sent
254 An hayr male, whiche were convenient
255 My name to continew and it to repeyre,
256 Yet am I not utterly destitute of an heyre,

257 For I have a doughter in whom I delight
258 As for the chefe comfort of myn olde age,
259 And surely my seyd doughter Lucres doth hight
260 Men seyth she is as lyke me in visage
261 As though she were evyn myn owne ymage,
262 For the whiche cause nature doth me force and bynde
263 The more to favour and love here in my mynde.

264 But yet the principall and grettist occasion
265 That makyth me to love her as I do
266 Is this, whiche I speke not of affection
267 But evyn as the treuth movith me therto:
268 Nature hath wrought in my Lucres so
269 That to speke of beaute and clere understanding
270 I can not thinke in here what shold be lakking.

271 And besides all that, vet a gretter thing
272 Whiche is not oft sene in so yong a damesell.
273 She is so discrete and sad in all demeanyng,
274 And therto full of honest and verteous counsell
275 Of here owne mynd, that wonder is to tell
276 The giftes of nature and of especiall grace
277 Am not I gretly bound in this case
278 To God, as I rehersid you bifore?
279 I were to voyd of all reson and grace
280 If I wold not serve and prayse hym therfore
281 With due love and drede -- he askyth no more.
282 As far as he will me grace therto send,
283 The rest of my lif therin will I spend,

284 Albe yt that I must partely intend
285 To the promocyon of my doughter Lucres
286 To some metely mariage, ellis God defend.
287 She is my chief jewell and riches,
288 My comfort agayn all care and hevynes,
289 And also she is now of gode and ripe age
290 To be a mannes fere by wey of mariage.

291 Wherfor, if I might see or I dye
292 That she were bestowid sumwhat accordyng,
293 Then were my mynd dischargid utterly
294 Of every grete cure to me belongyng.
295 It was the chief cause of my hider cummyng
296 To have a communication in this same matere
297 With on Cornelius. Cam ther non suche here?

Intrat Publius Cornelius dicens:

298 Cornelius. Yes, now am I come here at the last.
299 I have taried long -- I cry you mercy!

300 Fulgens. Nay, no offence. Ther is no waste
301 Nor losse of tyme yet hardely,
302 For this is the oure that ye and I
303 Apoyntid here to mete this other day.
304 Now shew me your mynd, lete me here what ye say.

305 Cornelius. Than wyll I leve superfluite awey,
306 For why ye know alredy my minde in substance.

307 Fulgens. I wot not whether I do, ye or nay.

308 Cornelius. Why, is it now oute of your remembraunce
309 That my desire is to honour and advaunce
310 Your doughter Lucres, if she will agree
311 That I so pore a man her husbonde shuld be?

312 Fulgens. Ye nede not, syr, to use these wordis to me,
313 For non in this cyte knowith better than I
314 Of what grete birth or substaunce ye be.
315 My doughter Lucres is full unworthy
316 Of birth and goodis to loke so hye,
317 Savyng that happily her gode condicyon
318 May her enable to suche a promocyon.

319 But if this be youre mynde and suche intent,
320 Why do ye not laboure to her therfore?
321 For me semyth it were ryght expedient
322 That we know therin her mynde before
323 Or ever we shold commune therof any more,
324 For if she wold to your mynde apply,
325 No man shalbe so glad therof as I.

326 Cornelius. Suppose ye that I dyde not so begyn
327 To gete fyrste her favoure? Yes, truste me well.

328 Fulgens. And what comfort wolde she gyve you therin?

329 Cornelius. By my feyth, no grete comfort to tell
330 Save that she abideth to have youre counsell.
331 For as she seyth, she will no thing
332 In suche mater to do withoute your counsel,

333 Nor other wyse than ye shalbe contente.
334 And theruppon it was my mynde and desire
335 To speke with you of her for the same intent
336 Your gode will in this behalfe to requyre,
337 For I am so brent in loves fyre
338 That no thing may my payne aslake
339 Withoute that ye wyll my cure undertake.

340 Fulgens. Syr, I shall do you the comfort that I can
341 As far as she wil be advised by me.
342 How be it, certeynly I am not the man
343 That wyll take from her the liberte
344 Of her owne choice -- that may not be.
345 But when I speke with her, I shall her advyse
346 To love you before other in all godely wyse.

347 Cornelius. I thanke you, syr, with all myn harte,
348 And I pray you do it withoute delay.

349 Fulgens. As sone as I shall fro you departe
350 I wyll her mynde therin assay,
351 For I shall think that every howre is twayne
352 Till I may speke with you agayne.

353 Cornelius. Now a wise felow that had sumwhat a brayne,
354 And of suche thingis had experience,
355 Such one wolde I with me retayne
356 To gyve me counseile and assistence.
357 For I will spare no cost or expence
358 Nor yet refuse ony laboure or payne
359 The love of fayre Lucres therby to attayne.

360 So many gode felowes as byn in this hall,
361 And is ther non, syrs, among you all
362 That wyll enterprise this gere?
363 Some of you can do it if ye lust.
364 But if ye wyl not, than I must
365 Go seche a man elliswhere.

Et exeat. Deinde loquitur B:

366 B. Now have I spied a mete office for me,
367 For I wyl be of counsell and I may
368 With yonder man.

369 A. Pece, let be.
370 Be God, thou wyll distroy all the play.

371 B. Distroy the play, quod a? Nay, nay,
372 The play began never till now.
373 I wyll be doyng, I make God avow,
374 For there is not in this hondred myle
375 A feter bawde than I am one.

376 A. And what shall I do in the meane while?

377 B. Mary, thou shalt com in anone
378 With a nother pageant

379 A. Who, I?

380 B. Ye, by Saynt Johan.

381 A. What? I never uside suche thing before.

382 B. But folow my counsell, and do no more.
383 Loke that thou abide here still,
384 And I shall undertake for to fulfyll
385 All his mynde withouten delay.
386 And whether I do so, ye or nay,
387 At the lest, well dare I undertake
388 The mariage utterly to mare or to make.

389 If he and I make any bargeyn
390 So that I must gyve hym attendaunce,
391 When thou seest me com in ageyn,
392 Stond evyn still and kepe thy contenaunce,
393 For when Gayus Flamyneus comyth in
394 Than must thou thy pageaunt begyn.

395 A. Shall ony profyt grow therby?

396 B. Hold thy pece. Speke not so hye,
397 Leste any man of this company
398 Know oure purpose openly
399 And breke all oure daunce.
400 For I assure the feithfully,
401 If thou quyte the as well as I,
402 This gere shall us both avaunce.


403 A. Nay then, let me alone hardely!
404 Yf ony advauntage honge therby
405 I can my selfe thereto apply
406 By helpe of gode counsell
407 This felowe and I be maysterles
408 And lyve moste parte in ydelnes,
409 Therefore some maner of besenes
410 Wolde become us both well.

411 At the leste wyse, it is mery beynge
412 With men in tyme of woynge,
413 For all that whyle they do no thynge
414 But daunce and make revell,
415 Synge and laugh with greate shoutynge,
416 Fyll in wyne with revell routynge.
417 I trowe it be a joyfull thinge
418 Amonge suche folke to dwell.

Intrat Fulgens, Lucres, et Ancilla, et dicat.-

419 Fulgens. Doughter Lucres, ye knowe well ynough
420 What study and care I have for youre promocyon
421 And what fatherly love I bere to you,
422 So that I thynke in myne opynyon
423 It were tyme loste and wastfull occupacyon
424 This matter to reherse or tell you ony more,
425 Syth ye it best knowe, as I sayde before.

426 But the specyall cause that I speke fore
427 Is touchynge youre mariage As ye knowe well,
428 Many folke there be that desyreth sore
429 And laboureth in that behalve with you to mell.
430 Ye knowe what is for you, ye nede no counsell.
431 Howe so be it, yf ye lyste my counseyle to requyre,
432 I shall be glad to satysfye therein youre desyre.

433 Lucres. Trought it is, fader, that I am bounde
434 As moche unto you as ony chylde may be
435 Unto the fader lyvynge on the grounde,
436 And where it pleaseth you to gyve unto me
437 Myne owne fre choyse and my lyberte,
438 It is the thynge that pleaseth me well
439 Sith I shall have therein youre counsell.

440 And nowe accordynge to this same purpose,
441 What thynke ye best for me to do?
442 Ye knowe ryghte well, as I suppose,
443 That many folke doth me greatly woo,
444 Amonge the whiche there be specyally twoo
445 In whome, as I trowe and so do ye,
446 The choyce of this matter must fynally be --

447 In that poynt your mynde and myne dothe agre.
448 But yet, ryght now er I came here,
449 For Publius Cornelius ye advysed me,
450 As touchinge ye wolde have me only reste there.
451 Yf that be youre mynde I shall gladly forbere
452 All other, and only to hym assente
453 To have me in wedlocke at his commaundemente.

454 Fulgens. Naye, doughter Lucres, not so I mente,
455 For though I dyde somwhat to hym enclyne,
456 Yet for all that it is not myne entente
457 That ye shulde so thereupon utterly diffyne,
458 But loke whom ye wyll on Godys blessing and myne
459 For truste ye me verely, it is all one to me
460 Whether Gayus Flamyneus wedde you or els he.

461 Lucres. Than syth I have so greate lyberte
462 And so gode choyce, I were unfortunable
463 And also to unwyse yf I wolde not see
464 That I had hym whiche is moste honorable
465 Wherfore may it lyke you to be agreable
466 That I may have respyte to make inquisycyon
467 Whiche of this two men is better of condicyon.

468 Fulgens. I holde me content, that shall be well done.
469 lt may be respyted for a day or twayne,
470 But in the meane tyme use this provysyon:
471 Se that ye indyfferently them both entertayne
472 Tyll that youre mynde be sett at a certayne
473 Where ye shall rest now. Can ye do so?

474 Lucres. At the leste, my gode wyll shall I put thereto

475 Fulgens. Than syth I have bysynes at whome for to do,
476 I wyll go thetherwarde as fast as I may.

477 Lucres. Is it youre pleasure that I shall with you go?

478 Fulgens. Nay, I had lever that ye went your way
479 Aboute this matter.

Et exeat.

480 Lucres. Well, God be with you than!
481 I shall do therein the best that I can.

Et facta aliqua Pausatione dicat Lucres:

482 Lucres. I wyll not dysclaunder nor blame no man,
483 But neverthelesse, by that I here saye,
484 Fore maydens be dissayved now and than.
485 So greate dyssemblynge now a daye
486 There is convayed under wordes gaye,
487 That if...

488 Ancilla. Peace, lady, ye must forbere!
489 Se ye not who cometh here?

490 Lucres. Who is it, wot ye ere?

491 Ancilla. It is Gayus Flamyneus, parde,
492 He that wolde your husbonde be.

493 Lucres. Ey, gode Lorde, how wyste he
494 For to fynde me here?

Entrat Gayus Flaminius.

495 Gayus. Yes, gode lady, where so ever ye go,
496 He that lysteth to do his dylygence
497 In suche manere wyse as I have do,
498 At the laste he may come to youre presence.
499 For who so ever oweth obedyence
500 Unto love, he hath greate nede
501 To attendaunce if he wyll spede.

502 Lucres. Svr, ye be welcome. What is your mvnde?

503 Gayus. Why, fayre Lucres, is that your gyse,
504 To be so straunge and so unkynde
505 To hym that owith you lovyng servyce?
506 I trow I have tolde you twyse or thrise
507 That myn desyre is to mary with you.
508 Have ye not herde this matter or now?

509 Lucres. Yes, in veray trouth, I have herde you say
510 Att dyverse tymes that ye bare me affeccvon-
511 To suche an intent I say not nay.

512 Gayus. What nede ye than to aske the question
513 What I wolde with you at this season?
514 Me semyth ye sholde therin doubt no more
515 Sith ye know well myn erande before.

516 Iwys, your strangnes greveth me sore,
517 But not withstonding, now wyll I sece,
518 And at this tyme I wyll chide no more
519 Lest I geve you cause of hevynes.
520 I cam hyder onely for youre sake, doubtles,
521 To glade you and please you in all that I can,
522 And not for to chyde with you as I began.

523 For thynke it in your mynde, I am the man
524 That wolde you please in all that I rnay,
525 And to that purpose I wyll do what I can
526 Though ye forbyde it and say therin nay --
527 In that poynt onely I wyll you disobay
528 My hart shall ye have in all godely wise
529 Whether ye me take or utterly dispise.

530 And to say that I will folow the gise
531 Of wanton lovers now aday,
532 Whiche doth many flatering wordis devise
533 With gyftis of ringis and broches gay
534 Theyr lemmans hartis for to betray,
535 Ye must have me therin excusid,
536 For it is the thing that I never usid.

537 Therfore I will be short and playne,
538 And I pray you hartely, feyre Lucres,
539 That ye wyll be so to me agayne.
540 Ye know well I have made labour and besynes
541 And also desyrid you by wordis expresse
542 That ye wold vouche save in your harte
543 To be my wife till deth us departe.

544 Lo, this is the mater that I come fore-
545 To know therin your mynde and plesoure,
546 Whether ye sett by me ony store
547 To theffect of my seyd desire.
548 And nothing ellis I wyll require
549 But that I may have a playne ye or nay,
550 Whereto I may trust withoute delay.

551 Lucres. Me thinketh that by that that ye say,
552 Ye force not what myne answere be.

553 Gayus. A, wyll ye take it that way?
554 My lady, I ment not so parde.
555 Thaffirmatyfe were most lefe to me,
556 For as ye your self knowith best,
557 That was and is my principall request.

558 But ye may say I am a homely gest
559 On a gentiman so hastely to call.

560 Lucres. Nay, nay, syr, that guyse is best
561 Ye can not displeyse me with all,
562 And accordyng to your desire I shall
563 Evyn as sone as I godely may
564 Answere you therin withoute delay.

565 How be it, it can not be done strait way
566 If I myght gett a realme therby.
567 Fyrst wyll I my faders mynde assay
568 Whether he wyll therunto applye.
569 For if he like you as well as I,
570 Your mynde in this behalf shalbe sone easid
571 If my seyd fader can be content and pleysid.

572 Gayus. Gramercy, myne owne swete Lucres.
573 Of you desire can I no more at all,
574 Save onely that ye do your besynes
575 Upon youre fader besily to call,
576 So that what so ever shal befall,
577 Within few days I may verily know
578 To what effect this mater shal grow.

579 Lucres. Ye shall know by tomorow nyght
580 What my fader wyll sey therto

581 Gayus. Than shall ye make myne harte full light
582 lf it pleyse you so to do.

583 Lucres. Yes, doubt ye not it shal be so,
584 And for that cause I wyll even now departe.

585 Gayus. Now fare well than, myne owne swete harte.

Et exeat Lucres. Deinde A accedens ad Gayum Flaminium dicat ei sic

586 A. Syr, ye seme a man of grete honoure,
587 And that moveth me to be so bolde-
588 I rede you, adventure not over moche laboure
589 Upon this woman, leste ye take colde.
590 I tell you, the mater is bought and solde!
591 Withoute ye take the better hede,
592 For all these feyre wordes ye shall not spede

593 Guyus. Thynkest thou so in very dede?

594 A. Ye, so helpe me God, and I shall tell you why:
595 Syr, ryght now, this way as I yede,
596 This gentylwoman cam even by,
597 And a fresshe galant in her company.
598 As God wolde, nere them I stalked
599 And herde every worde that they talked.

600 Gayus. But spake they ony worde of me?

601 A. Nay, nay, ye were no thinge in her thoughte
602 They were as besy as they myghte be
603 Aboute suche a matter as ye have wroughte.
604 And by God that me dere boughte,

605 Loke what answer that ye now have,
606 Even the same wordes to hym she gave.

607 Iwys, syr, I am but a pore knave,
608 But yet I wolde take on me a greate payne
609 Youre honeste in this matter to save,
610 Though it be unto me no profyte nor gayne.
611 But therefore I speke and have dysdayne
612 To se in a woman suche dyssemblaunce
613 Towarde a gentylman of youre substaunce

614 Gayus. Why, hast thou of me ony acquentaunce?

615 A. Ye, syr, and some tyme ye knewe me,
616 Though it be now oute of youre remembraunce.
617 Guyus
618 By my fayth it may well be,
619 But never the lesse I thanke the.
620 Me semeth thou woldest that all were well
621 Betwyxte me and yonder fayre damesell

622 A. Ye, by God, I wolde fyghte in the quarell
623 Rather than ye sholde lese youre entte.

624 Gayus. I praye the felowe, where doste thou dwell?

625 A. By my fayth, I am now at myn owne commaundement--
626 I lacke a mayster, and that I me repente.
627 To serve you and please I wolde be fayne
628 Yf it myght lyke you me to retayne.
629 And ol one thynge I wyll, a certayn
630 I doubte not I shall do you better stede
631 Towarde this maryage than some other twayne,
632 And yf I do not, let me be dede

633 Gayus. Well, than wyll I do by thy rede,
634 And in my servyce thou shalt be
635 Yf thou canst fynde me any surete.

636 A. Yes, I can have sureties plente
637 For my trouth within this place.
638 Here is a gentilman that wolde truste me
639 For as moche gode as he hase.

640 Gayus. Ye, and that is but litle percase.

641 A. By my fayth, go where he shall,
642 It is as honest a man as ony in the reall.

643 I have no more acqueyntaunce within this hall
644 If I wolde ony frendis assay.
645 By God, here is one best of all-
646 I trow he wyll not say
647 For he hath knowen me many a day.
648 Syr, wyll not ye for my trouth undertake?

649 B. Yes, for God, els I wolde I were bake.
650 Syr, my maister, wyll ye beleve me?
651 I dare trust hym for all that I can make,
652 Yf ye fynde me sufficient surete.
653 As for his trouth, doubt not ye.
654 I never coude by hym any thing espie
655 But that he was as true a man as I.

656 He and I dwelled many a feyre day
657 In one scole, and yet I wot well
658 From thens he bare never away
659 The worth of an halfe peny that I can tell--
660 Therfore he is able with you to dwell!
661 As for his trought, that dare I well saye,
662 Hardely truste hym therein ye maye.

663 Gayus. Upon youre worde I shall assaye,
664 And, syr, after thi gode deservynge,
665 So shall I thy wagys pay
666 But now to remembre one thinge
667 Me thought thou saydist at the begynnynge
668 That Lucres favoreth better than me
669 A nother lover. What man is he?

670 A. Cornelius I wene his name sholde be.

671 Gayus. A, then, I knowe him well, by the rode.
672 There is not within all this cyte
673 A man borne of a better blode.
674 But yet Lucres hath a wytt so gode
675 That as I thynke she wyll before see
676 Whether his condicyons therto agree,
677 And if they do not, fare well he.
678 But therin I have nought ado
679 He shall not be dispraysid for me
680 Withoute that I be compellid therto
681 I can not let hym for to woo
682 A woman beyng at her owne liberte,
683 For why it is as fre for hym as for me.
684 I wyll forbere never the more
685 Tyll I knowe what shall be the ende.
686 Go thy waye unto Lucres therfore
687 And hertly me unto her recommende,
688 Prayng her that she wyll me sende
689 A redy answere of that thing
690 That she promised me at her departing.

691 A. Mary, I shall, without any tarying
692 I knowe myne erand well inow:
693 Ye shdll se me apoynte a metynge
694 Where she agayne shall speke wyth you.

695 Gayus. Than shall I thy wyt alowe
696 Yf thou can brynge that aboute!

697 A. Yes, that I shall do, have ye no doubte

Et exeat Gayus Flaminius, et dicat B.

698 B. Now by my trought, I wolde not have thoughte
699 That thou haddest bene halfe so wyse,
700 For thou hast this matter featly wrought
701 And convayed it poynt devyse
702 To brynge thy selfe to suche a servyce --
703 I se well thou hast some wytt in thy hede.

704 A. Ye, a lytell. But hast thou spede?

705 B. Even lyke wyse, have thou no drede,
706 I have goten a maister for my prowe --
707 I never thryvede as I shall do now.

708 A. No? Whiche way?

709 B. I shall tell the how:
710 It is no maystry to thryve at all
711 Under a man that is so liberall.

712 Ther is now late unto hym fall
713 So grete goodis by inheritaunce
714 That he wote never what to do with all,
715 But lassheth it forth daily escaunce
716 That he had no dayly remembraunce
717 Of tyme to come, nor makyth no store,
718 For he carith not whiche ende goth before.

719 And by oure Lady, I commende hym the more.
720 Why sholde he those goodis spare,
721 Sith he laborede never therfore?
722 Nay, and every man sholde care
723 For goodis, and specially suche as are
724 Of gentil blode, it were grete syn,
725 For all liberalite in them sholde begyn.

726 Many a pore man therby doth wyn
727 The chef substauns of his lyving.
728 My maister were worthy to be a kyng
729 For liberall expensis in all his deling
730 I trow thou shalt se hym com yn
731 Lyke a rutter somwhat according
732 In all apparell to hym belongyng.
733 How moche payeth he, as ye suppose,
734 For the makyng of a peyre of his hose?

735 A. Mary, twelve pence were a feyre thing.

736 B. Ye by the rode, twenty tymes tolde,
737 That is evyn twenty shelyngis for the makyng.

738 A. It can not be so withoute a man wolde
739 Make them all with sylke and golde.

740 B. Nay, by Jys, non erthly thing
741 But evyn the bare cloth and the lynynge

742 Save onely that ther is in cuttinge
743 A new maner of fascyon now a day:
744 Because they sholde be somwhat straunge,
745 They moste be strypide all this way
746 With small slypes of coloures gay,
747 A codpece before allmost thus large,
748 And therin restith the gretist charge!

749 To speke of gowns and that gode chaunge,
750 Of them he hath store and plenty,
751 And that the fascyons be new and straunge,
752 For non of them passith the mydde thy.
753 And yet he puttyth in a gown communely --
754 How many brode yardis, as ye gesse?

755 A. Mary, two or thre.

756 B. Nay, seven and no lesse

757 A. By my trouth, that is lyke a lye.

758 B. But it is as true as ye stond there,
759 And I shall tell you a reson why
760 All that doth that fascyon were,
761 They have whingis behynd redy to flye,
762 And a sleve that wolde cover all the body
763 Than forty playtis, as I think in my mynde,
764 They have before, and as many behynde.

765 A. Well as for gentilmen, it is full kynde
766 theyr plesyrs that may well paye

767 B. Ye, but than this grugeth my mynde-
768 A gentylman shall not were it a dave,
769 But every man wyll hym self araye
770 Of the same fascyon even by and by
771 On the morow after.

772 A. Nay, that I defy
773 But then I marvell gretly why
774 You are not garnysshyd after that gyse.

775 B. There is never a knave in the house save I
776 But his gowne is made in the same wyse,
777 And for bycause I am new come to servyce,
778 I must for a whyle be content
779 To were stylle myn olde garment

780 A. Ye, but abyde To what intent
781 ayster take in honde
782 To make hym so moche costely rayment?

783 B. Mary, that is esy to understonde
784 All is done for Lucres sake --
785 To wedde her he doth his rekenynge make.

786 A. I put case that she do hym forsake
787 So that she be my maysters wyf?

788 B. By my fayth, then I say it wyll make
789 Many a man to lose his lyf,
790 For therof wyll ryse a gret stryf!

791 A. Mary, I pray God send us pes.

792 B. Be my fayth, it wyll be no lesse
793 Yf my master have not Lucres.

794 A. I can no more, God sped the ryght
795 Lo, thes folke wyll stryve and fyght
796 For this womans sake,
797 And whan thay have done ther uttyrmest,
798 I wene veryly he shall sped best
799 That must her forsake.

800 He is well at ease that hath a wyf,
801 Yet he is better that hath none, be my lyf.
802 But he that hath a good wyf and wyll forsake her,
803 I pray God the devyll take her.

804 B. Now in gode fayth thou art a made knave--
805 I se well thou hast wedyd a shrew.

806 A. The devyll I have.

807 Nay, I have marryed two or thre
808 Syth the tyme that I her lost.

809 B. And kepist thou them all styll with the?

810 A. Nay, that wolde not quyte the cost
811 To say the trouth, thay fond me most.

812 B. Than thay have some maner gettynge
813 By some occupacione, have thay?

814 A. Syr, thay have a prety waye
815 The chef meane of ther levynge
816 Is lechery -- lech crafte I wolde say --
817 Wherein thay labore nyght and day
818 And ease many a man in some case

819 B. And where do thay dwell?

820 A. Att the Commen Place --

821 There thou mayst them all fynde.
822 Goddis mercy, where is my mynde?
823 By God, I shall be shent.
824 I shold have gone to Lucres
825 Abowte my maysters besynes --
826 Thetherwarde I was bent.

827 B. By my fayth, my mayster is there
828 All the whyle that thou arte here,
829 As I veryly suppose.

830 A. I shrow thy face, by Saynt Mary
831 With thy chaterynge thou doyst me tary
832 Evyn for the same purpose.

833 B. I say, whan thou hast with Lucres spoken,
834 I pray the, wyll thou delyver me a token
835 In myne name to her mayde?

836 A. Nay, ye muste be ware of that gere,
837 For I have bene afore you there.

838 B. Why, hast thou hyr assayed?

839 A. Ye, ye, that matyr ys sped full.
840 I may have her and she wull --
841 That comfort she me gave.

842 B. And hast thou no noder comfort att all?
843 I truste to God than yet I shall
844 All this matyr save.
845 How be it, I wyll not the matter begyn
846 Withoute I were sure she were a virgyn.

847 A. By my trought, this comfort shall I putt the in --
848 I cam never on her backe in the way of synne.

Avoyde the place A.

849 B. Than all is well and fyne
850 Yf the matter be in that case.
851 I trust that within a lytyll space
852 That wenche shall be myne.
853 I tell you it is a trull of trust
854 All to quenche a mannes thrust
855 Bettyr then ony wyne!

856 It is a lytyll praty moucet,
857 And her voyce is as doucett
858 And as swete as resty porke.
859 Her face is some what browne and yelow,
860 But for all that she hath no felow
861 In syngynge hens to Yorke.

862 But the worst that grevyth me,
863 She hath no layser nor lybarte
864 For an howre or twayne
865 To be owte of her maystres syght.
866 I wachyde for her this odyr nyght,
867 But all was in vayne.
868 How be it, I thinke that at the laste

Come in the maydyn.

869 I shall come within two stonys caste
870 Of her--I aske no more.
871 And yf I do so, then my mate
872 Shall have no lust therin to prate
873 As he dyde before.
874 Cockis body, here she is.
875 Now wellcome by hevyn blys,
876 The last that was in my thought.

877 Ancilla. Tusshe, I pray you, let me go
878 I have somewhat els to do,
879 For this howre I have soughte

880 A man that I sholde speke with all
881 Fro my maystres.
882 What do you hym call?

883 Ancilla. Mayster Gayus or his man.

884 B. Am not I he that ye wolde have?

885 Ancilla. No, no, I wolde have an other knave.

886 B. Why, am I a knave than?

887 Ancilla. Nay, I sayd not so perde.
888 But where trow ye these folkis be?
889 I can not veryly say.
890 His man went evyn now frome me
891 And I marvell gretly that ye
892 Met hym not by the way,
893 For he is gone to speke with Lucres
894 From his maystyr.

895 Ancilla. What, with my maystres?
896 Nay.
897 Ye, so I harde hym say.

898 Ancilla. Goddis mercy, and I was sent
899 Evyn hedyr for the same intent
900 To brynge an answere
901 Of the erande that he is gone fore,
902 Wherefore now ther is no more
903 But I must go seche hym there.

904 B. Nay, tary here a whyle gentyll Jone,
905 For he wyll come hedyr anone.

906 Ancilla. Tary? Why shold I so?

907 B. Mary, to laugh and talke with me

908 Ancilla. Nay, loke where suche gyglottis be,
909 Fur I am none of them, I warne the,
910 That use so to do

911 B. I mene no thinge but good and honest
912 And for your wele, and you lyst
913 To assent therunto.

914 Ancilla. For my wele, quod a? How may that be?
915 That is a thinge that I can not se.

916 B. Mary, this, lo, is myne entent.
917 I mene, yf ye wolde be content
918 Or ony wyse agree

919 For to be my sacrament of penaunce --
920 Ey, God gyve it a very vengeaunce. --
921 Of wedlocke I wolde have sayde.

922 Ancilla. Tush, by Seynt Jame, ye do but mocke
923 To speke to me of ony wedlocke,
924 And I so yonge a mayde.

925 B. Why, are ye a mayde?

926 Ancilla. Ye, ellis I were to blame.

927 B. Where by wote ye?

928 Ancilla. Mary, for I ame.

929 B. A, that is a thinge.
930 Here ye not, syrs, what she sayth?
931 So resonable a cause thereto she layth.

932 Ancilla. A straw for your mockynge
933 Have ye none to mocke but me?

934 B. Mocke? Nay, so mote I the,
935 I mene evyne gode ernest.
936 Geve me your honde and you shall se
937 What I wyll promes you.

938 Ancilla. That way were not best for my prow!

939 Wold ye hondefast me forth with all?
940 Nay, be the roode, fyrst ye shall
941 Chepe or ever you by!
942 We must fyrst of the price agre,
943 For who some ever shall have me,
944 I promes you fayfully,
945 He shall me fyrst assure
946 Of twenty pound londe in joyncture.

947 B. Why, are ye so costely?
948 Nay, nay, then ye be not for me
949 As prety a woman as ye be
950 I can some tyme by
951 For moche les wagis and hyre
952 As for the season that I desyre
953 To have hyr in company.

954 Therefore, yf ye can fynde in youre harte
955 To leve all sucche joynter aparte
956 And take me as I am,
957 I shall do you as greate a pleasure
958 I love you oute of mesure,
959 Els I were to blame.

960 Ancilla. Ye, but oure housholde shall be full small
961 But yf we have somewhat els with all
962 Oure charges for to bere.

963 B. Ye, God sende us mery wether.
964 I may not wed and thryve all together --
965 I loke not for that gere.

966 I shall tell you a marvelous case.
967 I knewe twayne marryed in a place

968 Dwellyng together in one house,
969 And I am sure they were not worth a louse
970 At the begynnynge.
971 And or ever the yere were do,
972 They were worth an hondred or two

973 Ancilla. That was a marvelous thynge

974 But yet I can tell the a gretter marvayle,
975 And I knewe the persons ryght well:
976 Syr, I knewe two certayne,

977 That when they were wedded, they had in store
978 Scarce halfe a bed and no more
979 That was worth an hawe,
980 And within a yere or twayne
981 They had so greate encrease and gayne
982 That at the last they were fayne
983 To shove theyre hedes in the strawe!

984 B. Tusshe, ye do but mocke and r
985 And I promesse you withouten fayle
986 Yf ye lyste to have me,
987 I woot where is an hundred pound in store
988 And I ow never a grot therfore.

989 Ancilla. All that may be --

990 I beleve hyt evyn as ye say.
991 But ye tary me here all day,
992 I pray you let me goo.
993 And for my mariage, that is a thing
994 In the whyche I purpose to geve a sparyng
995 For a yere or two.

997 B. A yere or two, quod a? Nay, God forbede.
998 Iwis, hyt had be tyme fore you to wedde
999 Seven or eight yere agoo.

1000 And ye wyst how mery a lyfe
1001 Hyt is to be a wedded wyf,
1002 Ye wold chaunge that mynde.

1003 Ancilla. Ye, so hyt is, as I understonde,
1004 If a woman have a gode husbonde --
1005 But that ys herd to fynde

1006 Many a man blamyth his wyf parde,
1007 And she is more to blame than he.

1008 B. As true as the gospell now say ye,
1009 But now tell me one thing.
1010 Shall I have none other answere but this
1011 Of my desyre?

1013 Ancilla. No syr, iwys,
1014 Not at this metyng.

1015 B. Wyll ye now nede be agoo than?
1016 Take your leve honestly

Et conabitur eam osculari.

1017 Ancilla. Se the man!
1018 Let me alone, with sorowe.

1019 B. Mary, so be hyt. But one worde
1020 I wyll kys the or thou goo.

1022 Ancilla. The devyllis torde.
1023 The man is madde I trowe!

1024 B. So madde I am that nedis I must
1025 As in this poynt have my lust
1026 How so ever I doo.

1027 Ancilla. Parde, ye may do me that request,
1028 For why it is but good and honest.

Et osculabitur. Intrat A.

1029 A. Now a felychip, I the beseche,
1030 Set even suche a patche one my breche.

1031 B. A wyld feyre therone.

1032 Ancilla. Goddis mercy, this is he
1033 That I have sought so.

1034 A. Have ye sought me?

1035 Ancilla. Ye, that have I do.
1036 This gentylman can wytnes bere
1037 That all this owre I have stonde here
1038 Sechyng even for you

1039 A. Have ye two be togeder so longe?

1040 Ancilla. Ye, why not?

1041 A. Mary, then all is wrong
1042 I fere me so now.

1043 B. Nay, nay, here be to many wytnes
1044 For to make ony syche besynes
1045 As thou wenest, hardely

1046 Ancilla. Why, what is the mannes thought?
1047 Suppose ye that I wolde be nowght
1048 Yf no man were by?
1049 Nay, for God, y ment not so,
1050 But I wolde no man sholde have to do
1051 With you but onely I.

1052 Ancilla. Have to do, quod a? What call ye that?
1053 Hyt sowndyth to a thing I wote ner what!
1054 Ey, Godes mercy
1055 I se well a man must be warre
1056 How he spekyth ther as ye ar--
1057 Ye take it so straungely!

1058 Nay, I mene nothyng but well,
1059 For by my wyll no man shall dele
1060 With you in way of maryage
1061 But onely I -- this wyse I ment.

1062 Ancilla. Ye, but though it were youre entent,
1063 Yet ye do but rage

1064 To use suche wordes unto me,
1065 For I am yet at my lyberte.
1066 Ye, that I know well
1067 But never the lesse, sythen I beganne
1068 To love you longe before this man,
1069 I have veray greate mervell
1070 That ever ye wolde his mynde fulfyll
1071 To stonde and talke with hym styll
1072 So long as ye have do.

1073 B. Before me, quod a? Nay, I make avowe,
1074 I mevyde this matter long byfore you:
1075 How sey ye therto?

1076 Ancilla. I wyll no thinge in the matter say
1077 Lest I cause you to make a fray,
1078 For thereof I wolde be lothe.

1079 A. By cokkis body, butt who so ever it be
1080 That weddythe her bysydes me,
1081 I shall make hym wrothe
1082 Ye, but he that is so hasty at every worde,
1083 For a medsyn must ete his wyves torde.

1084 Ancilla. Holde your tongis there I say,
1085 For and ye make this warke for me,
1086 Ye shall bothe dyspoyntyd be
1087 As fare as I may.

1088 A. By my trouthe, but marke me well-
1089 Yf ever thou with this man dwell
1090 As a woman with here make,
1091 Thou shalt fynde hym the most froward man
1092 That ever thou sawiste sythe the worlde bygan
1093 For I dare undertake

1094 That forty tymes on a day
1095 Withoute ony cause he wyll the afray
1096 And bete the bake and syde

1097 Ancilla. He shall not nede so to do,
1098 For he shall have forty causes and forty too
1099 Yf I with hym abyde.

1100 A. Mary, that ys a remedy accordynge.
1101 But I can tell the an other thynge,
1102 And it is no lye:
1103 Thow maist well be hys weddyd wyf,
1104 But he wyll never love the in his lyf!

1105 Ancilla. Yet I know a remedy.

1106 A. Howso?

1107 Ancilla. Mary, I wyll love hym as lytyll agayne.
1108 For every shrewed turne he shall have twayne
1109 And he were my brother.

1110 B. Iwys, Jone, he spekythe but of males
1111 There ys no man hens to Cales,
1112 Who so ever be the tother,

1113 That can hym selfe better applye
1114 To please a woman better then I

1115 Ancilla. Ye, so I harde you say.
1116 But yet, be ye never so wrothe,
1117 There ys never one of you bothe,
1118 For all youre wordes gay,
1119 That shalbe assured of me
1120 Tyll I may fyrst here and se
1121 What ye bothe can do
1122 And he that can do most maystry,
1123 Be it in cokery or in pastry,
1124 In fettis of warre or dedys of chevalry,
1125 With hym wyll I go!

1126 A. By my trowthe, that lykythe me well.
1127 Ther is no maystry that a man can tell
1128 But I am mete thereto,
1129 Wherefor that wagere I dare well undertake.
1130 Lett me se, wylt thou go coyt for thy ladis sake,
1131 Or what thyng shall we do?

1132 B. Nay, yf thou wylt her with maystry wynne,
1133 With boyes game thou mayst not begyn --
1134 That is not her intent.

1135 A. What is best that we do than?

1136 B. Mary, canst thou syrig?

1137 A. Ye, that I can,
1138 As well as ony man in Kent.

1139 B. What maner of song shall it be?

1140 A. What so ever thou wylt chose the,
1141 I holde me well content.
1142 And yf I mete the not at the close,
1143 Hardely let me the wager lose
1144 By her owne jugement.
1145 Go to now, wyll ye set in?

1146 B. Nay, be the rode, ye shall begyn.

1147 A. By Seynt Jame, I assent.

1148 Abyde, Jone: ye can gode skyll,
1149 And if ye wolde the song fulfyll
1150 With a thyrd parte,
1151 It wolde do ryght well, in my mynde.

1152 Ancilla. Synge on, hardely, and I wyll not be behynde,
1153 I pray the with all my hert.

Et tunc cantabunt.

1154 B. I am so whorse, it wyll not be

1155 A. Horse, quod a? Nay, so mot I the,
1156 That was not the thynge
1157 And a man sholde the trowth saye
1158 Ye lost a crochet or two by the waye,
1159 To myne understondynge.

1160 B. Why, was I a mynyme before?

1161 A. Ye be the rode, that ye were and more.

1162 B. Then were ye a mynyme behynde
1163 Let me se, yet syng agayne,
1164 And marke whyche of us twayne
1165 Plesyth best your mynde.

1166 Ancilla. Nay, nay, ye shall this matter try
1167 By some other maner of mastry
1168 Than by your syngynge.

1169 B. Let hym assay what mastry he wull.

1170 A. Mary, and my bely were not so full
1171 I wolde wrestell with hym a fayre pull --
1172 That were a game accordynge

1173 For suche valyaunt men as we be.

1174 B. I shrew thyn hert and thou spare me

Et deinde luctabuntur.

1175 Ancilla. Nay, by my fayth, that was no fall.

1176 B. A, than I se well ye be parcyall,
1177 Whan ye juge so.
1178 Well, I shall do more for your love!
1179 Evyn here I cast to hym my glove
1180 Or ever I hens goo,

1181 On the condycion that in the playne fylde
1182 I shall mete hym with spere and shelde
1183 My lyf theron to jeoparde.
1184 Let me se and he dare take hyt

Tunc projiciet cirothecam

1185 A. Yes hardely, I wyll not forsake hyt.
1186 I am not suche a coward

1187 But I dare mete the at all assays --
1188 Whan shall hyt be do?

1189 B. Evyn streyght ways
1190 Withoute furthere delay,
1191 And I shrewe his hert that feris
1192 Eyther with cronall or sharpe speris
1193 This bargyn to assay.

1194 A. And I beshrewe hym for me.
1195 But abyde, now let me se,
1196 Where shall I have a hors?

1197 B. Nay, we shall nede no horse ne mule,
1198 But let us just at farte pryke in cule.

1199 A. Be Seynt Jame, no forse,

1200 Evyn so be it. But where is oure gere?

1201 B. By my fayth, all thing is redy
1202 That belongethe therto.
1203 Com forthe, ye flowre of the frying pane,
1204 Helpe ye to aray us as well as ye can.
1205 And how so ever ye do,
1206 Se that ye juge indifferently
1207 Whiche of us twayne hathe the mastry.

1208 Ancilla. Yes, hardely, that I shall --
1209 I shall juge after my mynde.
1210 But see ye hold fast behynd
1211 Lest ye troble us in all.

1212 B. Tushe, that is the lest care of fiftene.
1213 And yf I do not, on my game be yt sene!
1214 Go to, bynd me fyrst, hardely.
1215 So, lo, now, geve me my spere,
1216 And put me a staffe thorow here --
1217 Than am I all redy.

1218 A. Abyde, who shall helpe to harnys me?

1219 Ancilla. That shall I do, so mott I the,
1220 With a ryght gode wyll.

1221 A. Soft and fayre. Myne arme is sore,
1222 Ye may not bynd me strayt ther fore.

1223 Ancilla. Nay, no more I wyll --

1224 I wyll not hurte the for twenty pounde.
1225 Come of now, syt downe on the grounde
1226 Evyn upon thy tayle.

1227 A. Ey, gode Lorde, whan wyll ye have do?

1228 Ancilla. Now all is redy hardely, go to
1229 Bydde hym bayle, bayle.

1230 A. Fall to prayer, syrs, it is nede,
1231 As many of you as wolde me Gode spede,
1232 For this gere stondyth me uppon.

1233 B. Ye, and that shall thou fynde or we departe,
1234 And yf thou spaie me I shrow thy harte
1235 Let me se, com on.

Et Projectus dicat A.

1236 A. Out, out, alas for payne.
1237 Jet me have a pryst or I be slayne
1238 My syn to dysclose.

1239 B. And bycause he sayth so, it is nede,
1240 For he is not in clene lyfe in dede.
1241 I fele it at my nose--

1242 Fo. Fo. etc.
1243 Now ye ar myne, lady

1244 Ancilla. Nay, never the more.

1245 B. No? Why so?

1246 Ancilla. For I am taken up before.

1247 B. Mary, I beshrew your hart therefore.
1248 It shold better content me
1249 That ye had be taken up behynde.

1250 Ancilla. Nay, nay, ye understond not my mynde
1251 ln that poynt

1252 B. It may well be,
1253 But tell me, how ment ye then?

1254 Ancilla. Mary, I am sure to an other man
1255 Whose wyfe I intende to be.

1256 B. Nay, I trow, by cockis passyon,
1257 Ye wyll not mocke us of that fascyon --
1258 Ye may not, for very shame.

1259 Ancilla. Shame or not, so shall it be,
1260 And bycause that fore the love of me
1261 Ye two have made this game,
1262 It shall not be done all in vayne,
1263 For I wyll rewarde you bothe twayne,
1264 And ellis I were to blame.

1265 Somewhat thereby ye must nedis wyn,
1266 And therfore to everyche of you wyll I spyn
1267 A new peyre of breches!
1268 Take the that fore thy dole
1269 And bycause he is blacke in the hole,
1270 He shall have as moche.

Et utroque flagellato recedit Ancilla.

1271 A. Oute, alas! What woman was this?

1272 B. It is Lucres mayde.

1273 A. The devyll it is!
1274 I pray God a vengeance take her.
1275 How saist thou, shall she be thy wyfe?

1276 B. Nay, I had lever she had etyn my knyfe.
1277 I utterly forsake her.

Intrat Gaius.

1278 Gayus. How, syrs, who hath arayde you thys?

1279 A. Fals thevys, maister, iwys,
1280 And all for your quarell.

1282 Gayus. What? And this other man too?

1283 A. Ye, and ye wolde oure hondes undo,
1284 The matter whe shall tell.

1285 Gayus. Yes, mary, wyll I. Now tell on
1286 Who hathe you these wrongis done?
1287 Mary, that I shall.
1288 Cornelyus servantis, whiche is your enmy,
1289 Espyed me goyng toward Lucres place,
1290 That I coude brynge the matter to passe
1291 Of that gentyman, as your desyre was.
1292 They leyd awayte for me in the way,
1293 And so they lefte me in this araye.

1294 Gayus. Ye, but haste thou ony dedely wounde? --
1295 That is the thinge that feryth my mynde.

1296 A. I faythe, I was lefte for dede on the grounde,
1297 And I have a grete garce here byhynde
1298 Out of the whiche ther commythe suche a wynde
1299 That f ye holde a candyll therto
1300 Hyt wyll blowe it oute -- that wyll hyt do.

1301 Gayus. Se to hyt be tyme, by myne advyse,
1302 Lest the wounde fewster within.

1303 A. Then have I nede of a gode surgyn,
1304 For hyt is so depe within the skyn
1305 That ye may put youre nose therin
1306 Evyn up to the harde eyes.

1307 Here is a man that quyt hym as well
1308 For my defence as ever I see
1309 He toke suche parte that in the quarell
1310 His arme was strykyne of by the harde kne,
1311 And yet he slew of them two or thre.

1312 Gayus. Be they slayne? Nay, God forbyde.

1313 A. Yes, so helpe me God, I warande them dede.

1314 How be it I stonde in grete drede
1315 That yf ever he come in theyr way
1316 They wyll kyt of his arme or his hede,
1317 For so I herde them all thre say.

1318 Gayus. Whiche? Thay that were slayne?

1319 A. Ye, by this day.
1320 What nedyth me therfore to lye?
1321 He herd it hym selfe as well as I

1322 Gayus. Well then, ye lye both two

1323 But now tell me, what hast thou do
1324 As touchynge my commaundement
1325 That I badde the do to Lucres?
1326 Spakyst thou with her?

1327 A. Ye, syr, dowtles,
1328 And this is her intent:

1329 Sche commaundyth hyr to you by the same tokyn
1330 That with hyr father she hath spokyn
1331 Accordynge to your requeste,
1332 And so she wyllythe you to be of gode chere,
1333 Desyrynge you this nyght to appere,
1334 Or tomorow at the furthest,

1335 And she wyll mete you here in this place
1336 To gyve you a fynall answare in this case
1337 Whereto ye shall trust.

1338 Gayus. That is the thing that I desyre.
1339 But sayd she so?

1340 A. Ye, be thys fyre,
1341 I tell you verey juste,

1342 In so moche that she bad me say
1343 And warne you that ye shulde purvay
1344 For your owne besenes,

1345 For than it shall determyde be
1346 Whether Publyus Cornelyus or ye
1347 Shall have the preemynence

1348 Gayus. All that purpose lykythe me well,
1349 But who shall be here more, canst thou tell?

1350 A. Mary, here shall be Fulgens

1351 And Publius Cornelius hym selfe also,
1352 With dyverse other many moo
1353 Besyde this honorable audyence.
1354 Wherfore yf ye wyll youre honour save
1355 And your intent in this matter have,
1356 It is best that ye go hens

1357 For to study and call to mynde
1358 Suche argumentis as ye can best fynde
1359 And make your selfe all prest.

1360 Gayus. Thy counsell is gode -- be it so,
1361 And evyn thereafter wyll I do,
1362 For I holde it best.

Et exeat Gaius et A.
Intrat B.

1363 B. Goddes body, sy, this was a fytt.
1364 I beshrew the horys hart yett
1365 When I thinke theron,
1366 And yet the strokys be not so sore
1367 But the shame grevyth me more,
1368 Sith that it was done
1369 Before so many as here be present.
1370 But and I myght take her,
1371 By my trowth I shall make her
1372 This dede to repent.

1373 A. Yet thou were as gode holde thy pease,
1374 For ther is no remedy doutles --
1375 herfore lett itt go.
1376 It is to us bothe grete foly and shame
1377 This matter ony more to reherse or name.

1378 B. Well than, be it so.

1379 And yet, because she hathe made me smart
1380 I trust onys to ryde in her carte
1381 Be it shame or no.
1382 I can not suffre it paciently
1383 To be rebuked openly
1384 And to be mockyd also.
1385 An other thing grevythe me werst of all:
1386 I shal be shent, that I shall,
1387 Of my mayster too

1388 Because I have ben so long away
1389 Oute of his presence.

1390 A. Nay, nay,
1391 I have harde so muche syth I went hens
1392 That he had lityll mynd to thyn offens.

1393 B. I pray you tell me why.

1394 A. For as I brought my mayster on hys way
1395 I harde one of Lucres men say
1396 That thy mayster hathe ben
1397 All this houre at her place,
1398 And that he his answere hase,
1399 This wyse as I mene:

1400 She hathe appoynted hym to be here
1401 Sone, in the evynyng aboute suppere,
1402 A than he shall have a fynall answere
1403 What she entendith to do.
1404 And so than we shal know here intent,
1405 For as I understond she wyll be content
1406 To have one of them too
1407 But furst she wyll nedis know the certayn
1408 Whether is the most noble of them twayne --
1409 This she sayeth alway.

1410 B. Why, that is easy to understonde
1411 Yf she be so wyse as men bere in honde

1412 A. Ye, so I hard you say.

1413 Let me se now, what is your oppynion
1414 Whether of them is most noble of condycion?

1415 B. That can I tell hardely
1416 He that hathe moste nobles in store,
1417 Hym call I the most noble ever more,
1418 For he is most sett by.

1419 And I am sure Cornelyus is able
1420 With his owne goodis to bye a rable
1421 Of suche as Gayus is
1422 And over that, yf noblenes of kynn
1423 May this womans favour wynn,
1424 I am sure he can not mys.

1425 A. Ye, but come hether sone to the ynde of this playe
1426 And thou shalt se wherto all that wyll wey --
1427 It shall be for thy lernynge.

1428 B. Ye, cum agayne who wyll for me,
1429 For I wyll not be here, so mot I the!
1430 It is a gentylmanly thinge

1431 That I shulde awayt and com agayne
1432 For other mennys causes and take suche payne!
1433 I wyll not do it, I make God avowe.
1434 Why myght not this matter be endyd nowe?

1435 A. Mary, I shall tell the why:
1436 Lucres and her father may not attende
1437 At this seson to make an ende --
1438 So I hard them say.
1439 And also it is a curteyse gyse
1440 For to respyte the matter this wyse
1441 That the partyes may

1442 In the meane tyme advyse them well,
1443 For eyther of them bothe must tell
1444 And shew the best he can
1445 To force the goodnes of his owne condycion
1446 Bothe by example and gode reason.
1447 I wold not for a swan

1448 That thou sholdest be hens at that season,
1449 For thou shalt here a reyal disputacyon
1450 Bitwext them or thay have do.
1451 An other thing must be considred with all:
1452 These folke that sitt here in the halle
1453 May not attende theretoo

1454 Whe may not with oure long play
1455 Lett them fro theyre dyner all day --
1456 Thay have not fully dyned
1457 For and this play where ones overe past,
1458 Some of them wolde falle to fedyng as fast
1459 As thay had bene almost pyned.

1460 But no forse, hardely, and they do.
1461 Ussher, gete them goode wyne therto,
1462 Fyll them of the best.
1463 Let it be do or ye wyll be shent,
1464 For it is the wyll and commaundement
1465 Of the master of the fest.

1466 And therfore we shall the matter forbere
1467 And make a poynt evyn here
1468 Lest we excede a mesure,
1469 And we shall do oure labour and trewe entent
1470 For to play the remenant
1471 At my lordis pleasure.

Finis prime partis.

Intrat A dicens.:

1472 A. Muche gode do it you everycheone --
1473 Ye wyll not beleve how fast I have gone
1474 For fere that I sholde come to late.
1475 No forse, I have lost but a lytyll swete
1476 That I have taken upon this hete
1477 My colde corage to abate.

1478 But now to the matter that I cam fore:
1479 Ye know the cause therof before --
1480 Your wittis be not so short.
1481 Perde, my felowys and I were here
1482 Today whan ye where at dyner,
1483 And shewed you a lytyll disport

1484 Of one Fulgens and his doughter Lucres,
1485 And of two men that made grett besynes
1486 Her husbonde for to be.
1487 She answered to them bothe than:
1488 Loke whiche was the more noble man,
1489 To hym she wolde agre

1490 This was the substance of the play
1491 That was shewed here today,
1492 All be it that there was
1493 Dyvers toyes mengled yn the same
1494 To styre folke to myrthe and game
1495 And to do them solace,

1496 The whiche tryfyllis be impertinent
1497 To the matter principall,
1498 But never the lesse they be expedient
1499 For to satisfye and content
1500 Many a man with all.

1501 For some there be that lokis and gapys
1502 Only for suche tryfles and japys,
1503 And some there be amonge
1504 That forceth lytyll of suche madnes,
1505 But delytyth them in matter of sadnes
1506 Be it never so longe.

1507 And every man must have hys mynde,
1508 Ellis thay will many fautys fynde
1509 And say the play was nought.
1510 But no force, I car not,
1511 Let them say and spare not,
1512 For God knoweth my thought.

1513 It is the mynde and intent
1514 Of me and my company to content
1515 The leste that stondyth here,
1516 And so I trust ye wyll it alowe.
1517 Ey, Godis mercy, where am I now?
1518 It were almys to wrynge me by the eare
1519 Bycause I make suche degression
1520 From the matter that I began
1521 Whan I entred the halle
1522 For had I made a gode contynuaunce,
1523 I sholde have put you in remembraunce
1524 And to your myndis call

1525 How Lucres wyll come hyder agayne,
1526 And her sayde lovers bothe twayne,
1527 To dyffyne thys question:
1528 Whether of them ys the more noble man.
1529 For theron all this matter began
1530 It is the chefe foundacyon
1531 Of all thys proces both all and some,
1532 And yf thes players were ons come,
1533 Of this matter will they speke.
1534 I mervell gretely in my mynde
1535 That thay tary so long behynde
1536 Theyre howre for to breke.

1537 But what, syrs I pray you everychone
1538 Have pacyens, for thay come anone.
1539 I am sure they wyll not fayle
1540 But thay wyll mete in this place
1541 As theyre promys and apoyntment wase,
1542 And ellis I have merveyle.

1543 Let me se, what is now acloke?

1544 A, there commyth one--I here hym knoke.
1545 He knokythe as he were wood.
1546 One of you go loke who it is.

1547 B. Nay, nay, all the meyny of them iwis
1548 Can not so moche gode.
1549 A man may rappe tyll his naylis ake
1550 Or ony of them wyll the labour take
1551 To gyve hym an answere.

1552 A. I have grete marvell on the
1553 That ever thou wylt take upon the
1554 To chyde ony man here.

1555 No man is so moche to blame as thow
1556 For longe taryinge.

1557 B. Ye, God avow,
1558 Wyll ye play me that?
1559 Mary, that shall be amended anone:
1560 I am late comen and I wyll sone be gone,
1561 Ellis I shrew my catt.

1562 Kockis body, syr, it is a fayre resone.
1563 I am com hedyr att this season
1564 Only at thy byddynge,
1565 And now thou makyst to me a quarell
1566 As though all the matter were in parell
1567 By my longe taryynge

1568 Now God be with you, so mote I the,
1569 Ye shall play the knave alone for me.

1570 A. What? I am afrayde,
1571 Iwis, ye are but lewyde.
1572 Turne agayne, all beshrewyde --
1573 Now are you fayre prayde!

1574 B. Why than, is your angyr all do?

1575 A. Ye, mary, is it, lo.

1576 B. So is myne too--
1577 I have done clene.
1578 But now how goyth this matter forth
1579 Of this mariage?

1580 A. By Saynt Jame, ryght nought worth.
1581 I wot nere what thay meane,

1582 For I can none other wise thinke
1583 But that some of them begyn to shrinke
1584 Bycause of ther longe tariage.

1585 B. Shrynke now, quod a? Mary, that were mervele.
1586 But one thinge of surete I can the tell
1587 As touchynge this mariage:
1588 Cornelius my tnayster apoyntyth hym therupone,
1589 And dowtles he wyll be here anone,
1590 In payne of forty pens,
1591 In so muche that he hath devysyde
1592 Certayne straungers fresshly disgisyd
1593 Att his owne exspens

1595 For to be here this nyght also.

1596 A. Straungers, quod a? What to do?

1597 B. Mary, for to glade with all
1598 This gentylwoman at her hedyr comynge.

1599 A. A, then I se well we shall have a mummynge!

1600 B. Ye, surely, that we shall.
1601 And therfor never thinke it in thy mynde
1602 That my mayster wyll be behynde
1603 Nor slacke at this bargyn.
1604 Mary, here he commyth, I have hym aspyde.
1605 No more wordis, stonde thou asyde,
1606 For it is he playne.

1607 Cornelius. My frynde, where abowt goist thou all day?

1608 B. Mary syr, I came heder to asay
1609 Whedyr these folke had ben here.

1610 And yet thay be not come,
1611 So helpe me God and holydome --
1612 Of that I have moche marvaile,
1613 That thay tary so.

1614 Cornelius. Mary, go thi way
1615 And wit where thay wyll or no!

1616 B. Ye, God avow, shall I so.

1617 Cornelius. Ye, mary, so I say.

1618 B. Yet in that poynt, as semyth me,
1619 Ye do not accordynge to your degre.

1620 Cornelius. I pray the, tell me why?

1621 B. Mary, it wolde becom them well inow
1622 To be here afore and to wayte upon you,
1623 And not you to tary

1624 For theyr laysyr and abyde them here
1625 As it were one that were ledde by the eare --
1626 For that I defy
1627 By this mene you sholde be theyr druge,
1628 I tell you trought, I.

1629 And yet the worst that greveth me
1630 Is that your adversary sholde in you se
1631 So notable a foly --
1632 Therfore widraw you for a seasone.

1633 Cornelius. By Seynt Johan, thou sayst but reasone.

1634 B. Ye, do so hardely,

1635 And whan the tyme drawith upon
1636 That thay be com everychone
1637 And all thinge redy,
1638 Than shall I come streyght away
1639 For to seche you withoute delay.

1640 Cornelius. Be it so, hardely.

1641 But one thinge whyle I thinke therone,
1642 Remember this when I am gone.
1643 Yef hit happon so
1644 That Lucres come in fyrst alone,
1645 Go in hand with her anone,
1646 How so ever thou do,
1647 For to fele her mynde toward me,
1648 And by all meanis possyble to be,
1649 Induce her therunto.

1650 B. Than some token you must gyve me,
1651 For ellis she wyll not beleve me
1652 That I cam from you.

1653 Cornelius. Mary, that is evyn wysely spoken.
1654 Commaunde me to her by the same token --
1655 She knowyth it well inow --

1656 That as she and I walkyde onis togedyr
1657 In her garden hedyr and thedyr,
1658 There happonde a straunge case.
1659 For at the last we dyd se
1660 A byrd sittynge on a holow tre --
1661 An ashe I trow it was.
1662 Anone she prayde me for to assay
1663 Yf I coude start the byrde away

1664 B. And dyde ye so? Alas, alas.

1665 Cornelius. Why the devyll sayst thou so?

1666 B. By cokkis bonis, for it was a kocko.
1667 And men say amonge,
1668 He that throwyth stone or stycke
1669 At suche a byrde, he is lycke
1670 To synge that byrdes songe.

1671 Cornelius. What the devyll recke I therfore?
1672 Here what I say to the ever more,
1673 And marke thine erand well:
1674 Syr, I had no stone to throw with all,
1675 And therfore she toke me her musc ball,
1676 And thus it befell:

1677 I kyst it as strayght as ony pole,
1678 So that it lyghtyde evyn in the hole
1679 Of the holow ashe.
1680 Now, canst thou remember all this?

1681 B. By God, I wolde be loth to do amys,
1682 For some tyme I am full rashe

1683 Ye say that ye kyst it evyn in the hole
1684 Of the holow ashe as strayte as a pole --
1685 Sayde ye not so?

1686 Cornelius. Yes.

1687 B. Well then, let me alone.
1688 As for this erande, it shall be done
1689 As sone as ye be go.

1690 Cornelius. Fare well then, I leve the here,
1691 And remembyr well all this gere
1692 How so ever thou do.

Et exeat Cornelius.

1693 B. Yes hardely, this erande shall be spoken.
1694 But how say you, syrs, by this tokene?
1695 Is it not a quaynt thinge?
1696 I went he hade bene a sad man,
1697 But I se well he is a made man
1698 In this message doynge.

1699 But what? Chose he for me,
1700 I am but as a messanger perde --
1701 The blame shall not be myne but his,
1702 For I wyll his token reporte
1703 Whether she take it in ernest or sporte --
1704 I wyll not thcrof mys.
1705 Be she wroth or well apayde,
1706 I wyll tell her evyn as he sayde.

Intrat Lucres.

1707 God avow, here she is.
1708 It is tyme for me to be wyse.
1709 Now welcome lady, floure of prise:
1710 I have sought you twyse or thryse
1711 Wythin this houre iwys.

1712 Lucres. Me syr? Have ye sought me?

1713 B. Ye, that I have by God that bowght me.

1714 Lucres. To what intent?

1715 B. Mary, for I have thingis a few
1716 The which I must to you shew
1717 By my maysters commaundement.

1718 Publius Cornelius is hys name,
1719 Your veray lover, in payne of shame,
1720 And yf ye love hym not ye be to blame.
1721 For this dare I say,
1722 And on a boke make it gode:
1723 He lovyd you better than his one hart blode.

1724 Lucres. Hys harde bloode? Nay, nay,

1725 Half that love wolde serve for me.

1726 B. Yet sithe he dyde you fyrst se
1727 In the place where he dwellis,
1728 He had lovyd you so in hys hart
1729 That he settyth not by hym self a fart,
1730 Nor by noo man ellis.
1731 And bycause ye shulde gyve credence
1732 Unto my sayng in hys absence
1733 And trust to that I say,
1734 He tolde me tokyns two or thre
1735 Whiche I know well as he tolde me.

1736 Lucres. Tokyns? What be thay?

1737 B. Let me se -- now I had nede to be wyse,
1738 For one of his tokyns is very nyse
1739 As ever I harde tell
1740 He prayd you for to beleve me
1741 By the same tokyn that ye and he
1742 Walkyd togeder by a holow tre

1743 Lucres. All that I know well.

1744 B. A, than I am yet in the ryght way.
1745 But I have som other thyng to say
1746 Towchyng my credence
1747 Whiche as I thynke were best to be spared,
1748 For happely ye wold not have it declared
1749 Byfore all this audience.

1750 Lucres. Nay, nay, hardely, spare not-
1751 As for my dedis, I care not
1752 Yf all the worlde it harde.

1753 B. Mary, than shall I procede.
1754 He shewde me also in very dede
1755 How ther satt a byrde,
1756 And than ye delyveryd hym your muskball
1757 For to throw at the byrd with all,
1758 And than as he sayd, ye dyd no wors
1759 But evyn fayr kyst hym on the noke of the ars.

1760 Lucres. Nay, ther thow lyest falsely, by my fay!

1761 B. Trouth, it was on the hole of thars I shulde say --
1762 I wyst well it was one of the too,
1763 The noke or the hole.

1764 Lucres. Nay, nor yet so

1765 B. By my fayth, ye kyst hym or he kyst you
1766 On the hole of thars, chose you now --
1767 This he tolde me sure.
1768 How be it, I speke it not in reprove,
1769 For it was done but for gode love
1770 And for no synfull pleasure.

1771 Lucres. May, nay, man, thow art farr amys!
1772 I know what thyn erande is,
1773 Though thow be neclygent.
1774 Of thy foly thou mayst well abasshe,
1775 For thou shuldis have sayde the holow asshe:
1776 That hole thy mayster ment.

1777 B. By God avow, I trow it was.
1778 I crye you mercy, I have done you trespas.
1779 But I pray you take it in pacyence,
1780 For I mystoke it by necligence.
1781 A myscheef com theron
1782 He myght have sent you this gere in a letter.
1783 But I shall go lerne myn erande better,
1784 And cum ayen anon.

Et exeat.

1785 Lucres. Ye, so do hardely.
1786 Now forsoth, this was a lewed message
1787 As ever I harde sith I was bore
1788 And yf his mayster have therof knowlege
1789 He wyll be angry with hym therfore.
1790 How be it, I will speke therof no more,
1791 For hyt hath ben my condiscyon alwey
1792 No man to hender but to helpe where I may.

Intrat A.

1793 A. Feyr maysters, lyketh it you to know
1794 That my mayster commaunde me to you.

1795 Lucres. Commaundeth you to me?

1796 A. Nay, commaundeth you to hym!

1797 Lucres. Wele amendyd, by Saynt Sym.

1798 A. Commaundeth he to you, I wolde say,
1799 Or ellis you to he-- now chose ye may
1800 Whether lyketh you better!
1801 And here he sendyth you a letter.

1802 Godis mercy, I had it ryght now!
1803 Syrs, is there none there among you
1804 That toke up suche a wrytyng?
1805 I pray you, syrs, let me have it agayne!

1806 Lucres. Ye ar a gode messanger for certeyne.
1807 But I pray you, syr, of one thyng:

1808 Who is your mayster? -- tell me that.

1809 A. Maister what call ye hym. Parde, ye wott
1810 Whome I mene well and fyne.

1811 Lucres. Yet I know not, so mot I go

1812 A. What? Yes, parde, he that wolde have you so.

1813 Lucres. I suppose there be many of tho
1814 Yf I wolde enclyne!

1815 But yet know I not who ye mene.
1816 I holde best that ye go ageyene
1817 To lerne your maysters name.

1818 A. By my fayth, and I holde it best.
1819 Ye may say I am a homely gest
1820 In ernest and in game.

1821 Lucres. Abyde, I shall go to you nerehonde:
1822 What ys your owne name, I wolde understonde?
1823 Tell me that or I go.
1824 I trow thou canst not well tell.

1825 A. By my fayth, not verely well,
1826 Bycause ye say so.

Et scalpens caput post modicum intevallum dicat:

1827 By this lyght, I have forgoten!
1828 How be it, by that tyme I have spoken
1829 With som of my company,
1830 I shall be acerteyned of this gere.
1831 But shall I fynde you agayne here?

1832 Lucres. Ye, that thow shalt, happely.

Et exeat A.

1833 Cornelius. Now fayr Lucres, accordyng to thappoyntement
1834 That ye made with me here this day,
1835 Bycause ye shall not fynde me there neclygent,
1836 Here I am come your wyll to obey,
1837 And redy am I for my selfe to sey
1838 That, as towchyng the degre of noble condycion,
1839 Betwyxt me and Gayus there may be no comparison.
1840 And that shall I shew you by apparent reason
1841 Yf it shall lyke you that I now begynne.

1842 Lucres. Nay, ye shall spare it for a lytyll season
1843 Tyl suche tyme that Gayus your adversary corne in,
1844 For I wyll gyve you therin none audience
1845 Tyll ye be both toger in presence.

1846 And in ony wyse, kepe well your patience
1847 Lyke as I have bound you both to the peace
1848 I forbyde you utterly all maner of violence
1849 Durynge this matter, and also that ye seace
1850 Of all suche wordis as may gyve occasion
1851 Of brallynge or other ongodely condycion.

1852 Cornelius. There shal be in me no suche abusyon
1853 In worde nor dede, I you promyse.

1854 But now let me se what occupation
1855 Of what maner of passe tyme wyll ye devyse
1856 Whyle that these folke dothe tary this wyse?
1857 Wyll ye see a bace daunce after the gyse
1858 Of Spayne whyle ye have no thynge to do?
1859 All thynge have I purvaide that belongyth therto.

1860 Lucres. Syr, I shall gyve you the lokynge on.

1861 Cornelius. Wyll ye do so? I aske no more
1862 Go sone and bidde them come thens anone,
1863 And cause the mynystrellis to come in beffore.

1864 B. Mary, as foi one of them, his lippe is sore --
1865 I trow he may not pype, he is so syke.
1866 Spele up tamboryne, ik bide owe frelike

Et deinde corisabunt

1867 Lucres. Forsothe, this was a godely recreacyon.
1868 But I pray you, of what maner nation
1869 Be these godely creatours?
1870 Were they of Englonde or of Wales?

1871 B. Nay, they be wylde Irissh Portyngales
1872 That dyde all these pleasures.

1873 How be it, it was for my maysters sake,
1874 And he wyll deserve it, I undertake,
1875 On the largest wyse.

1876 Cornelius. Go thy selfe -- why stondis thou so? --
1877 And make them chere. Let it be do
1878 The best thou canst devyse.

1879 B. Yes, they shall have chere hevyn hye.
1880 But one thing I promyse you faithfully --
1881 They get no drynke therto.

Exeat. Dicat Lucres.

1882 Lucres. Lo, here thys man ys come now --
1883 Now may ye in your matter procede
1884 Ye remembre both what I sayde to you
1885 Touchynge myne answere -- I trow it is no nede
1886 Ony more to reherse it

1887 Cornelius. No, in veray dede,
1888 For moche rehersall wolde let the spede
1889 Of all this matter -- it nedyth no more
1890 Let us roundely to the matter we come for.

1891 Lucres. Ye, that I pray you as hartly as I can.
1892 But fyrst me semyth it were expedient
1893 That ye both name some indifferent man
1894 For to gyve betwyxt you the forseyde jugement.

1895 Cornelius. Nay, as for that, by myne assent,
1896 No man shall have that office but ye.

1897 Gayus. And I holde me well content that it so be

1898 Lucres. Ye, but not wythstondyng that ye therto agre
1899 That I sholde this question of nobles diffine,
1900 It is a grete matter whiche, as semyth me,
1901 Pertayneth to a philosopher or ellis a devyne.
1902 How be it, sith the choyse of this matter is myne,
1903 I can be content, under certayne protestacyon,
1904 Whan that I have harde you, to say myne opinion.

1905 Lo, this wyse I mene and thus I do intende:
1906 That what so ever sentence I gyve betwyxt you two
1907 After myne owne fantasie, it shall not extende
1908 To ony other person. I wyll that it be so,
1909 For why no man ellis hath theryn ado
1910 It may not be notyde for a generall precedent,
1911 All be it that for your partis ye do therto assent.

1912 Gayus. As touchyng that poynt we holde us well content --
1913 Your sentence shall touche no man but us twayne.
1914 And sith ye shall gyve it by our owne agrement,
1915 None other man ought to have thereat disdayne.
1916 Wherfor all thys dout ye may well refrayne,
1917 And in that matter principall this tyme wolde be spent.

1918 Cornelius. Than wyll I begynne.

1919 Gayus. I holde me well content.

1920 Cornelius. Syth ye have promysed, fayre Lucres, heretofore
1921 That to the more noble man ye wyll enclyne,
1922 Vary not fro that ~orde and I aske no more,
1923 For than shall the victory of this cause be myne,
1924 As it shalbe easy to jugge and diffyne.
1925 For every creature that ony reason hase
1926 Me semyth I durst make hym self jugge in this case,
1927 Save that I fere me the beaute of your face
1928 Sholde therin blynde hym so that he ne myght
1929 Egally disserne the wronge fro the right.

1930 And if he were half so wyse a man in dede
1931 As he reputeth hym self for to be,
1932 Upon your saide answere he sholde not nede
1933 To gaynesay in this matter or travers with me.
1934 My noblenes is knowen thorow all the cyte --
1935 He knoweth hym selfe the noblenes of my kyn --
1936 And at that one poynt my proces I wyll begyne.

1937 Amonge all thistoryes of Romaynes that ye rede,
1938 Where fynde ye ony blode of so gret noblenes
1939 As hath ben the Cornelys wherof I am brede?
1940 And if so be that I wolde therin holde my pease,
1941 Yet all your cornecles beryth gode witnes
1942 That my progenytours and auncetours have be
1943 The chefe ayde and diffence of this noble cyte

1944 How ofte have myne auncetours in tymes of necessite
1945 Delyverd this cyte from dedely parell
1946 As well by theyr manhode as by theyr police?
1947 What jeopardi and paine they have suffred in the quarell
1948 Thempire to encrece and for the comune wele
1949 It nedith not the specialties to reherse or name
1950 Sith every trew Romaine knoweth the same.

1951 In every mannys howse that histories be rife
1952 And wrytten in bookis, as in some placis be
1953 The gestis of Arthur, or of Alexandyrs life,
1954 In the whiche stories ye may evidently se
1955 And rede how Cartage, that royall cyte,
1956 By Cipion of Affrick, my grete graunte-sire,
1957 Subduede was and also ascribede to his empire.

1958 And many other cyties that dyde conspire
1959 Ayenst the noble senatoure makynge resistence,
1960 As often as necessite did it require
1961 They were reducyd unto due obedience
1962 Eyther by the policy or by the violence
1963 Of my sayde aunceters: thistories be playne
1964 And witnesse that I speke not these wordis in vayne

1965 My blode hath ever takyn suche payne
1966 To salve garde the comune wele fro ruyn and decay,
1967 That by one advyse the Cenat dyde ordeyne
1968 Them to be namyd the faders of the contray,
1969 And so were myne auctours reputed alway,
1970 For in every nede they dyde upon them call
1971 For helpe as the chylde doth on the fader naturall.

1972 How be it, to praye them it was no nede at all,
1973 For of their owne myndis they were redy alway.
1974 In tokyn of the same, for a memoriall
1975 Of theyr desertis the cytie dyde edifye
1976 Triumphall arches, wheruppon ye may
1977 To my grete honour se at this day
1978 Thymages of myn auncetours evyn by and by
1979 Bycause that theyr noblenes sholde never dye.

1980 In token also that they were worthy
1981 Grete honour and prayse of all the contray,
1982 It is commaunded and used generally
1983 That every cytezen that passith that way
1984 By the sayde images, he must obey
1985 And to that fygures make a due reverence,
1986 And ellis to the lawes he dothe grete offence.

1987 Sith it is so than that of convenience
1988 Suche honoure and homage must nedis be do
1989 To these dede ymagis, than muche more reverence
1990 To me sholde be gevyn -- I trow ye thinke so --,
1991 For I am theyr very ymage and relyque to
1992 Of theyr flesch and blode, and veray inherytoure
1993 As well of theyr godes as of theyr sayde honoure.

1994 To me they have left many a castell and toure
1995 Whiche in theyr triumphes thay rightfully wan.
1996 To me they have also left all theyr tresoure
1997 In suche abundaunce that I trow no man
1998 Within all Rome, sith it fyrst began,
1999 Had half the store as I understonde
2000 That I have evyn now at ons in my honde.

2001 Lo, in these thyngis my noblenes doth stonde,
2002 Whiche in myne oppynyon suffiseth for this intent
2003 And I trow there is no man throwgh all this londe
2004 Of Italy, but if he were here present
2005 He wolde to my sayng in this matter assent
2006 And gyve unto me the honoure and preeminence
2007 Rather than make agayne me resistence.

2008 I marvayle gretly what shulde thy mynde insence
2009 To thinke that thy tytle therin sholde be gode.
2010 Parde, thow canst not say for thy deffence
2011 That ever there was gentilman of thy kyn or blode
2012 And if there were oone, it wolde be understode
2013 Without it be thy self, whiche now of late
2014 Among noble gentylmen playest check mate

2015 Lucres. No more therof, I pray you Suche wordis I hate,
2016 And I dyde forbid you them at the begynnyng
2017 To eschue thoccasyon of stryfe and debate.

2018 Gayus. Nay, let hym alone -- he spekyth after his lernyng
2019 For I shall answer hym to every thyng
2020 Whan he hath all said, if ye woll here me,
2021 As I thinke ye wyll of your equyte

2022 Cornelius. Abide, I must make an ende fyrst, parde.
2023 To you, swete Lucres, I wolde have said beffore
2024 That yf ye wyll to my desyre in this matter agre,
2025 Doubtles ye shall blesse the tyme that ever ye were bore,
2026 For riches shall ye have at your will ever more
2027 Without care or study of laboriouse besynes,
2028 And spend all your dayes in ease and plesaunt idelnesse.

2029 About your owne apparell ye can do non excesse
2030 In my company that sholde displese my mynd
2031 With me shall ye do non other maner of besynes
2032 But hunt for your solace at the hart and hynde,
2033 And some tyme where we convenient game fynde
2034 Oure hawkis shal be redy to shew you a flight
2035 Whiche shal be right plesaunt and chereful to your sight.

2036 And yf so be that in huntyng ye have no delyght,

2038 Than may ye daunce a whyle for your disport.
2039 Ye shall have at your pleasure both day and night
2040 All maner of mynstralsy to do you comfort
2041 Do what thyng ye wyll, I have to support
2042 Our chargis, and over that I may susteyne
2043 At myne owne fyndyng an hundred or twayne.

2044 And as for hym, I am certayn
2045 Hys auncetours were of full poore degre,
2046 All be it that now withyn a yere or twayne,
2047 Bycause that he wold a gentilman be,
2048 He hath hym goten both office and fee,
2049 Whiche after the rate of hys wrechyd sparyng

2051 Suffiseth scarsely for hys bare lyvynge.

2052 Wherfore swete Lucres, it were not accordyng
2053 For your grete beaute with hym to dwell,
2054 For there sholde ye have a threde bare lyvynge
2055 With wrechyd scarcenes, and I have herde tell
2056 That maydens of your age love not ryght well
2057 Suche maner of husbondis, without it be thay
2058 That forceth lytyll to cast them self away.

2059 I mene specyally for suche of theru as ruay
2060 Spede better if they wyll, as ye be yn the case.
2061 And therfore Lucres, what so ever he wyll say
2062 Hys title agaynst you to force and embrace,
2063 Ye shall do your owen selfe to grete a trespas
2064 Yf ye folow hys part and enclyne therto.
2065 Now say what ye wyll, syr, for I have all doo.

2066 Gayus. With ryght gode will I shall go to,
2067 So that ye will here me with as grete pacience
2068 As I have harde you -- reason wolde soo.
2069 And what so ever I shall speke in this audience,
2070 Eyther of myn owne meritis or of hys insolence,
2071 Yet fyrst unto you all, syrs, I make this request:
2072 That it wolde lyke you to construe it to the best.

2073 For lothe wolde I be as ony creature
2074 To boste of myne owne dedis -- it was never my gyse.
2075 On that other syde, loth I am to make ony reportur
2076 Of this mans foly or hym to dispice.
2077 But never the lesse this matter towchith me in suche wise
2078 That what so ever ye thinke in me, I must procede
2079 Unto the veray trouth therof as the matter is in dede.

2080 To make a grete rehersall of that ye have saide
2081 The tyme will not suffre, but never the lesse
2082 Two thingis for your self in substaunce ye have layd
2083 Whiche as ye suppose maketh for your nobles,
2084 Upon the whiche thingis dependith all your processe:
2085 Fyrst, of your auncetours ye allege the noble gestis,
2086 Secondly, the substaunce that ye have of theyr bequestis.

2087 In the whiche thingis onely, by your owne confession,
2088 Standeth all your noblenes -- this sayd ye beffore.
2089 Whereunto this I say under the correction
2090 Of Lucres oure jugge here, that ye ar never the more
2091 Worthy in myne oppynion to be callyd noble therfore,
2092 And withoute ye have better causes to shew than these,
2093 Of reson ye must the victory of this matter lese.

2094 To the fyrst parte as touching your auncetours dedis,
2095 Some of them were noble lyke as ye declare --
2096 Thestoris bereth witnes, I must graunt them nedis.
2097 But yet for all that, some of them ware
2098 Of contrary dposycion like as ye are,
2099 For they dyde no proffite -- no more do ye --
2100 To the comon wele of this noble cytie.

2101 Yf ye wyll the title of noblenes wynne,
2102 Shew what have ye done your self therfore.
2103 Some of your owne meritis let se bryng in,
2104 Yf ever ye dyde ony syth ye were bore.
2105 But surely ye have no suche thyng in store
2106 Of your owne meritis wherby of right
2107 Ye shulde appere noble to ony mannys sight.

2108 But neverthelesse I wyll you not blame
2109 Thowgh ye speke not of your owne dedis at all.
2110 And to say the trowght, ye may not for shame:
2111 Your lyfe is so voluptuouse and so bestiall
2112 In folowynge of every lust sensuall
2113 That I marvaille no thynge in my mynde
2114 Yf ye leve your owne dedis behynde.

2115 He wenyth that by hys proude contenaunce
2116 Of worde and dede, with nyse aray,
2117 Hys grete othys, and open mayntenaunce
2118 Of theftis and murdres every day,
2119 Also hys ryotouse disportis and play,
2120 Hys sloth, his cowardy, and other excesse,
2121 Hys mynde disposed to all unclennesse --
2122 By these thyngis oonly he shall have noblenesse.

2123 Nay, the title of noblenes wyll not ensue
2124 A man that is all gevyn to suche insolence,
2125 But it groweth of longe continued vertu,
2126 As I trust, lady, that youre indifference
2127 Can well diffyne by your sentence.
2128 Hys auncetours were not of suche condicion,
2129 But all contrary to hys disposicyon.

2130 And therfore they were noble withouten faile,
2131 And dyde grete honoure to all the contrey.
2132 But what can theyr sayde noblenes advayle
2133 To hym that takyth a contrary way? --
2134 Of whome men spekith every day
2135 So grete dishonoure, that it is marvel
2136 The contrey suffereth hym therin to dwelle.

2137 And where he to-wyteth me of pore kyn,
2138 He doth me therin a wrongfull offence.
2139 For no man shall thankis or praysyng wyn
2140 By the gyftis that he hath of natures influence.
2141 Lyke wyse I thinke by a contrary sense
2142 That if a man be borne blynde or lame,
2143 Not he hym selfe but nature therin is to blame.

2144 Therfor he doth not me therin repreve.
2145 And as for that poynt, this I wott welle,
2146 That both he and I cam of Adam and Eve.
2147 There is no difference that I can tell
2148 Whiche makith oon man an other to excell
2149 So moche as doth vertue and godely maner,
2150 And therin I may well with hym compare

2151 How be it, I speke it not for myne one prayse,
2152 But certeynly this hath ever be my condicion:
2153 I have borne unto God all my daies
2154 His laude and prayse with my due devocion,
2155 And next that I bere allwayes
2156 To all my neyghbours charitable affeccyon.
2157 Incontynency and onclennes I have had in abhominacion,
2158 Lovyng to my frende and faythfull with all,
2159 And ever I have withstonde my lustis sensuall.

2160 One tyme with study my tyme I spende
2161 To eschew idelnes, the causer of syn.
2162 An other tyme my contrey manly I deffend,
2163 And for the victoryes that I have done therin,
2164 Ye have sene your selfe, syr, that I have come in
2165 To this noble cytee twyse or thryse
2166 Crownyd with lawryel as it is the gyse.

2167 By these wayes, lo, I do aryse
2168 Unto grete honoure fro low degre,
2169 And yf myn heires will do likewyse
2170 Thay shal be brought to nobles by me.
2171 But Cornely, it semyth by the
2172 That the nobles of thyn auncetours everycheon
2173 Shall utterly starve and die in the alone.

2174 And where he to-witeth me on that other syde
2175 Of small possession and grete scarcenes,
2176 For all that, lady, if ye will with me abidde
2177 I shall assure you of moderate richesse,
2178 And that sufficient for us both doutles.
2179 Ye shall have also a man accordyng
2180 To youre owne condicions in every thing

2181 Now Lucres, I have shewyd unto you a parte
2182 Of my title that I clayme you by,
2183 Besechynge you therfore with all my hart
2184 To considre us both twayne indifferently,
2185 Whiche of us twayne ye will rather alow
2186 More worthy for nobles to marry with you

2187 Lucres. Syrs, I have hard you both at large.

2188 Cornelius. Nay, abide Lucres, I pray you hertly
2189 Sithe he leyeth many thynges to my charge,
2190 Suffre that I may therunto repply.

2191 Lucres. Iwis, replication shall not be necessary
2192 Withoute that ye have some other thing in store
2193 To shew for your self than ye dyde beffore.

2194 Cornelius. Why lady, what thing will ye desyre more
2195 Than I have shewyd to make for noblenes?

2196 Lucres. Yes, som thyng ther ys that makyth therfore
2197 Better than ye have shewid in your processe
2198 But now let me se what man of witnes
2199 Or what other proves will ye forth bryng
2200 By the whiche eyther of you may justifie his sayng?

2201 Gayus. As for my parte, I wyll stonde gladly
2202 To the commune voyce of all the contrey.

2203 Lucres. And ye lyke wyse syr?

2204 Cornelius. Ye certaynly,
2205 I shall in no wyse your worde dissobey.

2206 Lucres. Than wyll I betwyxt you both take this way:
2207 I shall go enquyre as faste as I may
2208 What the commune fame wyll theryn reporte,
2209 And whan I have therof a due evidence,
2210 Than shall I agayne to you resorte
2211 To shew you thopynyon of my sentence
2212 Whome I wyll jugge to have the preemynence.

2213 Cornelius. Nay, fayre Lucres, I you requyre-
2214 Let me not now depart in vayne
2215 Not knowyng theffect of my desyre.

2216 Lucres. Syr, allthough it be to you a payne,
2217 Yet must ye do so evyn both twayne.
2218 Eche of you depart hens to hys owne place,
2219 And take no more labour or payne in this case.

2220 For as towchyng theffect of my sentence,
2221 I shall go write it by gode advysement
2222 Sone after that I am departed fro hens.
2223 And than to eyther of you both shalbe sent
2224 A copy of the same, to this intent:
2225 That of none other person it shall be sayn
2226 Sith it concerneth but onely unto you twayne.

2227 Gayus. This is a gode waye as in my mynde.
2228 Ar not ye, syr, content in lyke wyse?

2229 Cornelius. I wot nere, yet I wyll prayse as I fynde
2230 And as I have cause -- that is evyr my gyse

2231 Gayus. Well Lucres, will ye commaunde me ony servyce?

2232 Lucres. No servyce at all, syr. Why say ye so?
2233 Our Lorde spede you both where so ever ye goo.

Et exeant Publius Corneus et Gaius Flaminius.

2235 Now som mayde, happely, and she were in my case,
2236 Wolde not take that way that I do intend,
2237 For I am fully determyned with Godis grace
2238 So that to Gaius I wyll condyscend,
2239 For in this case I do hym commend
2240 As the more noble man, sith he thys wyse
2241 By meane of hys vertue to honoure doth aryse.

2242 And for all that, I wyll not dispise
2243 The blode of Cornelius -- I pray you thinke not so!
2244 God forbede that ye sholde note me that wyse,
2245 For truely I shall honoure them where so ever I go,
2246 And all other that be of lyke blode also.
2247 But unto the blode I wyll have lytyl respect
2248 Where the condicyons be synfull and abject.

2249 I pray you all, syrs, as meny as be here:
2250 Take not my wordis by a sinistre way.

2251 B. Yes, by my trouth, I shall witnes bere,
2252 Where so ever I be com a nother day,
2253 How suche a gentylwoman did opynly say
2254 That by a chorles son she wolde set more
2255 Than she wolde do by a gentylman bore.

2256 Lucres. Nay, syr, than ye report me amys

2257 B. I pray you tell me, how sayd ye than?

2258 Lucres. For God syr, the substaunce of my wordis was this:
2259 I say evyn as I saide whan I began,
2260 That for vertue excellent I will honoure a man
2261 Rather than for hys blode, if it so fall
2262 That gentil condicyons agre not with all.

2263 B. Than I put case that a gentilman bore
2264 Have godely maners to his birth accordyng.

2265 Lucres. I say, of hym is to be set gret store:
2266 Suche one is worthy more lawde and praysyng
2267 Than many of them that hath their begynnyng
2268 Of low kynred, ellis God forbede. --
2269 I wyll not afferme the contrary for my hede,

2270 For in that case ther may be no comparyson!
2271 But never the lesse I said this before,
2272 That a man of excellent vertuouse condicions,
2273 Allthough he be of a pore stoke bore,
2274 Yet I wyll honour and commende hym more
2275 Than one that is descendide of ryght noble kyn

2276 And therfore I have determyned utterly
2277 That Gaius Flaminius shall have his intent
2278 To hym onely I shall my self apply
2279 To use me in wedloke at his commaundement,
2280 So that to Cornelyus I wyll never assent
2281 Allthough he had as grete possession
2282 As ony one man in Cristen region.

2283 I shall in no wyse favour or love hys condicyon,
2284 How be it that his blode requyreth due reverence,
2285 And that shall I gyve hym with all submyssion --
2286 But yet shall he never have the preemynence
2287 To speke of very nobles by my sentence.
2288 Ye be hys servaunt syr--go your way
2289 And report to your mayster evyn as I say.

2291 B. Shall I do that erand? Nay, let be.
2292 By the rode, ye shall do it your selfe for me.
2293 I promyse you faythfully,

2294 I wolde my mayster had be in Scotland
2295 Whan he dyd put this matter in her hand
2296 To stond to her jugement.
2297 But forasmoche as it is so
2298 That this wrong to hym is doo
2299 By a woman, he must let it goo
2300 And holde hym content.

2301 But he is of suche disposycion
2302 That whan he hereth of this conclusion
2303 He wylbe starke madd --
2304 Ye by my trowth, as made as an hare!
2305 It shall make hym so full of care
2306 That he wyll with hym self fare
2307 Evyn as it were a lade!

2308 And so wold not I, so mote I thee.
2309 For this matter, and I were as he,
2310 It shulde never anger me,
2311 But this wold I do
2312 I wolde let her go in the mare name.

2313 A. What now, syrs, how goth the game?
2314 What, is this woman go?

2315 B. Ye, ye, man.

2316 A. And what way hathe she takyn?

2317 B. By my fayth, my mayster is forsakyn,
2318 And nedis she wyll agre
2319 Unto thy mayster -- thus she saieth,
2320 And many causes therfore she leyeth
2321 Why it shulde so be.

2322 A. I marvayle gretely wherof that grue.

2323 B. By my fayth, she saide -- I tell the true --
2324 That she wolde nedis have hym for his vertue
2325 And for none other thynge.

2326 A. Vertue? What the devyll is that?
2327 And I can tell, I shrew my catt,
2328 To myne understondynge

2329 B. By my fayth, no more can I.
2330 But this she said here opynly --
2331 All these folke can tell.

2332 A. How say ye, gode women? Is it your gyse
2333 To chose all your husbondis that wyse?
2334 By my trought, than I marvaile!

2335 B. Nay, this is the fere, so mot I goo.
2336 at men chise not theyr wyffis so
2337 In placis where I have be.
2338 For wiffis may well complayne and grone,
2339 Albe it that cause have they none
2340 That I can here or se
2341 But of weddyd men there be ryght fewe
2342 That welle not say the best is a shrew --
2343 Therin they all agree

2344 I warne you weddyd men everichone
2345 That other remede have ye none
2346 So moche for your ease,
2347 And ye wold study tyll tomoro
2348 But let them evyn alone -- with sorow!
2349 Whan they do you displease.

2350 A. Tusshe, here is no man that settyth a blank
2351 By thy consell or konneth the thank--
2352 Speke therof no more
2353 They know that remedy better than thow
2354 But what shall we twayne do now?
2355 I care most therfore --

2356 Me thinketh that matter wolde be wist

2357 B. Mary, we may goo hens whan we lyst --
2358 No man saith us nay.

2359 A. Why than, is the play all do?

2360 B. Ye, by my feyth, and we were ons go
2361 It were do streght wey.

2362 A. And I wolde have thought in vere dede
2363 That this matter sholde have procede
2364 To som other conclusion

2365 B. Ye, thou art a maister mery man. --
2366 Thou shall be wyse I wot nere whan.
2367 Is not the question

2368 Of noblenes now fully defynde
2369 As it may be so by a womans mynde?
2370 What woldyst thow have more?
2371 Thow toldest me that other day
2372 That all the substaunce of this play
2373 Was done specially therfor

2374 Not onely to make folke myrth and game,
2375 But that suche as be gentilmen of name
2376 May be somwhat movyd
2377 By this example for to eschew
2378 The wey of vyce and favour vertue;
2379 For syn is to be reprovyd

2380 More in them, for the degre,
2381 Than in other parsons such as be
2382 Of pour kyn and birth.
2383 This was the cause principall,
2384 And also for to do with all
2385 This company some myrth.

2387 And though the matter that we have playde
2388 Be not percase so wele conveyde
2389 And with so gret reason
2390 As thistory it self requyreth,
2391 Yet the auctour therof desyrith
2392 That for this season

2393 At the lest ye will take it in pacience.
2394 And yf ther be ony offence
2395 (Show us wherein or we go hence)
2396 Done in the same,
2397 It is onely for lacke of connynge,
2398 And not he but his wit runnynge
2399 Is thereof to blame.

2400 And glade wolde he be and ryght fayne
2401 That some man of stabyll brayne
2402 Wolde take on hym the labour and payne
2403 This mater to amende --
2404 And so he wyllyd me for to say
2405 And that done, of all this play
2406 Shortely here we make an end.


Source: J. S. Farmer's Recently recovered "lost" Tudor plays (1907); compared
with Alan Nelson's edition in The Plays of Henry Medwall. (1980).

© Copyright, 2007. From Stage to Page and Gerard NeCastro. All Rights Reserved.

All materials on this page are free to all users. We only ask two things of you. First, please be sure to cite the source properly: the citation is listed below. Second, if you would, please take one minute to say hello and tell us that you are using the pages: a quick email to would be perfect.

Proper Citation: Medwall, Henry. Fulgens. Fulgens and Lucrece. At From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. Date Visited.