From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

King Johan

John Bale

King Johan.
Sedicyon, also Stevyn Langton (or the Monke).
Cyvyle Order.
Dissymulacyon, also Raymundus, also Simon of Swinsett.
Usurpid Power, also The Pope.
Privat Welth, also Cardynall Pandulphus.
Imperyall Majestye.
The Interpretour.

[Enter King John.]
KYNGE JOHAN: To declare the powres and their force to enlarge
The Scriptur of God doth flow in most abowndaunce;
And of sophysteres the cauteles to dyscharge,
Bothe Peter and Pawle makyth plenteosse utterauns;
How that all pepell shuld shew there trew alegyauns
To ther lawfull kyng, Christ Jesu dothe consent,
Whych to the hygh powres was evere obedyent.

To shew what I am I thynke yt conyenyent:
Johan, Kyng of Ynglond, the cronyclys doth me call.
My granfather was an emperowre excelent,
My fathere, a kyng by successyon lyneall,.
A kyng my brother, lyke as to hym ded fall;
Rychard Cur-de-lyon, they callyd hym in Fraunce,
Whych had over enymyes most fortynable chaunce.

By the wyll of God, and his hygh ordynaunce
In Yerlond and Walys, in Angoye and Normandye,
In Ynglond also, I have had the govemaunce
I have worne the crowne and wrowght .vyctoryously;
And now do purpose by practyse and by stodye
To reforme the lawes and sett men in good order,
That tew justyce may be had in every dordere.
[Enter] Ynglond Vidua.
[ENGLANDE:] Than I trust yowr Grace wyll waye a poore wedowes cause,
Ungodly usyd, as ye shall know in short clause.
K. JOHAN. Yea, that I wyll swer, yf yt be trew and just.
ENGLANDE: Lyke as yt beryth trewdi, so lett yt be dyscust.
K. JOHAN: Than, gentyll wydowe, tell me what the mater ys.
ENGLANDE: Mas, yowr clargy hath done very sore amys
In mysusyng me ageynst all ryght and justice;
And for my more greffe therto they other intyce.
K. JOHAN: Whom do they intyce for to do the injurye?
ENGLANDE: Soch as hath enterd by false hypocrysye,
Moch worse frutes havyng than hathe the thornes unplesaunt,
For they are the trees that God dyd never plant,
And, as Christ dothe saye, blynd leaders of the blynd.
K. JOHAN: Tell me whom thow menyst, to satysly my mynd.
ENGLANDE: Suche lubbers as liath dysgysed heades in their hoodes,
Whych in ydelnes do lyve by other menns goodes:
Monkes, chanons, and nones, in dyvers coloure and shappe,
Bothe whyght, blacke and pyed - God send thet increase yll happe!
K. JOHAN: Lete me know thy name or I go ferther with the.
ENGLANDE: Ynglond, syr, Ynglond my name is; ye may trust me.
K. JOHAN: I mervell ryght sore how thow commyst chaungyd thus.
[Enter Sedition.)
SEDICYON: What, you ij alone? I wyll tell tales, by Jesus!
And saye that I see yow fall here to bycherye.
K. JOHAN: Avoyd, lewde person, for thy wordes are ungodlye.
SEDICYON: I crye yow mercy, sur. I pray yow be not angrye.
Be my fayth and trowth, I cam hyther to be merye.
K. JOHAN: Thow canst with thy myrth in no wysse dyscontent me,
So that thow powder yt with wysdom and honeste.
SEDICYON: 1 am no spycer, by the messel Ye may beleve me.
K. JOHAN: I speke of no spyce, but of cyvyle boneste.
SEDICY oN: Ye spake of powder, by the Holy Trynyte!
~ joH AN: Not as thow takyst yt, of a grosse capasyte,
But as Seynt Pawle me anyth unto the Collessyans playne:
'So seasyne yowr speche, that yt be with-owt dysdayne.'
Now, Ynglond, to the: go thow forth with thy tale
And showe the cawse why thow lokyst so wan and pale.
ENGLANDE: I told yow be-fore the faulte was in the clergye
That I, a wedow, apere to yow so barelye.
SEDICYON: Ye are a Wylly Wat, and wander here full warelye!
K. JOHAN: Why in the Ł~iargye, do~ me to understande.
ENGLANDE: For they take from me my cattell, howse and land,
My wodes and pasturs, with other commodyteys.
Lyke as Christ ded saye to the wyckyd Pharyseys,
'Pore wydowys howsys ye grosse up by long prayers,'
In syde cotys wandryng lyke most dysgysed players.
SEDICYON: They are well at ese that hath soch soth-sayers.
K. JOHAN: They are thy chylderne; thou owghtest to say the[m] good.
ENGLANDE: Nay, bastardes they are, unnaturall, by the rood!
Sens ther begynn~yng they ware never good to me.
The wyld bore of Rome - God let~hym never to thee
Lyke pyggys they folow, in fantysyes, dreames and lyes,
And ever are fed with his vyle cerymonyes.
SEDICYON: Nay, sumtyme they eate bothe flawnes and pygyn-pyes.
K. JOHAN: By~the bore of Rome, I trow thow menyst the Pope.
ENGLANDE: I mene non ~other but hym, God -geve hym a rope!
K. JOHAN: And why dost thow thus compare hym to a swyne?
ENGLANDE: For that he and his to such bestlynes inclyne.
They forsake Godes word whych is most puer and deane,
And unto the lawys of synfull men they leane.
Lyke as the vyle swyne the most vyle metes dessyer
And hath gret plesure to walowe them-selvys in myr;
So hath this wyld bore, with his church unyversall,
His sowe with hyr pygys and monstres bestyall,
Dylyght in mennys draffe and covytus lucre all
Yea, aper de sylva the prophet dyd hym call.
SEDICYON: Hold yowr peace, ye whore, or ellys, by masse, I trowe,
I shall cawse- the Po~pe to curse the as blacke as a crowe.
K. JOHAN: What arte thow, felow, that seme so braggyng bolde?
SEDICYON: I am Sedycyon, that with the Pope wyll hold
So long as I have a hole~within my breche.
ENGLANDE: Commaund this felow to avoyd, I yow beseche,
For dowghtles he hath don me great injury.
K. JOHAN: A-voyd, lewd felow, or thow shalt rewe yt truly.
SEDICYON: I wyll not awaye for that same wedred wytche;
She shall rather kysse whereas it doth not ytche.
Quodcumque ligaveris I trow wyll playe soch a parte
That I shall abyde in Englond, magry yowr harte.
Tush, the Pope ableth me to subdewe bothe kyng and keyser.
K JOHAN: Off that thow and ~wy~ll common more at leyser.
ENGLANDE: Trwly of the devyll they are that do onythyng
To the subdewyng of ony Christen -kyng;
For be he good or- bade, he is of Godes apoyntyng:
The good for the good, the badde ys for yll doyng.
K~ J OHAN: Of that we shall talke here-after: say forth thy mynd~ now
And show me how thou art- thus be-cum- a wedowe.
ENGLANDE: Thes vyle popych swyne hath clene exyled my hosband.
K. 3OHAN: Who ys thy husbond? Tel me, g6od gentyll Yngland.
ENGLANDE: For soth, God hym self; the spowse of every sort
That seke hym in fayth to ther sowlys heith and comfort.
SEDICYON: He ys scant honest that so many wyfes wyll have.
K. JOHAN: I saye hold yowr peace and stond asyde tyke a knave!
Ys God exylyd owt of this Regyon? Tell me.
EN-GLANDE: Yea, that he is;ser, yr is the much more pete.
K JOHAN: How commyth-yt to passe that he is thus abusyd?
EN-GLANDE: Ye know he abydyth not where his word ys refusyd,
For God is his word, lyke as Seynt John dothe tell
In the begynnyng of~his moste blyssyd gospell.
The Popys pyggys may not abyd this word to be hard,
Nor knowyn of pepyll, or had in anye regari
Ther eyes are so sore they maye not abyd the lyght,
And that bred so hard ther gald gummes may yt not byght.
I, knowyng yowr grace to have here the governance
By the gyft of God, do knowlege my allegeance,
Desyeryng yowr Grace to waye suche injuryes
As I daylye suffer by thes same subtylt spyes.
And lett me have ryght as ye are a ryghtfiill kyng,
Apoyntyd of God to have such mater in doyng;
For God -wyllyth yow to helpe the pore wydowes cause,
As he by Esaye protesteth in this same clause:
Querite judicium, subvenite oppresso,
Judicate pupilio, defendite viduam.
Seke ryght to poor; to the weake and faterlesse,
Defende the wydowe w han she is in dystresse.
SEDICYON: I tell ye, the woman ys in great hevynes.
K. 3OHAN: I may not in no wyse leve thi ryght undyscust;
For God hath sett me by his apoyntment just
To flirther thy cause and to mayntayne thi ryght,
And therefor I wylt supporte the daye and nyght.
So tong as my symple lyffe shall here indewer,
I wyll se the have no wrong, be fast and swer.
I wyll fyrst of all call my nobylyte,
Dwkis, .erlyes and lordes, yche on in ther degre;
Next them the clargy, or fathers 5~irituall,
Archebysshopes, bysshoppes, abbottes, and pryers all;
Than the great juges, and lawers everychon,
So opyny[n)g to them~thi cause and petyflill mon;
By the meanys wherof I shall iher myndes un~derstande.
Yf they helpe the not, my-selfe wyll take yt in hand;
And sett such a waye as shall be to thi comforte.
EN- GLANDE: Than for an answare I wyll shortly ageyne- resort.
K JOHAN: Do, Ynglond, hardly, and thow shalt have remedy.
ENGLANDE: God reward yowr Grace, I b&seche hym hartely,
And send yow longe dayes to governe this realme in peace!
K JOHAN: Gramercy; Yngland, and send the plentyus - increse.
Go owt Ynglond and drese for Clargy.
SEDICYON: Of bablyng matters, I trow, yr is tyme to cease.
K. JOH AN: Why dost thow call them bablyng maters? Tell me.
SEDICYON: For they are not worth the- shakyng of a per-tre
Whan the peres are gon; they are hut dyble-dable.
I marvell ye can abyd suche byble-bable.
K. JOHAN: Thow semyst to be a man of symple dyscrescyon.
SEDICYON: Alas, that ye are not a pryst to here confessyon.
K JOHAN: why for confessyon? Lett me know th~~i fantasye.
SEDICYON: Becawse that ye are a man so full of mercy;
Namely to women that wepe with a hevy harte
whan they in the churche hath lett but a lytyll farte.
K. JOHAN: I perseyve well now thow speakyst all this in- mockage
Becawse I take parte with Englandes ryghifull herytage.
Say thu what thow wylt, her mater shall not peryshe.
SEDICYON: Yt is joye of hym that women so can cheryshe.
K. JOHAN: God hathe me~~ordeynned in this same princely estate
For that I shuld helpe such as be desolate.
SEDICYON: Yt is~ as great pyte to se a woman wepe
As yt is to se a sely dodman crepe,
Or, as ye wold say, a sely goose go barefote.
K. JOHAN: Thow semyste by th~y wordes to have no more wytt than a coote.
I mervell thow arte to Englond so un-naturall:
Beyng her owne chyld, thou art worse than a best brutall.
SEDICYON: I am not her chyld! I defye hyr, by the messe!
I her sonne, quoth he? I had rather she were hedlesse.
Thowgh I sumtyme be in Englond for my pastaunce,
Yet was I neyther borne here, in Spayne nor in Fraunce,
But under the Pope in the holy cyte of Rome,
And there wyll I dwell un-to the daye of dome.
K JOHAN: But what is thy name? T~l me yett onys agayne.
SEDICYON: As I sayd afore, I am Sedycyon playne:
In every relygyon and munkysh secte I rayne,
Havyng yow prynces in scorn, hate and dysdayne.
K. JOHAN: I pray the, good frynd, tell me what ys thy facyon. - --
SEDICYON: Serche and ye shall fYfld-in every congregacyon
That long to- the Pope,- for they are to me flill swer,
And wyll be so long as they last and endwer.
K. JOHAN: Yff thow be a cloysterer, tell of what order thow art.
SEDICYON: In every estate of-the clargye I ~aye a part:
Sumtyme I can be a monke in a long syd cowle;
Sumtyme I can be a none and joke lyke an owle;
Sumtyme a chann9n in a syrples fayer and w~hyght;
A chapterhow~se monke 5umtym I apere in syght;
I am ower Syre John sumtyme, with a new shaven crowne;
Sumtyme the person, and swepe the stretes with a syd gowne;
Sumtyme the bysshoppe with a myter and a cope;
A graye fryer sumtyme, with cutt shoes and a rope;
Sumtyme I can playe the whyght monk; sumtyme the fryer,
The purgatory prist and every-mans wyffe desyer.
This cumpany hath provyded for rne morttmayne,
For that I myght ever among ther sort remayne.
Yea, to go farder, sumtyme I am a cardynall
Yea, sumtyme a Pope, and than am I lord over all,
Bothe in hevyn and erthe and also in purgatory,
And do weare iii crownes whan I am in my glorye.
K. JOHAN: But what doeste thow here in England? Tell me shortlye.
SEDICYON: I hold upp the Pope, as in other places many,
For his ambassador I am contynwally,
In Sycell, in Na~e~s, in Venys and Ytalye,
In Pole, Spruse and B~ek)ne, in Denmarke~ and Lumbardy;
In Aragon, in Spayne, in Fraunce and in Germanye,
In Ynglond, in Scotlond, and in other regyons elles.
For his holy cawse I mayntayne traytors and rebelles,
- That no prince can have his peples obedyence,
Except yt doth stand with the Popes prehemynence.
K JOHAN: Gett the hence, thow knave, and moste presumptuows wreche,
Or as I am trew kyng, thow shalt an halter strechel
We wyll thow know yt, owr powr ys of God,
And therfor we wyll so execute the rod
That no lewde pryst shall be able to mayneteyne the.
I se now they be at to mych lyberte;
We wyll short ther homys, yf God send tyme and space.
SEDICY6N: Than I in Englon[d) am lyke to have no place?
K JOHAN: No, that thow arte not, and therfor a-voyd apace!
SEDICYON: By the holy masse, I must lawgh to here yowr grace!
Ye suppose and thynke that ye cowd me subdewe.
Ye shall never fYnd yowr supposycyon trewe,
Thowgh ye wer as strong as Hector and Diomedes,
Or as valyant as ever was Achylles.
Ye are well content that bysshoppes contynew styli?
K. JOHAN: We are so in dede, yf they ther dewte fiilIf~ll.
SEDICYON: Nay than, good inowgh! Yowr awtoryte and powrr
Shall passe as they wyll; they have sawce bothe swet and sowr.
K. JOHAN: What mennyst thow by that? Shew me thi - intente this howre.
SEDICYON: They are Godes vycars: they can both save and ldse. 140
K. JOHAN: Ah, thy meenyng ys that they maye a prynce - despose.
SEDICYON: By the rood, they may, and that wyll appere by yow.
K. JOHAN: Be the helpe of God, we shall se to that well i-now.
SEDIcYON: Nay, that ye can not, thowgh ye had Argus eyes,
In abbeyes they have so meny suttyll spyes.
-For ones in the yere they have secret vysytacyons,
And yf ony prynce reforme ther ungodly facyons,
Than ii of the monkes must forthe to Rome by and by
With secrett letters to avenge ther injury.
For a thowsand pownd they shirake not in soch matter,
And yet for the tyme the prynce to his face, they flater.
I am ever-more ther gyde and ther advocate.
K. JOHAN: Than with the bysthoppes and monkes thou art checke mate?
SEDICYON: I dwell among them and amone of ther sorte.
K JOHAN: For thy~ sake they-shall of me have but small comforte;
Loke, wher I fynd the, that place wyl~I put downe.
SEDICYON: what yf ye do chance to f~nd me in every towne
Where as is fownded any sect monastycall?
K. JOHAN: I pray God I synke yfI dystroye them not all!
SEDICYON: Well yf ye so do, yett know I where to dwell.
K. JOHAN: Thow art not skoymose thy fantasy for to tell.
SEDICYON: Gesse at a venture, ye may chance the marke to hytt.
K. JOHAN: Thy falssed to shew, no man than thy selfe more hytt~
SEDICYON: Mary, in confessyon under-nethe benedicite.
K JOHAN: Nay tell yt ageyne that I may understond the.
SEDICYON: I saye I can dwell whan all other placys fayle me
In ere confessyon undernethe henedicite,
And whan I am ther the~~pryst may not bewray me.
K. JO H AN: Why, wyll ere confesshon soch a secret traytor be?
SEDICYON: Whan all other fayle, he is so swre as stele.
Offend Holy Churche and I warant ye shall yt fele;
For by confessyon the Holy Father knoweth
Throw-out all Christendom what to his holyne~s growth.
K JOHAN: Oh, where ys Nobylyte, that he myght knowe - thys falshed?
SEDICYON: Nay, he is becum a meyntener of owr godhed.
I know that he wyll do Holy Chyrch no wronge,
For I am his gostly father and techear amonge.
He belevyth nothyng but as Holy Chyrch doth tell.
K. JOHAN: Why, geveth he no credence to Cristes holy Gosp~l?
SEDICYON: No, ser, by the messe, but he callyth them herytyckes
That preche the Gospell, and sedycyows scysmatyckes;
He tache them, vex them, from preson to preson he turne them,
- He indygth them, juge them, and in conclusyon he burne them.
K. JOHAN: We rewe to here this of owr Nobylyte;
But in this behalfe what seyst of the spretuallte?
SEDICYON: Of this lam swer: to them to be no stranger,
And spesyally, whan ther honor ys in dawnger.
K. JOHAN: We triist owr lawers have no such wyckyd
SEDICYON: Yes, they m~any-tymys are my most-secrett fryndes.
With faythfull precheres- they can play leger-demayne,
And with falce colores procure them to be slayn
K. JOHAN: I perseyve this.worlde is flill of iniquite.
As God wold have yt, here cummyth Nobylyte.
SEDICYON: Doth he so in dede? By owr Lord, than wyll I hencel
K. JOHAN; Thow saydest thou woldyst dwell where he kep~yth resydence.
SEDICYON: Yea, but ~st of all I must chaunge myn apparell
Unto a bysshoope,to maynetayene wi~th my quarell,
To a monke or pryst or to sum holy fryer.
I shuld never elles accomplych my dysyre.
K. 3OHAN:-Why, art thow goyng? Naye, brother, thow shalte not hence.
SEDICYON: I wold not be sene as I am for fortye pence.
Whan I am relygyouse I wyll returne agayne.
K.~JOHAN: Thow shalt tary here, or I must put the to- payne.
SEDICYON: I-have a great mynd to be a lecherous man
A wengonce take ytl I wold saye a relygyons man.
I wyll go and dim so fast as evyre I can.
K. JOHAN: Tush, dally not with mel I saye thou shalt abyde.
SEDICyO~: Wene yow to hold me that I shall not slyppe asyde?
K. JOHAN: Make no more prattyng, for I saye thou shalt abyde.
SEDICYON: Stoppe not my passage, I must over see at the next tyde.
K. JOHAN: I wyll ordeyne so, I trowe, thou shalt not over.
SEDICYON: Tush, tush, I am sewer of redy passage at Dover.
Her go out Sedwsion and drese for Syvyll Order.
K. JOHAN: The devyll go with hym! The unthryftye knave is gon.
[Enter Nobility.]
NOBYLYTE: Troble not yow~r-sylfe with no soch dyssolute persone,
For ye knowe full well, very lyttell honeste
Ys gote at- flier handes in every commynnalte.
K. JOHAN: This is but dallyaunce; ye do not speke as ye thynke.
NOBYLYTE: By my trowthe I do, or elles I wold I shuld synke.
K. JOHAN: Than must I marvell at yow of all men lyvynge.
NOBYLYTE: Why mervell at me? Tell me yowr very menyng.
K. JOHAN: For no man levyng is in more famylyerite
With that wycked wrech, yf~it be trew that he told me.
NOBYLYTE: What wrech speke ye of? For Jesus love, intymate.
K. JOHAN: Of that presumtous wrech that was with me here of late,
Whom yow wyllyd not to vexe my-selfe with-all.
NOBYLYTE: I know hym? Not I, by the waye that my sowll to shall!
K. JOH AN; Make yt not so strange, for ye know hym wyll mow.
NOBYLYTE: B~eve me yff ye wylil I know hym not, I -assuer yow.
K. JO H A N: Ware ye never yett aquantyd with Sedissyon?
NOBYLYTE: Syns I was a chyld, both hym and his condycyon
I ever hated for his iniquite.
K. JOHAN: A clere tokyn that is of trew nobelyte;
But I pray to God we fynde yt not other-wyse.
[Enter Clergye.]
Yt was never well syns the clargy wrowght by practyse
And left the Scriptur for mens ymagynacyons,
Dyvydyng them-selvys in so many congrygacyons
Of monkes, chanons and fryers, of dyvers colors and facyons.
CLERGYE: I do trust yowr grace wyll be as lovyng now
As yowr predysessours have bene to us before yow.
K. JOHAN: I wyll suer wey my love with yowr behavers:
Lyke as ye deserve, so wyll I bere yow favers.
Clargy, marke yt well, I have more to yow to say
Than, as the sayeng is, the prist dyd speke a Sonday.
CLERGYE: Ye wyli do us no wrong, I hope, nor injurye.
K JOHAN: No, I wyll do yow ryght in seyng yow do yowr dewtye.
We know the cawtelles of yowr sotyll companye.
CLERGYE: Yf ye do us wrong we shall seke remedy.
K. JOHAN: Yea, that is the cast ofall yowr company.
Whan kynges correcte yow~~for yowr actes most ungodly,
To the Pope, syttyng in the chayer of pestoolens,
Ye ronne to remayne in yowr concupysens.
Thus sett ye at ~nowght all -princely prehemynens,
Subdewyng the ordere of dew obedyens.
But with4n a .whyle I shall so abate yowr pryde
That to yowr popet ye shall noyther runne nor ryde;
But ye shall be glad to seke to me, yowr prynce,
For all such maters as shall be with in this provynce,
Lyke as God wyllyth y~ow by his Scripture evydente.
NOBYLYTE: To the Church I trust ye wyll be obedyent.
K.- JO HAN: No mater to yow whether I be so or no.
NOBYLYTE: Yes, mary, is yt, for I am sworne therunto.
I toke a great othe whan I was dubbyd a knyght
Ever to defend the Holy Churc~hes ryght.
CLERGYE: Yea, and in her quarell ye owght onto deth to fyght.
K. JOHAN: Lyke backes, in the darke y[e] alweys take yowr flyght,
Flytteryng in fanseys, and ever abhorre the lygh~
I rew yt in hart that yow, Nobelyte,
Shuld thus bynd yowr-selfe to the grett captyvyte
Of blody Babulon, the gr9wnd and mother of whordom,
The Romych Churche I meane, more vyle than ever was Sodom,
And to say the trewth, a mete spowse for the fyiid.
CLERGYE: Yowr grace ys fare gonne; God send yow a better mynd!
K. JOHAN: Hold yowr peace, I say! Ye are a lytyll to fatte.
In a whyle, I hope, ye shall be lener sumwhatte.
[Enter Cyvyle Order.]
We shall loke to yow, and to Civyle Order also.
Ye walke not so secrett but we know wher abowght ye goo.
CYVYLE ORDER: Why, yowr grace hath no cawse with me to be dysplesyd.
K. JOHAN: All thynges consyderyd, we have small cause to be plesyd.
CYVYLE ORDER: I be-sech yowr grace to graunt me a word or too.
K. JOHAN: Speke on yowr pleasur and yowr hole mynd also.
CYVYLE ORDER: Ye know very welt to set all thynges in order~
I have moche ado, and many thynges passe fro me
For yowr common welth, an~d that in every border,
For offyces, for londes, for lawe, and for lyberte.
And for traun[s]gressors I appoynt the penalte,
That cytes arid townes maye stand in qulotose peace,
That all theft and murder, with other vyce, maye seace.
Yff I have chaunsed for want of cyrcumspeccyon
To passe the lymytes of ryght and equite,
I submyte my-selfe unto yowr Graces correccyon,
Desyryng pardon of yowr benyngnyte.
I wot I maye fall throwgh my fragylyte;
Therfor, I praye yow, tell me what the mater ys,
And amendes shall be where as I have done amyse.
K. JOHAN: Aganste amendement no resounable man can be.
NOBYLYTE: That sentence rysyth owt of an hygh charyte.
K. JOHAN: Now that you are her assembled all together,
Amongeste other thynges ye shall fyrst of all consyder
That my dysplesure rebounyth on to yow all.
CLERGYE: To yow non of us ys prejudycyall.
K. JOHAN: I shall prove yt. Yes, how have ye usyd Englond?
NOBYLYTE: But as yt becommyth us, so fare as I understond.
K. JOHAN: Yes, the pore woman complayneth her grevosly,
And not with-owt cawse, for she hath great injurye.
I must se to yr, ther ys no remedy,
For it ys a charge gevyn me from God Allmyghtye.
Howe saye ye, Clargye? Apperyth it not so to yow?
CLERGYE: Yf it lykyth yowr Grace, all we knowe that well ynow.
K. JOHAN: Than yow, Nobelyte, wyll affyrme yt, I am suer.
NOBYLYTE: Ye, that I wyll, sur, so long as my lyfe indure.
K. JOHAN: And yow, Cyvyll Order, I thynke wyll graunte the same?
CYVYLE ORDER: Ondowghted, sir; yea, elles ware yt to me gret shame.
K. JOHAN: Than for Englandes cause I wyll he~sumewhat ~ayne.
Yt is yow, Clargy, that hathe her in dysdayne
With yowr Latyne howrrs, sermonyes, and popetly playes.
In her more and -more Godes holy worde decayes,
And them to maynteyn unresonable ys the spoyle
Of her londes, her goodes, and of her pore chylderes toyle.
Rekyn fyrst yowr tythis, yowr devocyons and yowr offrynges,
Mortuaryes, pardons, bequestes and other thynges,
Besydes that ye cache for halowed belles and purgatorye,
For jwelles, for relyckes, confessyon and cowrtes of baudrye,
For legacyes, trentalls, with Scalacely messys,
Wherby ye have made the peo~e very assys;
And over all this ye have browght in a rabyll
Of Latyne mummers and sectes desseyvabyll,
Evyn to dewore her and~ eat her-upp attonnys.
CLERGYE: Yow wold -have -no Churche, I wene,- by thes
sacred bones.
K. JOHAN: Yes, I wold have a Churche, not of dysgysyd shavelynges,
But of faytliflill hartes and charytable doynges;
For whan Christes Chyrch was in her hyeste glory,
She knew neyther thes sectes nor ther ipocrysy.
CLERGYE: Yes, I wyll prove yr by David substancyally:
- Astitzt Regina a dextns tuis in vesdtu
Deauraw arcw'adata vattetate.
A quene, sayth Davyd, on thy ryght hond, Lord, I se,
Apparrellyd with golde and compassyd with
K. JOHAN: What ys yowr meanyng by that same
Scriptur? Tell me.
CLERG YE: This quene ys the Chytch, which thorow all Cristen regions
Ys beawtyfiill, dectyd with many holy relygyons:
Munkes, chanons and fryeres, most excellent dyvynis,
As Grandy Montensers and other Benedictyns,
Primonstratensers, Bernardes and Gylbertynys,
Jacobytes, Mynors, Whyght Carmes and Augustynis,
Sanbonites, Cluniackes, with holy Carthusyans,
Heremytes arid auncors, with most myghty Rodyans,
-Crucifers, Lucifers, Brigettes, Ambrosyanes,
Stellifers, Ensifers, with Purgatoryanes,
Sophyanes, Indianes, and Camaldulensers,
Jesuytes, Joannytes, with Clarimontensers,
Clarynes and Columbynes, Templers, Newe
Ruf~anes, Tercyanes, Lorytes and La':arytes,
Hungaryes, Teutonyckes, Hospitelers, Honofrynes,
Basyles and Bonhams, Sclavons and Celestynes,
Paulynes, Hieronymytes, and Monkes of Josaphathes
F~gynes, Flamynes, with Bretherne of the Black
Donates and Dimysynes, with Canons of S. Mark,
Vestals and ~Monyals, a worlde to heare them barke,
Abbottes and doctors, with bysshoppes and
Arche-decons and pristes, as to ther fortune falles.
CYVYLE ORDER: Me thynkyth yowr fyrst text stondeth
nothyng with yowr reson,
For in Davydes tyme were no such sectes of relygyon.
K. JOHAN:-Davyd meanyth vertuys by the same diversyte,
As in the sayd psalme yt is evydent to se,
And not munkysh sectes; but yt is ever yowr cast
For yowr advauncement the Scripturs for to wrast.
CLERGYE: Of owr Holy Father in this I take my grownd,
Which hathe awtoryte the Scripturs to expond.
K. JOHAN: Naye he presumyth the Scrip~turs to confownd.
Nowther thow nor the Pope shall do pore Englond wronge,
I beyng governor and-kyng her peple amonge.
Whyle yow for lucre sett forth your popysh lawys --
Yowr-selves to advaunce, ye wold make us pycke strawes.
Nay, ipocrytes, nay. We wyll not be scornyd soo
Of a sort of knavys; we shall loke yow otherwyse too!
NOBYLYTE: Sur, yowr sprytes are movyd, -I persayve by yowr langage.
K. JOHAN: I wonder that yow for such veyne popych baggage
Can suff~r Englond to be impoyeryshyd
And mad a begger; ye are very yll advysyd.
NOBYLYTE: I marvell grettly that ye saye thus to me.
K. JOHAN: For dowghtles ye do not as becummyth Nobelyte;
Ye sp~are nouther landes nor goodes, but all ye geve
To thes cormerantes; yt wold any good man greve
To see yowr madnes, as I wold God shuld save me.
NOBYLYTE: Sur, I suppose yt good to bylde a perpetuite
For me and my frendes, to be prayed for evermore.
K. JOHAN: Tush, yt is madnes all to dyspayre in God so sore
And to thynke Christes deth to be unsufficient.
NOBYLYTE: Sur, that I have don was of a good intent.
K. JOHAN: The intente ys nowght which hath no sewer grounde.
CLERGYE: Yff yow continue, ye wyll Holy Chyrch confunde.
K. JOHAN: Nay, no Holy Chyrch, nor feythfull congregacyon,
But an hepe of adders of Antecristes generacyon.
CYVYLE ORDER: Yt pyttyth me moche that ye are to them so harde.
K.- JO HAN: Yt petyeth -me more that ye them so mych regarde.
They dystroye mennys sowiles with damnable supersticyon,
And decaye all realmys by meyntenaunce of sedycon.
Ye wold wonder to know what profe I have of this.
NOBYLYTE: Well amenment shalbe wher any thyng is amysse,
For, undowtted, God doth open soche thynges to prynces
As to none 6ther men in the Cristyen provynces,
And therfor we wyll not in this with yowr Grace contend.
CYVYLE ORDER: No, but with Godes grace we shall owr mysededes amend.
CLERGYE: For all such forfetes as yowr pryncely mageste
For yowr owne person -or realme can prove by me,
I submytte my-selfe to yow, bothe body and goodes.
K. JOHAN: We pety yow now, consyderyng yowr repentante modes,
And owr gracyous pardone we grante yow upon amendment.
CLERGYE: God preserve yowr Grace and Mageste excelent!
K. JOHAN: Aryse, Clargy, aryse, and ever be obedyent,
And, as God commandeth yow, take us for yowr governere.
CLERGYE: By the Grace of God, the Pope shall he my rulare.
K. JOHAN: What saye ye, Clargy? Who ys yowr governer?
CLERGYE: Ha, ded I stomble? I sayd my prynce ys my ruler.
K. JOHAN: I pray to owr Lord this obedyence maye indewre.
CLERGYE: I wyll not breke yt, ye may be fast and suer.
K. JOHAN: Than cum hether all thre: ye shall know more of my mynde.
CLERGYE: Owr kyng to obeye the Scriptur doth us bynde.
K. JOHAN: Ye shall fyrst be sworne to God and to the crowne
To be trew and juste in every cetye and towne,
And this to perfor[m]e set hand and kysse the bocke.
CYVYLE ORDER: With the wyffe of Loth we wyll not backeward locke
Nor turne from owr oth, but ever obeye yowr grace.
K. JOHAN: Than wyll I gyve yow yowr chargys her in place
And accepte yow all to be of owr hyghe councell.
CLERGYE, NOBYLYTE, & CYVYLE ORDER: To be faythfull, than, ye us more streytly compell.
K. JOHAN: For the love of God, loke to the state of Englond!
Leate non enemy holde her in myserable bond.
Se yow defend her as yt becommyth nobilite,
Se yow instrutte her acordyng to yowr degre,
Fournysh her yow with a cyvyle honeste.
Thus shall she florysh in honor and grett plente.
With godly wysdom yowr maters to conveye
That the commynnalte the powers maye obeye,
And ever be-ware of that false thefe Sedycyon,
Whych poysennyth all realmes and bryng them to perdycyon.
NOBYLYTE: Sur, for soche wrecches we wyll be so circumspectte
That neyther ther falsed nor gylle shall us infecte.
CLERGYE: I warrant yow, sur, no, and that shall well apere.
CYVYLE ORDER: We wyll so provyde yff anye of them cum here
To dysturbe the realme, they shall he full glad to fle.
K. JO HAN: Well, yowr promyse includeth no small dyffyculte.
But I put the case that this false thefe Sedycyon
Shuld cum to yow thre and call hym-selfe Relygyon.
Myght he not under the pretence Qf holynes
Cawse yow to consent to myche ungodlynes?
NOBYLYTE: He shall never be able to do yt veryly.
K. JOHAN: God graunt ye be not deceyvyd by hypocresye.
I say no more, I. In shapes aparell sum walke
And seme relygeyose that deceyvably can calke.
Beware of soche hipocrites as the kyngdorn of hevyn from man
Do hyde for a-wantage, for they deceyve now and than.
Well I leve yow here; yche man consyder his dewtye.
NOBYLYTE: With Godes leve, no faute- shall be in this companye.
K. JOHAN: Cum, Cyvyle Order, ye shall go hence with me.
CYvYLE ORDER: At yowr commandmente I wyll gladlye wayte upon ye.
Here Kyng JoAan and Sivile Order go owt: and
Syvile Order drese hym for Seeewsyon.
NOBYLYTE: Me thynke the- kyng is a man of a wonderfull wytt.
CLERGYE: Naye, saye that he ys of a vengeable craftye wytt,
Than shall ye be sure the trewth of the thyng to hyrt.
Hard ye not how he of the Holy Church dyd rayle?
His extreme thretynynges shall lytyll hym- avayle:
I wyll worke soch wayes that he shall of his purpose fayle.
NOBYLYTE: Yt is meet a prince to saye sumwhat for his plesure.
CLERGYE: Yea, but yt is to moch to rayle so withowt mesure.
NO BYLYTE: Well, lett every man speke lyke as- he hathe a cawse.
CLERGYE: Why7 do ye say so? Yt is tyme for me than to pawse.
NOBYLYTE: This will I saye, sur, that he ys so noble a prince
As this day raygneth in ony Cristyne provynce.
CLERGYE: Mary, yt apereth well by that he wonne in Fraunce!
NOBYLYTE: Well, he lost not ther so moche by marcyall chaunce
But he gate moche more in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
CLERGYE: Yea, God, sped us well: Crystmes songes are mery tales!
NOBYLYTE: Ys dysdayne soche mater as ye know full evydent.
Are not bothe Ireland and Wales to hyrn obedyent?
Yes, he holdyth them bothe in pessable possessyon,
And - by cause I wyll not from yowr tall make degressyon
For his lond in Fraunce he gyveth but lytell forsse,
Havyng to Englond all his love and remorse;
And Angoye he gave to Artur his nevy in chaunge.
CLERGYE: Owr changes are soch that an abbeye turneth to a graunge.
We are so handled we have scarce eyther horse or male.
NOBYLYTE: He that dothe hate me the worse wyll tell my tale.
Yt is yowr [f]assyon soche kynges to dyscommend
As yowr abuses reforme or reprehend
Yow pristes are the cawse that Chronycles doth defame
So many prynces and men of notable name,
For yow take upon yow to wryght them evermore;
And therfor Kyng Johan ys lyke to rewe yt sore
Whan ye wryt& his tyme, for vexcyng of the clargy.
CLERGYE: I mervellye take his parte so emesdye.
NOBYLYTE: Yt becommyth Nobelyte his prynces fame to preserve.
CLERGYE: Yf he contynew, we lyke in a whyle to starve:
He demaundeth of us the tenth parte of owr lyvyng.
NOBYLYTE: I thynke yt is then for sum nessessary thyng.
CLERGYE: Mary, to recover that he hath lost in Fraunce,
As Normandy dewkedom and his land beyond Orleaunce.
NOBYLYTE: And thynke ye not that a mater nessesary?
CLERGYE: No, sur, by my trowth, he takyng yt of the clergy.
NOBYLYTE: Ye cowde be content that he shuld take yt of us?
CLERGYE: Yea, so that he wold spare the clargy, by swet Jesus!
This takyng of us myght sdne~ growe to a custom,
And than Holy Churche myght so be browght to thraldom,
Whych hath ben ever from temporall prynces free
As towchyng trybute or other captyvyte.
NOBYLYTE: He that defendeth yow owght to have parte of ydwr goodes.
CLERGYE: He hath the prayers of all them that hathe hoodes.
NOBYLYTE: Why, ys that inowgh to helpe hym in his warre?
CLERGYE: The Churche~he may not of lyberte debarre.
NOBYLYTE: Ded not Crist hyrn-selfe paye trybytt unto Cesere?
Yf he payd trybute, so owght his holy vycar.
CLERGYE: To here ye reson so ondyscretlye I-wonder.
Ye must consyder that Cryst that tyme was under,
But his vycar now ys above the prynces all;
Therfor be ware ye do not to herysy fall.
Ye owght to beleve as Holy Churche doth teche yow,
And not to reason in soche hygh materes now.
NOBYLYTE: I am unlernyd, my wyttes are sone confowndyd.
CLERGYE: Than leve sooch materes to men more depel growndyd.
NOBYLYTE: But how wyll ye do for the othe that ye have take?
CL ERGYE: The keyes of the Church can all- soche materes of shake.
NOBYLYTE: What call ye those kyes? I pray yow hartly, tell me!
CLERGYE: Owr Holy Fathers powr and his hygh autoryte.
NOBYLYTE: Well, I can no more say; ye are to well lemyd for me.
My bysynes ys soche that here now I must leve ye.
CLERGYE: I must hence also so fast as ever maye be,
To sewe unto Rome for the Churches lyberte.
Go owt Nobylyte and Clar[gy].
Here Sedycyon commyth in.
SED ICYON: Have in onys ageyne, in spyght of all myn enymyes,
For they can not dryve~' me from all mennys companyes;
And thowgh yt wer so that all men wold forsake me,
Yet dowght I yt not but sume good-women wold take me.
I loke for felowys that here shuld make sum sporte.
I mervell yt is so longe ere they resorte.
By the messe, I wene the knaves are in the bryers,
Or elles they are fallen in to sum order of fryers.
Naye shall I gesse ryght? They are gon into the stwes.
I holde ye my necke, anon we shall here newes.
[A voice heard] seyng the Leteny.
Lyst, for Godes-passyon! I trow her cummeth sum hoggherd
Callyng for his pygges - such a noyse I never herd!
Here cum Dyssymuiacy[on] syngyng of the Lekiany.
DISSYMULACYON: syng: Sancte Dominice, ora pro no~ts.
SEDICYON: syng: Sancte pyld monache, I heshrow vobi~. 640
DISSYMUL: syng: Sancte Francis se, ora pro noMs.
SEDICYON: Here ye not? Cockes sowle, what meaneth this ypocryte knave?
DISSYMUL: Pater noster, I pray God bryng hym sone to his grave;
Qui es in cells, with an vengeable sanctyficetur,
Or elles Holy Chyrche shall never thryve, by Saynt Peter.
SEDICYON: Tell me, good felowe, makyste thou this prayer for me?
DISSYMUL: Ye are as ferce as thowgh ye had broke yore nose at the buttre.
I medyll not with the, but here to good sayntes I praye,
Agenst soch enmyes as wyll- Holy Churche decaye.
Here syng this:
A Johonne Rege iniquo, libera nos, Domine.
SEDICYON: Leve, I saye, or by the messe I wyll make yow grone.
DISSYMUL: Yff thow be jentyll, I pray the leate me alone,
For with-in a whyle my devocyon wyll be gone.
SEDICYON: And wherfor dost thow praye here so bytterly,
Momblyng thy Pater noster and chauntyng the Letany?.
DISSYMUL: For that Holy ~Chyrch myght save hyr patrymonye,
And to have of Kyng Johan a tryumph[a]nt vyctorye.
SEDICYON: And why of Kyng Johan? Doth he vexe yow so sore?
DISSYMUL: Bothe chyrchys and abbeys he oppressyth more and more,
And take of the clergye - yt is onresonable to tell.
SEDICYON: Owte with the Popys bulles, than, and cursse hym downe to hell.
DISSYMUL: Tushe, man, we have done so, but all that wyll not helpe.
He regardyth no more the Pope than he dothe a whelpe.
SEDICYON: Well, lett hym a4one; for that wyll I geve hyrn a scelpe.
But what arte thou callyd of thyn owne munkych nacyon?
DISSYMUL: Kepe yt in counsell:.Dane Davy Dyssymulacyon.
SEDICYON: What, Dyssymulacyon? Cockes sowle myn did aquentaunce!
Par me faye, mon amye, je tote ad voutre plesaunce.
DISSYMUL: Gramercyes, good frend, with all my very hert.
I trust we shall talke more frely or we deperte.
SEDICYON: Why, vylayn horson! Knowyst not thi cosyn Sedycyon?
DISSYMUL: I have ever loved both the and thy condycyon.
SEDICYON:~Thow must nedes, I tr~we, for we cum of ij bretherne:
Yf thou j~member, owr fatheres were on manns chylderne
Thow commyst of Falsed and I of Prevy Treason.
DISSYMUL: Than In:fydelyte owr grandfather ys by reason.
SEDICYON: Mary, that ys trewe, and his begynner Antycrist,
The great Pope of Rome or f~rst veyne popysh prist.
DISSYMUL: Now welcum, cosyn, by the waye that my sowle shall to!
SEDICYON: -Gramercy, cosyn, by the holy byssliop Benno.
Thow kepyst thi old wont; thow art styli an abbe mann.
DISSYMUL: To hold all thynges up I play my part now and than.
SEDICYON: Why, what manere of offyce hast thou with in the abbey?
DISSYMUL: Of all relygyons I kepe the chyrch dore keye.
SEDIcYON: Than of a lykelyhod thow art ther generall porter.
DISSYMUL: Nay, of munkes and chanons~I am the suttyll sorter.
Whyle sum talke with Besse the resydewe kepe sylence.
Thowgh we playe the knavys, we must shew a good pretence.
Where so ever sum eate, a serten kepe the froyter;
Where so ever sum slepe, sum must nedes kepe the dorter.
Dedyst thou never know the maner of owr senyes?
SEDIcYON: I was never with them aqueyntyd, by Seynt Denyes.
DISSYMUL: Than never knewyst thou the knavery of owr menyes.
Yf I shuld tell all, I cowd saye more than that.
SEDICYON: Now, of good felowshyppe, I beseche the show me what.
DISSYMUL: The pro1~table lucre cummyth ever in by me.
SEDICYON: But by what meane? Tell me, I hartely pray the.
DISSYMUL: To wynne the peple I appoynt yche man his place:
Sum to syng Latyn, and sum to ducke at grace;
Sum to go mummyng, and sum to beare the crosse;
Sum to stowpe downeward as ther heades ware stopt with mosse;
Sum to rede the epystle and gospell at hygh masse;
Sum syng at the lectorne, with long eares lyke an asse.
The pawnient of the Chyrche the aunchent faders tredes,
Sumtyme with a portas, sumtyme with a -payre of bedes;
And this exedyngly drawth peple to devoycyone,
Specyally whan they do se so good relygeon.
Than have we imagys of Seynt~Spryte and Seynt Savyer:
Moche is the sekynge of them to gett ther faver;
Yong whomen beffote and olde men seke them brecheles.
The myracles wrowght ther I can in n6wyse expresse.
We lacke neyther golde nor sylwer, gyrdles nor rynges,
Candelles nor tapperes, nor other customyd offerynges.
Thowgh I seme a shepe, I can play the suttle foxe:
I can make Latten to bryng this gere to the boxe.
Tushe, Latten ys alone to bryng soche mater to passe;
Ther ys no Englyche that can soche profyghtes compasse.
And therfor we wyll no servyce to be songe,
Gospell nor pystell, but all in Latten tonge.
Of owr suttell dryftes many more poyntes are behynde;
Yf I tolde yow all, we shuld never have an ende.
SEDICYON: In nomine Patru, of all that ever I hard
Thow art alone yet of soche a dremyng bussard!
DISSYMUL: Nay, dowst thou not se how I in my colours jette?
To blynd the peple I ha~ve yet a farther fette.
This is for Bernard, and this is for Benet,
This is for Gylbard, and this is for Jhenet;
For Frauncys this is, and this is for Domynyke,
For Awsten and Elen, and this is for Seynt Partryk.
We have many rewiles, but never one we kepe;
Whan we syng full lowde owr hartes be fast aslepe.
We resemble sayntes, in gray, whyte, blacke and blewe,
Yet unto prynces not one of owr nomber trewe
And that shall kyng Johan prove shortly by the rode.
SEDICYON: But in the meane tyme yowr-selves gett lytyll good;
Yowr abbeys go downe, I here saye, every where.
DISSYMUL: Yea, frynd Sedysyon, but thow must se to that gere.
SEDICYON: Than must I have helpe, by swete Saynt Benettes cuppe.
DISSYMUL: Thow shalt have a chyld of myn owne bryngyng uppe.
SEDICYON: Of thy bryngyng uppe! Cokes sowle, what knave is that?
DISSYMUL: Mary, Pryvat Welth; now hayve I tolde the what.
I made hym a monke and a perfytt cloysterer,
And in the abbeye he becam fyrst celerer,
Than pryor, than abbote, of a thowsand pownd land, no wors.
Now he is a bysshoppe and rydeth with an hondryd hors,
And, as I here say, he is lyke to be a cardynall.
SEDICYON: Ys -he so in dede? By the masse, than have att all!
DISSYMUL: Nay, fyrst, Pryvat Welth shall bryng in Usurpyd Powr
With his autoryte, and than the gam ys ower.
SEDICYON: Tush, Usurpyd Powr dothe faver me of all men,
For in his trobles I ease his hart now and then.
Whan prynces rebell agenste hys autoryte,
I make ther commons agenst them for to be.
Twenty Md men are but a momyng breckefast
To be slayne for hym, he takyng hi~ repast.
DISSYMUL: Thow hast, I persayve, a very suttyll cast.
SEDICYON: I am for the Pope as for the shyppe the mast.
DISSYMUL: Than helpe, Sedycyon, I may styli in Englond be.
Kyng Jo han hath tlire~t]ned that I shall over see.
SEDICYON: Well yfthow wylte of me have remedy this owr,
Go feche Pryvat Welth and also Usurpyd Powr.
DISSYMUL: I can bryng but one, be Mary, Jesus mother.
SEDICYON: Bryng thow in the one and let hym bryng in the other.
Here cum in Usurpyd Powr and Private Welth
Syng on after another.
USURPID POWR syng this: Super flumina Babilonis suspendimus organa nostra.
PRIVAT WELTH syng this: Quomodo cantabimus canticum bonum in terra aliena?
SEDICYON: By the mas, me thynke they are syngyng of placebo.
DISSYMUL: Peace, for with my spectakies vadam et videbo.
Cokes sowll, yt is they; at the last I have smellyd them owt.
Her go and bryng them.
SEDICYON: Thow mayst be a sowe yfthow hast so good a snowt.
Sures, marke well this gere for now yt begynnyth to worke:
False Dyssymulac[y]on doth bryng in Privat Welth;
And Ustrrpyd Powr, which is more ferce than a Tureke,
Cummeth in by hym to decayve all spyrytuall heith;
Than I by them bothe, as clere experyence telth.
We illi by owr craftes Kyng Johan wyu so subdwe
That for iij.C yers all Englond shall yt rewe.
DISSYMUL: Of the clergy, fryndes, report lyke as ye se,
That ther privat welth cummyth ever in by me.
SEDICYON: But by whom commyst thou? By the messe, evyn by the devyil,
For the grownd thou arte of the Cristen peplys evyll
DISSYMUL: And what are you, ser? I praye yow say good be me.
SEDICYON: By my trowth, I cum by the and thy a nyte.
DISSYMUL: Feche thow in thy felow so fast as ever thow can.
PRIVAT WELTH: I trow thow shalt se me now playe the praty man.
Of me, Privat Welth, cam first Usurpyd Powr:
Ye may perseyve yt in pagent here this howr.
SEDICYON: Now welcum, felowys, by all thes bonys and naylys!
USURPID POWR: Among companyons good felyshyp never faylys.
SEDICYON: Nay, Usurpid Powr, thou must go backe ageyne,
For I must also put the to a lytyll payne.
USURPID POWR: Why, fellaue Sedycyon, what wyll thou have me do?
SEDICYON: To bare me on thi backe and bryng me in also,
That yt maye be sayde that fyrst Dyssymulacyon
Browght in Privat Welth to every Cristen nac[y]on,
And that Privat WeIth browght in Usurpid Powr
And he Sedycyon, in cytye, towne and tower,
That sum man may know the feche of all owr sorte.
USURPID POWR: Gum on thy wayes, than, that thow mayst mak the fort.
DISSYMUL: Nay, Usurped Powr, we shall bare hym all thre,
Thy selfe he and I, yf ye wyll be rewlyd by me,
For ther is non of us but in hym hath a~troke.
PRIVAT WELTH: The horson knave wayeth and yt were a croked oke!
Here they sAall lare Aym in, and Sedycyon saythe
SEDICYON: Yea, thus it shuld be. Mary now [I am) alofte
I wyll beshyte yow all yf ye sert me not downe softe.
In my opynyon, by swete Saynt Antony,
Here is now gatheryd a full honest company.
Here is nowther Awsten, Ambrose, Hierom nor Gregory,
But here is a sorte of companyons moch more mery.
They of the Chirch than wer fower holy doctors,
We of the Chirch now are the iiij general proctors.
Here ys fyrst of all good father Dyssymulacyon,
The fyrst begynner of this same congregac[y]on;
Here is Privat Welthe, which hath the Chyrch infecte
With all abusyons and brought yt to a synfull secte;
Here ys Usurpid Powr,~ that all kynges doth subdwe,
With such autoryte as is neyther good ner trewe;
And I last of all am evyn sance pere Sedycyon.
USURPID POWR: Under hevyn ys not a m,or knave in condycyon
Wher as thou dost cum, that common welth can not thryve.
By owr Lord, I marvell that thow art yet alyve!
PRI VAT WELTH: Wher herbes are pluckte upp the wedes many tymes remayne.
DISSYMUL: No man can utter an evydence more playn.
SEDICYON: Yea, ye thynke so, yow? How Godes blyssyng breke yowr heade!
I can do but lawgh to her yow, by this breade!
I am so mery that we are mett, be Saynt John,
I fele not the ground that I do go uppon.
For the love of God, lett us have sum mery songe.
USURPID POWR: Begyne thy self, than and we shall lepe in amonge.
Here syng.
SEDICYON: I wold ever dwell here to have such mery sporte.
PRIVAT wELTH: Thow mayst have yt, man, yfthow wylt hether resorte,
For the Holy Father ys as good a felowe as we.
DISSYMUL: The Holy Father! Why, I pray the, whych is he?
PRI VAT WELTH: Usurpid Powr here, which thowgh he apparaunt be
In this apparell, yet hathe he autoryte
Bothe in hevyn and erth, in purgatory and in hell.
USURPID POwR: Marke well his saynges, for a trew tale he doth tell.
SEDICYON: What, Usurpid Powr? Cockes sowle, ye are owr Pope?
Where is yowr thre crounys, yowr crosse keys and yowr cope?
What meanyth this mater? Me thynke ye walke astraye.
USURPID POWR: Thou knowest I must have sum dalyaunce and playe,
For I am a man lyke as another ys.
Sumtyme I must hunt, sumtyme I must ALysen kys.
I am bold of yow, I take ye for no straungers.
We are as spifituall; I dowght in yow no daungers.
DI 5 SYMUL: I owght to conseder yowr Holy Father-hod;
From my fYrst infancy ye have ben to me so good.
For Godes sake, wytsave to geve me yowr blyssyng here,
A pena et culpa that I may stand this day clere.
SEDICYON: From makyng cuckoldes? Mary, that wer no mery chere.
DISSYMUL: Apena et culpa: I trow thow canst not here.
SEDICYON: Yea, with a cuckoldes wyf yehave dronke dobyil bere.
DISSYMUL: I pray the, Sedycyon, my pacyens no more stere;
A pena et culpa I desyre to be clere,
And than all the devylles of hell I wold not fere.
USURPID powR But tell me one thyng: dost thou not preche the Gospell?
DISSYMUL: No, I promyse yow, I defye yt to the devyll of hell!
USURPID powR Yf I knewe thow dedyst, thou shuldest have non absolucyon.
DISSYMUL: Yf I do, abjure me-or put me to execucyon.
PRIVAT WELTH: I dare say he brekyth no popyshe constytucyon.
USURPID POWR: Soci~e men are worthy to have owr contrybucyon:
I assoyle the here, behinde and also beforne.
Now art thou as clere as that daye thow wert borne.
Ryse Dyssymulacyon, and stond uppe lyke a bold knyght.
Dowght not of my powr thowgh my aparell be lyght.
SEDICYON: A man, be the messe, can not know yow from a knave;
Ye loke so lyke hym as I wold God shuld me save.
PRIVAT WELTH: Thow arte very lewde owr father so to deprave.
Thowgh he for his pleasure soche lyght apparell have,
Yt is now sommer and the heate ys with-owt mesure,
And among us he may go lyght at his owne pleasure.
Felow Sedycyon, thowgh thou dost.mocke and scoff;
We have other materes than this to be commyned of;
Frynd Dyssymulacyon, why dost thou not thy massage
And show owt of Englond the causse of thi farre passage?
Tush, blemysh not, whoreson, for I shall ever assyst the.
SEDICYON: The knave ys whycht4everyd, by the Holy Trynyte!
USURPID POWR: Why so, Privat Welth? What ys the mater? Tell me.
PRIVAT WELTH: Dyssymulacyon ys a massanger for the clergy;
I must speke for hym ther ys no remedy.
The clargy of Ynglond, which ys yowr specyall frynde
And of a long tyme hath borne yow very good mynde,
Fyllyng yowr coffars with many a thowsande p[o]wnde,
Yf ye sett not to hand, he ys lyke to fall to the grownde.
I do promysse yow truly, his harte ys in his hose;
Kyng Johan so usyth hym that he reconnyth all to lose.
USURPID POWR: Tell, Dyssymulacyon, why art thow so asshamed
To shewe thy massage? Thow art moch to be blamed.
Late me se those wrytynges. Tush, man; I pray the cum nere.
DISSYMUL: Yowr horryble holynes putt me in wonderfull fere.
USURPID POWR: Tush, lett mese them, I pray the hartely.
Here Dissimulacyon shall delever the wrytynges to
Usurpyd Powr.
I perseyve yt well, thow wyk lose no ceremony.
SEDICYON:~ Yet is he nolesse than a false knave, veryly.
I wold thow haddyst kyst his ars, for that is holy.
PRIVAT WELTH: How dost thow prove me that his arse ys holy now?
SEDICYON: For yt hath an hole evyn fytt for the nose of yow.
PRIVAT WELTH: Yowr parte ys not elles but for to playe the knave,
And so ye must styli contynew to yowr grave.
USURPID POWR I say; leve yowr gawdes and attend to me this howre.
The bysshoppes writeth here to me, Usurped Powr,
Desyryng assystence of myne auctoryte
To save and support the Chyrches lyberte.
They report Kyng Johan to them to be very harde
And to have the Church in no pryce nor regarde.
In his parlament he demaundeth of the ciargy
For his warres the tent of the Chyrches patryrhony.
PRIVAT WELTH: Ye wyll not consent to that, I trow, by Saynt Mary!
SEDICYON: No, drawe to yow styll, but lett none from yow cary.
USURPID powR: Ye know yt is cleaneagenst owr holy decrees
That pflnces shuld thus contempne owr lybertees.
He taketh uppon hym to reforme the tythes and offrynges
And intermedleth with other spyrytuall thynges.
PRIVAT WELTH: Ye must sequiester hym, or elles that wyll mare all.
USURPID POWR: Nay; besydes all this, before juges temporall
He conventeth clarkes of cawses crymynall.
PRIVAT WELTH:~Yf ye se not to that, the Churche wyll have a fall.
SEDICYON: By the masse, than pristes are lyke to have a pange;
For treson, murder, and thefte they are lyke to hange.
By cockes sowle, than I am lyke to walke for treason
Yf I be taken. Loke to yt therfor in seasone.
PRIVAT WELTH: Mary, God forbyd that ever yowr holy anoynted
For tresone or thefte shuld be hanged, racked or
Lyke, the rascall sorte of the prophane layete.
USURPID POWR: Naye, I shall otherwyse loke to yt, ye may trust me.
Before hymselfe also the bysshoppes he doth convent,
To the derogacyon of ther dygnyte excelent,
And wyll suffer non to the court of Rome to appele.
DISSYMUL: No, he contemnyth yowre autoryte and seale
And sayth in his lond he wyll be lord and kyng,
No prist so hardy to enterpryse any thyng.
For the whych of late with hym ware at ve?yaunce
Fower of his bysshoppes, and in maner at def~aunce:
Wyllytim of London, and Eystace Bysshope of Hely,
Water of Wynchester, and Gylys of Hartford, trewly.
Be yowr autoryte they have hym excominycate.
USURPID powR: Than have they done well, for he is a reprobate.
To that I admytt he ys alwayes contrary.
I made this fellow here the Archebysshope of Canterbury,
And he wyll agree therto in no condycyon.
PRIVAT WELTH: Than hathe he knowledge that his name ys Sedycyon?
DISSYMUL: Dowtles he hath so, and that drownnyth his opynyon.
USURPID POWR: Why do ye not saye his name ys Stevyn Langton?
DISSYMUL: Tush, we have done so but that helpyth not the mater;
The Bysshope of Norwych for that cawse doth hym flater.
USURPID POWR: Styke thow to yt fast, we have onys admytted the.
SEDICYON: I wyll not one iote from my admyssyon fie;
The best of them all shall know that I am he.
Naye; in suche maters iett men beware of me.
USURPID POWR: The monkes of Caunterbe~y ded more at my request
Than they wold at his concernyng that eleccyon.
They chase Sedycyon, as yt is now manyfest,
In spytt of his harte. Than he for ther rebellyon
Exyled them all and toke ther hole possessyon
Into hys owne handes, them sendyng over see,
Ther lyvynges to seke in extreme poverte.
This custum also he hath, as it is tolde me:
Whan prelates depart, yea bysshope, abbott, or curat;
He entreth theyr landes withowt my lyberte,
Takyng the proŁyghtes tyll the nexte be consecrate,
Instytute, stallyd, indeucte or intronyzate.
And of the pyed monkes he entendeth to take a dyme.
And wyll be marryd yf I loke not to yt in tyme,
DISSYMUL: Yt is takyn, ser. The somme ys un-resonnable
A nynne thowsand marke; to lyve they are not able.
His syggesteon was to subdew the Yrysh men.
PRIVAT WELTH: Yea, that same peple doth ease the Church now and then;
For that enterpryse they wold be lokyd uppon.
USURPID powR: They gett no mony but they shall have clene remyssion,
For those Yrysh men are ever good to the Church;
Whan kynges dysobeye yt, than they begynne to worch.
PRIVAT WELTH: And all that they do ys for indulgence and pardon.
SEDICYON: By the messe,.and that is not worth a rotten wardon!
USURPID POWR: What care we for that? To them yt is venyson.
PRIVAT WELTH: Than lett them have yt, a Godes dere benyson!
USURPID POWR: Now how shall we do for this same wycked kyng?
SEDICYON: Suspend hym and curse hym, both with yowr wordand wrytyng;
Yf that wyll not holpe, than interdyght his land
With extrem cruellnes; and yf that wyll not stand,
Cawse other prynces to revenge the Churchys wronge.
Yt wyll profytte yow to sett them aworke amon
For clene remyssyon one kyng wyll subdew another.
Yea, the chyld sumtyme wyll sle both father and mother.
USURPID POwR: This cQwnsell ys good; I wyll now folow yt playne.
Tary thow styli here tyll we returne agayne.
Her go owt Usurpid Powr and Privat Welth and Sedycyon .
Usurpyd Powr shall drese for tke Pope,
Privat Welth for a Cardinal?, and Sedycyon for a
monke. The Cardynall shall ~ryng in the crose, and
Stevyn Launton the bocke, bell and candell.
DISSYMUL: This Usurpid Powr, whych now is gon from hence,
For the Holy Church wyll make such ordynance
That all men shall be under his obedyens.
Yea, kynges wyll be glad to geve hym their alegyance,
And than shall we pristes lyve here with-owt dysturbans.
As Godes owne vyker anon ye shall se hym syrt,
His fiocke to avaunse by his most polytyke wytt.
He shall make prelates, both byshopp and cardynall,
Doctours and prebendes with far de whodes and syde gownes.
He wyll also create the orders mbnastycall,
Monkes, chanons and fryers, with gaye coates and shaven crdwnes,
And buylde them places to corrupt cyties and townes.
The dead sayntes shall shewe both vis~ons and myracles;
With ymages and rellyckes he shall work sterracles.
He wyll make mattens, houres, masse and evensonge,
To drowne the Scriptures for doubte of heresye;
He wyll sende pardons to save mennys sowles among;
Latyne devocyons, with the holye rosarye.
He wyll apoynt fastynges and plucke downe matrimonye;
Holy water and breade shall dryve awaye the devyll;
Blessynges with blacke bedes wyll helpe in every evyll.
Kynge Johan of Englande, bycause he hath rebelled
Agaynst Holy Churche, usynge it wurse than a stable,
To gyve up hys crowne shall shortly be compelled.
And the Albygeanes, lyke heretykes detestable,
Shall be brent bycause agaynst Our Father they babble;
Through Domynyckes preachynge an xviij thousande are slayne
To teache them how they shall Holye Churche disdayne.
All this to performe he wyll cawle a generall cowncell
Of all Cristendom to the church of Laternense.
His intent shall be for to supprese the Gospell,
Yett wyll he glose yt with a very good pretens:
To subdwe the Turkes by a Cristen vyolens.
Under this coloure he shall grownd ther many thynges,
Whych~wyll at the last be Cristen mennys undoynges.
The Popys powr shall be abowe the powrs all,
And eare confessyon a matere nessessary.
Ceremonys wyll be the ryghtes ecclesyastycall.
He shall sett up ther both pardowns and purgatory;
The Gospell prechyng wyll be an heresy.
Be this prQvyssyon and be soch other kyndes
We shall be full suere all waye to have owr myndes.
[Usurped Power returns as the Pope, Private
Wealtk as a Cardinal and Sedition as Stephen Langton.]
THE POPE: Ah, ye are a blabbe! I perseyve ye wyll tell all.
I lefte ye not here to be so lyberall.
DISSYMUL: Mea culpa, mea culpa, gravissima mea culpa!
Geve me yowr blyssyng pro Deo et Sancta Maria.
Knele and hnoke on thi Ijyst.
THE POPE Thow hast my blyssyng, a ryse now and stond asyde.
DISSYMUL: My skyn ys so thyke yt wyll not throw glyde.
THE POPE Late us goo abowght owr other materes now.
SAY THIS ALL THRE: We wayte her upon~the greate holynes of yow.
THE POPE: For as moch as Kyng Johan doth Holy Church so handle,
Here I do curse~ hym wydi crosse, boke, bell and candle;
Lyke as this same roode turneth now from me his face,
So God I requyre to sequester hym of his grace;
As this boke doth speare by my worke mamuall,
I wyll God to close uppe from hym his beny~ttes all;
As this burnyng flame goth from this candle in syght,
I wyll God to put hym from his etern4l lyght;
I take hym from Crist, and after the sownd of this bell,
Both body and sowle I geve hym to the devyll of hell.
I take from hym bapty[s]m with the othere sacramentes
And suifrages of the Churche, bothe ember dayes and lentes.
Here I take from hym bothe penonce and confessyon,
Masse of the v. wondes with sensyng and processyon.
Here I take from hym holy water and holy brede,
And never wyll them to stande hym in any sted.
This thyng to publysbe I constytute yow thre,
Gevyng yow my powr and my full autoryte.
SAY THIS ALL THRRE: With the grace of God we shall performe yt, than.
THE POPE Than gett yow foreward so fast as ever ye can
Uppon a bone vyage; yet late us syng meryly.
SEDICYON: Than begyne the song and we shall folow gladly.
Here they shall syng.
THE POPE: To coloure this thyng, thow shalte be callyd Pandulphus;
Thow, Stevyn Langton; thy name shall be Raymundus.
Fyrst thow, Pandoiphus, shalt opynly hym suspend
With boke, bell and candle; yf he wyll not so amend,
Interdycte his lande and the churches all up speare.
PRIVAT WELTH: I have my massage; to do yt I wyll not feare.
Here go owt and dresse for Nolylyte.
THE POPE And thow, Stevyn Langton, cummaund the bysshoppes all
So many to curse as are to hym bene~cyall,
Dwkes, erles, and lordes, wherby they may forsake hym.
SEDICYON: Sur, I wyll do yt, and that, I trow, shall shake hym.
THE POPE: Raymundus, go thow forth to the Crysten princes all;
Byd them in my name that they uppon hym fall,
Bothe with fyre and sword, that the Churche may hym conquarre.
DISSYMUL: Yowr plesur I wyll no lengar tyme defarre.
THE POPE Saye this to them also: Pope Innocent the Thred
Remyssyon of synnes to so many men~hath graunted
As wyll do ther best to slee hym yf they may.
DISSYMUL: Sur, yt shall be don with-owt ony lenger delay
THE POPE: In the meane season~I shall soch gere a-vaunce
As wyll be to us a perpetuall furderaunce:
Fyrst eare confessyon, than pardons, than purgatory,
Sayntes worchyppyng than, than sekyng of ymagery,
Than Laten servyce with the cer~rnonyes many,
Wherby owr bysshoppes and abbottes shall get mony.
I wyll make a law to burne all herytykes,
And kynges to depose whan they are sysmatykes.
I wyll all-so reyse up the fowet beggyng orderes
That they ni~ay preche lyes in the Cristen borderes.
For this and other. I wyll call a generall cownsell
To ratyfye them in lyke strength with the Gospell.
Here the Pope go owt.
THE INTERPRETOUR: In thys present acte we have to yow declared,
As in a myrrour, the begynnynge of Kynge Johan,
How he was of God a magistrate~appoynted
To the governaunce of thys same noble regyon,
To see maynteyned d~ie true faythe and relygyon.
But Satan the Devyll, whych that tyme was at,
Had so great a swaye that he coulde it not discharge.
Upon a good zele he attempted very farre
For welthe of thys realme to provyde reformacyon
In the Churche therof, but they ded hym debarre
Of that good purpose; for, by excommunycacyon,
The space of vij yeares they i nterdyct thy liacyon.
These bloudsuppers thus, of crueltie and spyght,
Subdued thys good kynge for executynge ryght.
In the second acte thys wyll apeare more playne,
Wherein Pandulphus shall hym excommunycate
Within thys hys lande, and depose hym from hys reigne.
All other princes they shall move hym to hate
And to persecute after most cruell rate.
They wyll hym poyson in their malygnyte
And cause yll report of hym alwayes to be.
Thys noble Kyng Johan; as a faydifull Moyses,
Withstode proude Pharao for hys poore Israel,
Myndynge to brynge it out of the Lande of Darkenesse.
But the Egyptyanes ded agaynst hym so rebell
That hys poore people ded styli in the desart dwell,
Tyll that Duke Josue, whych was our late Kynge Henrye,
Clerely brought us in to the lande of mylke and honye.
Asa stronge David at the voyce of verytie,
Great Golye, the Pope, he strake downe with hys slynge
Restprynge agayne to a Christen lybertie
Hys lande and people, lyke a most vyctoryouse kynge,
To hir first bewtye intendynge the Churche to brynge,
From ceremonyes dead to the lyvynge wurde of the Lorde.
Thys the seconde acte wyll plenteously recorde.
Finit Actus Primus.

[ACT Two]
[Sedition] and Nobylyte cum in and say
NOBYLYTE: It petyeth my hart to se the controvercye
That now-a-dayes reygnethe be-twyn the kyng and the clargy.
All Cantorbery monkes are now the realme exyled,
The prystes and bysshoppes contyneally revyled,
The Cystean monkes are in soche perplexyte
That owt of Englond they reken all to flee~
I lament the chaunce as I wold God shuld me save.
SEDICYON: Yt is gracyously sayd; Godes blyssyng myght ye have!
Blyssyd is that man that wyll graunte or condyssend
To helpe relygyon or Holy Churche defend.
NOBYLYTE: For there mayntenance I have geyvn londes full fayere,
And have dysheryted many a la[w]full ayere.
SEDICYON: Well, yt is yowr owne good; God shall reward yow for ytt,
And in hevyn full hyghe for soch good workes shall ye sytt.
NOBYLYTE: Yowr habyte showythe ye to be a man of relygeon.
SEDICYON: I am no worse, sur; my name is Good Perfeccyon.
NOBYLYTE: I am the more glad to be aquented with ye.
SEDICYON: Ye show yowr-selfe here lyke a noble man, as ye be.
I perseyve ryght well yowr name ys Nobelyte.
NOBYLYTE: Yowr servont and umfrey. Of trewthe, father, I am he.
SEDICYON: From Innocent, the Pope, I am cum from Rome evyn now.
A thowsand tymes, I wene, he commendyth Hym unto yow,
And sent yow clene remyssyon to take the Chyrches parte.
NOBYLYTE: I thanke his Ho lynes. I shall do yt with all my harte.
Yf ye wold take paynes for heryng my confessyon,
I wold owt of hand resayve this deane remyssyon.
SEDICYON: Mary, with all my hart, I wyll be flill glad to do ytt.
NOBYLYTE: Put on yowr stolle, then, and I pray yow in Godes name sytt.
Here sett down, and Nobelyte shall say Benedycyte.
NOBYLYTE: Benedicite.
SEDICYON: Domirns: In nomine d~iminipape, amen. Say forth yowr mynd, in Godes name.
NOBYLYTE: I have synnyd agaynst God; I knowlege my selfe to blame:
In the vij dedly synnys I have offendyd sore;
Godes ten commaundymentes I have brokyn ever more;
My v. boddyly wytes I have on-godly kepte;
The workes of charyte in maner I have owt-slepte.
SEDICYON: I trust ye beleve as Holy Chyrch doth teache ye?
And from the new lemyng ye are wyllyng for to fle?
NOBYLYTE: From the new lernyng? Mary, God of hevyn save me!
I never lovyd yt of a chyld, so mote I the.
SEDICYON: Ye can saye yowr crede? And yowr Laten Ave Mary?
NOBYLYTE: Yea, and dyrge also, with sevyn psalmes and letteny.
SEDICYON: Do ye not beleve in purgatory and holy bred?
NOBYLYTE: Yes, and that good prayers 5hall stand my soule in stede.
SEDICYON: Well than, good inowgh; I warant my soulle for yowr.
NOBYLYTE: Than execute on me the Holy Fatheres powr.
SEDICYON: Naye, whyll I have yow here underneth benedicite,
In the Popes be-halfe I must move other thynges to ye.
NOBYLYTE: In the name of God, saye here what ye wyll to me.
SEDICYON: Ye know that Kyng Johan ys a very wycked man
And to Holy Chyrch a contynuall adversary.
The Pope wyllythyQwto do the best ye canne
To his subduyng, for his cruelltyrarny;
And for that purpose this prevylege gracyously
Of clene remyssyon he hath sent yow this tyme,
Clene to relesse yow of all yowr synne and cryme.
NOBYLYTE: Yt is clene agenst the nature of Nobelyte
To subdew his kyng with-owt Godes Autoryte,
For his princely astate and #owr ys of God.
I wold gladly do yt, but I fere his ryght-full rode.
SEDICYON: Godes Holy Vycare gave me his whole autoryte.
Loo, yt is here, man; beleve yt, I beseche the,
Or elles thow wylte faulle in danger of damnacyon.
NOBYLYTE: Than I submyt me to the Chyrches reformacyon.
SEDICYON: I assoyle the here from the kynges obedyence
By the auctoryte of the Popys magmfycence:
Auctoritate Romani Pontyficis ego absolvo te
From all possessyons gevyn to the spirltualte,
In nomine Domini Pape, Amen.
Kepe all thynges secrett, I pray yow hartely.
Go owt Nobelyte.
NOBYLYTE: Yes, that I wyll, sur, and cum agayne hether shortly. 1190
Here enter Clargy and Cyvyll Order together; and
Seaysyon shall go up and down a praty whyle.
CLERGYE: Ys not yowr fatherhod Archebysshope of Canterbery?
SEDICYON: I am Stevyn Langton. Why make ye here inquyry?
Knele and say both
[CLERGY:] Ye are ryght welcum to this same
[CIVIL ORDER:]f regyon, trewly.
SEDICYON: Stond up, I pray yow. I trow thou art the Clargy.
CLERGYE: I am the same, sur, and this is Cyvyle Order.
SEDICYON: Yf a man myght axe yow, what make yow in this bordere?
CLERGYE: I here tell yester-daye ye were cum in to the lond.
I thowght for to se yow, sum newes to understand.
SEDICYON: In fayth, thow art welcum. Ys Cyvyll Order thy frynd?
CLERGYE: He is a. good man and beryth the Chyrch good mynd.
CYVYLE ORDER: Ryght sory I am of the great controvarsy
Be~wyn hym and the kyng, yf I myght yt remedy.
SEDICYON: WelJ. Cyvyll Order, for thy good wyll gramercy;
That mater wyll be of an other facyon shortly.
Fyrst, to begynne with we shall interdyte the land.
CYVYLE ORDER: Mary, God forbyde we shuld be in soche band!
But who shall do yt, I pray yow hartyly?
SEDICYON: Pandulphus and I; we have yt in owr legacy.
He went to the kyng for that cawse yester-daye,
And I wyll folow so fast as ever I maye.
Lo, here ys the Bull of myn auctoryte.
CLERGYE: I pray -God to sav& the Popes holy majeste.
SEDICYON: Sytt downe on yowr kneys and ye shall have absolucyon
A pena et culpa, with a thowsand dayes of pardon.
Here ys fyrst a bone of the blyssyd Trynyte,
A dram of the tord of swete Seynt Barnabe;
Here ys a feddere of good Seynt Myhelles wyng,
A toth of Seynt Twyde, a pece of Davyds harpe stryng,
The good blood of Haylys and owr blyssyd ladys mylke,
A lowse of Seynt Fraunces in this same crymsen sylke,
A scabbe of Saynt Job, a nayle of Adams too,
A maggott Qf Moyses, with a fart of Saynt Fandigo;
Here is a fygge leafe and a grape of Noes vyneyearde,
A bede of Saynt Blythe with the bracelet of a berewarde,
The Devyll that was hatcht in maistre Johan Shornes bote,
That the tree of Jesse ded plucke up by the roote;
Here ys the lachett of swett Seynt Thomas shewe,
A rybbe of Seynt Rabart, with the huckyll bone of a Jewe;
Here ys a joynt of Darvell Gathyron,
Besydes other bonys and relyckes many one.
In nomine Domimi Pape, Amen.
Aryse now lyke men and stande uppon yowr fete,
For here ye have caught an holy and a blyssyd hete.
Ye are now as clene as that day ye were borne
And lyke to have increase of chylderne, catell and come.
CYVYLE ORDER: Chyidryn? He can have non, for he ys not of that bade.
SEDICYON: Tushe, thowgh he hath non at home, he maye have sume abroade.
Now Clargy, my frynd, this must thow do for the Pope
And for Holy Chyrch: thow must mennys conscyence grope,
And as thow felyst them, so cause them for to wurcke.
Leat thetri show Kyng Johan no more faver than a Turcke;
Every wher sture them to make an insurreccyon.
CLERGYE: All that shall I do, and to provoke them more,
This interdyccyon I wyll lament very sore
In all my prechynges, and saye throwgh his occacyon
All we are under the danger of dampnacyon;
And this wyll move peple to helpe to put hym downe,
Or elles compel hym to geve up septur and crowne.
Yea, anA that wyll make those kynges that shall succede
Of the Holy Chyrche to stonde ever more in drede.
And bysydes all this, the chyrch dores I wyll upseale,
And closse up the belles that they ryng never a pele.
I wyll spere up the chalyce, crysmatory, crosse and all.
That masse they shall have non, bapty[s]m nor beryall.
And thys I know well wyll make the peple madde.
SEDICYON: Mary, that yt wyll; soche sauce he never had.
And what wylte thow do for Holy Chyrche, Cyvyll Ordere?
CYVYLE ORD-ER: For the clargyes sake I wyll in every border
Provoke the gret men to take the comonnys parte.
With cautyllys of the lawe I wyll so tycMe ther hart
They shall thynke all good that they shall passe upon,
And so shall we cum to ower full intent anon;
For yf the Church thryve than do we lawers thryve,
And yf they decay, ower welth ys not alyve.
Therfor we must helpe yowr state, masters, to uphold,
Or elles owr prof~ttes wyll cache a wynter colde.
I never knew lawer whych had ony crafty lernyng
That ever escapte yow with-owt a plentyows levyng
Therfore we may not leve Holy Churchys quarell,
But ever helpe yt, for ther fall ys owr parell.
SEDICYON: Godes blyssyng have ye! This ger than wyll worke, I trust.
CYVYLE ORDER: Or elles sum of us are lyke to lye in the dust.
SEDICYON: Let us all avoyde! Be the messe the kyng cummyth her!
CLERGYE: I wold hyde my selfe for a tyme yfI wyst where.
CYVYLE ORDER: Gow we hence apace, for I have spyed a corner.
Here go-owt all, and Kyng Johan cummyth in.
K. JOHAN: For non other cawse God hathe kynges constytute
And gevyn them the sword but forto correct all vyce.
I have attempted this thyng to execute
Uppon transgressers accordyng unto justyce,
And be cawse I wyll not be parcyall in myn offyce
For theft and murder to persones spirytuall,
I have ageynst me the pristes and the bysshoppes all.
A lyke dysesure in my fatheres tyme ded fall
Forty yeres ago for ponnyshment of a clarke.
No cunsell myght them to reformacyon call,
In ther openyon they wer so stordy and starke,
But ageynst ther prynce to the Pope they dyd so barke
That here in Ynglond, in every cyte and towne,
Excomminycacyons as thonder boltes cam downe.
For this ther captayn had after a pared crowne
And dyed upon yt, with-owt the kynges consent.
Than interdiccyons wer sent from the Popes renowne
Whych never left hym tyll he was penytent
And fully agreed unto the Popes apoyntment,
In Ynglond to stand with the Chyrches lyberte
And suffer the pristes to Rome for appeles to flee.
They bownd hym also to helpe lerusalem cyte
With ii hundrid men the space of a yere and more,
And thre yere after to maynteyne battell free
Ageynst the Sarazens, whych vext the Spannyardes sore.
Synce my fatheres tyme I have borne them groge therfor,
Cdnsydryng the pryde and the capcyose dysdayne
That they have to kynges, whych Qwghte over them to rayne.
Privat Welth cum in lyke a cardynall.
[PRIVATE WEALTH:] God save yow, sur kyng, in yowr pryncly mageste.
K JOHAN: Frynd, ye be welcum. What is yowr plesur with me?
PRIVAT WELTH: From the Holy Father, Pope Innocent the Thred
As a massanger I am to yow dyrectyd
To reforme the peace betwyn Holy Chyrch and yow.
And in his behalfe I avertyce yow here now
Of the Chyrchys goodes to make flill restytucyon,
And to accepte also the Popes holy constytucyon
For Stevyn Langton, Archebysshop of Canturbery,
And so admytt hym to his state and primacy.
The monkes exilyd ye shall restore agayne
To ther placys and londes, and nothyng of theres retayne.
Owr Holy Fatheres mynde ys that ye shall agayne restore
All that ye have ravyshyd from Holy Chyrche with the more.
it. JOHAN: I reken yowr father wyll never be so harde,
But he cawse as well as theres regarde.
I have done nothyng but that I may do well;
And as for ther taxe, I have for me the Gospell.
PRIVAT WELTH: Tushe, Gospell or no, ye must make a recompens.
K JOHAN: Yowr father is sharpe and very quycke in sentence
Yf he wayeth the word of God nomor than so.
But I shall tell yow in ti~lis what Y shall do:
I am well content to receyve the monkes agayne
Upon amendement; but as for Stevyn Langton, playne,
He shall not cum here, for I know his dysposycyon.
He is moche inclyned to sturdynesse and sedicyon.
Ther shall no man rewle in the lond wher I am kyng
Withowt my consent, for no mannys plesur lyyyng.
Never the less yet upon a newe behave;
At the Popes request here aftere I may hym faver
And graunt hym to have sum other benyfce.
PRIVAT WELTH: By thys I perseyve ye bare hym groge and malyce.
Well, thys wyll I say by cause ye are so blunte:
A prelate to dyscharge Holy Chyrche was never wonnt,
But her custome ys to mynyster ponnyshment
To kynges and prlnces beyng dyssobedyent.
K JOHAN: Avant, pevysh pristi what, dost thow thretten me?
I def~e the worst, both of thi Pope and the!
The powr of princys ys gevyn from God above,
And, as sayth Salomon, ther hartes the Lord doth move.
God spekyth in ther lyppes whan they geve jugement.
The lawys that they make are by the lordes appoyntment.
Christ wylled not his the princes to correcte,
But to ther precepptes rether to be subjectn
The ofyce of yow ys not to bere the sword,
But to geve cowasell acordyng to Godes word.
He never tawght his to weare nowther sword nor sallett,
But to preche abrode with-owt staffe, scrypp or walett;
Yet ar ye becuna soche myghty lordes this howr
That ye are able to subdewe all princes powr.
I can not perseyve, but ye are becum Belles prystes,
Lyvyng by ydolles; yea, the very Antychrystes.
PRIVAT WELTH: Ye have sayd yowr mynd, now wyll I say myn also.
Here I cursse yow for the wronges that ye have do
Unto Holy Churche, with crosse, bocke, bell and candell;
And by sydes all thys, I must yow otherwyse handell.
Of conturnacy the Pope hath yow convyt;
From this day forward yowr lond stond interdyrt.
The Bysthope of Norwyche and the Bysshope of Wynchester
Hath full autoryte to spred it in Ynglond here;
The Bysahope of Salysbery and the Bysahope of Rochester
Shall execute yt in Scotlond every where;
The Bysshope of Landaffe, Seynt Assys and Seynt Davy
In Walles and in Erlond shall puplyshe yt openly.
Throwgh owt all Crystyndom the bysshoppes shall suspend
All soche as to yow any mayntenance pretend;
And I cursse all them that geve to yow ther harte,
Dewkes, erlles and lordes, so many as take yowr parte;
And I assoyle yowr peple from yowr obedyence,
That they shall owe yow noyther fewte nor reverence.
By the Popys awctorvte I charge them with yow to fyght
As with a tyrant agenst Holy Chyrchys ryght;
And by the Popes auctoryte I geve them absolucyon
A peaa et culpa, and also clene remyssy on.
Extra locum.
SEDICYON: Alarum! Maruml T?o ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro!
Thomp, thomp, thomp! Downe, downe, downel to go, to go,to go!
K JOHAN: What a noyse is thys that without the dore is made?
PRIVAT WELTH: Suche enmyes are up as wyll your realme invade.
K JOHAN: Ye cowde do nomor and ye cam from the devyll of hell
Than ye go abowt here to worke by yo[w]r wyclcyd cownsell.
Ys this the charyte of that ye call the Churche?
God graunt Cbristen men not after yowr wayes to worcbe.
I sett not by yowr curssys the shakyng of a rod,
For I know they are of the devyll and not of God.
Yowr curssys we have, that we never yet demaundyd,
But we can not have that God bath yow commaundyd.
PRIVAT WELTH: What ye mene by that I wold ye shuld opynlye tell.
K JOHAN: Why, know ye it not? The prechyng of the Gospell.
Take to ye yowr.traysh, yowr ryngyng, syngyng and pypyng,
So that we may have the Scryptures openyng.
But that we can not have; yt stondyth not with yowr avantage.
PRIVAT WELTH: Abe! Now I fell yow for this heretycall langage:
I thynke noyther yow nor ony of yowres, iwys,
We wyll so provyd, shall ware the crowne after this.
Go owt and dresse for Nobylyte.
K. JOHAN: Yt becum not the Godes secret workes to deme.
Gett the hence, or elles we shall teche the to blaspheme!
Oh lord, how wycked ys that same generacyon
That never wyll cum to a godly reformacyon.
The prystes report me to be a wyckyd tyrant
Be-cause I correct ther actes and lyfe unplesaunt.
Of thy prince, sayth God, thow shalt report non yll,
But thy selfe applye his plesur to fulfyll.
The byrdes of the ayer shall speke to ther gret shame,
As sayth Eoclesyastes, that wyll a prince dyffame.
The powrs are of God, I wot Powle bath soch sentence;
He that resyst them agenst God maketh
Mary and Joseph at Cyrinus appoyntment,
In the descripryon to Cesar wer obedyent.
Crist ded paye trybute, for hymselfe, and Peter to,
For a lawe prescrybyng the same unto pristes also;
To prophane princes he obeyed unto dethe.
So ded John Baptyst so longe as he had brethe.
Peter, John and Powle, with the other apostles all,
Ded never withstand the powers imperyall.
[Enter Civil Order]
Prystes are so wycked they wyll obeye no powr,
But seke to subdewe ther prynces day and howr,
As they wold do me; but I shall make them smart,
Yf that nobelyte and law wyll take my parte.
CYVYLE ORDER: Dowghtles we can not tyll ye be reconcylyd
Unto Holy Chyrche, for ye are a man defylyd.
K JOHAN: How am I defylyd? Tel me, good gentyll mate.
CYVYLE ORDER: By the Popes bye powr ye are excomynycate.
K. JOHAN: By the word of God, I pray thee, what powr bath he?
CYVYLE ORDER: I spake not wyth bym, and therfor I cannot tell ye.
K. JOHAN: With whom spake ye not? Late me know yowr intent.
CYVYLE ORDER: Mary, not with God sens the latter wecke of Lent.
[Enter Clergy.]
K JOHAN: Oh mercyfull God, what an unwyse clawse ys this,
Of bym that shuld se that nothyng ware amys.
That sentence or curse that Scriptur doth not dyrect,
In my opynyon, shall be of non effecte.
CLERGYE: Ys that yowr beleve? Mary, God save me from yow!
K. JOHAN: Prove yt by Scriptur, and than wyll I yt alowe.
But this know I well: whan Balaam gave the curse
Uppon Godes peple, they war never a whyt the worse.
CLERGYE: I passe not on the Scriptur: that ys mow for me
Whyche the Holy Father approvyth by his auctoryte.
K. JOHAN: Now alas, alas! What wreched peple ye are
And how ygnorant yowr owne wordes doth declare.
Woo ys that peple whych hath so wycked techeres.
CLERGYE: Naye, wo ys that peple that bathe so cruell rewlars.
Owr Holy Father, I trow, cowd do no lesse,
Consyderyng the factes of yowr owtragyosnes.
[Enter Nobility.]
NOBYLYTE: Com awaye, for shame, and make no more ado.
Ye are in gret danger for commynnyng with hym so.
He is acursyd; I mervell ye do not waye yt.
CLERGYE: I here by his wordes that he wyll not obeye yt.
NOBYLYTE: Whether he wyll or no, I wyll not with hym talke.
Tell he be assoyllyd. Corn on, my fryndes, wyll ye walke?
K. JOHAN: Oh, this is no tokyn of trew nobelyte,
To flee from yowr kyng in his extremyte.
NOBYLYTE: I shall dyssyer ybw as now to pardone me;
I had moche rather do agaynst G~od, veryly,
Than to Holy Chyrche to do any injurye.
K. JOHAN: What blyndnes is this? On this peple, Lord have mercy!
Ye speke of defylyng, but ye are corrupted all
With pestylent doctryne or leven pharesayycall.
Good [and] faythfull Susan sayd that yt was moche bettere
To fall in daun~er of men than do the gretter,
As to leve Godes lawe, whych ys his word most pure.
GLERGYE: Ye have nothyng, Yow to allege to us but Scripture?
Ye shall fare the worse for that, ye may be sure.
K. JOHAN: What shuld I allege elles, thu wycked Pharyse?
To yowr false lernyng no faythiull man wyll agree.
Dothe not the Lord say nun: reges intelligite?
The kynges of the erthe that worldly cawses juge,
Seke to the Scriptur; late tha? be yowr refuge.
cYvYLE ORDER: Have ye nothyng elles but this? Than God be with ye!
K. JOHAN: One questyon more yet ere ye departe from me
I wyll first demaund of yow, Nobelyte;
Why leve ye yowr prince and cleave to the Pope so sore?
NOBYLYTE: For I toke an othe to defend the Chyrche ever more.
K. JOHAN: Clergy, I am sure than yowr quarell ys not small.
CLERGYE: I am proffessyd to the ryghtes ecclesyastycall.
K JOHAN: And yow, Cyvyle Order, oweth her sum offyce of dewtye?
CYVYLE ORDER: I am hyr feed man; who shuld defend her but I?
K. JO HAN: Of all thre partyes yt is spokyn resonably:
Ye may not obeye becawse of the othe ye mad,
Yowr strong professyon maketh yow of that same trad,
Yowr fee provokyth yow to do as thes men do.
Grett thynges to cawse men from God to the devyll to go!
Yowr othe is growndyd fYrst uppon folysbenes,
And yowr professyon uppon mocbe pevyshenes;
Yowr fee, last of all, ryseth owt of covetasnes,
And thes are the cawses of yowr rebellyosnes.
CLERGYE: Cam; Cyvyll Order, lett us too departe from hence.
L JOHAN: Than are ye at a poynt for yowr obedyence?
CYVYLE OnDER: We wyll in no wysse be partakeres of yowr yll.
Here go owt Clargy, and ores~e for Ynglond and Syvyll Order for Commyncihe.
x. JOHAN: As ye have bene ever, so ye wyll contynew styll.
Thowgh they be gone, tarye yow with me a whyle;
The presence of a prynce to yow shuld never be vyle
NOBYLYTE: Sir, nothyng grevyth me but yowr excomynycacyon.
K JOHAN: That ys but a fantasy in yowr ymagynacyon.
The Lord refase not soch as bath his great cursse,
But call them to grace and faver them never the worsse.
Saynt Pawle wyllyth yow whan ye are among soch sort
Not to abhore them, but geve them wordes of comfort.
Why shuld ye than flee from me, yowr lawfall kyng,
For plesur of soth as owght to do no suche thyng?
The Chyrches abusyons, as holy Seynt Powle do say;
By the princes powr owght for to be takyn awaye;
He baryth not the sword withowt a cawse, sayth be.
In this neyther byssbope nore splrituall man is free;
Offendyng the lawe, they are under the poweres, all.
NOBYLYTE: How wyll ye prove me that the fatheres sprytuall
Were under the princes ever contynewally?
JOHAN: By the actes of kynges I wyll prove yt by and by:
David and Salomon the pristes ded constitute,
Commandyng the oflyces that they shuld execute.
Josaphat the kyng the mynysters ded appoynt;
So ded Kyng Ezechias, whom God bym-selfe ded anoynt.
Dyverse of the princes for the pristes ded make decrees,
Lyke as yt~ is pleyn in the fyrst of Macbabees.
Owr pristes are rysyn throwgh lyberte of kynges
By ryches to pryd and other unlawful! doynges,
And that is the cawse that they so oft dysobeye.
NOBYLYTE: Good lord, what a craft have yow thes thynges to convaye!
K. JOHAN: Now, alas, that the false pretence of superstycyon
Shuld cawse yow to be a mayntener of sedycyon.
Sum thynhyth nobelyte in natur to consyst,
Or in parentage; ther thowght is but a myst.
Wher habundance is of ve?tu, fayth and grace,
With knowlage of the Lord, nobelyte is ther in place,
And not wher as is the wylfull contempte of thynges
Pertaynyng to God iu the obedyence of kynges.
Beware ye synke not with Dathan and Abiron
For dysobeyng the powr and domynyon.
NOBYLYTE: Nay, byd me be-ware I do not synke with yow here;
Beyng acurssyd, of trewth ye put me in fere.
K. JOHAN: Why are ye gone hence, and wyll ye no longar tarrye?
NOBYLYTE: No, wher as yow are in place, by swete Seynt Marye!
Here Nobelyte go Owt and dresse for the Cardynall.
Here enter Ynglond and Commynalte.
K. JOHAN: Blessed Lorde of heaven, what is the wretchednesse
Of thys wycked woridel An evyll of all evyls, doubtiesse.
Perceyve ye not here how the clergye hath rejecte
Their true allegeaunce to maynteyne the popysh secte?
See ye not how lyghte the lawers sett the poure,
Whome God commaundeth them to obeye yche daye and howre?
Nobylyte also, whych ought hys prynce to assyste,
Is vanyshed awaye, as it we[re] a wynter myste.
All they are from mee; I am now left alone,
And, God wote, i~nowe not to whome to make my mone.
Oh, yet wolde I fayne knowe the mynde of my Commynnalte,
Whether he wyll go with them or abyde with me.
ENGLANDE: He is here at hond, a symple creatur as may be.
K. JOHAN: Cum hether, my frynde, stand nere. Ys thi-selfe he?
COMMYNNALTE: Yf it lyke yowr grace, I am yowr pore Commynnalte.
K. JOHAN: Thow art poore inowgh. Yf that be good, God help the!
Me thynke thow art blynd. Tell me, frynde, canst thou not see? I55c
ENGLANDE: He is blynd in dede. Yt is the more rewth and pytte.
K. JOHAN: How cummyst thow so blynd? I pray the, good fellow, tell me.
COMMYNNALTE: For want of Imowlage in Christes lyvely veryte.
ENGLANDE: This spfrituall blyndnes bryngeth men owt of the waye
And cause them oft tymes ther kynges to dyssobaye.
K. JOHAN: How sayst thow, Commynnalte? Wylt not thou take my parte?
COMMYNALTE: To that I cowd he contented with all my hart,
But, alas, in me.are two great impedymentes.
K JOHAN: I pray the, shew me what are those impedymentes.
COMMYNNALTE: The fyrst is blyridnes, wherby I myght take with the Pope
Soner than with yow, for, alas, I can but grope,
And ye know what fall well ther are many nowghty gydes.
The nexte is poverte, whych cleve so hard to my sydes
And ponych me so sore that my powr ys lytyll or non.
K. JOHAN: In Godes name, tell me how cummyth thi substance gone?
COMMYNNALTE: By pristes, channons and monkes, which do but fy11 ther bely
With my swett and labour for ther popych purgatory.
ENGLANDE: Yowr grace promysed me that I shuld have remedy
In that same mater whan I was last here, trewly.
K. JOHAN: Dowghtles I ded so; but, alas, yt wyll not be.
In hart I lament this great infelycyte.
ENGLANDE: Late me have my spowse and my londes at lyherte,
And I promyse yow my sonne here, yowr Commynallte,
I wyll make able to do ye dewtyfiill servyce.
K JOHAN: I wold I ware able to do to the that offyce,
But, alas, I am not, for why my nobelyte,
My lawers and clargy hath cowardly forsake me.
And now last of all, to my most angaysh of mynd,
My Commynnalte here I fytid both poore and blynd.
ENGLANDE: Rest upon this, ser, for my governor ye shall be
So long as ye lyve; God hath so apoynted me.
His owtward blyndness ys but a syngnyficacyon
Of blyndues in sowle for lacke of informacyon
In the word of God, which is the orygynall grownd
Of dyssobedyence, which all realmies doth confund.
Yf yowr grace wold cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly
And subdew those pristes that wyll not preche yt trewly,
The peple shuld know to ther prynce ther lawfull dewty;
But yf ye permytt contynuance of ypocresye
In monke[s], chanons and pristes, and mynysters of the clargy,
Yowr realme shall never be withowt moch traytery.
K. JOHAN: All that I persceyve and therfor I kepe owt fryers,
Lest they shuld bryng the moch farder into the bryers.
They have mad labur to inhabytt this same regyon;
They shall for my tym not enter my domynyon.
We have to many of soch vayne lowghtes aliredy.
I beshrew ther hartes, they have made yow ii full nedyl
Here enter Pandwlfus, the cardynall, and sayth
CARDYNALL: What, Commynalte, ys this the covnaunt kepyng?
Thow toldyst me th6u woldest take hym no more for thi kyng.
COMMYNNALTE: Peccavi, mea culpa! I submyt me to yowr holynes.
CARDYNALL: Gett the hence than shortly, and go abowt thi besynes!
Wayet on thy capttaynes, Nobelyte and the Clargy,
With Cyvyll Order and the other company.
Blow owt yowr tromppettes and sett tortn manrully,
The frenche kyng Phelype by sea doth hether apply
With the powr of Fraunce to sub dew this herytyke.
K. JOHAN: I defye both hym and the, lewde scysmatyke!
Why wylt thou for-sake thi prince or - thi prince leve the?
COMMYNNALTE: I must nedes obbay whan Holy Chirch commandyth me.
Go owt Commynulte.
ENGLA~DE: Yf thow leve thy kyng, take me never for thy mother.
CARDYNALL: Tush, care not thu for that, I shall provyd the another.
Yt ware fytter for yow to be in another place.
ENGLANDE: Yt shall becum rn~e to wayteupon his grace
And do hym servyce where as he ys resydente,
For I was gevyn hym of the Lord Om~ypotente.
CARDYNALL: Thow mayst not abyde here, for whye we have hym curssyd.
ENGLANDE: I beshrow yowr bartes so have ye me onpursed.
Yf he be acurssed than are we a mete cuppell,
For I am interdyct. No salve that sore can suppell.
CARDYNALL: I say, gett the hence, and make me no more pratyng.
ENGLANDE: I wyll not a-waye from myn owne lawfull kyng.
Appoyntyd of God tyll deth shall us departe.
CARDYNALL: Wyll ye not in dede? Well than, ye are lyke to smarte.
ENGLANDE: I smarte all redy throw yowr most suttell practyse,
And am clene ondone by yowr false nierchandyce
Yowr pardons, yowr bulles, yowr purgatory pyckepurse,
Yowr lent fastes, yowr schryftes - that I pray God geve yow his cursse!
CARDYNALL: Thou shalt smart better or we have done with the,
For we have this howr great navyes upon the see
In every quarter, with this loller here to fyght
And to conquarre hym for the Holy Chyrchis ryght.
We have [i]n the northe Alexander, the Kynge of Scottes,
With an armye of men that for their townnes cast lottes;
On the sowthe syde we have the Frenc~h kyng with his powr,
Which wyll sle and burne tyll he cum to Londen towr;
In the west partes we have Kyng Mph6n~e with the Spanyardes,
With sheppes fall of gonepowder now cummyng he ther towardes;
And on the est syde we have Esterlynges, panes; and Norwayes,
With soch powr landynge as can be resystyd nowayes.
K. JOHAN: All that is not true that yow have here expressed.
CARDYNALL: By the messe, so true as I have now confessed.
K. JOHAN: And what do ye meane by such an hurly burlye?
CARDYNALL: For the Churches ryght to subdue ye ma[n]fullye.
[Enter Sedition]
SEDICYON: To all that wyll fyght I proclame a Jubyle
Of deane remyssyon, thys tyraunt here to slee.
Destroye hys people, burne up both cytie and towne,
That the Pope of Rome maye have hys scepture and crowne.
In the Churches cause to dye thys daye be bolde;
Your sowles shall to heaven ere your fleshe and hones be colde.
K. JOHAN: Most mercyfull God as my trust is in The,
So comforte me now in this extremyte!
As thow holpyst David in his most hevynes,
So helpe me this hour of thy grace, mercye and goodnes..
CARDYNALL: This owtward remorse that ye show here evydent
Ys a grett lykelyhod and token of amendment.
How say ye, Kyng Johan? Can ye fynd now in yowr hart
To obaye Holy Chyrch and geve ower yowr froward part?
K. JOHAN: Were yt so possyble to hold thes enmyes backe,
That my swete Ynglond perysh not in this sheppwracke?
CARDYNALL: Possyble, quoth he? Yea, they shuld go bake indede,
And ther gret armyse to some other quarteres leede,
Or elles they have not so many good blyssynges now,
But as many cursynges they shall have, I make God a vowe.
I promyse yow, sur, ye shall have specyall faver
Yf ye wyll submyt yowr sylfe to Holye Chyrch here.
K. JOHAN: I trust than ye wyll graunt some delyberacyon
To have an answere of thys your protestacyon.
SEDICYON: Tush, gyve upp the crowne and make nomore a-do.
K. JOHAN: Your spirytuall charyte wyll be better to me than so.
The crowne of a realme is a matter of great wayght;
In gyyynge it upp we maye not be to slayght.
SEDICYON: I saye gyve it up! Lete us have nomore a-do.
CARDYNALL: Yea, and in our warres we wyll no farder go.
K. JOHAN: Ye wyll gyve me leave to talke first with my clergye?
SEDICYON: With them ye nede not; they are at a poynt afreadye.
K. JOHAN: Than with my lawers to heare what they wyll tell.
SEDICYON: Ye shall ever have them as the clergye gyve them counsel.
K. JOHAN: Then wyll I commen with my nobylyte.
SEDICYON: We have hym so jugled he wyll not to yow agree.
K. JOHAN: Yet shall I be content as he counsell me.
CARDYNALL: Than be not to longe from hence, I wyll advyse ye.
[Exeunt King John and England.]
SEDICYON: Is not thys a sport? By the messe, it is, I trowe.
What welthe and pleasure wyll now to our kyngedom growe!
Englande is our owne, whych is the most plesaunt grounde
In all the rounde worlde! Now maye we realmes confounde.
Our Holye Father maye now lyve at hys pleasure
And have habundaunce of wenches, wynes and treasure.
He is now able to kepe downe Christe and hys Gospell,
True fayth to exyle and all vertues to expell.
Now shall we ruffle it in velvattes, golde and sylke,
With shaven crownes, syde gownes, and rochettes whyte as mylke.
By the messe, Pandulphus, now maye we synge Cantate,
And crowe Confitebor, with a joyflill Iubilate!
Holde me, or els for laughynge I must burste.
CARDYNALL: Holde thy peace, whorson, I wene thu art accurst.
Kepe a sadde countenaunce. A very vengeaunce take the!
SEDICYON: I can not do it, by the messe, and thou shuldest hange me.
If Solon were here I recken that he woulde laugh,
Whych never laught yet; yea, lyke a whelpe he woulde waugh.
Ha, ha, hat Laugh, quoth he! Yea, laugh and laugh agayne!
We had never cause to laugh more free, I am playne.
CARDYNALL: I praye the, nomore, for here come the kynge agayne.
[King John and England return.]
Ye are at a poynt wherto yeintende to stande?
SEDICYON: Yea, hardely sir: gyve up the crowne of Englande.
L JO HAN: I have cast in mynde the great displeasures of warre,
The daungers, the losses, the decayes b6th nere and farre,
The burnynge of townes, the throwynge downe of buyldynges,
Destructyon of come and cattell, with other thynges,
De~lynge of maydes and shedynge of Christen blood,
With suche lyke outrages, neyther honest, true nor good.
These thynges consydered, I am compelled thys houre
To resigne up here both crowne and regall poure.
ENGLANDE: For the love of God, yet take some better advysement.
SEDICYON: Holde your tunge, ye whore, or by the messe ye shall repent!
Downe on your mary bones and make nomore a-do!
ENGLANDE: If ye love me, sir, for Gods sake do never so.
K. JOHAN: 0 Englande, Englande, shewe now thyselfe a mother;
Thy people wyll els be slayne here without nomber
As God shall judge me, I do not thys of cowardnesse
But of compassyon, in thys extreme heavynesse.
Shall my people shedde their bloude in suche habundaunce?
Nay, I shall rather gyve upp my whole go vernaunce.
SEDICYON: Come of apace, than, and make an ende of it shortly.
ENGLANDE: The most pytiefull chaunce that hath bene hytherto, surely.
K. JOHAN: Here I submyt me to Pope Innocent the Thred,
Dyssyering mercy of hys holy fatherhed.
CARDYNALL: Geve up the crowne, than; yt shalbe the better for ye.
He wyll unto yow the more favorable be.
Here the Kyng delevyr the crowne to the Cardynali
K. JOHAN: To hym I resygne here the septer and the crowne
Of Ynglond and Yrelond, with the powr and renowne,
And put me whQlly to his mercyfull ordynance.
CARDYNALL: I may say this day the Chyrch hath a full gret chaunce.
Thes v dayes I wyll kepe this crowne in myn owne hande,
In the Popes behalfe upseasyng Ynglond and Yerlond.
In the meane season ye shall make an oblygacyon
For yow and yowr ayers, in this synyficacyon:
To resayve yowr crowne of the Pope for ever more
In maner of fefarme; and for a tokyn therfor
Ye shall every yere paye hym a thowsand marke
With the peter pens, and not age nst yt barke.
Ye shall also geve to the Bysshoppe of Cantorbery
A thre thowsand marke for his gret injury.
To the Chyrch besydes, for the great scathe ye have done,
Forty thowsand marke ye shall delyver sone.
L JO HAN: Ser, the taxe that I had of the hole realme of Ynglond
Amownted to no more but unto xxxti thowsand.
Why shuld I than paye so moche unto the Clargy?
CARDYNALL: Ye shall geve yt them; ther is no remedy.
K. JOHAN: Shall they paye no tribute yf the realme stond in rerage?
CARDYNALL: Sir, they shall paye none; we wyll have no soch bondage.
K. JOHAN: The Pope had at once thre hundred thowsand marke.
CARDYNALL: What is that to yow? Ah, styll ye wyll be starke.
Ye shall paye yt sir; ther is no remedy.
K JOHAN: Yt shall be performed as ye wyll have yt, trewly.
ENGLAN~E: So noble a realme to stande tributarye, alas,
To the Devyls vycar! Suche fortune never was.
SEDICYON: Out with thys harlot! Cockes sowle, she hath lete a fart!
ENGLANDE: Lyke a wretche thu lyest; thy report is lyke as thu art.
[Exit Sedition.]
CARDYNALL: Ye shall suffer the monkes and channons to make re-entry
In to ther abbayes and to dwell ther peacehly.
Ye shall se also to my great labur and charge.
For other thynges elles we shall commen more at large.
K. JOHAN: Ser, in every poynt I shall fulfyll yowr plesur.
CARDYNALL: Than plye yt apace and lett us have the tresur.
ENGLANDE: Alacke for pyte that ever ye grantyd this.
For me, pore Ynglond, ye have done sore amys;
Of a fre woman ye have now mad a b9nde mayd.
Yowr selfe and heyres ye have for ever decayd.
Alas, I had rether be underneth the Turke
Than under the wynges of soch a thefe to lurke.
K. JOHAN: Content the, Ynglond, for ther ys~no remedy.
ENGLANDE: Yf yow be plesyd than I must cdnsent gladly.
K. JOHAN: If I shoulde not graunt here woulde be a wondrefull spoyle;
Every where the enemyes woulde ruffle and turmoyle.
The losse of people stycketh most unto my harte.
ENGLANDE: Do as ye thynke best; yche waye is to my smarte.
CARD YNALL: Are ye at a poynt with the same oblygacyon?
K. JO H AN: Yt is here redye at yowr interrogacyon.
Here Kyng johan 8Aa11 delevyr tAe oblyga:yon.
CARDYNALL: Wher is the mony for yowr full restytucyon?
K. JOHAN: Here, ser, accordyng to yowr last constutucyon.
CARDYNALL: Cum hether, my lorde. By the Popys autoryte
Assoyll this man here of irregularyte.
Here the bysshop Stevyn Langton cum in.
K. JOHAN: Me thynke this bysshope resembleth moch Sedycyon.
CARDYNALL: I cownsell yow yet to be ware of wrong suspycyon.
This is Stevyn Langton yowr meteropolytan.
K. JOHAN: Than do the offyce of the good samarytan,
And pore o~e and wyne in my old festerd wownd.
Releace me of synne that yt doth not me confownd.
Confiteor Domino Pape et omnibus cardinalibus eius et
vobis, quia peccavi nimis exigendo ab ecclesia tributum,
mea culpa. Ideo precor sanctissimum dominum Papam
et omnes prelatos eius et vos, orare pro me.
STEVYN LANGTON: Misereatur tui ommpotens Papa, et
dimittat tibi omnes erratus tuos, liberetque te a
suspencione, excominicacione et interdicto, et restituat te
in regnum tuum.
STEVYN LANGTON: Dominus Papa noster te absolvat, et ego
absolvo te auctortibate eius, et apostolorum Petri et Pauli in
hac parte mihi comissa, ab omnibus impietatibus tuis, et
restituo te corone et regno, in nomine Domini Pape, amen.
CARDYNALL: Ye are well content to take this man for yowr primate?
K. JOHAN: Yea, and to use hym accordyng to his estate.
I am ryght sory that ever I yow offendy&
SEDICYON: And I am flill gladde that ye are so welle amended.
Unto Holy Churche ye are now an obedyent chylde,
Where ye were afore with heresye muche de~elde.
ENGLANDE: Sir, yonder is a clarke whych is condempned for treason.
The shryves woulde fayne knowe what to do with hym thys season.
[Enter Treason.]
K JOHAN: Come hyther, fellawe. What? My thynke thou art a pryste.
TREASON: He hath ofter gessed that of the truthe have myste.
K. JOHAN: A pryste and a traytour? How maye that wele agree?
TREASON: Yes, yes, wele ynough undemeth Benedicite.
Myself hath played it, and therfor I knowe it the better
Amonge crafytye cloyners there hath not bene a gretter.
K. JOHAN: Tell some of thy feates; thou mayest the better escape..
SEDICYON: Hem! Not to bolde yet; for a mowse the catte wyll gape.
TREASON: Twenty thousande traytour I have made in my tyme
Undre Benedicite betwyn hygh masse and pryme.
I made Nobylyte to be obedyent
To the Churche of Rome, whych most kynges maye repent.
I have so convayed that neyther priest nor lawer
Wyll obeye Gods wurde, nor yet the Gospell faver.
In the place of Christe I have sett up supersticyons:
For preachynges, ceremonyes; for Gods wurde, mennys tradicyons;
Come to the temple and there Christe bath no place;
Moyses and the paganes doth utterly hyrn deface.
ENGLANDE: Marke wele, sfr. Tell what we have of Moyses.
TREASON: All your ceremonyes, your copes and your sensers, doubtlesse,
Your fyers, your waters, your oyles, your aulters, your ashes,
Your candlestyckes, your cruettes, your salte with suche lyke trashes;
Ye lacke bu~t the bloude of a goate or els a calfe.
ENGLANDE: Lete us heare sumwhat also in the paganes behalfe.
TREASON: Of the paganes ye have your gylded ymages all,
In your necessytees upon them for to call
With crowchynges, with kyssynges and settynge up of lyghtes,
Bearynge them in processyon and fastynges upon their nyghtes;
Some for the tothe-ake, some for the pestylenoe and poxe,
With ymages of wax to brynge. moneye to the boxe.
ENGLANDE: What have they of Christe in the Church; I praye the teIl.
TREAS ON: Marry nothynge at all but the Epystle and the Gospell, I
And that is in Latyne that no man shoulde it knowe.
SEDICYON: Peace, noughty whoreson, peace; thou playest the knave, I trowe.
K. JOHAN: Hast thou knowne.suche wayes and sought no reformacyon?
[TREASON:] It is the lyvynge of our whole congregacyon.
If supersticyons and ceremoneys from us fall,
Farwele, nionke and chanon, priest, fryer, byshopp and all.
Our conveyaunce is suche that we have both moneye and ware.
SEDICYON: Our occupacyon thou wylt marre! God gyve the care.
ENGLANDE: Very fewe of ye wyll Peters offyce take?
TREASON: Yes, the more part of us our maistre hath forsake.
ENGLANDE: I meane for preachynge. I praye God thu be curste.
TREASON: No, no, with Judas we love wele to be purste.
We selle our maker so sone as we have hym made,
And as for preachynge, we meddle not with that trade
Least Annas, Cayphas, and the lawers shulde us blame,
Callynge us to a reckenynge for preachynge in that name.
K. JOHAN: But tell me, person, whie wert thu cast in preson?
[REASON:] For no great matter, but a lyttle petye treason:
For conjurynge, calkynge, and coynynge of newe grotes
For clippynge of nobles with suche lyke pratye motes.
ENGLANDE: Thys is hygh treason, and hath bene evermore.
K. JOHAN: It is suche treason as he shall sure hange fore.
TREASON: I have holy orders; by the messe I defye your wurst!
Ye can not towche me but ye must be accurst.
K. JOHAN: We wyll not towche the, the halter shall do yt alone.
Curse the rope, therfor, whan thu begynnest to grone.
TREASON: And sett ye nomore by the holy ordre ofprestehode?
Ye wyll prove your-selfe an heretyke, by the rode.
K. JOHAN: Come hyther, Englande, and here what I saye to the.
ENGLANDE: I am all readye to do as ye commaunde me.
JOHAN: For so much as he hath falsefyed our coyne,
As he is worthie lete hym with an halter joyne.
Thu shalt hange no priest nor yet none honest man,
But a traytour, a thefe, and one that lyttle good can.
CARDYNALL: What, yet agaynst the Churche? Gett me boke, belle, and candle;
As I am true priest, I shall ye yett better handle.
Ye neyther regarde hys crowne nor anoynted fyngers,
The oflyce of a priest nor the grace that therm lyngers.
SEDICYON: Sir, pacyent yourselfe, and all thynge shall well.
Fygh, man! To the Churche that ye shulde be styli a rebell!
ENGLANDE: I accompt hym no priest that worke such haynouse treason.
SEDICYON: It is a worlde to heare a folysh woman reason.
CARDYNALL: After thys maner ye used Peter Pomfrete,
A good symple man and as they saye, a profete.
K. JOHAN: Sir, I ded prove hym a very supersticyouse wretche
And blasphemouse lyar; therfor ded the lawe hym upstretche.
He prophecyed first I shulde reigne but xiiij years,
Makynge the people to beleve he coulde bynde bears;
And I have reigned a seventene years and more.
And anon after he grudged at me very sore,
And sayde I shulde by exylded out of my realme
Before the Ascencyon, whych was turned to a fantastycall dreame,
Saynge he woulde hange if hys prophecye were not true.
Thus hys owne decaye hys folyshnesse ded brue.
CARDYNALL: Ye shoulde not hange hym whych is a frynde to the Churche.
K JOHAN: Alac, that ye shoulde counte them fryndes of the Churche
That agaynst all truthe so hypocritycally lurche;
An yll churche is it that hath suche fryndes indede.
ENGLANDE: Of Maister Morres suche an-other fable we reade,
That in Morgans fyelde the sowle of a knyght made verses,
Apearynge unto hym and thys one he rehearces:
Destruet hoc regnum rex regum duplici plaga-
Whych is true as God spake with the Ape at Praga.
The sowles departed from thys heavye mortall payne
To the handes of God rerurneth never agayne.
A marvelouse thynge that ye thus delyght in lyes.
SEDICYON: Thys queane doth not els but mocke our blessed storyes.
That Peter angred ye whan he called ye a devyll incarnate.
K. JOHAN: He is now flill sure nomore so uncomely to prate.
Well as for thys man because that he is a priste
I gyve hym to ye; do with hym what ye lyste.
CARDYSIALL: In the Popes behalfe I wyll sumwhat take upon me:
Here I delyver hym by the Churches lyberte,
In spyght of your hart. Make of it what ye lyste.
K. JOHAN: I am pleased, I saye, because he ys pryste.
CARDYNALL: Whether ye be or no, it shall not greatly force.
Lete me see those cheanes. Go thy waye, and have remorce.
TREASON: God save your lordeshypps, I trust I shall
And do nomore so, or els, sir, God defende.
[Exit Treason.]
SEDICYON: I shall make the, I trowe, to kepe thy benefyce.
By the Marye Messe, the Imave wyll neyer be wyse!
ENGLANDE: Lyke lorde, lyke chaplayne; neyther barrell better herynge.
SEDICYON: Styll she must trartle; that tunge is alwayes sterynge
A wurde or two, sir, I must tell yow in your eare.
CARDYNALL: Of some advauntage I woulde very gladly heare.
sEDICYON: Releace not Englande of the generall interdictyon
Tyll the Kynge bath graunted the dowrye and the pencyon
Of Julyane, the wyfe of Kynge Richarde Cour de Lyon.
Ye knowe very well she beareth the Churche good mynde.
Tush, we must have all, manne, that she shall leave behynde.
As the saynge is, he fyndeth that surely bynde.
It were but folye suche louce endes for to lose;
The lande and the monye wyll make well for our purpose.
Tush, laye yokes upon hym more than he is able to beare;
Of Holy Churthe so he wyll stande ever in feare.
Suche a shrewe as he it is good to kepe undre awe.
ENGLANDE: Woo is that persone whych is undreneth your lawe!
Ye maye see good people what these same merchauntes are;
Their secrete knaveryes their open factes declare.
SEDICYON: Holde thy peace, callet; God gyve the sorowe and care!
cARDYNALL: Ere I releace yow of the interdyctyon heare,
In the whych your realme contynued hath thys seven yeare,
I Ye shall make Julyane, your syster in lawe, thys bande,
To gyve hir the thfrde part of Englande and of Irelande.
K. JOHAN: All the woride knoweth, sir, I owe hir no suche dewtye.
CARDYNALL: Ye shall gyve it to hir3 there is no remedye.
Wyll ye stylI withstande our Holy Fathers precepte?
SEDICYON: In peyne of dampnacyon hys commaundement must be kepte.
K. JOHAN: Oh, ye undo me, consyderynge my great paymentes.
ENGLANDE Sir disconfort not, for God hath sent debatementes;
Your mercyfull maker hath shewed upon ye hys powere,
From thys heavye yoke delyverynge yow thys howre.
The woman is dead; suche newes are hyther brought.
K. JOHAN: For me, a synnar thys myracle bath God wrought.
In most hygh paryls he ever me preserved,
And in thys daunger he bath from me swerved.
In genua procumbens Deum adorat dicens
As David sayth, Lorde, thu dost not leave thy servaunt
That wyll trust in the and in thy blessyd covenaunt.
SEDICYON: A vengeaunce take it! By.the messe, it is unhappye
She is dead so sone. Now is it past remedye.
So must we lose all now that she is clerely gone.
If that praye had bene ours, oh, it had bene alone!
The chaunce beynge suche, by my trouth, even lete it go;
No grote, no Parer Noster, no penye, no placebo.
The devyll go with it, seynge it wyll be no better.
ENGLANDE: Their myndes are all sett upon the fylthie luker.
CARDYNALL: Than here I releace yow of your interdictyons all,
And strayghtly commaunde yow upon daungers that tnaye fall
Nomore to meddle with the Churches reformacyon,
Nor holde men from Rome whan they make appellacy on,
By God and by all the contentes of thys bolte.
K. JoHAN: Agaynst Holy Churche I wyll nomore speake nor loke.
SEDICYON: G6, open the churche dores and lete the belles be ronge,
And through-out the realme see that Te Deum be songe.
Pryck upp your candels before Saynt Loe and Saynt Legearde,
Lete Saynt Antonyes hogge be had in some regarde.
If your ale, be sower and your breade moulde, certayne,
Now wyll they waxe swete; for the Pope hath blest ye agayne.
ENGLANDE: Than within a whyle I trust ye wyll preache the Gospell?
SEDICYON: That shall I tell the - kepe thu it in secrete counsell -
It shall neyther come in churche nor yet in chauncell.
CARDYNALL: Goo your wayes a pace and see our pleasure be done.
E. JOHAN: As ye have commaunded all shall be perfourmed sone.
[King John and England go out.]
CARDYNALL: By the messe, I laugh to see thys deane conveyaunce!
He is now full glad, as our pype goeth, to daunce;
By cockes sowle, he is now become a good parrysh clarke.
SEDICYON. Ha, ha, wylye whoreson, dost that so busyly marke?
I hope in a whyle we wyll make hym so to rave
That he shall become unto us a commen slave,
And shall do nothynge but as we byd hym do.
If we byd hym slea I trowe he wyll do so;
If we bydde hym burne suche as beleve in Cbriste,
He shall not saye naye to the byddynge of a prist~
But yet it is harde to trust what he wyll be,
He is so crabbed, by the Holye Trinyte.
To save all thynges up I holde best we make hym more sure
And gyve hym a sawce that he no longar endure.
Now that I remembre we shall not leave hym thus.
CARDYNALL: Whye, what shall we do to hym els, in the name of Jesus?
SEDICYON: Marry, fatchein Lewes, Kynge Phylyppes sonne of Fraunce,
To fall upon hym with hys menne and ordynaunce,
With wyldefYer, gunpouder, and suche lyke myrye tryckes,
To dryve hym to holde and searche hyna in the quyckes.
I wyll not leave hym tyll I brynge hym to hys yende.
CARDYNALL: Well, farwele Sedicyon, do as shall lye in thy myende.
[Exit Cardinal.]
SEDICYON: I marvele greatly where Dissymulacyon is.
DISSYMUL: I wyll come anon if thu tarry tyll I pysse.
[Enter Dissimulation.]
SEDICYON: I beshrewe your hartl Where have ye bene so longe?
DISSYMUL: In the gardene, man, the herbes and wedes amonge,
And there have I gote the poyson of toade.
I hope in a whyle to wurke some feate abroade.
SEDICYON: I was wonte surutyme of thy prevye counsell to be.
Am I now-adayes become a straunger to the?
DISSYMUL: I wyll tell the all undreneth Benedicite
What I mynde to do in case thu wylt assoyle me.
SEDICYON: Thu shalt be assoyled by the most Holy Fathers auctoryte.
DISSYMUL: Shall I so in dede? By the masse, than, now have at the!
SEDICYON: In nomine Pape, Amen.
DISSYMUL: Syr, thys is my mynde: I wyll gyve Kyng Johan thys poyson,
So makynge hyrn sure that he shall never have foyson.
And thys must thu saye to colour with the thynge,
That a penye lofe he wolde have brought to a shyllynge.
SEDICYON: Naye, that is suche a lye as easely wyll be felte.
DISSYMUL: Tush, man, amonge fooles it never wyll be smelte,
Though it be a foule great lye. Set upon it a good face,
And that wyll cause men beleve it in every place.
ssDicyoN: I am sure, than, thu wylt geve it hym in a drynke.
DIssYMUL:~Marry, that I wyll, and the one half with hym swynke
To encourage hym to drynke the botome off.
SEDICYON: If thu drynke the halfe thu shalt fynde it no scoff;
Of terryble deathe thu wylt stacker in the plashes.
DISSYMUL: Tush, though I dye, man, there wyll ryse more of my ashes.
I am sure the monkes wyll praye for me so bytterlye
That I shall not come in helle nor in purgatorye.
In the Popes kychyne the scullyons shall not brawle
Nor fyght for my grese. If the priestes woulde for me yewle
And grunt a good pace place~o with Requiem Masse,
Without muche tarryaunce I shulde to paradyse passe,
Where I myght be sure to make good cheare and be myrye,
For I can not awaye with that whoreson purgatorye.
SEDICYON: To kepe the from thens thu shalt have fyve monkes syngynge
In Swynsett Abbeye so longe as the woride is durynge.
They wyll daylye praye for the sowle of Father Symon,
A Cisteane monke whych poysened Kynge Johan.
DISSYMUL: Whan the worlde is done what helpe shall I have than?
SEDICYON: Than shyft for thy seff so wele as ever thou can.
DISSYMUL: Cockes sowle, he cometh beret Assoyle me that I were gone then.
SEDICYON: Ego CLbsolvo te m nomin9 Pape, Amen.
[Exeunt Sedidon and Dissimulation.
Enter King John and England.]
K. JOHAN: No prynce in the worlde in suche captivyte
As I am shys houre, and all for ryghteousnesse.
Agaynst me I have both the lordes and commynalte,
Byshoppes and lawers, whych in their cruell madnesse
Hath brought in hyther the Frenche kynges eldest sonne Lewes.
The chaunce unto me is not so dolorrouse,
But my lyfe thys daye is muche more tedyonse.
More of compassyon for shedynge of Clrristen blood
Than any thynge else, my sceptre I gave up latelye
To the Pope of Rome, whych hath no tytle good
Of jurisdyctyon, but of usurpacyon onlye.
And now to the, Lorde, I would rerygne up gladlye
Flectit genua.
Both my crowne and lyfe; for thyne owne ryght it is,
If it woulde please the, to take my sowle to thy bly~
ENGLANDE: Sir, discomfort ye not in the honour of Christe Jesu:
God wyll never fayle yow, intendynge not els but verta.
K JOHAN: The anguysh of sprete so pangeth me every where
That incessauntly I shyrst tyll I be there.
ENGLANDE: Sir, be of good chere, for the Pope hash sent a legate
Whose name is Gualo, your foes to excommunycate;
Not only Lewes whych hash wonne Rochestre,
Wynsore and London, Readynge and Wynchestre,
But so manye els as agaynst ye have rebelled
He hash suspended and openly accursed.
K JOHAN: They are all false~ knaves; all men of shem be ware
They never left me tyll they had me in their snare,
Now have they Otto the Emproure so wele as me,
And the French Kynge Phylypp, undre their captivyte.
All Christen princes they wyll have in their bandes.
The Pope and hys priestes are poyseners of all landes.
Mi Christen people be ware of trayterouse pristes,
For of truthe they are the pernicyouse Antichristes.
ENGLANDE: Thys same Gualo, sir, in your cause doth stoughtly barke.
K. JOHAN: They are all nought, Englande, so many as weare that marke.
From thys habytacyon, swete lorde, delyver me,
And preserve thys realme, of thy benygnyte.
DISSYMUL [sings offstage.] Wassayle, wassayle, out of the mylke payle,
Wassayle, wassayle, as whyte as my nayle,
Wassayle, wassayle, in snowe, froste, and hayle,
Wassayle, wassayle, with partriche and rayle.
Wassayle, wassayle, that muche doth avayle,
Wassayle, wassayle, that never wyll fayle.
K. JOHAN: Who is that, Englande? I praye the stepp fourth and see.
ENGLANDE: He doth seme a farre some relygyouse man to be.
DISSYMUL: [Enters.] Now Jesus preserve your worthye and excellent grace,
For doubtiesse there is a very angelyck face.
Now forsoth and God, I woulde thynke my self in heaven
If I myght remayne with yow but yeares alevyn;
I woulde covete here none other felicyte.
K. JOHAN: A lovynge persone thu mayest seme for to be.
DISSYMUL: I am as gentle a worme as ever ye see.
K. JOHAN: But what is thy name, good frynde? I praye the tell me.
DISSYMUL: Simon of Swynsett my very name is, per dee.
I am taken of men for monastycall devocyon,
And here have I brought yow a marvelouse good pocyon,
For I hearde ye saye that ye were very drye.
K. JOHAN:In dede I wolde gladly drynke. I praye the come nye.
DISSYMUL: The dayes of your lyfe never felt ye suche a cuppe,
So good and so holsome if ye woulde drynke it upp.
It passeth malmesaye, capryck, tyre or ypocras.
By my faythe, I thynke a better drynke never was.
K. JOHAN: Begynne, gentle monke; I praye the drnnke half to me.
DISSYMUL: If ye dronke all up it were the better for ye.
It woulde slake your thirst and also quycken your brayne.
A better drynke is not in Portyngale nor Spayne.
Therfor suppe it of and make an ende of it quycklye.
K. JOHAN: Naye, thu shalte drynke half. There is no remedye.
DISSYMUL: Good lucke to ye than; have at it by and bye.
Halfe wyll I consume if there be no remedye.
K. JOHAN: God saynt the, good monke, with all my very harte.
DISSYMUL: I have brought ye half; conveye me that for your parte.
Where art thu, Sedicyon? By the masse, I dye, I dye!
Helpe now at pynche. Alas, man, cum awaye shortlye.
[Enter Seditioni
SEDICYON: Come hyther apace, and gett thee to the farmerye.
I hav& provyded for the, by swete Saynt Powle,
Fyve monkes that shall synge contynually for thy sowle,
That I warande the thu shalt not come in helle.
DISSYMUL: To sende me to heaven goo rynge the holye belle
And synge for my sowle a masse of Scala Celi,
That I maye clyme up aloft with Enoch and Heli.
I do not doubte it but I shall he a saynt;
Provyde a gyldar, myne image for to paynt.
I dye for the Churche with Thomas of Canterberye;
Ye shall fast my vigyll and upon my daye be merye.
No doubt but I shall do myracles in a whyle,
And theffor lete me be shryned in the north yle.
SEDICYON: To the than wyll offer both crypple, halte and blynde,
Mad men and mesels, with suche as are woo behynde.
Exeunt [Dissimulation and Sedition.]
L JOHAN: My bodye me vexeth; I doubt muche of a tympanye.
ENGLANDE: Now alas, alas, your grace is betrayed cowardlye!
K. JOHAN: Where became the monke that was here with me latelye?
ENGLANDE: He is poysened, sir, and lyeth a dyenge surelye.
K. JOHAN: It can not be so, for he was here even now.
ENGLANDE: Doubtlesse, sir, it is so true as I have tolde yow.
A false Judas kysse he hath gyven yow and is gone.
The halte, sore and lame thys pitiefull case wyll mone.
Never prynce was there that made to poore peoples uses
So many masendewes, hospytals and spyttle howses
As your grace hath done yet sens the worlde began.
K JOHAN: Of priestes and of monkes I am counted a wycked man
F6r that I never buylte churche nor monasterye,
But my pleasure was to helpe suche as were nedye.
ENGLANDE: The more grace was yours, for at the daye of judgement
Christe wyll rewarde them whych hath done hys commaundement.
There is no promyse for voluntarye wurkes,
Nomore than there is for sacrifyce of the Turkes.
K. JOHAN: Doubtiesse I do fele muche grevaunce in my bodye.
ENGLANDE: As the~Lorde wele knoweth, for that I am full sorye.
K. JOHAN: There is no malyce to the malyce of the clergye.
Well, the Lorde God of heaven on me and them have mercye.
For doynge justyce they have ever hated me.
They caused my lande to be excommunycate
And me to resygne both crowne and princely dygnyte,
From my obedyence assoylynge every estate,
And now, last of all, they have me intoxycate.
I perceyve ryght wele their malyce hath none ende.
I desyre not els but that they maye sone amende.
I have sore hungred and thirsted ryghteousnesse
For the offyce sake that God hath me appoynted,
But now I perceyve that synne and wyckednesse
In thys wretched woride, lyke as Christe prophecyed,
Have the overhande; in me is it verefyed.
Praye for me, good people, I besych yow hartely,
That the Lorde above on my poore sowle have mercy.
Farwell, noble men, with the clergye spirytuall;
Farwell, men of lawe, with the whole commynnalte;
Your disobedyence I do forgyve yow all
And desyre God to perdon your imquyte.
Farwell, swete Englande, now last of all to the;
I am ryght sorye I coulde do for the nomore.
Farwele ones agayne, yea, farwell fQr evermore.
ENGLANDE: With the leave of God I wyll not leave ye thus,
But styli be with ye tyll he do take yow from us,
And than wyll I kepe your bodye for a memoryall.
K. JOHAN: Than plye it, Englande, and provyde for my buryall.
A wydowes oflyce it is to burye the deade.
EN GL A ~ D E: Alas, swete maistre, ye waye so heavy as leade.
Oh horryble case, that ever so noble a kynge
Shoulde thus be destroyed and lost for ryghteouse doynge
By a cruell sort of disguysed bloud so uppers,
Unmercyfull murtherers, all dronke in the bloude of marters.
Report what they wyll in their most furyouse madnesse,
Of thys noble kynge muche was the godlynesse.
[Enter Verity.]
VERITAS: I assure ye, fryndes, lete men wryte what they wyll,
Kynge Johan was a man both valeaunt and godlye.
What though Polydorus reporteth hym very yll
At the suggestyons of the malicyouse clergye?
Thynke yow a Romane with the Romanes can not lye?
Yes! Therfor, Leylande, Out of thy s[l]umbre awake,
And wytnesse a trewthe for thyne owne contrayes sake.
For hys valeauntuesse many excellent writers make
As Sigebertus, Vincentius and also Nauclerus;
Giraldus and Mathu Parys with hys noble vertues take
Yea, Paulus Phrigio, Johan Maior and Hector Boethius.
Nothynge is allowed in hys lyfe of Polydorus

Whych discommendeth hys ponnyshmentes for trayterye,
Advauncynge very sore hygh treason in the clergye.
Of hys godlynesse thus muche report wyll I:
Gracyouse provysyon for sore, sycke, halte and lame
He made in hys tyme, he made both in towne and cytie,
Grauntynge great lyberties for maytenaunce of the same
By markettes and fayers in places of notable name.
Great monymentes are in Yppeswych, Donwych and Berye,
Whych noteth hym to be a man of notable mercye.
Thy cytie of London through hys mere graunt and premye
Was first privyleged to have both mayer and shryve,
Where before hys tyme it had but baylyves onlye.
In hys dayes the brydge the cytiezens ded contryve.
[Enter NoAiUty, Clergy and Civil Order.]
Though he now be dead hys noble actes are alyve.
Hys zele is declared as towchynge Christes religyon
In that he exyled the Jewes out of thys regyon.
NOBYLYTE: Whome speake ye of; sir, I besyche ye
VERITAS: I talke of Kynge Johan, of late your prynce most worthye.
NOBYLYTE: Sir, he was a man of very wycked sorte.
VERITAS: Ye are muche to blame your prynce so to reporte.
How can ye presume to be called Nobilyte,
Diffamynge a prynce in your malygnyte?
Ecclesiastes sayth, If thu with an hatefull harte
Misnamest a kynge, thu playest suche a wycked parte
As byrdes of ayer to God wyll represent
To thy great parell and excedynge ponnyshment.
Saynt Hierome sayth also that he is of no renowne
But a vyle traytour that rebelleth agaynst the crowne.
CLERGYE: He speaketh not agaynst the crowne but the man, per dee.
VE RI TA 5: Oh, where is the sprete whych ought to reigne in the!
The crowne of it-selfe without the man is nothynge.
Learne of the Scriptures to have better undrestandynge
The harte of a kynge is in the handes of the Lorde,
And he directeth it, wyse Salomon to recorde.
They are abhomynable that use hym wyckedlye.
CLERGYE: He was never good to us, the sanctifed clergye.
vERITAS: Wyll ye knowe the cause before thys worshypfull cumpanye?
Your conversacyon and lyves are very ungodlye.
Kynge Salomon sayth, who hath a pure mynde,
Therm delyghtyn~, shall have a kynge to frynde.
On thys wurde Cleros, whych signyfieth a lott
Or a sortynge out into a most godly knott,
Ye do take your name, for that ye are the lordes
Select, of hys wurde to be the specyall recordes,
As of Saynt Mathias we have a syngular mencyon,
That they chose hym out anon after Christes ascencyon.
Thus do ye recken. But I feare ye come of Clerns,
A very noyfull worme, as Aristotle sheweth us,
By whome are destroyed the honycombes of bees;
For poore wydowes ye robbe as ded the Pharysees.
CYVYLE ORDER: I promyse yow it is uncharytably spoken.
VERIT AS: Treuthe ingendereth hate; ye shewe therof a token.
Ye are suche a man as ought every where to see
A godly order, but ye loose yche commynalte.
Plato thought alwayes that no hyghar love coulde be
Than a man to peyne hyinself for hys own countreye.
David for their sake the proude Phelistyan slewe,
Aioth made Eglon hys wyckednesse to rewe,
Esdras from Persye for hys owne contreys sake
Came to Hierusalem, their stronge-holdes up to make;
But yow, lyke wretches, cast over both contreye and kynge.
Ml manhode shameth to see your unnaturall doynge.
Ye wycked rulers, God doth abhorre ye all.
As Mantuan reporteth in hys Egloges Pastorall,
Ye fede nbt the shepe, but ever ye pylle the flocke
And clyppe them so nygh that scarsely ye leave one locke.
Your jugementes are suche that ye call to God in vayne
So longe as ye have your prynces in disdayne.
Chrysostome rep orteth that nobylyte of fryndes
Avayleth nothynge, except ye have godly myndes.
What profiteth it yow to be called spirytuall
Whyls yow for lucre from all good vertues fall.~
What prayse is it to yow to be called Cyvylyte
If yow from obedyence and godly order flee?
Anneus Seneca hath thys most provable sentence:
The gentyll free hart goeth never from obedyence.
CYVYLE ORDER: Sir, my bretherne and I woulde gladly knowe your name.
VERITAS: I am Veritas, that come hyth& yow to blame
For castynge awaye of our most lawfull kynge.
Both God and the woride detesteth your dampnable doynge.
How have ye used Kynge Johan here now of late?
I shame to rehearce the corruptyons of your state.
Ye were never wele tyll ye had hym cruelly slayne,
And now beynge dead, ye have hym styll in disdayne.
Ye have raysed up of hym most shamelesse lyes,
Both by your reportes and by your written storyes.
He that slewe Saul through fearcenesse vyolent
Was slayne sone after at Davids just commaundement,
For bycause that Saul was anoynted of the Lorde.
The Seconde of Kynges of thys beareth plenteouse recorde.
He was in those dayes estemed wurthie to dye
On a noynted kynge that layed handes violentlye.
Ye are not ashamed to fynde fyve pnestes to synge
For that same traytour that slewe your naturall kynge.
A trayterouse knave ye can set upp for a saynte,
And a ryghteouse kynge lyke an hatefull odyouse tyraunt paynte.
I coulde shewe the place where yow most spyghtfullye
Put out your torches upon hys physnomye.
In your glasse wyndowes ye whyppe your naturall kynges.
As I sayde afore, I abhorre to shewe your doynges.
The Turkes, I dare saye, are a thousande tymes better than yow.
NOBYLYTE: For Gods love, nomorel Alas, ye have sayde ynough.
CLERGYE: All the woride doth knowe that we have done sore amys.
CYVYLE ORDER:, Forgyve it us, so, that we never heare more of thys.
VERITAS: But are ye sorye for thys tingodly wurke?
NOBYLYTE: I praye to God, els I be dampned lyke a Turke.
VERITAS: And make true promyse ye wyll never more do so?
CLERGYE: Sir, never more shall I from true obe'yence goo.
VERITAS: What saye yow, brother? I must have also your sentence.
CYVYLE ORDER: I wyll ever gyve to my prynce due reverence.
VERITAS: Well, than, I doubt not but the Lorde wyll condescende
To forgyve yow all, so that ye mynde to amende.
Adewe to ye all, for now I must be gone.
[Enter Imperial Majesty.]
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Abyde, Veryte. Ye shall not depart so sone.
Have ye done all thynges as we commaunded yow?
VERITAS: Yea, most gracyouse prynce, I concluded the whole even now.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: And how do they lyke the customs they have used
With our predecessours, whome they have so abused,
Specyally Kynge Johan? Thynke they they.have done well?
VERITAS: They repent that ever they folowed sedicyouse counsell
And have made promes they wyll amende faultes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: And forsake the P9pe with all hys cruell assaultes?
VERITAS: Whie do ye not bowe to Imperyall Majeste?
Knele and axe pardon~for your great enormyte.
NOBYLYTE: Most godly govemour, we axe your gracyouse pardon,
Promysynge nevermore to maynteyne false Sedicyon.
CLERGYE: Neyther Prvyate Welthe, nor yet Usurped Poure
Shall cause me disobeye my prynce from thys same houre.
False Dissymulacyon shall never me begyle;
Where I shall mete hym I wyll ever hym revyle.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: I perceyve, Veryte, ye have done wele your part,
Refourmynge these men. Gramercyes with all my hart.
I praye yow take paynes to call our commynalte
To true obedyence, as ye are Gods Veryte.
VERITAS: I wyll do it, sir. Yet shall I have muche a-doo
With your Popish prelates. They wyll hunte me to and fro.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: So longe as I lyve they shall do yow no wronge.
VERITAS: Than wyll I go preache Gods wurde your commens amonge.
But first I desyre yow their stubberne factes to remytt.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: I forgyve yow all, and perdon your frowarde wytt.
OMNES UNA: The heavenly Governour rewarde your goodnesse for it!
VERITAS: For Gods sake obeye lyke as~oth yow
For in hys owne realme a kynge is judge over all
By Gods appoyntruent, and none maye hym judge agayne
But the Lorde hymself. In thys the Scripture is playne.
He that condempneth a kynge condempneth God without dought;
He that harmeth a kynge to harme God goeth abought;
He that a prynce resisteth doth dampne Gods ordynaunce
And resisteth God in withdrawynge hys affYaunce.
All subjectes offendynge are undre the kynges judgement;
A kynge is reserved to the Lorde Omnypotent.
He is a mynyster immedyate undre God,
Of hys ryghteousnesse to e*ecute the rod.
I charge yow, therfor, as God hath charge me,
To gyve to your kynge hys due supremyte
And exyle the Pope thys realme for evermore.
OMNES UNA: We shall gladly doo accordynge to your bore.
VERITAS: Your grace is content I shewe your people the same?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Yea, gentle Veryte, shewe them their dewtye, in Gods name.
[Exit Verity.]
To confyrme the tale that Veryte had now
The Seconde of Kynges is evydent to ypw.
The yonge man that brought the crowne and bracelett
Of Saul to David, saynge that he had hym slayne,
David commaunded, as though he had done that forfett,
Strayght waye to be slayne. Gods sprete ded hym constrayne
To shewe what it is, a kynges blonde to distayne.
So ded he those two that in the fyelde hym mett
And unto hym brought the heade of Isboset.
Consydre that Christe was undre the obedyence
Of worldly prynces so longe as he was here,
And alwayes used them with a lowly reverence,
Paynge them tribute, all hys true servauntes to stere
To obeye them, love them, and have them in reverent feare.
Dantpnacyon it is to hym that an ordre breake
Appoynted of God, lyke as the Apostle speake.
No man is exempt from thys, Gods ordynaunce;
Bishopp, monke, chanon, priest, cardynall, nor pope,
All they, by Gods lawe, to kynges owe their allegeaunce.
Thys wyll be wele knowne in thys same realme, I hope.
Of Verytees wurdes the syncere meanynge I grope:
He sayth that a kynge is of God immedyadye;
Than shall never pope rule more in thys monarchie.
CLERGYE: If it be your pleasure, we wyll exyle hym cleane,
That he in thys realme shall nevermore be seane:
And your grace-shall be the supreme head of the Churche;
To brynge thys to passe ye shall see how we wyll wurche.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Here is a nyce tale: he sayth, if it be my pleasure
He wyll do thys acte, to the Popes most hygh displeasure;
As who sayth I woulde, for pleasure of my persone
And not for Gods truthe, have suche an enterpryse done.
Full wysely convayed! The crowe wyll not chaunge her hewe.
It is marvele to me and ever ye be trewe.
I wyll the auctoryte of Gods holy wurde to do it:
And it not to aryse of your vayne slypper wytt•
That Scripture doth not is but a lyght fantasye.
CLERGYE: Both Daniel and Paule calleth hym Gods adversarye;
And theffor ye ought, as a devyll, hym to expell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Knewe ye thys afore, and woulde it never tell?
Ye shoulde repent it, had we not now forgyven ye.
Nobylyte, what saye yow? Wyll ye to thys agree?
NOBYLYTE: I can no lesse, sir, for he is wurse than the Turke,
Whych none other wayes but by tyrannye dotn wurke.
Thys bloudy bocher, with hys pernycyouse bayte,
Oppresse Christen princes by frawde, crafte, and dissayte,
Tyll he compell them to kysse hys pestylent fete,
Lyke a levyathan syttynge in Moyses sete.
I thynke we can do unto God no sacrifyce
That is more accept nor more agreynge to justyce
Than to slea that beaste and slauterman of the Devyll,
That Babylon boore, whych hath done so muche evyll.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: It~is a clere sygne of a true nobilyte
To the wurde of God whan your conscyence doth agree;
For, as Christe ded saye to Peter, caro et sanguis
Non revelavit tibi, sed Pater meus celestis:
Ye have not thys gyfte of carnall generac[y]on,
Nor of noble bloude, but by Gods owne demonstracyon.
Of yow, Cyvyle Order, one sentence woulde I heare.
CYVYLE ORDER: I rewe that ever any harte I ded hym beare.
I thynke he hath spronge out of the bottomlesse pytt,
And in mennys conscyence in the stede of God doth sytt,
Blowynge fourth a swarme of grassopers and flyes,
Monkes, fryers and priestes, that all truthe putrifyes.
Of the Christen faythe playe now the true defendar.
Exyle thys monster and ravenouse devourar
With hys venym wormes, hys adders, whelpes, and snakes,
Hys cuculled vermyne, that unto all myschiefe wakes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Than in thys purpose ye are all of one mynde?
CLERGYE: We detest the P6pe and abhorre hym to the fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: And are wele content to disobeye hys pryde?
NOBYLYTE: Yea, and hys lowsye lawes and decrees to sett asyde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Than must ye be sworne to take me for your heade.
CYVYLE ORDER: We wyll obeye yow as our governour in Gods steade.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Now that ye are sworne unto me, your pryncypall,
I charge ye to regarde the wurde of God over all,
And in that alone to rule, to speake, and to judge,
As ye wyll have me, your socour and refuge.
CLERYGE: If ye wyll make sure, ye must exyle Sedicyon,
False Dyssymulacyon, with all vayne superstycyon,,
And put Private Welthe out of the monasteryes;
Than Usurped Power maye goo a-birdynge for flyes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Take yow it in hande; and do your true dilygence,
Iche man for hys part: ye shall wante no assystence.
CLERGYE: I promyse yow here to exyle Usurped Powre,
And your supremyte to defende yche daye and howre.
NOBYLYTE: I promyse also out of the monasteryes
To put Private Welthe, and to detect hys mysteryes.
CYVYLE ORDER: False Dissymulacyon I wyll hange up in Smythfylde,
With suche supersticon as your people hath begylde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Than I trust we are at a very good conclusyon:
Vertu to have place, and vyce to have confusyon.
Take Veryte wyth ye for every acte ye doo,
So shall ye be sure not out of the waye to goo.
Sedicyon intrat.
Pepe, I see ye! I am glad I have spyed ye.
NOBYLYTE: There is Sedicyon. Stande yow asyde a whyle.
Ye shall see how we shall catche hym by a wyle.
SEDICYON: No noyse amonge ye? Where is the mery chere
That was wont to be, with quassynge of ~ouble here?
The woride is not yet as some men woulde it have.
I have bene abroade, and I thynke I have playde the knave.
CYVYLE ORDER: Thu canyst do none other, except thu change thy wunte.
SEDICYON: What myschiefe ayle ye that ye are to be so blunte?
I have sene the daye ye have favoured me, Peffectyon.
CLERGYE: Thy-selfe is not he; thu art of an-other complectyon.
Sir, thys is the thiefe that first subdued Kynge John,
Vexynge other prynces that sens have ruled thys regyon;
And now he doth prate he hath sb played the knave
That the worlde is not yet as some men woulde it have.
It woulde be knowne, sir, what he hath done of late.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: What is thy name, frynde? To us here intymate.
SEDICYON: A sayntwary! A sayntwary! For Gods dere passyon, a sayntwarye!
Is there none wyll holde me, and I have made so manye?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Tell me what thy name is; thu playest the knave, I trowe.
SEDICYON: I am wyndelesse, good man; I muche peyne to blowe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: I saye tell thy name, or the racke shall the constrayne.
SEDICYON: Holy Perfectyon my godmother called me playne.
NOBYLYTE: It is Sedicyon!. God gyve hym a very myschiefe!
CYVYLE ORDER: Undre heaven is not a more detestaDle thiefe.
SEDICYON: By the messe, ye lye. I see wele~ye do not knowe me.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Ah, brother, art thu come? I am ryght glad we have the.
SEDICYON: By bodye, bloude, bones, and sowle, I am not het
CLERGYE: If swearynge myghte helpe he woulde do we[ll] ynough.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: He scape not our handes so lyghily, I waraunde yow.
CLERGYE: Thys is that thiefe, sir, that all Christendome hath troubled,
And the Pope of Rome a~ynst all kynges maynteyned.
NOBYLYTE: Now that ye have hym, nomore but hange hym uppe.
CYVYLE ORDER: If ye so be content, it shall be done ere I suppe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Loo, the Clergye accuseth the; Nobylyte condempneth the;
And the lawe wyll hange the. What sayst now to me?
SEDICYON: I woulde I were now at Rome, at the sygne of the cuppe,
For heavynesse is dryel Alas, must I nedes clymbe uppe?
Perdon my lyfe and I shall tell ye all,
Both that is past, and that wyll herafter fall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Aryse. I perdon the, so that thu tell the trewthe.
SEDICYON: I wyll tell to yow suche treason as ensewthe.
Yet a ghostly father ought not to bewraye confessyon.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: No confessyon is but ought to discover treason.
SEDICYON: I thynke it maye~kepe all thynge save heresye.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: It maye holde no treason, I tell the verelye,
And theffor tell the whole matter by and bye.
Thu saydest now of late that thu haddest played the knave,
And that the woride was not as some men woulde it have.
SEDICYON: I coulde playe Pasquyll but I feare to have rebuke.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: For utterynge the truthe feare neyther byshopp nor duke.
SEDICYON: Ye gave injunctyons that Gods wurde myghte be taught.
But who observe them? Full manye a tyme have I laught
To see the conveyaunce that prelates and pflestes can fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: And whie do they beare Gods wurde no better mynde?
SEDICYON: For if that were knowne than wolde the people regarde
No heade but their prynce. With the Churche than were it harde.
Than shoulde I lacke helpe to maynteyne their estate,
As I attempted in the Northe but now of late,
And sens that same tyme in other places besyde
Tyll my setters on were of their purpose wyde.
A vengeaunce take itl It was never well with me.
Sens the cummynge hyther of that same Veryte.
Yet do the byshoppes for my sake vexe hym amonge.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Do they so in dede? Well, they shall not do so longe.
SEDICYON: In your parlement commaunde yow what ye wyll,
The Popes ceremonyes shall drowne the Gospell styll:
Some of the byshoppes at your injunctyons slepe;
Some laugh and go bye; and sQme can playe boo pepe;
Some of them do nought but searche for heretykes,
Whyls their priestes abroade do playe the scysmatykes.
Tell me, in London how manye their othes discharge
Of the curates there? Yet is it muche wurse at large.
If your true subjectes impugne their trecheryes,
They can fatche them in anon for Sacramentaryes,
Or Anabaptystes. Thus fYnde they a subtyle shyfte
To helpe proppe up their kyngedome; suche is their wyly dryfte.
Get they false wytnesses, they force not of whens they be,
Be they of Newgate, or be they of the Marshall-see.
Paraventure a thousande are in one byshoppes boke,
And agaynst a daye are readye to the hooke.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Are those matters true that thu hast spoken here?
SEDICYON: What can in the woride more evydent wytnesse bere?
First of all consydre the prelates do not preach;
But persecute those that the Holye Scriptures teache.
And marke me thys wele: they never ponysh for popery,
But the Gospell readers they handle very coursely,
For on them they laye by hondred poundes of yron
And wyll suffer none with them ones for to common.
Sytt they never so long; nothynge by them cometh fourthe
To the truthes furtheraunce that any-thynge ys wourdie.
In some byshoppes howse ye shall not fynde a testament;
But yche man readye to devoure the innocent.
We lyngar a tyme, and loke but for a daye
To sett upp the Pope, if the Gospell woulde decaye.
CLERGYE: Of that he hath tolde hys selfe in the very grounde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Art thu of counsell in thys that thu hast spoken?
SEDICYON: Yea, and in more than that if all secretes myght be broken,
For the Pope I make so muche as ever I maye do.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: I praye the hartely, tell me why thu doest so.
SEDICYON: For I perceyve wele the Pope is a jolye fellawe,
A trymme fellawe, a ryche fellawe, yea; and myry fellawe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: A jolye fellawe? How dost thu prove the Pope?
SEDICYON: For he hath crosse keyes, with a tryple crowne and a cope,
Trymme as a trencher, havynge hys shoes of gold;
Byche in hys ryalte and angelyck to beholde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: How dost thu prove hym to be a fellawe myrye?
SEDICYON: He hath pypes and belIes, with kyrye, kyrye, kyrye.
Of hym ye maye bye both salt, creame, oyle and waxe;
And after hygh masse ye maye learne to beare the paxe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Yea, and ndthynge heare of the Pystle and the Gospell?
SEDICYON:~No, sir, by the Masse; he wyll g~rve no suche counsell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Whan thu art a-broade w~ here doest thy lodgynge take?
SEDICYON: Amonge suche people as God ded never make;
Not only cuckoldes, but suche as folowe 'the Popes lawes
In disgysed coates, with baide crownes lyke jacke-dawes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE; Than every where thu art the Popes altogyther.
SEDICYON: Ye had proved it ere thys if Ihad not chaunced hyther.
I sought to have served yow lyke as I ded Kynge John;
But that Veryte stopte me, the Devyil hym poyson.
NOBYLYTE: He is wurthie to dye and there were men nombre.
CYVYLE ORDER: Hange up the vyle knave and kepe hym no longar in store.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: Drawe hym to Tyburne. Lete hym be hanged and quartered.
SEDICYON: Whye, of late dayes ye sayde I shoulde not so be martyred.
Where is the pardon that ye ded promyse me?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: For doynge more harme thu shalt sone pardoned be.
Have hym fourth, Cyvyle Orcire, and hange~hym tyll he be dead,
And on London Brydge loke ye bestowe hys head.
CYVYLE ORDER: I shall see it done, and returne to yow agayne.
SEDICYON: I beshrewe your hart for takynge so muche payne.
Some man tell the Pope, I besyche ye with all my harte,
How I am ordered for takynge the Churches parte,
That I maye be put in the Holye Letanye
With Thomas Beckett, for I thynke I am as wurthye.
Praye to me with candels for I am a saynt alreadye.
0 blessed Saynt Partryck, I see the, I, verylye.
[Civil Order leads Sedition away.]
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: I see by thys~wretche there hath bene muche faulte in ye.
Shewe your-selves herafter more sober and wyse to be.
Kynge Johan ye subdued for that he ponnyshed treason,
Rape, theft, and murther in the holye spirytualte:
But Thomas Becket ye exalted without reason
Because that he dyed for the Churches wanton lyberte,
That the priestes myght do all kyndes of inyquyte
And be unponnyshed. Marke now the judgement
Of your ydle braynes, and for Gods love repent.
NOBYLYTE: As God shall judge me, I repent me of my rudenesse.
CLERGYE: I am ashamed of my most vayne folyshenesse.
NOBYLYTE: I consydre now that God hath for Sedicyon
Sent ponnyshmentes great. Examples we have in Brute,
In Catilyne, in Cassius, and fayer Absolon,
Whome of their purpose God alwayes destytute,
And terryble plages on them ded execute
For their rebellyon. And therfor I wyll be ware,
Least hys great vengeaunce trappe me in suche lyke snare.
[Civil Order returns.]
CLERGYE: I pondre~also that sens the tyme of Adam
The Lorde evermore the governours preserved.
Examples we fynde in Noe and in Abraham,
In Moyses and David, from whome God n~ever swerved.
I wyll therfor obeye least he be with me displeased.
Homerus doth saye that God putteth forth hys shyelde,
The prynce to defende ~han he is in the fyelde.
CYVYLE ORDER: Thys also I marke whan the priestes had governaunce
Over the Hebrues, the sectes ded first aryse,
As Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essees, whych wrought muche grevaunce
Amonge the people by their most devylysh practyse,
Tyll destructyons the prynces ded devyse;
To the quyetnesse of their fay~ll commens all,
As your grace hath done with the sectes papistycall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: That poynt hath in tyme fallen to your memoryes.
The An:tbaptystes, a secte newe rysen of late,
The Scriptures poyseneth with their subde allegoryes,
The heades to subdue after a sedicyouse rate.
The cytie of Mynster was lost through their debate.
They have here begonne their pestilent sedes to sowe, 2630
But we trust in God to increace, they shall not growe.
CLERGYE: God forbyd the~] shoulde, for they myght do muche harme.
CYVYLE ORDER: We shall cut them short if they do hy~ther swarme.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE: The adminystracyon of a princes governaunce
Is the gifte of God and Hys hygh ordynaunce,
Whome with all your power ydw thre ought to support
In the lawes of God to all hys peoples comfort:
First yow, the Clergye, in preachynge of Gods worde;
Than yow, Nobilyte, defendynge with the sworde;
Yow, Cyvyle Order, in executyn~ge justyce.
Thus, I trust we shall seclude all maner of vyce.
And after we have establyshed our kyngedome,
In peace of the Lorde and in Hys godly fredome,
We wyll confirme it with wholesom lawes and decrees,
To the full suppressynge of Antichristes vanytees.
Hic omnes rex osculatur.
Farwele to ye all; first to yow Nobilyte,
Than to yow, Clergye, then to yow, Cyvylyte.
And above all thynges, remembre our injunctyon.
OMNES UNA: By the helpe of God, yche one shall do hys functyon.
[Exit Imperial Majesty]
NOBYLYTE: By thys example ye maye see with your eyes
How Antichristes whelpes have noble princes used.
Agayne ye maye see how they, with prodigyouse lyes
And craftes uncomely, their myschiefes have excused.
Both nature, manhode, and grace they have abused,
Defylynge the lawe, and blyndynge Nobilyte
No Christen regyon from their abusyons free.
CLERGYE: Marke wele the dampnable bestowynge of their masses,
With their foundacyons for poysenynge of their kynge.
Their confessyon driftes all other traytery passes.
A saynt the[y] can make of the most knave thys daye lyvynge,
Helpynge their market. And to promote the thynge
He shall do myracles. But he that blemysh their glotye
Shall be sent to helle without anye remedye.
CYVYLE ORDER: Here was to be seane what ryseth of Sedicyon,
And howe he doth take hys mayntenaunce and grounde
Of ydle persones brought upp in supersticyon,
Whose daylye practyse is aiwayes to confounde
Such as myndeth vertu and to them wyll not be bounde.
Expedyent it is to knowe their pestylent wayes,
Consyderynge they were so busye now of late dayes.
NOBYLYTE: Englande hath a quene, thankes to the Lorde above,
Whych maye be a lyghte to other princes all
For the godly wayes whome she doth dayly move
To hir liege people, through Gods wurde specyall.
She is that Angell, as Saynt Johan doth hym call,
That with the Lordes seale doth marke out Hys true servauntes,
Pryntynge in their hartes Hys holy wourdes and covenauntes.
CLERGYE: In Danyels sprete she hath subdued the papistes,
With all the ofsprynge of Antichristes generacyon.
And now of late dayes the secte of Anabaptistes
She seketh to suppresse for their pestiferouse facy on.
She vanqixysheth also the great abhomynacyon
Of supersticyons, witchcraftes, and hydolatrye,
Restorynge Gods honoure to Hys first force and bewtye.
CYVYLE ORDER: Praye to the Lorde that hir grace maye contynewe
The dayes of Nestor to our sowles consolacyon,
And that hir ofsprynge maye lyve also- to subdewe
The great Antichriste, with hys whole generacyon,
In Helias sprete, to the confort of thys nacyon;
Also to preserve hir most honourable counsell,
To the prayse of God, and glorye of the Gospell.
Thus endeth the ij. playes of Kynge Johan.

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Proper Citation: Bale, John. King Johan. At From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. Date Visited.