From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

Magnificence

Goodly Interlude and a Merry

These be the Names of the Players:

Felicity
Liberty
Measure
Magnificence
Fancy
Counterfeit Countenance
Crafty Conveyance
Cloaked Collusion
Courtly Abusion
Folly
Adversity
Poverty
Despair
Mischief
Goodhope
Redress
Sad Circumspection
Perseverance


Stage I. Scene I. PROSPERITY

Felicity. All thing is contrived by mannes reason,
The world environed of high and low estate.
Be it early or late, wealth hath a season.
Wealth is of wisdom the very true probate;
A fool is he with wealth that falleth at debate:
But men nowadays so unhappily be ured
That nothing than wealth may worse be endured.

To tell you the cause meseemeth it no need.
The amends thereof is far to call again;
For, when men buy wealth, they have little drede
Of that may come after; experience true and plain,
How after a drought there falleth a shower of rain,
And after a heat oft cometh a stormy cold.
A man may have wealth, but not, as he wold,

Aye to continue and still to endure
But if prudence be proved with sad circumspection
Wealth might be wonne and made to the lure,
If nobleness were acquainted with sober direction;
But will hath reason so under subjection3
And so disordereth this worlde over all,
That wealth and felicity is passing small.
But where wons wealth, an a man would weet?
For Wealthful Felicity truly is my name.


Stage I. Scene 2

Enter LIBERTY

LIBERTY. Mary, Wealth and I was appointed to meet,
And either I am deceived, or ye be the same.
FELICITY. Sir, as ye say, I have heard of your fame;
Your name is Liberty, as I understand.
LIBERTY. True you say, sir; give me your hand.
FELICITY. And from whence come ye, an it might be asked?
LIBERTY. To tell you, sir, I dare not, lest I should be masked
In a pair of fetters or a pair of stocks!
FELICITY. Hear you not how this gentleman mocks!
LIBERTY. Yea, to knacking earnest what an it prove?
FELICITY. Why, to say what he will Liberty hath leave.
LIBERTY. Yet Liberty hath been locked up and kept in the mew.
FELICITY. Indeed, sir, that liberty was not worth a cue!
Howbeit, Liberty may sometime be too large,
But if reason be regent and ruler of your barge.
LIBERTY. To that ye say I can well condescend.
Show forth, I pray you, herein what you intend.
FELICITY. Of that I intend to make demonstration,
It asketh leisure with good advertence.
First, I say, we ought to have in consideration
That Liberty be linked with the chain of continence,
Liberty to let from all manner offence;
For Liberty at large is loth to be stopped,
But with continence your corage must be cropped.
LIBERTY. Then thus to you--
FELICITY. Nay, suffer me yet further to say
And peradventure I shall content your mind.
Liberty, I wot well, forbear no man there may:
It is so sweet in all manner of kind.
Howbeit, Liberty maketh many a man blind;
By Liberty is done many a great excess;
Liberty at large will oft wax reckless.
Perceive ye this parcel?
LIBERTY. Yea, sir, passing well.
But an you would me permit
To show part of my wit,
Somewhat I could infer
Your conceit to debar,
Under supportation
Of patient toleration.
FELICITY. God forbid ye should be let
Your reasons forth to set;
Wherefore at liberty.
Say what ye will to me.
LIBERTY. Briefly to touch of my purpose the effect:
Liberty is laudable and privileged from law;
Judicial rigour shall not me correct--
FELICITY. Soft, my friend; herein your reason is but raw.
LIBERTY. Yet suffer me to say the surplus of my saw.
What weet ye whereupon I will conclude?
I say there is no wealth whereas Liberty is subdued.
I trow ye cannot say nay much to this:
To live under law it is captivity;
Where dread leadeth the dance, there is no joy nor bliss.
Or how can ye prove that there is felicity
An you have not your own free liberty
To sport at your pleasure, to run, and to ride?
Where Liberty is absent, set wealth aside.

Stage I. Scene 3

Enter MEASURE

MEASURE. Christ you assist in your altercation!
FELICITY. Why, have you heard of our disputation?
MEASURE. I perceive well how each of you doth reason.
LIBERTY. Master Measure, you be come in good season.
MEASURE. And it is wonder that your wild insolence
Can be content with Measure's presence!
FELICITY. Would it please you then--
LIBERTY. Us to inform and ken--
MEASURE. Ah, ye be wondrous men!
Your language is like the pen
Of him that writeth too fast!
FELICITY. Sir, if any word have passed
Me, either first or last,
To you I arect it, and cast
Thereof the reformation.
LIBERTY. And I of the same fashion;
Howbeit, by protestation
Displeasure that you none take;
Some reason we must make.
MEASURE. That will not I forsake,
So it in measure be.
Come off thereforeA let see:
Shall I begin, or ye?
FELICITY. Nay, ye shall begin, by my will.
LIBERTY. It is reason and skill
We your pleasure fulfil.
MEASURE. Then ye must both consent
You to hold content
With my argument;
And I must you require
Me patiently to hear.
FELICITY. Yes, sir, with right good cheer.
LIBERTY. With all my heart entire.

MEASURE. Horacius to record, in his volumes old,
With every condition measure must be sought.
Wealth without measure would bear himself too bold;
Liberty without measure prove a thing of nought.
I ponder by number; by measure all thing is wrought,
As at the first original, by godly opinion:
Which proveth well that measure should have dominion.

Where measure is master, plenty doth none offence;
Where measure lacketh, all thing disordered is;
Where measure is absent, riot keepeth residence;
Where measure is ruler, there is nothing amiss.
Measure is treasure. How say ye, is it not this?
FELICITY. Yes, questionless, in mine opinion,
Measure is worthy to have dominion.

LIBERTY. Unto that same I am right well agreed,
So that Liberty be not left behind.
MEASURE. Yea, Liberty with Measure need never drede.
LIBERTY. What, Liberty to Measure then would ye bind?
MEASURE. What else? for otherwise it were against kind:
If Liberty should leap and runne where he list
It were no virtue, it were a thing unblessed.

It were a mischief, if Liberty lacked a rein
Wherewith to rule him with the writhing of a wrest.
All trebles and tenors be ruled by a mean.
Liberty without Measure is accounted for a beast;
There is no surfeit where Measure ruleth the feast;--
There is no excess where Measure hath his health:
Measure continueth prosperity and wealth.

FELICITY. Unto your rule I will annex my mind.
LIBERTY. So would I, but I would be loth,
That wont was to be foremost, now to come behind.
It were a shame, to God I make an oath,
Without I might cut it out of the broade cloth,
As I was wont ever at my free will.
MEASURE. But have ye not heard say, that will is no skill?

Take sad direction, and leave this wantonness.
LIBERTY. It is no mastery!
FELICITY. Tush, let Measure proceed,
And after his mind hardely yourself address;
For, without Measure, Poverty and Need
Will creep upon us, and us to Mischief lead:
For Mischief will master us if Measure us forsake.
LIBERTY. Well, I am content your ways to take.

MEASURE. Surely I am joyous that ye be minded thus.
Magnificence to maintain your promotion shall be.
FeA So in his heart he may be glad of us.
LIBERTY. There is no prince but he hath need of us three:
Wealth with Measure, and pleasant Liberty.
MEASURE. Now pleaseth you a little while to stand;
Meseemeth Magnificence is coming here at hand.


Stage I. Scene 4

Enter MAGNIFICENCE

MAGNIFICENCE. To assure you of my noble port and fame,
Who list to know, Magnificence I hight.
But Measure, my friend, what hight this man nes name
MEASURE. Sir, though ye be a noble prince of might,
Yet in this man you must set your delight.
And, sir, this other man's name is Liberty.
MAGNIFICENCE. Welcome, friends, ye are both unto me.

But now let me know of your conversation.
FELICITY. Pleaseth your Grace, Felicity they me call.
LIBERTY. And I am Liberty, made of in every nation.
MAGNIFICENCE. Convenient persons for any prince royall.
Wealth with Liberty, with me both dwell ye shall,
To the guiding of my Measure you both committing,
That Measure be master, us seemeth it is fitting.

MEASURE. Whereas ye have, sir, to me them assigned,
Such order I trust with them for to take
That Wealth with Measure shall be combined,
And Liberty his large with Measure shall make.
FELICITY. Your ordinance, sir, I will not forsake.
LIBERTY. And I myself wholly to you will incline.
MAGNIFICENCE. Then may I say that ye be servantes mine,

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

FELICITY. Laudable your conceit is to be accounted,
For Wealth without Measure suddenly will slide.
LIBERTY. As your Grace full nobly hath recounted,
Measure with nobleness should be allied.
MAGNIFICENCE. Then, Liberty, see that Measure be your guide,
For I will use you by this advertisement.
FELICITY. Then shall you have with you prosperity resident.

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

LIBERTY. In joy and mirth your mind shall be enlarged,
And not embraced with pusillanimity:
But plenarly all thought from you must be discharged,
If ye list to live after your free Liberty.
All delectations acquainted is with me.
By me all persons worke what they list.
MEASURE. Hem, sir, yet beware of 'Had I wist!'

Liberty in some cause becometh a gentle mind,
By cause course of Measure, if I be in the way:
Who counteth without me is cast too far behind
Of his reckoning, as evidently we may
See at our eye the worlde day by day.
For default of Measure all thinge doth exceed.
FELICITY. All that ye say is as true as the Creed.

For howbeit, Liberty to Wealth is convenient,
And from Felicity may not be forborne,
Yet Measure hath been so long from us absent
That all men laugh at Liberty to scorn.
Wealth and wit, I say, be so threadbare worn
That all is without Measure and far beyond the moon.
MAGNIFICENCE. Then nobleness, I see well, is almost undone,

But if thereof the sooner amends be made;
For doubtless I perceive my magnificence
Without Measure lightly may fade,
Of too much liberty under the offence:
Wherefore, Measure, take Liberty with you hence,
And rule him after the rule of your school.
Lih. What, sir, would ye make me a popping fool?

MEASURE. Why, were not yourself agreed to the same,
And now would ye swerve from your own ordinance?
Lih. I would be ruled, an I might for shame l
FELICITY. Ah, ye make me laugh at your inconstance!
MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, without any longer dalliance,
Take Liberty to rule, and follow mine intent.
MEASURE. It shall be done at your commandement.
[Exit MEASURE with LIBERTY.]


Stage I. Scene5

MAGNIFICENCE. It is a wanton thing, this Liberty!
Perceive you not how loth he was to abide
The rule of Measure, notwithstanding we
Have deputed Measure him to guide?
By measure each thing duly is tried.
Think you not thus, my friend Felicity?
FELICITY. God forbid that it otherwise should be!

MAGNIFICENCE. Ye could not else, I wot, with me endure.
FELICITY. Endure? No, God wot, it were great pain!
But if I were ordered by just measure
It were not possible me long to retain.


Stage I. Scene 6

Enter FANCY

FANCY. Tush, hold your peace, your language is vain.
Please it, your Grace, to take no disdain,
To shew you plainly the truth as I think.
MAGNIFICENCE. Here is none forseth whether you float or sink!
FELICITY. From whence come you, sir, that no man looked after?
MAGNIFICENCE. Or who made you so bold to interrupt my tale?
FANCY. Now, benedicite, ye ween I were some hafter,
Or else some jangling Jack of the Vale;
Ye ween that I am drunken, because I look pale.
MAGNIFICENCE. Meseemeth that ye have drunken more than ye have bled.
FANCY. Yet among noblemen I was brought up and bred.

FELICITY. Now leave this jangling and to us expound
Why that ye said our language was in vain.
FANCY. Mary, upon truth my reason I ground,
That without Largesse nobleness cannot reign:
And that I said once yet I say again.
I say, without Largesse worship hath no place,
For Largesse is a purchaser of pardon and of grace.

MAGNIFICENCE. Now, I beseech thee, tell me what is thy name?
FANCY. Largesse, that all lords should love, sir, I bight.
FELICITY But hight you Largesse, increase of noble fame?
FANCY. Yea, sir, undoubted.
FELICITY. Then of very right
With Magnificence, this noble prince of might,
Should be your dwelling, in my consideration.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yet we will therein take good deliberation.

FANCY. As in that, I will not be against your pleasure.
FELICITY. Sir, hardely remember what may your name advance.
MAGNIFICENCE. Largesse is laudable, so it be in measure.
FANCY. Largesse is he that all princes dotb advance.
I report me herein to King Lewis of France.
FELICITY. Why have ye him named and all other refused?
FANCY. For, sith he died, Largesse was little used.

Pluck up your mind, sir; what aile you to muse?
Have ye not Wealth here at your will?
It is but a madding, these ways that ye use:
What availeth Lordship, yourself for to kill
With care and with thought how Jack shall have Gill?
MAGNIFICENCE. What? I have espied ye are a careless page.
FANCY. By God, sir, ye see but few wise men of mine age!

But Covertise hath blowen you so full of wind
That colica passio hath groped you by the guts.
FELICITY. In faith, Brother Largesse, you have a merry mind!
FANCY. In faith, I set not by the world two Doncaster cuts!
MAGNIFICENCE. Ye want but a wild flying bolt to shoot at the butts!
Though Largesse ye bight, your language is too large:
For which end goeth forward ye take little charge!

FELICITY. Let see, this checke if ye voide can.
FANCY. In faith, else bad I gone too long to school,
But if I could know a goose from a swan!
MAGNIFICENCE. Well, wise men may eat the fish when ye shall draw the pole!
FANCY. In faith, I will not say that ye shall prove a fool,
But oft time have I seen wise men do mad deeds.
MAGNIFICENCE. Go! shake thee, dog! hey, sith ye will needs!

You are nothing meet with us for to dwell,
That with your lord and master so pertly can prate:
Get you hence, I say, by my counsell;
I will not use you to play with me checkmate.
FANCY. Sir, if I have offended your noble estate,
I trow I have brought you such writing of record
That I shall have you againe my good lord.

To you recommendeth Sad Circumspection,
And sendeth you this writing closed under seal.
MAGNIFICENCE. This writing is welcome with hearty affection.
Why kept you it thus long? How doth he? Weel?
FANCY. Sir, thanked be God, he hath his heal.
MAGNIFICENCE. Wealth, get you home, and commend me to Measure;
Bid him take good heed to you, my singular treasure.

FELICITY. Is there anything else your Grace will commande me?
MAGNIFICENCE. Nothing but fare you well till soon;
And that be take good keep to Liberty.
FELICITY. Your pleasure, sir, shortly shall be done.
MAGNIFICENCE. I shall come to you myself, I trow, this afternoon.
[Exit FELICITY.]

I pray you, Largesse, here to remain
Whilest I know what this letter doth contain.


Stage I. Scene 7

As MAGNIFICENCE is reading the letter, COUNTERFEIT
COUNTENANCE comes in on tiptoe, humming to himself but,
seeing MAGNIFICENCE, withdraws quietly; then, a little
later, he comes back again, hailing FANCY from a safe
distance. FANCY motions him to keep quiet.

COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What! Fancy, Fancy!
MAGNIFICENCE. Who is that that thus did cry?
Methought he called Fancy.
FANCY. It was a Fleming hight Hansy.

MAGNIFICENCE. Methought he called Fancy me behind.
FANCY. Nay, sir, it was nothing but your mind.
But now, sir, as touching this letter--
MAGNIFICENCE. I shall look in it at leisure better:
Aud surely ye are to him behold,
And for his sake right gladly I wold
Do what I could to do you good.
FANCY. I pray God keep you in that mood!
MAGNIFICENCE. This letter was written far hence.
FANCY. By lakin,1 sir, it hathe cost me pence
And groats many one, ere I came to your presence!
MAGNIFICENCE. Where was it delivered you, shew unto me.
FANCY. By God, sir, beyond the sea.
MAGNIFICENCE. At what place now, as you guess?
FANCY. By my troth, sir, at Pontesse:
This writing was taken me there,
But never was I in greater fear.
MAGNIFICENCE. How so?
FANCY. By God, at the sea side,
Had I not opened by purse wide
I trow, by Our Lady, I had been slain,
Or else I had lost mine eares twain.
MAGNIFICENCE. By your sooth?
FANCY. Yea, and there is such a watch
That no man can 'scape but they him catch.
They bare me in hand that I was a spy,
And another bade put out mine eye,
Another would mine eye was bleared,
Another bade shave half my beard;
And boys to the pillory 'gan me pluck,
And would have made me Friar Tuck,
To preach out of the pillory hole
Without an anthem or a stole;
And some bade 'Sear him with a mark!'
To get me fro them I had much wark.
MAGNIFICENCE. Mary, sir, ye were afrayed!
FANCY. By my troth, had I not paid and prayed,
And made largesse, as I hight,
I had not been here with you this night;
But surely largesse saved my life,
For largesse stinteth all manner of strife.
MAGNIFICENCE. It doth so, sure, now and then;
But largesse is not meet for every man.
FANCY. No, but for you great estates.
Largesse stinteth great debates,
And he that I came fro to this place
Said I was meet for your Grace.
And indeed, sir, I hear men talk
By the way, as I ride and walk,
Say how you exceed in nobleness
If you had with you Largesse.
MAGNIFICENCE. And say they so in very deed?
FANCY. With yea, sir, so God me speed.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yet Measure is a merry mean.
FANCY. Yea, sir, a blanched almond is no bean!
Measure is meet for a merchant's hall,
But Largesse becometh a state royall.
What, should you pinch at a peck of oats,
Ye would soon pinch at a peck of groats!
Thus is the talking of one and of other,
As men dare speak it hugger-mugger:
A lord, a niggard, it is a shame!
But Largesse may amend your name.
MAGNIFICENCE. In faith, Largesse, welcome to me.
FANCY. I pray you, sir, I may so be,
And of my service you shall not miss.
MAGNIFICENCE. Together we will talk more of this:
Let us depart from hence home to my place.
FANCY. I follow even after your noble Grace.
[Exit MAGNIFICENCE. COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE,
entering, detains FANCY.]

COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What, I say, hark a word!
FANCY. Do away, I say, the devil's turd!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, but how long shall I here await?
FANCY. By God's body, I come straight!
I hate this blundering that thou dost make.
[Exit.]
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Now, to the devil I thee betake,
For in faith ye be well met!


Stage 2. Scene 8. CONSPIRACY

COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE alone in the place
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Fancy hath catched in a fly-net
This noble man Magnificence,
Of Largesse under the pretence.
They have made me here to put the stone:
But now will I, that they be gone,
In bastard rhyme, after the doggerel guise,
Tell you whereof my name doth rise.

For Counterfeit Countenance known am I,
This world is full of my folly.
I set not by him a fly
That cannot counterfeit a lie,
Swear, and stare, and bide thereby,
And countenance it cleanly,
And defend it mannerly.

A knave will counterfeit now a knight,
A lurdain like a lord to flyte,
A minstrel like a man of might,
A tapster like a lady bright:
Thus make I them with thrift to fight,
Thus at the last I bring him right
To Tyburn, where they hang on hight.

To Counterfeit I can by pretty ways:
Of nightes to occupy counterfeit keys,
Cleanly to counterfeit new arrays,
Counterfeit earnest by way of plays:
Thus am I occupied at all essays.
Whatsoever I do, all men me praise,
And mickle am I made of nowadays.
Counterfeit matters in the law of the land,
With gold and groats they grease my hand
Instead of right that wrong may stand,
And counterfeit freedom that is bound;
I counterfeit sugar that is but found;
Counterfeit captains by me are manned;
Of all lewdness I kindle the brand;
Counterfeit kindness, and think deceit;
Counterfeit letters by the way of sleight;
Subtily using counterfeit weight;
Counterfeit language, fait bon geyt.1
Counterfeit is a proper bait;
A count to counterfeit in a receipt,--
To counterfeit well is a good conceit.
Counterfeit maidenhood may well be born,
But counterfeit coins is laughing to scorn;
It is evil patching of that is torn,
When the nap is rough, it would be shorn;
Counterfeit halting without a thorn,
Yet counterfeit chaffer is but evil corn;
All thing is worse when it is worn.
What would ye, wives, counterfeit
The courtly guise of the newe jet?
An olde barn would be underset:
It is much worth that is far-fet.
What, wanton, wanton, now well ymet!
What, Margery Milk Duck, marmoset!
It would be masked in my net;

It would be nice, though I say nay;
By Crede, it would have fresh array,
And therefore shall my husband pay;
To counterfeit she will essay
All the newe guise, fresh and gay,
And be as pretty as she may,
And jet it jolly as a jay.

Counterfeit preaching, and believe the contrary;
Counterfeit conscience, peevish pope holy;
Counterfeit sadness, with dealing full madly;
Counterfeit holiness is called hypocrisy;
Counterfeit reason is not worth a fly;
Counterfeit wisdom, and works of folly;
Counterfeit countenance every man doth occupy.

Counterfeit worship outward men may see;
Riches rideth out, at home is poverty;
Counterfeit pleasure is borne out by me.
Coll would go cleanly, and it will not be,
And Annot would be nice, and laughs 'Tehe wehe!'
Your counterfeit countenance is all of necessity,
A plumed partridge all ready to fly.

A knuckleboneyard will counterfeit a clerk,
He would trot gently, but he is too stark,
At his cloaked counterfeiting dogs doth bark;
A carter a courtier, it is a worthy wark,
That with his whip his mares was wont to yark;
A coistrel to drive the devil out of the dark,
A counterfeit courtier with a knaves mark.

To Counterfeit thus friars have learned me;
Thus nunnes now and then, an it might be,
Would take in the way of counterfeit charity
The grace of God under benedicite;
To counterfeit their counsel they give me a fee;
Canons cannot counterfeit but upon three,
Monkes may not for dread that men should them see.


Stage 2. Scene 9

Enter FANCY, talking excitedly to CRAFTY CONVEYANCE
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What, Counterfeit Countenance!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What, Crafty Conveyance!
FANCY. What, the devil, are ye two of acquaintance?
God give you a very mischance!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yes, yes, sir, he and I have met.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. We have been together both early and late.
But, Fancy, my friend, where have ye been so long?
FANCY. By God, I have been about a pretty prong;
Crafty Conveyance, I should say, and I.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By God, we have made Magnificence to eat a fly!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. How could ye do that, an I was away?
FANCY. By God, man, both his pageant and thine he can play.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Say truth?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yes, yes, by lakin, I shall thee warrantt,
As long as I live, thou hast an heir apparent.
FANCY. Yet have we picked Out a room for thee.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Why, shall we dwell together all three?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Why, man, it were too great a wonder
That we three gallants should be long asunder.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. For Cock's heart, give me thy hand!
FANCY. By the mass, for ye are able to destroy an whole land!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By God, yet it must begin much of thee.
FANCY. Who that is ruled by us it shall be long ere he three.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. But, I say, keepest thou the old name still that thou had?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Why, wendest thou, whoreson, that I were so mad
FANCY. Nay, nay, he hath changed his, and I have changed mine.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Now, what is his name, and what is thine?
FANCY. In faith, Largesse I hight.
And I am made a knight.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. A rebellion against nature,
So large a man, and so little of stature!
But, sir, how counterfeited ye?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Sure Surveyance I named me.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Surveyance! where ye survey
Thrift hath lost her coffer-key!
FANCY. But is it not well? how thinkest thou?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yes, sir, I give God a vow,
Myself could not counterfeit it better.
But what became of the letter
That I counterfeited you underneath a shrowd?
FANCY. By the mass, oddly well allowed.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By God, had not lit conveyed
Fancy had been deceived.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. I wot, thou art false enough for one!
FANCY. By my troth, we had been gone.--
And yet, in faith, man, we lacked thee
For to speak with Liberty.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What is Largesse without Liberty?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By Measure mastered yet is he.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What, is your conveyance no better?
FANCY. In faith, Measure is like a tetter
That overgroweth a mannes face,
So he ruleth over all our place.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Now therefore, whilst we are together,--
Counterfeit Countenance, nay, come hither,--
I say, whilst we are together in same--
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Tush, a straw, it is a shame
That we can no better than so.
FANCY. We will remedy it, man, ere we go:
For, like as mustard is sharp of taste,
Right so a sharp fancy must be found
Wherewith Measure to confound.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Can you a remedy for a tisic,
That sheweth yourself thus sped in physic?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. It is a gentle reason of a rake!
FANCY. For all these japes yet that ye make--
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Your fancy maketh mine elbow to ache!
FANCY. Let see, find you a better way.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Take no displeasure of what we say.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, an you be angry and overthwart,
A man may beshrew your angry heart.
FANCY. Tush, a straw, I thought none ill.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What, shall we jangle thus all the day still?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, let us our heads together cast.
FANCY. Yea, and see how it may be compassed
That Measure were cast out of the doors.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Alas, where is my boots and my spurs?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In all this haste whither will ye ride?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. I trow, it shall not need to abide.
Cock's wounds, see, sirs, see, see!


Stage 2. Scene 10

Enter CLOAKED COLLUSION, pacing up and down with a lofty air
FANCY. Cock's arms, what is he?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By Cock's heart, he looketh high!
He hawketh, methink, for a butterfly.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Now, by Cock's heart, well abidden,
For, had you not come, I had ridden.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Thy words be but wind, never they have no weight;
Thou hast made me play the jurde hayt.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. And if ye knew how I have mused
I am sure ye would have me excused.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I say, come hither: what are these twain?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. By God, sir, this is Fancy small brain,
And Crafty Conveyance, know you not him?
CLOAKED COLLUSION.. 'Know him, sir!' quod he: yes, by Saint Sim!
Here is a leash of ratches to run a hare:
Woe is that purse that ye shall share!
FANCY. What call ye him-this?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. I trow what he is
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Tush, hold your peace.
See you not how they press
For to know your name?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Know they not me, they are to blame.
Know you not me, sirs?
FANCY. No, indeed.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Abide, let me see, take better heed;
Cock's heart, it is Cloaked Collusion!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Ay, sir, I pray God give you confusion!
FANCY. Cock's arms, is that your name
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, by the mass, this is even the same,
That all this matter must undergrope.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What is this he weareth-a cope?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Cap, sir! I say you be too bold.
FANCY. See how he is wrapped for the cold:
Is it not a vestment?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Ah, ye want a rope!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Tush, it is Sir John Double-Cloak.
FANCY. Sir, an if you would not be wroth--
CLOAKED COLLUSION. What sayest?
FANCY. Here was too little cloth!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Ah, Fancy, Fancy, God send thee brain!
FANCY. Yea, for your wit is cloaked for the rain.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, let us not chatter thus still.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Tell me, sirs, what is your will.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Sir, it is so that these twain
With Magnificence in household do remain,
And there they woulde have me to dwell,
But I will be ruled after your counsell.
FANCY. Mary, so will we also.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. But tell me whereabout ye go.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. By Cod, we would get us all thither--
Spell the remnant, and do together.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Hath Magnificence any treasure?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yea, but he spendeth it all in measure.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Why, dwelleth Measure where ye two dwell?
In faith, he were better to dwell in hell!
FANCY. Yet where we won, now there wonneth he.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. And have you not among you Liberty.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, but he is in captivity.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. What the devil! how may that be?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. I cannot tell you: why ask you me?
Ask these two that there doth dwell.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Sir, the plainness you me tell.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. There dwelleth a master man called Measure--
FANCY. Yea, and he hath rule of all his treasure.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, either let me tell, or else tell ye.
FANCY. I care not, I, tell on for me.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. I pray God let you never to three!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. What the devil aileth you? can you not agree?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. I will pass over the circumstance
And shortly shew you the whole substance.
Fancy and I, we twain,
With Magnificence in household do remain,
And counterfeited our names we have
Craftily all things upright to save,
His name Largesse, Surveyance mine.
Magnificence to us beginneth to incline
Counterfeit Countenance to have also,
And would that we should for him go.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. But shall I have mine old name still?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Peace, I have not yet said what I will.
FANCY. Here is a 'pistle of a postic!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Tush, fonnish Fancy, thou art frantic!
Tell on, sir-how then?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Mary, sir, he told us when
We had him found we should him bring,
And that we failed not for nothing.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. All this ye may easily bring about.
FANCY. Mary, the better an Measure were out.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Why, can ye not put out that foul freke?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. No, in every corner he will peke,
So that we have no liberty,
Nor no man in court but he,
For Liberty he hath in guiding.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. In faith, and without Liberty there is no biding.
FANCY. In faith, and Liberty's room is there but small.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Hem! that like I nothing at all.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. But, Counterfeit Countenance, go we together,
All three, I say.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Shall I go? whither?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. To Magnificence with us twain,
And in his service thee to retain.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. But then, sir, what shall I hight?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Ye and I talked thereof to-night.
FANCY. Yea, my fancy was out of owl-flight,
For it is out of my minde quite.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And now it cometh to my remembrance.
Sir, ye shall hight Good Demeanance.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. By the arms of Calais, well conceivedl
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. When we have him thither conveyed,
What an I frame such a sleight
That Fancy with his fond conceit
Put Magnificence in such a madness
That he shall have you in the stead of sadness,
And Sober Sadness shall be your name!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By Cock's body, here beginneth the game!
For then shall we so craftily carry
That Measure shall not there long tarry.
FANCY. For Cock's heart, tarry whilst that I come again.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. We will see you shortly one of us twain.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Now let us go, an we shall, then.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Now let see quit you like pretty men.
[Exeunt FANCY, CRAFTY CONVEYANCE, and COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE.]


Stage 2. Scene II

Here CLOAKED COLLUSION promenades

CLOAKED COLLUSION. To pass the time and order while a man may talk
Of one thing and other to occupy the place;
Then for the season that I here shall walk,
As good to be occupied as up and down to trace
And do nothing. Howbeit, full little grace
There cometh and groweth of my coming,
For Cloaked Collusion is a perilous thing.

Double dealing and I be all one,
Crafting and hafting contrived is by me;
I can dissemble, I can both laugh and groan,
Plain dealing and I can never agree:
But division, dissension, derision, these three
And I am counterfeit of one minde and thought,
By the means of mischief to bring all thinge to nought.

And though I be so odious a guest,
And every man gladly my company would refuse,
In faith yet am I occupied with the best:
Full few that can themselves of me excuse.
When other men laugh, then study I and muse,
Devisinge the meanes and ways that I can,
How I may hurte and hinder every man.

Two faces in a hood covertly I bear,
Water in the one hand, and fire in the other;
I can feed forth a fool, and lead him by the ear:
Falsehood-in-Fellowship is my sworn brother.
By Cloaked Collusion, I say, and none other,
Cumberance and trouble in England first began:
From that lord to that lord I rode and I ran,

And flattered them with fables fair before their face,
And told all the mischief I could behind their back,
And made as I had knowen nothing of the case.
I would begin all mischief, but I would bear no lack.
Thus can I learn you, sirs, to bear the devil's sack.
And yet, I trow, some of you be better sped than I
Friendship to feign, and think full litherly.

Paint to a purpose good countenance I can,
And craftily can I grope how every man is minded;
My purpose is to spy and to pointe every man;
My tongue is with favell forked and tined:
By Cloaked Collusion thus many one is beguiled.
Each man to hinder I gape and I gaspe:
My speech is all pleasure, but I sting like a waspe.

I am never glad but when I may do ill,
And never am I sorry but when that I see
I cannot mine appetite accomplish and fulfil
In hinderance of wealth and prosperity.
I laugh at all shrewdness, and lie at liberty.
I muster, I meddle among these great estates
I sow seditious seeds of discord and debates.
To flatter and to fleere is all my pretence
Among all such persons as I well understand
Be light of belief and hasty of credence;
I make them to startle and sparkle like a brand,
I move them, I maze them, I make them so fond
That they will hear no man but the first tale:
And so by these meanes I brewe much bale.


Stage 2. Scene 12

Enter COURTLY ABUSION, singing
COURTLY ABUSION. Huffa, huffa, tanderum, tanderum, tam, huffa, huffa!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. This was properly prated, sirs! what said a?
COURTLY ABUSION. Rutty bully, jolly rutterkin, heyda!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. De que pays Ítes vous?
[With an ironical air he makes as if to doff his hat.]
COURTLY ABUSION. Deck your hofte and cover a louse.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Say vous chanter, 'Ventre tres douce'?
COURTLY ABUSION. Oui-da, oui-da.
How sayest thou, man, am not I a jolly rutter?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Give this gentleman room, sirs, stand utter!
By God, sir, what need all this waste?
What is this, a beetle, or a bateau, or a buskin laced?
COURTLY ABUSION. What, wendest thou that I know thee not, Cloaked Collusion?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. And wendest thou that I know not thee, cankered Abusion?
COURTLY ABUSION. Cankered Jack Hare! look thou be not rusty,
For thou shalt well know I am neither dirty nor dusty!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Dusty! nay, sir, ye be all of the lusty,
Howbeit of scape-thrift your cloak smelleth musty.
But whither art thou walking, in faith unfeigned?
COURTLY ABUSION. Mary, with Magnificence I would be retained.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By the mass, for the court thou art a meet man:
Thy slippers they swop it, yet thou footest it like a swan.
COURTLY ABUSION. Yea, so I can devise my gear after the courtly manner.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. So thou art personable to bear a prince's banner.
COURTLY ABUSION. By God's foot, and I dare well fight, for I will not start.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, thou art a man good enough--but for thy false heart.
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Well, an I be a coward, there is more than I.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, in faith a bold man and a hardy:
A bold man in a bowl of new ale in corns!
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Will ye see this gentleman is all in his scorns?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. But are ye not advised to dwell where ye spake?
COURTLY ABUSION. I am of few wordes, I love not to bark.
Bearest thou any room, or canst thou do ought?
Canst thou help in favour that I might be brought?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I may do somewhat, and more I thinke shall.


Stage 2. Scene 13

Enter CRAFTY CONVEYING, pointing with his finger
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Hem, Collusion!
COURTLY ABUSION. By Cock's heart, who is yonder that for thee doth call?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, come at once, for the armes of the dice!
COURTLY ABUSION. Cock's arms, he hath called for thee twice!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By Cock's heart, and call shall again:
To come to me, I trow, he shall be fain.
COURTLY ABUSION. What, is thy heart pricked with such a proud pin?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Tush, he that hath need, man, let him run.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, come away, man: thou playest the kaiser.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By the mass, thou shalt bide my leisure.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. 'Abide, sir,' quod he! Mary, so I do.
COURTLY ABUSION. He will come, man, when he may tend to.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What the devil, who sent for thee?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Here he is now, man; mayest thou not see?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What the devil, man, what thou meanest?
Art thou so angry as thou seemest?
COURTLY ABUSION. What the devil, can ye agree no better?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What the devil, where had we this jolly jetter?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. What sayest thou, man? why dost thou not supplie,
And desire me thy good master to be?
COURTLY ABUSION. Speakest thou to me?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, so I tell thee.
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Cock's bones, I ne tell can
Which of you is the better man,
Or which of you can do most.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In faith, I rule much of the roast.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Rule the roast! thou wouldest, ye?
As scant thou had no need of me.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Need! yes, Mary, I say not nay.
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Cock's heart, I trow thou wilt make a fray!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, in good faith, it is but the guise.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. No, for ere we strike, we will be advised twice.
COURTLY ABUSION. What the devil, use ye not to draw no swords?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. No, by my troth, but crake greate words.
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Why, is this the guise now-a-days?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, for surety-oft peace is taken for frays.
But, sir, I will have this man with me.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Convey yourself first, let see.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Well, tarry here till I for you send.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Why, shall he be of your band?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Tarry here: wot ye what I say?
COURTLY ABUSION. I warrant you, I will not go away.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By Saint Mary, he is a talle man.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, and do right good service he can.
I know in him no defaut,
But that the whoreson is proud and haut.
[Exeunt CLOAKED COLLUSION and CRAFTY CONVEYANCE.]
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah. Nay, purchase ye a pardon for the pose,
For pride hath plucked thee by the nose,
As well as me. I would, an I durst--
But now I will not say the worst.


Stage 2. Scene 14

COURTLY ABUSION alone in the place

COURTLY ABUSION. What now, let see,
Who looketh on me
Well round about,
How gay and how stout
That I can wear
Courtly my gear.

My hair brusheth
So pleasantly,
My robe rusheth
So ruttingly,
Meseem I fly,
I am so light
To dance delight.

Properly dressed,
All point-device,
My person prest,
Beyond all size
Of the newe guise,
To rush it out
In every rout.

Beyond measure
My sleeve is wide,
All of pleasure
My hose strait tied,
My buskin wide
Rich to behold,
Glittering in gold.

Abusion,
Forsooth, I hight;
Confusion
Shall on him light,
By day or by night,
That useth me:
He cannot three.

A very fon,
A very ass,
Will take upon
To compass
That never was
Abused before;
A very pore

That so will do,
He doth abuse
Himself too too,
He doth misuse
Each man, take a fee
To crake and prate:
I befool his pate.

This new fon jet
From out of France
First I did set,
Made purveyance
And such ordinance
That all men it found
Throughout England.

All this nation
I set on fire
In my fashion,
This their desire,
This new attire:
This ladies have,
lit them gave.
Sparc for no cost:
And yet indeed
It is cost lost,
Much more than need
For to exceed
In such array:
Howbeit, I say,
A churles son,
Brought up of nought,
With me will won
Whilst he hath ought:
He will have wrought
His gown so wide
That he may hide
His dame and his sire
Within his sleeve;
Spend all his hire
That men him give.
Wherefore I preve
A Tyburn check
Shall break his neck.

Enter FANCY
FANCY. Stow, stow!
COURTLY ABUSION. All is out of harre,
And out of trace,
Aye warre and warre
In every place.


Stage 2. Scene 15

But what the devil art thou,
That criest 'Stow stow!'?
FANCY. What, whom have we here-Jenkin Jolly?
Now welcome, by the God holy!
COURTLY ABUSION. What, Fancy, friend! how dost thou fare?
FANCY. By Christ, as merry as a March hare!
COURTLY ABUSION. What the devil hast thou on thy fist-an owl?
FANCY. Nay, it is a farly fowl.
COURTLY ABUSION. Methink she frowneth and looketh sour.
FANCY. Turd, man, it is an hawk of the tower;
She is made for the mallard fat.
COURTLY ABUSION. Methink she is well-beaked to catch a rat.
But now what tidings can you tell, let see.
FANCY. Mary, I am come for thee.
COURTLY ABUSION. For me?
FANCY. Yea, for thee, so I say.
COURTLY ABUSION. How so? tell me, I thee pray.
FANCY. Why, heard you not of the fray
That fell among us this same day?
COURTLY ABUSION. No, mary, not yet.
FANCY. What the devil, never a whit?
COURTLY ABUSION. No, by the mass; what should I swear?
FANCY. In faith, Liberty is now a lusty spere.
COURTLY ABUSION. Why, under whom was he abiding?
FANCY. Mary, Measure had him a while in guiding,
Till, as the devil would, they fell a-chiding
With Crafty Conveyance.
COURTLY ABUSION. Yea, did they so?
FANCY. Yea, by God's sacrament, and with other mo.
COURTLY ABUSION. What needed that, in the devil's date?
FANCY. Yes, yes, he fell with me also at debate.
COURTLY ABUSION. With thee also? what, he playeth the state?
FANCY. Yea, but I bade him pick out of the gate,
By God's body, so did I!
COURTLY ABUSION. By the mass, well done, and boldly!
FANCY. Hold thy peace, Measure shall from us walk.
COURTLY ABUSION. Why, is he crossed then with a chalk?
FANCY. Crossed! yea, checked out of conceit.
COURTLY ABUSION. How so?
FANCY. By God, by a pretty sleight,
As hereafter thou shalt knowe more.
But I must tarry here, go thou before.
COURTLY ABUSION. With whom shall I there meet?
FANCY. Crafty Conveyance standeth in the street,
Even of purpose for the same.
COURTLY ABUSION. Yea, but what shall I call my name?
FANCY. Cock's heart, turn thee, let me see thine array.
Cock's bones, this is all of John de Gay!
COURTLY ABUSION. So I am 'pointed after my conceit.
FANCY. Mary, thou jettest it of height!
COURTLY ABUSION. Yea, but of my name let us be wise.
FANCY. Mary, Lusty Pleasure, by mine advice,
To name thyself. Come off, it were done!
COURTLY ABUSION. Farewell, my friend.
FANCY. Adieu, till soon.
[Exit COURTLY ABUSION.]


Stage 2. Scene 16

FANCY alone in the place

FANCY. Stow, birde, Stow, stow!
It is best I feed my hawke now.
There is many evil favoured, an thou be foul.
Each thing is fair when it is young. All hail, owl!

Lo, this is
My fancy ywis:
Now Christ it blesse!
It is, by Jesse,

A bird full sweet,
For me full meet:
She is furred for the heat
All to the feet;

Her browes bent,
Her eyen glent:
From Tyne to Trent,
From Stroud to Kent,

A man shall find
Many of her kind.
How standeth the wind--
Before or behind?

Barbed like a nun,
For burning of the sun;
Her feathers dun,
Well-favoured, bonne!

Now, let me see about
In all this rout
If I can find out
So seemly a snout

Among this press:
Even a whole mess--
Peace, man, peace!
I rede we cease.

So farly fair as it looks,
And her beak so comely crooks,
Her nailes. sharp as tenter-hooks!
I have not kept her yet three wooks.

And how still she doth sit!
Tewit, tewit! Where is my wit?
The devil speed wit!

That was before, I set behind:
Now too courteous, forthwith unkind,
Sometime too sober, sometime too sad,
Sometime too merry, sometime too mad;
Sometime I sit as I were solemn proud,
Sometime I laugh over4oud,
Sometime I weep for a gee-gaw,
Sometime I laugh at wagging of a straw;
With a pear my love you may win,
And ye may lose it for a pin.
I have a thing for to say,
And I may tend thereto for play;
But in faith I am so occupied
On this half and on every side,
That I wot not where I may rest.
First to tell you what were best,
Frantic Fancy service I hight;
My wits be weak, my brains are light.
For it is I that other while
Pluck down lead, and thatch with tile;
Now will I this, and now will I that,
Make a windmill of a mat;
Now I would, and I wist what.
Where is my cap? I have lost my hat!
And within an hour after
Pluck down a house, and set up a rafter.
Hither and thither, I wot not whither:
Do and undo, both together.
Of a spindle I will make a spar:
All that I make forthwith I mar!
I blunder, I bluster, I blow, and I blother,
I make on the one day, and I mar on the other.
Busy, busy, and ever busy,
I dance up and down till I am dizzy.
I can find fantasies where none is:
I will not have it so, I will have it this.


Stage 2. Scene 17

Enter FOLLY, shaking his bauble, capering about,
and playing on an instrument
FOLLY. Masters, Christ save every one!
What, Fancy, art thou here alone?
FANCY. What, fonnish Folly! I be fool thy face!
FOLLY. What, frantic Fancy in a fool's case?
What is this, an owl or a glede?
By my troth, she hath a great head!
FANCY. Tush, thy lips hang in thine eye!
It is a French butterfly.
FOLLY. By my troth, I trow well!
But she is less a great deal
Than a butterfly of our land.
FANCY. What pilled cur leadest thou in thy hand?
FOLLY. A pilled cur!
FANCY. Yea so, I tell thee, a pilled cur!
FOLLY. Yet I sold his skin to Mackmur
In the stead of a budge fur.
FANCY. What, flayest thou his skin every year?
FOLLY. Yes, in faith, I thank God I may hear.
FANCY. What, thou wilt cough me a daw for forty pence?
FOLLY. Mary, sir, Cockermouth is a good way hence.
FANCY. What? of Cockermouth spake I no word.
FOLLY. By my faith, sir the furbisher hath my sword.
FANCY. Ay, I trow ye shall cough me a fool.
FOLLY. In faith, truth ye say; we went together to school.
FANCY. Yea, but I can somewhat more of the letter.
FOLLY. I will not give a halfpenny for to chose the better.
FANCY. But, brother Folly, I wonder much of one thing,
That thou so high from me doth spring,
And I so little aiway still.
FOLLY. By God, I can tell, an I will.
Thou art so feeble fantastical,
And so brainsick therewithal,
And thy wit wandering here and there,
That thou canst not grow out of thy boy's gear.
And as for me, I take but one foolish way,
And therefore I grow more on one day
Than thou can in yeares seven.
FANCY. In faith, truth thou sayest now, by God of heaven!
For so with fantasies my wit doth fleet,
That wisdom and I shall seldom meet.
Now, of good fellowship, let me buy thy dog.
FOLLY. Cock's heart, thou liest, I am no hog!
FANCY. Here is no man that called thee hog nor swine.
FOLLY. In faith, man, my brain is as good as thine.
FANCY. The devil's turd for thy brain!
FOLLY. By my sire's soul, I feel no rain.
FANCY. By the mass, I hold thee mad.
FOLLY. Mary, I knew thee when thou wast a lad.
FANCY. Cock's bones, heard ye ever such another?
FOLLY. Yea, a fool the one, and a fool the other.
FANCY. Nay, but wot test thou what I do say?
FOLLY. Why, sayest thou that I was here yesterday?
FANCY. Cock's arms, this is a work, I trow!
FOLLY. What, callest thou me a dunnish crow?
FANCY. Now, in good faith, thou art a fond guest.
FOLLY. Yea, bear me this straw to a dawes nest.
FANCY. What, wendest thou that I were so foolish and so fond?
FOLLY. In faith, yet is there none in all England.
FANCY. Yet for my fancy's sake, I say,
I ,et me have thy dog, whatsoever I pay.
FOLLY. Thou shalt have my purse, and I will have thine.
FANCY. By my troth, there is mine.
FOLLY. Now, by my troth, man, take, there is my purse.
And I beshrew him that hath the worse.
FANCY. Turd, I say, what have I do?
Here is nothing but the buckle of a shoe,
And in my purse was twenty mark.
FOLLY. Ha, ha, ha! hark, sirs, hark!
For all that my name hight Folly,
By the mass, yet art thou more fool than I.
FANCY. Yet give me thy dog, and I am content,
And thou shalt have my hawk to a botchment.
FOLLY. That ever thou thrive, God it forfend!
For God's cope thou wilt spend.
Now take thou my dog, and give me thy fowl.
FANCY. Hey, chish, come hither!
FOLLY. Nay, turd, take him by time.
FANCY. What callest thou thy dog?
FOLLY. Tush, his name is Grime.
FANCY. Come, Grime, come, Grime. It is my pretty dogs!
FOLLY. In faith, there is not a better dog for hogs,
Not from Anwick unto Angey.
FANCY. Yea, but trowest thou that he be not mangy?
FOLLY. No, by my troth, it is but the scurf and the scab.
FANCY. What, he hath been hurt with a stab?
FOLLY. Nay, in faith, it was but a stripe
That the who reson had for eating of a tripe.
FANCY. Where the devil gat he all these hurts?
FOLLY By God, for snatching of puddings and worts.
FANCY. What, then, he is some good poor man's cur?
FOLLY. Yea, but he will in at every man door.
FANCY. Now thou hast done me a pleasure great.
FOLLY. In faith, I would thou hadst a marmoset.
FANCY. Cock's heart, I love such japes!
FOLLY. Yea, for all thy mind is on owls and apes.
But I have thy poultry, and thou hast my cattle.
FANCY. Yea, but thrift and we have made a battle.
FOLLY. Rememberest thou not the japes and the toys--
FANCY. What, that we used when we were boys?
FOLLY. Yea, by the rood, even the same.
FANCY. Yes, yes, I am yet as full of game
As ever I was, and as full of trifles,
Nil, nihilum, nihil anglice, nifles.
FOLLY. What, cannest thou all this Latin yet,
And hath so mazed a wandering wit?
FANCY. Tush, man, I keep some Latin in store.
FOLLY. By Cock's heart, I ween thou hast no more!
FANCY. No? yes, in faith, I can versify.
FOLLY. Then I pray thee heartily
Make a verse of my butterfly:
It forceth not of the reason, so it keep rime.
FANCY. But wilt thou make another on Grime?
FOLLY. Nay, in faith, first let me hear thine.
FANCY. Mary, as for that thou shalt soon hear m!ne:
Est snavi snago with a shrewd face vilis imago.
FOLLY. Grimbaldus greedy, snatch a pudding till the roast be ready.
FANCY. By the heart of God, well done!
FOLLY. Yea, so readily and so soon!


Stage 2. Scene 18

Enter CRAFTY CONVEYANCE
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What, Fancy! Let me see who is the other.
FANCY. By God, sir, Folly, mine own sworn brother.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Cock's bones, it is a farly freke:
Can he play well at the hodipeke?
FANCY. Tell by thy troth what sport canst thou make.
FOLLY. Ah, hold thy peace: I have the tooth-ache.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. The tooth-ache! lo, a turd ye have!
FOLLY. Yea, thou hast the four quarters of a knave.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Wottest thou, I say, to whom thou speaks?
FANCY. Nay, by Cock's heart, he ne recks,
For he will speak to Magnificence thus.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Cock's arms, a meet man for us!
FOLLY. What, would ye have more fools, and are so many
FANCY. Nay, offer him a counter instead of a penny.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Why, thinkest thou he can no better skill?
FOLLY. In faith, I can make ye both fools, an I will.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What hast thou on thy fist-a kestril?
FOLLY. Nay, ywis, fool, it is a dotteril.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In a coat thou can play well the diser.
FOLLY. Yea, but thou can play the fool without a viser.
FANCY. How rode he by you? how put he you there ?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Mary, as thou sayest, he gave me a blur.
But where gat you that mangy cur?
FANCY. Mary, it was his, and now it is mine.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And was it his, and now it is thine?
Thou must have thy fancy and thy will,
But yet thou shalt hold me a fool still.
FOLLY. Why, wendest thou that I cannot make thee play the fon?
FANCY. Yes, by my faith, good Sir John.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. For you both it were enough.
FOLLY. Why, wendest thou that I were as much a fool as thou?
FANCY. Nay, nay, thou shalt find him another manner of man.
FOLLY. In faith, I can do masteries, so I can.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What canst thou do but play cock wat?
FANCY. Yes, yes, he will make thee eat a gnat.
FOLLY. Yes, yes, by my troth, I hold thee a groat
That I shall laugh thee out of thy coat.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Then will I say that thou hast no peer.
FANCY. Now, by the rood, and he will go near.
FOLLY. Hem, Fancy, regardez, voyez.
[Here FOLLY pretends to take a louse from CRAFTY CONVEYANCE'S shoulder.]
FANCY. What hast thou found there?
FOLLY. By God, a louse.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By Cock's heart, I trow thou liest.
FOLLY. By the mass, a Spanish moth with a gray list.
FANCY. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Cock's arms, it is not so, I trow.
[Here CRAFTY CONVEYANCE takes off his gown.]
FOLLY. Put on thy gown again, for thou hast lost now.
FANCY. Lo, John of Boham, where is thy brain?
Now put on, fool, thy coat again.
FOLLY. Give me my groat, for thou hast lost.
[Here FOLLY pretends to take money of CRAFTY CONVEYANCE.]
Shut thy purse, daw, and do no cost.
FANCY. Now hast thou not a proud mock and a stark?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. With, yes, by the rood of Woodstock Park!
FANCY. Nay, I tell thee, he maketh no doubts
To turn a fool out of his clouts.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And for a fool a man would him take.
FOLLY. Nay, it is I that fools can make:
For be he kaiser or be he king,
To fellowship with Folly I can him bring.
FANCY. Nay, wilt thou hear now of his schools,
And what manner of people he maketh fools
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yea, let us hear a word or twain.
FOLLY. Sir, of my manner I shall tell you the plain.
First I lay before them my bauble,
And teach them how they should sit idle,
To pick their fingers all the day long;
So in their ear I sing them a song
And make them so long to muse
That some of them runneth straight to the Stews.
To theft and bribery I make some fall,
And pick a lock and climb a wall;
And where I spy a nisot gay,
That will sit idle all the day,
And cannot set herself to work,
I kindle in her such a lither spark
That rubbed she must be on the gall
Between the tappet and the wall.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What, who reson, art thou such a one?
FANCY. Nay, beyond all other set him alone.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Hast thou any more? Let see, proceed.
FOLLY. Yea, by God, sir, for a need
I have another manner of sort
That I laugh at for my disport;
And those be they that come up of nought,
As some be not far, an if it were well sought.
Such daws, whatsoever they be
That be set in authority,
Anon he waxeth so high and proud,
He frowneth fiercely, brimly browed,
The knave would make it coy, an he could;

All that he doth must be allowed,
And, 'This is not well done, sir, take heed!'
And maketh himself busy where is no need:
He dances so long, hey, trolly lolly,
That every man laugheth at his folly.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By the good Lord, truth he saith!
FANCY. Thinkest thou not so, by thy faith?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. 'Think I not so!' quod he. Else have I shame,
For I know divers that useth the same.
FOLLY. But now, forsooth, man, it maketh no matter,
For they that will so busily smatter,
So help me God, man, ever at the length
I make them lose much of their strength;
For with folly so do I them lead,
That wit he wanteth when he hath most need.
FANCY. Forsooth, tell on: hast thou any mo?
FOLLY. Yes, I shall tell you, ere I go,
Of divers mo that haunteth my schools.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. All men beware of suche fools!
FOLLY. There be two lither, rude and rank,
Simkin Titivell and Pierce Pykthank;
These lithers I learn them for to lere
What he saith and she saith to lay good ear,
And tell to his sovereign every whit,
And then he is much made of for his wit.
And, be the matter ill more or less,
He will make it mickle worse than it is:
But all that he doth, and if he reckon well,
It is but folly every deal.
FANCY. Are not his words cursedly couched?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By God. there be some that be shrewdly touched.
But, I say, let see an if thou have any more
FOLLY. I have an whole armoury of such haberdash in store;
For there be others that folly doth use,
That follow fond fantasies and virtue refuse.
FANCY. Nay, this is my part that thou speakest of
FOLLY. So is all the remnant, I make God avow;
For thou formest such fantasies in their mind
That every man almost groweth Out of kind.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By the mass, I am glad that I came hither,
To hear you two rutters dispute together.
FANCY. Nay, but Fancy must be either first or last.
FOLLY. But when Folly cometh, all is past.
FANCY. I wot not whether it cometh of thee or of me.
But all is folly that I can see.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Mary, sir, ye may swear it on a book!
FOLLY. Yea, turn over the leaf, read there and look
How frantic Fancy first of all
Maketh man and woman in folly to fall.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Ay, sir, ay, ay! how by that!
FANCY. A perilous thing to cast a cat
Upon a naked man, an if she scrat.
FOLLY. Soho, I say, the hare is squat!
For, frantic Fancy, thou makest man mad;
And I, Folly, bringeth them to qui fuit gad,
With qui fuit, brain-sick, I have them brought,
From qui fuit aliquid, to sheer shaking nought.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Well argued and surely on both sides!
But for thee, Fancy, Magnificence abides.
FANCY. Why, shall I not have Folly with me also?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yes, perdee, man, whether that ye ride or go:
Yet for his name we must find a sleight.
FANCY. By the mass, he shall hight Conceit.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Not a better name under the sun!
With Magnificence thou shalt won.
FOLLY. God have mercy, good godfather.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yet I would that he had gone rather;
For, as soon as ye come in Magnificence' sight,
All measure and good rule is gone quite.
FANCY. And shall we have liberty to do what we will?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Riot at liberty rusheth it out still.
FOLLY. Yea, but tell me one thing.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE.What is that?
FOLLY. Who is master of the mash-vat?
FANCY. Yea, for he hath a full dry soul.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Cock's arms, thou shalt keep the brewhouse bowl.
FOLLY. But may I drink thereof whiles that I stare?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. When Measure is gone, what needest thou spare?
When Measure is gone, we may slay care.
FOLLY. Now then go we hence. 'Away the mare . . . !'
[Exeunt FOLLY and FANCY.]


Stage 2. Scene 19

CRAFTY CONVEYANCE alone in the place
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. It is wonder to see the world about,
To see what folly is used in every place;
Folly hath a room, I say, in every rout,
To put where he list Folly hath free chace;
Folly and Fancy all where, every man doth face and brace;
Folly footeth it properly, Fancy leadeth the dance;
And next come I after, Counterfeit Countenance.
Whoso to me giveth good advertence
Shall see many things done craftily:
By me conveyed is wanton insolence,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Privy 'pointments conveyed so properly,
(For many times much kindness is denied
For dread that we dare not oft lest we be spied.)

By me is conveyed mickle pretty ware,
Sometime, I say, behind the door for need;
I have an hobby can make larkes to dare;
I knit together many a broken thread.
It is great almes the hungry to feed,
To clothe the naked where is lacking a smock,
Trim at her tail, ere a man can turn a sock.

What ho, be ye merry! was it not well conveyed?
As oft as ye list, so honesty be saved.
'Alas, dear heart, look that we be not perceived !'
Without crafte nothing is well behaved;
Though I shew you courtesy, say not that r craved,
Yet convey it craftily, and hardely spare not for me,
So that there know no man, but I and she.

Theft also and petty bribery
Without me be full oft espied;
My inwit dealing there can no man descry,
Convey it by craft, lift and lay aside.
Full much flattery and falsehood I hide,
And by crafty conveyance I will, an I can,
Save a strong thief and hang a true man.

But some men woulde convey, and can no skill,
As malapert taverners that check with their betters,
Their conveyance welteth the work all by will;
And some will take upon them to counterfeit letters,
And therewithal convey himself into a pair of fetters;
And some will convey by the pretence of sadness,
Till all their conveyance is turned into madness.

Crafty conveyance is no childes game:
By crafty conveyance many one is brought up of nought;
Crafty Conveyance can cloak himself from shame,
For by crafty conveyance wonderful things are wrought.
By conveyance crafty I have brought
Unto Magnificence a full ungracious sort,
For all hookes unhappy to me have resort.


Stage 3. Scene 20. DELUSION

Enter MAGNIFICENCE with LIBERTY and FELICITY
MAGNIFICENCE. Trust me, Liberty, it grieveth me right sore
To see you thus ruled and stand in such awe.
LIBERTY. Sir, as by my will, it shall be so no more.
FOLLY. Yet Liberty without rule is not worth a straw.
MAGNIFICENCE. Tush, hold your peace, ye speak like a daw!
Ye shall be occupied, Wealth, at my will.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. All that ye say, sir, is reason and skill.

MAGNIFICENCE. Master Surveyor, where have ye been so long?
Remember ye not how my Liberty by Measure ruled was?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In good faith, sir, meseemeth he had the more wrong.
LIBERTY. Mary, sir, so did he exceed and pass,
They drove me to learninge like a dull ass.
FOLLY. It is good yet that Liberty be ruled by reason.
MAGNIFICENCE. Tush, hold your peace, ye speak out of season!

Yourself shall be ruled by Liberty and Largesse.
FOLLY. I am content, so it in measure be.
LIBERTY. Must Measure, in the mare's name, you furnish and dress?
MAGNIFICENCE. Nay, nay, not so, my friend Felicity.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Not, an your grace would be ruled by me.
LIBERTY. Nay, he shall be ruled even as I list.
FOLLY. Yet it is good to beware of 'Had I wist.'

MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, by Liberty and Largesse I will that ye shall
Be governed and guided: wot ye what I say?
Master Surveyor, Largesse to me call.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. It shall be done.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, but bid him come away
At once, and let him not tarry all day.
[Exit CRAFTY CONVEYANCE.]
FOLLY. Yet it is good wisdom to work wisely by wealth.
LIBERTY. Hold thy tongue, an thou love thy health.

MAGNIFICENCE. What, will ye waste wind, and prate thus in vain?
Ye have eaten sauce, I trow, at the Tailors' Hall.
LIBERTY. Be not too bold, my friend; I counsel you, bear a brain.
MAGNIFICENCE. And whatso we say, bold your content withal.
FELICITY. Sir, yet without sapience your substance may be small;
For, where is no measure, how many worship endure?
[Enter FANCY.]
FANCY. Sir, I am here at your pleasure.

Your Grace sent for me, I ween; what is your will?
MAGNIFICENCE. Come hither, Largesse, take here Felicity.
FANCY. Why, ween you that I can keep him long still?
MAGNIFICENCE. To rule as ye list, lo here is Liberty.
LIBERTY. I am here ready.
FANCY. What, shall we have Wealth at our guiding to rule as we list?
Then farewell thrift, by Him that cross kist!

FELICITY. I trust your Grace will be agreeable
That I shall suffer none impeachment
By their demenance, nor loss reprovable.
MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, ye shall follow mine appetite and intent.
FELICITY. So it be by measure I am right well content.
FANCY. What, all by measure, good sir, and none excess?
LIBERTY. Why, wealth hath made many a man brainless.

FELICITY. That was by the means of too much liberty.
MAGNIFICENCE. What, can ye agree thus and oppose?
FELICITY. Sir, as I say, there was no fault in me.
LIBERTY. Yea, of Jack-a-Thrum's babble can ye make a gloss?
FANCY. Sore said, I tell you, and well to the purpose:
What should a man do with you ?-lock you under key.
FELICITY. I say, it is folly to give all wealth away.

LIBERTY. Whether should Wealth be ruled by Liberty,
Or Liberty by Wealth? Let see, tell me that.
FELICITY. Sir, as meseemeth, ye should be ruled by me.
MAGNIFICENCE. What need you with him thus prate and chat?
FANCY. Show us your mind then, how to do and what.
MAGNIFICENCE. I say, that I will ye have him in guiding.
LIBERTY. Master Felicity, let be your chiding,

And so, as ye see it will be no better,
Take it in worth such as you find.
FANCY. What the devil, man, your name shall be the greater,
For Wealth without Largesse is all out of kind.
LIBERTY. And Wealth is nought worth if Liberty be behind.
MAGNIFICENCE. Now hold ye content, for there is none other shift.
FELICITY. Then waste must be welcome, and farewell thrift!

MAGNIFICENCE. Take of his substance a sure inventory,
And get you home together; for Liberty shall bide,
And wait upon me.
LIBERTY. And yet for a memory,
Make indentures how ye and I shall guide.
FANCY. I can do nothing but he stande beside.
LIBERTY. Sir, we can do nothing the one without the other.
MAGNIFICENCE. Well, get you hence then, and send me some other.
FANCY. Whom lusty Pleasure, or merry Conceit i
MAGNIFICENCE. Nay, first lusty Pleasure is my desire to have,
And let the other another time await,
Howbeit that fond fellow is a merry knave!
But look that ye occupy the authority that I you gave.
[Exeunt FELICITY, LIBERTY, and FANCY.]


Stage 3. Scene 21

MAGNIFICENCE alone in the place
For now, sirs, I am like as a prince should be:
I have Wealth at will, Largesse and Liberty.

Fortune to her laws cannot abandon me,
But I shall of Fortune rule the rein;
I fear nothing Fortune's perplexity;
All honour to me must needes stoop and lean;
I sing of two partes without a mean;
I have wind and weather over all to sail,
No stormy rage against me can prevail.

Alexander, of Macedony king,
That all the orient had in subjection,
Though all his conquests were brought to reckoning,
Might seem right well under my protection
To reign, for all his martial affection;
For I am Prince Peerless, proved of port,
Bathed with bliss, embraced with comfort.

Cyrus, that solemn sire of Babylon,
That Israel released of their captivity,
For all his pomp, for all his royal throne,
He may not be compared unto me.
I am the diamond doubtless of dignity.
Surely it is I that all may save and spill;
No man so hardy to work against my will.

Porsena, the proud provost of Turky land,
That rated the Romans and made them ill rest,
Nor Caesar July, that no man might withstand,
Were never half so richly as I am drest:
No, that I assure you: look who was the best.
I reign in my robes, I rule as me list,
I drive down these dastards with a dint of my fist.

Of Cato, the count, accounted the cane,
Darius, the doughty chieftain of Perse,
I set not by the proudest of them a prawn,
Ne by none other that any man can rehearse.
I follow in felicity without reverse.
I dread no danger, I dance all in delight:
My name is Magnificence, man most of might.

Hercules the hardy, with his stubborn clubbed mace,
That made Cerberus to couch, the cur dog of hell,
And Theseus, that proud was Pluto to face,
It would not become them with me for to mell:
For of all barones bold I bear the bell,
Of all doughty, I am doughtiest duke, as I deem:
To me all princes to lowt may beseem.

Charlemagne, that maintained the nobles of France,
Arthur of Albion, for all his brimme beard,
Nor Basian the bold, for all his bribance,
Nor Alaric, that ruled the Gothiance by sword,
Nor no man on mould can make me afeard.
What man is so mazed with me that dare meet,
I shall flap him as a fool to fall at my feet.

Galba, whom his gallants garde for to gasp,
Nor Nero, that neither set by God nor man,
Nor Vespasian, that bore in his nose a wasp,
Nor Hannibal against Rome gates that ran
Nor yet Scipio, that noble Carthage wan,
Nor none so hardy of them with me that durst crake,
But I shall frounce them on the foretop, and gar them to quake.


Stage 3. Scene 22

Enter COURTLY ABUSION, doing reverence and courtesy
COURTLY ABUSION. At your commandment, sir, with all due reverence.
MAGNIFICENCE. Welcome, Pleasure, to our magnificence.
COURTLY ABUSION. Pleaseth it your Grace to show what I do shall?
MAGNIFICENCE. Let us hear of your pleasure to pass the time withal.
COURTLY ABUSION. Sir, then, with the favour of your benign sufferance
To shew you my mind myself I will advance,
If it like your Grace to take it in degree.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yes, sir, so good man in you I see,
And in your dealing so good assurance,
That we delight greatly in your dalliance.
COURTLY ABUSION. Ah, sir, your Grace me doth extol and raise,
And far beyond my merits ye me commend and praise;
Howbeit, I would be right glad, I you assure,
Any thing to do that might be to your pleasure.
MAGNIFICENCE. As I be saved, with pleasure I am surprised
Of your language, it is so well devised;
Polished and freshe is your ornacy.
COURTLY ABUSION. I would to God that I were half so crafty,
Or in elect utterance half so eloquent,
As that I might your noble Grace content!
MAGNIFICENCE. Trust me, with you I am highly pleased,
For in my favour I have you fiefed and seised.
He is not living your manners can amend;
Mary, your speech is as pleasant as though it were penned;
To hear your commune, it is my high comfort;
Point-devise all pleasure is your port.
COURTLY ABUSION. Sir, I am the better of your noble report;
But, of your patience under the support,
If it would like you to hear my poore mind--
MAGNIFICENCE. Speak, I beseech thee, leave nothing behind.
COURTLY ABUSION. So as ye be a prince of great might,
It is seeming your pleasure ye delight,
And to acquaint you with carnal delectation,
And to fall in acquaintance with every newe fashion;
And quickly your appetites to sharpe and address,
To fasten your fancy upon a faire mistress,
That quickly is envived with ruddies of the rose,
Inpurtured with features after your purpose;
The strains of her veins as azure Indy blue,
Enbudded with beauty and colour fresh of hue,
As lily-white to look upon her lere,
Her eyen relucent as carbuncle so cleare,
Her mouth embalmed, delectable and merry,
Her lusty lippes ruddy as the cherry.
How like you ye lack, sir, such a ]usty lass.
MAGNIFICENCE. Ah, that were a baby to 'brace and to bass!
I would I had, by Him that hell did harrow,
With me in keeping such a Philip Sparrow!
I would hawke whilest my head did wark,1
So I might hobby for such a lusty lark
These wordes in mine ear they be so lustily spoken,
That on such a female my flesh would be wroken;
They touch me so thoroughly, and tickle my conceit,
That weried I would be on such a bait.
Ah, Cock's arms, where might such one be found?
COURTLY ABUSION. Will ye spend any money?
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, a thousand pound!
COURTLY ABUSION. Nay, nay, for less I warrant you to be sped,
And brought home, and laide in your bed.
MAGNIFICENCE. Would money, trowest thou, make such one to the call?
COURTLY ABUSION. Money maketh merchants, I tell you, over all.
MAGNIFICENCE. Why, will a mistress be won for money and for gold?
COURTLY ABUSION. Why, was not for money Troy both bought and sold?
Full many a stronge city and town hath been won
By the meanes of money without any gun.
A mistress, I tell you, is but a small thing;
A goodly ribbon, or a golde ring,
May win with a saute the fortress of the hold.
But one thing I warn you, press forth and be bold.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, but some be full coy and passing hard-hearted.
COURTLY ABUSION. But, blessed be our Lord, they will be soon converted!
MAGNIFICENCE. Why, will they then be entreated, the most and the least?
COURTLY ABUSION. Yea, for omnis mulier meretrix, Si celari potest.
MAGNIFICENCE. Ah, I have spied ye can much brooken sorrow!
COURTLY ABUSION. I could hold you with such talk hence till tomorrow;
But if it like your Grace, more at large
Me to permit my minde to discharge,
I would yet shew you further of my conceit.
MAGNIFICENCE. Let see what ye say, show it straight.
COURTLY ABUSION. Wisely let these wordes in your mind be weighed;
By wayward wilfulness let each thing be conveyed;
Whatsoever ye do, follow your now will;
Be it reason or none, it shall not greatly skill;
Be it right or wrong, by the advice of me,
Take your pleasure and use free liberty;
And if you see anything against your mind,
Then some occasion of quarrel ye must find,
And frown it and face it, as though ye would fight,
Fret yourself for anger and for despite;
Hear no man, whatsoever they say,
But do as ye list, and take your own way.
MAGNIFICENCE. Thy words and my mind oddly well accord.
COURTLY ABUSION. What should ye do else? are not you a lord?
Let your lust and liking stand for a law;
Be wresting and writhing, and away draw.
An ye see a man that with him ye be not pleased,
And that your mind cannot well be eased,
As if a man fortune to touch you on the quick,
Then feign yourself diseased and make yourself sick:
To stir up your stomach you must you forge,
Call for a caudle and cast up your gorge,
With 'Cock's arms, rest sli all I none have
Till I be revenged on that whoreson knave!
Ah, how my stomach wambleth! I am all in a sweat!
Is there no whoreson that knave that will beat?'
MAGNIFICENCE. By Cock's wounds, a wondrous fellow thou art!
For ofttimes such a wambling goeth over my heart;
Yet I am not heart-sick, but that me list
For mirth I have him curried, beaten, and blist.
Him that I loved not and made him to lowt
I am forthwith as whole as a trout--
For such abusion I use now and then.
COURTLY ABUSION. It is none abusion, sir, in a noble man,
It is a princely pleasure and a lordly mind;
Such lustes at large may not be left behind.


Stage 3. Scene 23

Enter CLOAKED COLLUSION with MEASURE
CLOAKED COLLUSION. (aside to MEASURE). Stand still here, and ye shall see
That for your sake I will fall on my knee.
[MEASURE waits at the door.]
COURTLY ABUSION. Sir, Sober Sadness cometh, wherefore it be?
MAGNIFICENCE. Stand up, sir, ye are welcome to me.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Please it your Grace, at the contemplation
Of my poor instance and supplication,
Tenderly to consider in your advertence,
Of our blessed Lord, sir, at the reverence,
Remember the good service that Measure hath you done,
And that ye will not cast him away so soon.
MAGNIFICENCE. My friend, as touching to this your motion,
I may say to you I have but small devotion;
Howbeit, at your instance I will the rather
Do as much as for mine owne father.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, sir, that affection ought to be reserved,
For of your Grace I have it nought deserved;
But if it like you that I might round in your ear
To show you my mmdc, I would have the less fear.
MAGNIFICENCE. Stand a little aback, sir, and let him come hither.
COURTLY ABUSION. With a good will, sir, God speed you both together.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. (aside to MAGNIFICENCE). Sir, so it is: this man is hereby,
That for him to labour he hath prayed me heartily;
Notwithstanding to you be it said,
To trust in me he is but diceived;
For, so help me God, for you he is not meet:
I speak the softuer, because he should not weet.
MAGNIFICENCE. Come hither, Pleasure, you shall hear mine intent.
Measure, ye know well, with him I cannot be content,
And surely, as I am now advised,
I will have him rehated and despised.
How say ye, sirs, herein what is best?
COURTLY ABUSION. By mine advise with you, in faith, he shall not rest.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yet, sir, reserved your better advertisement,
It were better he spake with you ere he went,
That he know not but that I have suppleed
All that I can his matter for to speed.
MAGNIFICENCE. Now, by your troth, gave he you not a bribe?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yes, with his hand I made him to subscribe
A bill of record for an annual rent.
COURTLY ABUSION. But for all that he is like to have a glent.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, by my troth, I shall warrant you for me,
An he go to the devil, so that I may have my fee,
What care I?
MAGNIFICENCE. By the mass, well said.
COURTLY ABUSION. What force ye, so that ye be paid?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. But yet, lo, I would, ere that he went,
Lest that he thought that his money were evil spent,
That ye would look on him, though it were not long.
MAGNIFICENCE. Well canst thou help a priest to sing a song!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. So it is all the manner nowadays,
For to use such hafting and crafty ways.
COURTLY ABUSION. He telleth you truth, sir, as I you ensure.
MAGNIFICENCE. Well, for thy sake the better I may endure
That he come hither, and to give him a look
That he shall like the worse all this woke.1
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I care not how soon he be refused,
So that I may craftily be excused.
COURTLY ABUSION. Where is he?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Mary, I made him abide,
Whilst I came to you, a little here beside.
MAGNIFICENCE. Well, call him, and let us hear him reason,
And we will be communing in the meane season.
COURTLY ABUSION. This is a wise man, sir, wheresoever ye had him.
MAGNIFICENCE. An honest person, I tell you, and a sad.
COURTLY ABUSION. He can full craftily this matter bring about.
MAGNIFICENCE. Whilst I have him, I need nothing doubt.
[CLOAKED COLLUSION brings MEASURE forward, while MAGNIFICENCE looks on him very loftily.]
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By the mass, I have done that I can,
And more than ever I did for any man:
I trow, ye heard yourself what I said.
MEASURE. Nay, indeed; but I saw how ye prayed,
And made instance for me by likelihood.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, I tell you, I am not wont to fode
Them that dare put their trust in me;
And thereof ye shall a larger proof see.
MEASURE. Sir, God reward you as ye have deserved:
But think you with Magnificence I shall be reserved?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By my troth, I cannot tell you that;
But, an I were as ye, I would not set a gnat
By Magnificence, nor yet none of his,
For, go when ye shall, of you shall he miss.
Alas. Sir, as ye say.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, come on with me.
Yet once again I shall fall on my knee
For your sake, whatsoever befall;
I set not a fly, and all go to all.
MEASURE. The Holy Ghost be with your Grace.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Sir, I beseech you, let pity have some place
In your breast towards this gentleman.
MAGNIFICENCE. I was your good lord till that ye began
So masterfully upon you for to take
With my servants, and such masteries 'gan make,
That wholly my mind with you is miscontent;
Wherefore I will that ye be resident
With me no longer.
CLOAKED COLLUSION.Say somewhat now, let see,
For your self.
MEASURE. Sir, if I might permitted be,
I would to you say a worde or twain.
MAGNIFICENCE. What, wouldest thou, lurdain, with me brawl again?
Have him hence, I say, out of my sight;
That day I see him I shall be worse all night!
COURTLY ABUSION. Hence, thou haynard, out of the doores fast!
[Exit MEASURE with COURTLY ABUSION.]


Stage 3. Scene 24

MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, my stomach fareth as it would cast!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Abide, sir, abide, let me hold your head.
MAGNIFICENCE. A bowl or a basin, I say, for God's bread!
Ah, my head! But is the whoreson gone?
God give him a mischief! Nay, now let me alone.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. A good drift, sir, a pretty feat!
By the good Lord, yet your temples beat.
MAGNIFICENCE. Nay, so God me help, it was no great vexation,
For I am panged ofttimes of this same fashion.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Cock's arms, how Pleasure plucked him forth!
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, walk he must, it was no better worth.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Sir, now methink your heart is well eased.
MAGNIFICENCE. Now Measure is gone I am the better pleased.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. So to be ruled by Measure, it is a pain!
MAGNIFICENCE. Mary, I ween he would not be glad to come again!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. So I wot not what he should do here:
Where men's bellies is measured, there is no cheer;
For I hear but fewe men that give any praise
Unto Measure, I say, nowadays.
MAGNIFICENCE. Measure, tut! what, the devil of hell!
Scantly one with Measure that will dwell.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Not among noblemen, as the world goeth.
It is no wonder therefore though ye be wroth
With Measure. Where all nobleness is, there I have past.
They catch that catch may, keep and hold fast,
Out of all measure themselves to enrich.
No force what though his neighbour die in a ditch.
With polling and plucking out of all measure,
Thus must ye stuff and store your treasure.
MAGNIFICENCE. Yet sometime, pardee, I must use largesse.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, mary, sometime in a mess of verjuice,
As in a trifle or in a thing of nought,
As giving a thing that ye never bought.
It is the guise now, I say, over all:
Largesse in words, for rewards are but small.
To make faire promise, what are ye the worse?
Let me have the rule of your purse.
MAGNIFICENCE. I have taken it to Largesse and Liberty.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Then it is done as it should be.
But use your largesse by the advice of me,
And I shall warrant you wealth and liberty.
MAGNIFICENCE. Say on, methink your reasons be profound.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Sir, of my counsel this shall be the ground:
To choose out ii. iii. of such as you love best,
And let all your fancies upon them rest;
Spare for no cost to give them pound and penny,
Better to make three rich than for to make many;
Give them more than enough and let them not lack,
And as for all other let them truss and pack;
Pluck from an hundred, and give it to three,
Let neither patent 'scape them nor fee;
And wheresoever you will fall to a reckoning,
Those three will be ready even at your beckoning,
For them shall you have at liberty to lowt;
Let them have all, and the other go without;
Thus joy without measure you shall have.
MAGNIFICENCE. Thou sayst truth, by the heart that God me gave!
For, as thou sayst, right so shall it be.
And here I make thee upon Liberty
To be supervisor, and on Largesse also,
For as thou wilt, so shall the game go;
For in Pleasure, and Surveyance, and also in thee
I have Set my whole felicity,
And such as you will shall lack no promotion.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Sir, sith that in me ye have such devotion,
Committing to me and to my fellows twain
Your wealth and felicity, I trust we shall obtain
To do you service after your appetite.
MAGNIFICENCE. In faith, and your service right well I shall acquite;
And therefore hie you hence, and take this oversight.
CLOAKED COLLUSION.. Now, Jesu preserve you, sir, prince most of might!
[Exit CLOAKED COLLUSION.]


Stage 3. Scene 25

MAGNIFICENCE. Thus, I say, I am environed with solace;
I dread no dints of fatal destiny.
Well were that lady might stand in my grace,
Me to embrace and love most specfally:
Ah, Lord, so I would halse her heartily,
So I would clip her, so I would kiss her sweet!
Enter FOLLY
FOLLY. Mary, Christ grant ye catch no cold on your feet!
MAGNIFICENCE. Who is this?
FOLLY. Conceit, sir, your owne man.
MAGNIFICENCE. What tidings with you, sir? I befool thy brain-pan!
FOLLY. By our lakin, sir, I have been a hawking for the wild swan.
My hawk is ramage, and it happed that she ran--
Flew I should say-into an olde barn
To reach at a rat, I could not her warn;
She pinched her pinion, by God, and catched harm:
It was a runner; nay, fool, I warrant her blood warm!
MAGNIFICENCE. Ah, sir, thy gerfalcon and thou be hanged together!
FOLLY. And, sir, as I was coming to you hither,
I saw a fox suck on a cow's udder,
And with a lime-rod I took them both together.
I trow it be a frost, for the way is slidder:
See, for God avow, for cold as I chidder.
MAGNIFICENCE. Thy words hang together as feathers in the wind.
FOLLY. Ah, sir, told I not you how I did find
A knave and a churl, and all of one kind?
I saw a weathercock wag with the wind;
Great marvel I had, and mused in my mind;
The hounds ran before, and the hare behind;
I saw a losel lead a lurdain, and they were both blind;
I saw a sowter go to supper ere ever he had dined.
MAGNIFICENCE. By Cock's heart, thou art a fine merry knave!
FOLLY. I make God avow, ye will none other men have.
MAGNIFICENCE. What sayst thou?
FOLLY. Mary, I pray God your mastership to save:
I shall give you a gaud of a gosling that I gave,
The gander and the goose both grazing on one grave;
Then Rowland the reve ran, and I began to rave,
And with a bristle of a boar his beard did I shave.
MAGNIFICENCE. If ever I heard such another, God give me shame!
FOLLY. Sim Saddlegoose was my sire, and Dawcock my dame:
I could, an I list, gar you laugh at a game,
How a woodcock wrestled with a lark that was lame:
The bittern said boldly that they were to blame;
The fieldfare would have fiddled, and it would not frame;
The crane and the curlew thereat 'gan to grame;
The snite snivelled in the snout and smiled at the game.
MAGNIFICENCE. Cock's bones, heard you ever such another!
FOLLY. See, sir, I beseech you, Largesse my brother.
Enter FANCY
MAGNIFICENCE. What tidings with you, sir, that you look so sad?
FANCY. When ye know what I know ye will not be glad!
FOLLY. What, Brother Brainsick, how farest thou?
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, let be thy japes, and tell me how
The case requireth.
FANCY. Alas, alas, an heavy meeting!
I would tell you, an if I might for weeping.
FOLLY. What, is all your mirth now turned to sorow?
Farewell till soon, adew till to-morrow.
[Exit FOLLY.]
MAGNIFICENCE. I pray thee, Largesse, let be thy sobbing.
FANCY. Alas, sir, ye are undone with stealing and robbing!
Ye sent us a supervisor for to take heed:
Take heed of yourself, for now ye have need.
MAGNIFICENCE. What, hath Sadness beguiled me so?
FANCY. Nay, madness hath beguiled you and many mo;
For Liberty is gone and also Felicity.
MAGNIFICENCE. Gone? alas, ye have undone me!
FANCY. Nay, he that sent us, Cloaked Collusion,
And your painted Pleasure, Courtly Abusion,
And your demeanour with Counterfeit Countenance,
And your surveyor, Crafty Conveyance,
Ere ever we were ware brought us in adversity,
And hath robbed you quite from all felicity.
MAGNIFICENCE. Why, is this the largesse that I have used?
FANCY. Nay, it was your fondness that ye have used.
MAGNIFICENCE. And is this the credence that I gave to the letter?
FANCY. Why, could not your wit serve you no better?
MAGNIFICENCE. Why, who would have thought in you such guile?
FANCY. What? yes, by the rood, sir, it was I all this while
That you trusted, and Fancy is my name;
And Folly, my brother, that made you much game.
Enter ADVERSITY
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, who is yonder, that grimly lookes?
FANCY. Adew, for I will not come in his clutches.
[Exit FANCY.]


Stage 4. Scene 26. OVERTHROW

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


Stage 4. Scene 27

Enter POVERTY
POVERTY. Ah, my bones ache, my limbs be sore;
Alas, I have the sciatica full evil in my hip!
Alas, where is youth that was wont for to skip?
I am lowsy, and unli king, and full of scurf,
My colour is tawny, coloured as turf.
I am Poverty, that all men doth hate,
I am baited with dogs at every man's gate;
I am ragged and rent, as ye may see;
Full few but they have envy at me.
Now must I this carcass lift up.
He dined with delight, with Poverty he must sup.
Rise up, sir, and welcome unto me.
[Poverty hfts up MAGNIFICENCE, and puts a coverlet
over him.]
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, where is now my gold and fee?
Alas, I say, whereto am I brought?
Alas, alas, alas, I die for thought!
POVERTY. Sir, all this would have been thought on before:
He woteth not what wealth is that never was sore.
MAGNIFICENCE. Fie, fie, that ever I should be brought in this snare!
I weened once never to have knowen care.
POVERTY. Lo, such is this world! I find it writ,
In wealth to beware, and that is wit.
MAGNIFICENCE. In wealth to beware, if I had had grace,
Never had I been brought in this case.
POVERTY. Now, sith it will no other be,
All that God sendeth, take it in gre;
For, though you were sometime of noble estate,
Now must you learn to beg at every man's gate.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, that ever I should be so shamed!
Alas, that ever I Magnificence was named I
Alas, that ever I was so hard happed,
In misery and wretchedness thus to be lapped!
Alas, that I could not myself no better guide!
Alas, in my cradle that I had not died!
POVERTY. Yea, sir, yea, leave all this rage,
And pray to God your sorrows to assuage.
It is folly to grudge against his visitation.
With heart contrite make your supplication
Unto your Maker, that made both you and me,
And, when it pleaseth God, better may be.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, I wot not what I should pray!
POVERTY. Remember you better, sir, beware what ye say,
For dread ye displease the high Deity.
Put your will in his will, for surely it is he
That may restore you again to felicity,
And bring you again out of adversity.
Therefore poverty look patiently ye take,
And remember he suffered much more for your sake,
Howbeit of all sin he was innocent,
And ye have deserved this punishment.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, with cold my limbs shall be marred!
POVERTY. Yea, sir, now must ye learn to lie hard,
That was wont to lie on feather-beds of down;
Now must your feet lie higher than your crown.
Where you were wont to have caudles for your head,
Now must you munch mammocks and lumps of bread;
And where you had changes of rich array,
Now lap you in a coverlet full fain that ye may;
And where that ye were pomped with what ye wold,
Now must ye suffer both hunger and cold.
With courtly silks ye were wont to be draw,
Now must ye learn to lie on the straw;
Your skin that was wrapped in shirtes of Rennes,
Now must ye be storm-ybeaten with showers and rains;
Your head that was wont to be happed most droopy and drowsy,
Now shall ye be scabbed, scurvy, and lousy.
MAGNIFICENCE. Fie on this world, full of treachery,
That ever nobleness should lie thus wretchedly!
POVERTY. Sir, remember the turn of Fortune's wheel,
That wantonly can wink, and winch with her heel.
Now she will laugh, forthwith she will frown;
Suddenly set up, and suddenly plucked down.
She danceth variance with mutability;
Now all in wealth, forthwith in poverty;
In her promise there is no sickerness;
All her delight is set in doubleness.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, of Fortune I may well complain!
POVERTY. Yea, sir, yesterday will not be called again.
But yet, sir, now in this case,
Take it meekly, and thank God of his grace;
For now go I will beg for you some meat;
It is folly against God for to plete;
I will walke now with my beggar's bags,
And wrap you the whiles with these homely rags.
[Going away, he says these words:]
Ah, how my limbs be lither and lame!
Better it is to beg than to be hanged with shame;
Yet many had liefer hanged be,
Than for to beg their meat for charity:
They think it no shame to rob and steal,
Yet were they better to beg a great deal;
For by robbing they run in manus tuas quick,1
But begging is better medicine for the neck;
Yea, mary, is it, yea, so may I go.
Ah, Lord God, how the gout wringeth me by the toe!
[Exit.]


Stage 4. Scene 23

Here MAGNIFICENCE dolorously makes his moan
MAGNIFICENCE. 0 feeble fortune, 0 doleful destiny!
O hateful hap, 0 careful cruelty!
O sighing sorrow, 0 thoughtful misery!
O redeless ruth, 0 painful poverty!
0 dolorous heart, 0 hard adversity!
O odious distress, 0 deadly pain and woe!
For worldy shame I wax both wan and blo.

Where is now my wealth and my noble estate?
Where is now my treasure, my lands, and my rent?
Where is now all my Servants that I had here of late?
Where is now my gold upon them that I spent?
Where is now all my rich habiliment?
Where is now my kin, my friends, and my noble blood?
Where is now all my pleasure and my wordly good?

Alas, my folly! alas, my wanton will!
I may no more speak, till I have wept my fill.


Stage 4. Scene 29

Enter LIBERTY
LIBERTY. With, yea mary, sirs, thus should it be:
I kissed her sweet, and she kissed me;
I danced the darling on my knee;
I garred her gasp, I garred her gle,
With 'Dance on the lea, the lea!'
I bussed that baby with heart so free;
She is the bote of all my bale.
Ah so! that sigh was far-fet l
To love that lovesome I will not let;
My heart is wholly on her set:
I plucked her by the partlet;
At my devise I with her met;
My fancy fairly on her I set;
So merrily singeth the nightingale!
In lust and liking my name is Liberty:
I am desired with highest and lowest degree;
I live as me list, I leap out at large;
Of earthly thing I have no care nor charge;
I am president of princes, I prick them with pride.
What is he living that Liberty would lack?
A thousand pound with Liberty may hold no tack;
At liberty a man may be bold for to break;
Wealth without liberty goeth all to wrack.
But yet, sirs, hardely one thing learn of me:
I warn you beware of too much liberty,
For totum in toto is not worth an haw;
Too hardy, or too much, too free of the daw;1
Too sober, too sad, too subtil, too wise;
Too merry, too mad, too gigling, too nice;
Too full of fancies, too lordly, too proud;
Too homely, too holy, too lewd, and too loud;
Too flattering, too smattering, too too out of harre;
Too clattering, too chattering, too short, and too far;
Too jetting, too jagging, and too full of japes;
Too mocking, too mowing, too like a jackanapes:
Thus totum in toto groweth up, as ye may see,
By means of madness, and too much liberty;
For I am a virtue, if I be well used,
And I am a vice where I am abused.
MAGNIFICENCE. Ah, woe worth thee, Liberty, now thou sayst full true!
That I used thee too much, sore may I rue.
LIBERTY. What, a very vengeance, I say, who is that?
What brothel, I say, is yonder bound in a mat?
MAGNIFICENCE. I am Magnificence, that sometime thy master was.
LIBERTY. What, is the worlde thus come to pass?
Cock's arms, sirs, will ye not see
How he is undone by the means of me?
For if Measure had ruled Liberty as he began,
This lurdain that here lieth had been a nobleman.
But he abused so his free liberty,
That now he hath lost all his felicity,
Not thorough largesse of liberal expense,
But by the way of fancy insolence;
For liberality is most Convenient
A prince to use with all his whole intent,
Largely rewarding them that have deserved,
And so shall a nobleman nobly be served.
But nowadays as hucksters they huck and they stick,
And pinch at the payment of a pudding-prick;
A laudable largesse, I tell you, for a lord,
To prate for the patching of a potsherd!
Spare for the 'spence of a noble, that his honour might save,
And spend a hundred shillings for the pleasure of a knave!
But so long they reckon with their reasons amiss
That they lose their liberty and all that there is.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, that ever I occupied such abusion!
LIBERTY. Yea, for now it hath brought thee to confusion:
For, where I am occupied and used wilfully,
It cannot Continue long prosperously;
As evidently in reckless youth you may see,
How many come to mischief for too much liberty;
And some in the worlde their brain is so idle
That they set their children to run on the bridle,
In youth to be wanton and let them have their will;
An they never thrive in their age, it shall not greatly skill.
Some fall to folly themself for to spill,
And some fall preaching at the Tower Hill;
Some hath so much liberty of one thing and other
That neither they set by father nor mother;
Some have so much liberty that they fear no sin,
Till, as ye see many times, they shame all their kin.
I am so lusty to look on, so fresh, and so free,
That nuns will leave their holiness, and run after me;
Friars with folly I make them so fain,
They cast up their obedience to catch me again,
At liberty to wander and walke over all,
That lustily they leap sometime their cloister wall.
[Here someone blows a horn behind the audience.]
Yonder is a whoreson for me doth rechate:
Adew, sirs, for I think lest that I come too late.
[Here LIBERTY goes out.]
MAGNIFICENCE. 0 good Lord, how long shall I endure
This misery, this careful wretchedness?
Of worldly wealth, alas, who can be sure?
In Fortune's friendship there is no steadfastness:
She hath deceived me with her doubleness.
For to be wise all men may learn of me,
In wealth to beware of hard adversity.
[Enter CRAFTY CONVEYANCE and CLOAKED COLLUSION.]
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Ha, ha, ha! for laughter I am like to brast.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Ha, ha, hal for sport I am like to spew and cast.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What hath thou gotten, in faith, to thy share?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. In faith, of his coffers the bottoms are bare.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. As for his plate of silver, and suche trash,
I warrant you, I have given it a lash.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. What, then he may drink out of a stone cruse?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. With, yea, sir, by Jesu that slain was with Jews!
He may rinse a pitcher, for his plate is to wed.1
CLOAKED COLLUSION. In faith, and he may dream on a dagswane for any feather-bed.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By my troth, we have rifled him meetly well!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, but thank me thereof every deal.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Thank thee thereof, in the devil's date!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Leave thy prating, or else I shall lay thee on the pate.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, to wrangle, I warrant thee, it is but a stone-cast.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By the mass, I shall cleave thy head to the waist.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yea, wilt thou cleanly cleave me in the clifte with thy nose?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I shall thrust in thee my dagger--
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Thorough the leg into the hose.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, whoreson, here is my glove; take it up, an thou dare.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Turd, thou art good to be a man of war!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I shall skeip thee on the scalp; lo, seest thou that?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What, wilt thou skeip me? thou dare not look on a gnat.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By Cock's bones, I shall bliss thee, an thou be too bold.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, then thou wilt ding the devil, an thou be not hold.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. But wottest thou, whoreson? I rede thee to be wise.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Now I rede thee beware, I have warned thee twice.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Why, wendest thou that I forbear thee for thine own sake?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Peace, or I shall wring thy be in a brake!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Hold thy hand, daw, off thy dagger, and stint of thy din,
Or I shall fawchin thy flesh, and scrape thee on the skin.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yea, wilt thou, hangman? I say, thou cavel!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, thou rude ravener, rain-beated javel!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. What, thou Cohn Coward, knowen and tried!
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, thou false-hearted dastard, thou dare not abide!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. An if there were none to displease but thou and I,
Thou should not 'scape, whoreson, but thou should die.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Nay, I shall wring thee, whoreson, on the wrist.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Mary, I defy thy best and thy worst.
[Enter COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE.]
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What, a very vengeance, need all these words?
Go together by the heads, and give me your swords.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. So he is the worste brawler that ever was born.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In faith, so to suffer thee, it is but a scorn.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Now let us be all one, and let us live in rest,
For we be, sirs, but a few of the best.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By the mass, man, thou shalt find me reasonable.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In faith, and I will be to reason agreeable.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Then I trust to God and the holy rood,
Here shall be no great shedding of blood.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By our lakin, sir, not by my will.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By the faith that I owe to God, and I will sit still.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Well said. But, in faith, what was your quarrel?
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Mary, sir, this gentleman called me a javel.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Nay, by Saint Mary, it was ye called me knave.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Mary, so ungodly language you me gave.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Ah, shall we have more of these matters yet?
Methink ye are not greatly encumbered with wit.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. God's foot, I warrant you I am a gentleman born,
And thus to be faced I think it great scorn.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. I cannot well tell of your dispositions;
An ye be a gentleman, ye have knavish conditions.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By God, I tell you I will not be out-faced!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. By the mass, I warrant thee, I will not be braced.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Tush, tush, it is a great defaut:
The one of you is too proud, the other is too haut.
Tell me briefly whereupon ye began.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Mary, sir, he said that he was the prettier man
Than I was, in opening of locks;
And, I tell you, I disdain much of his mocks.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Thou saw never yet but I did my part,
The lock of a casket to make to start.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Nay, I know well enough ye are both well-handed
To grope a gardevians, though it be well banded.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. I am the better yet in a budget.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And I the better in a male.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Tush, these matters that ye move are but sops in ale:
Your trimming and tramming by me must be tanged,
For, had I not been, ye both had been hanged,
When we with Magnificence goods made chevisaunce.
MAGNIFICENCE. And therefore our Lord send you a very vengeance!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. What begger art thou that thus doth ban and warry?
MAGNIFICENCE. Ye be the thieves, I say, away my goods did carry.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Cock's bones, thou beggar, what is thy name?
MAGNIFICENCE. Magnificence I was, whom ye have brought to shame.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, but trow you, sirs, that this is he?
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Go we near, and let us see.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. By Cock's bones, it is the same.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, alas, sirs, ye are to blame!
I was your master, though ye think it scorn,
And now on me ye gaure and sporn.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Lie still, lie still now, with ill-hail!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Yea, for thy language cannot thee avail.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Abide, sir, abide, I shall make him to piss.
MAGNIFICENCE. Now give me somewhat, for God's sake I crave
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. In faith, I give thee four quarters of a knave.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. In faith, and I bequeath him the tooth-ache.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. And I bequeath him the bone-ache.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And I bequeath him the gout and the gin.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. And I bequeath him sorrow for his sin.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. And I give him Christes curse,
With never a penny in his purse.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And I give him the cough, the mur, and the pose.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Yea, for requiem aeternam groweth forth of his nose.
But now let us make merry and good cheer!
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. And to the tavern let us draw near.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. And from thence to the halfe Street,1
To get us there some freshe meat.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. Why, is there any store of rawe mutton?
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, in faith, or else thou art too great a glutton!
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. But they say it is a queasy meat;
It will strike a man mischievously in a heat.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. In fay, man, some ribs of the mutton be so rank
That they will fire one ungracfously in the flank.
COUNTERFEIT COUNTENANCE. Yea, and when ye come out of the shop,
Ye shall be clapped with a collop,
That will make you to halt and to hop.
CRAFTY CONVEYANCE. Some be rested there that they think on it forty days,
For there be whores there at all assays.
CLOAKED COLLUSION. For the passion of God, let us go thither!
[And they go hurriedly out of the place.]
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, mine own servants to shew me such reproach,
Thus to rebuke me, and have me in despite!
So shamefully to me, their master, to approach,
That sometime was a noble prince of might!
Alas, to live longer I have no delight!
For to live in misery it is harder than death.
I am weary of the world, for unkindness me sleeth.


Stage 4. Scene 31

Enter DESPAIR
DESPAIR. Despair is my name, that Adversity doth follow.
In time of distress I am ready at hand;
I make heavy heartes with eyen full hollow;
Of fervent charity I quench out the brand;
Faith and Goodhope I make aside to stand;
In God's mercy, I tell them, is but folly to trust;
All grace and pity I lay in the dust.

What, liest thou there lingering, lewdly and loathsome?
It is too late now thy sins to repent;
Thou hast been so wayward, so wrangling, and so wrothsome,
And so far thou art behind of thy rent,
And so ungraciously thy days thou hast spent,
That thou art not worthy to look God in the face.
MAGNIFICENCE. Nay, nay, man, I look never to have part of his grace;

For I have so ungraciously my life misused,
Though I ask mercy, I must needs be refused.

DESPAIR. No, no, for thy sins be so exceeding far,
So innumerable and so full of despite,
And against thy Maker thou hast made such war,
That thou canst not have never mercy in his sight.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, my wickedness, that may I witel
But now I see well there is no better rede,
But sigh and sorrow, and wish myself dead.

DESPAIR. Yea, rid thyself, rather than this life for to lead;
The world waxeth weary of thee, thou livest too long.
Enter MISCHIEF
MISCHIEF. And I, Mischief, am comen at need,
Out of thy life thee for to lead.
And look that it be not long
Ere that thyself thou go hong
With this halter good and strong;
Or else with this knife Cut out a tongue
Of thy throat-bowl, and rid thee out of pain.
Thou art not the first himself hath slain.
Lo, here is thy knife and a halter! and, ere we go further,
Spare not thyself, but boldly thee murther.
DESPAIR. Yea, have done at once without delay.
MAGNIFICENCE. Shall I myself hang with an halter? nay;
Nay, rather will I chose to rid me of this life
In sticking myself with this faire knife.
[MAGNIFICENCE prepares to stab himself.]
MISCHIEF. Alarum, ala rum! too long we abide!
DESPAIR. Out, harrow, hell burneth! where shall I me hide?


Stage 5. Scene 32. RESTORATION

Enter GOODHOPE and exit DESPAIR and MISCHIEF.
GOODHOPE snatches away the knife and says:
GOODHOPE. Alas, dear son, sore cumbered is thy mind,
Thyself that thou would slay against nature and kind!
MAGNIFICENCE. Ah, blessed may ye be, sir! what shall I you call?
GOODHOPE. Goodhope, sir, my name is; remedy principal
Against all sautes of your ghostly foe.
Who knoweth me, himself may never slo.
MAGNIFICENCE. Alas, sir, so I am lapped in adversitie,
That Despair wellnigh had mischieved me!
For, had ye not the sooner been my refuge,
Of damnation I had been drawen in the luge.
GOODHOPE. Undoudted ye had lost yourself eternally.
There is no man may sin more mortally
Than of wanhope through the unhappy ways,
By mischief to breviate and shorten his days.
But, my good son, learn from Despair to flee,
Wind you from wanhope, and acquaint you with me.
A great misadventure, thy Maker to displease,
Thyself mischfeving to thine endless disease!
There was never so hard a storm of misery
But through Goodhope there may come remedy.
MAGNIFICENCE. Your words be more sweeter than any precfous nard,
They mollify so easily my heart that was so hard;
There is no balm, ne gum of Araby
More delectable than your language to me.
GOODHOPE. Sir, your physician is the grace of God,
That you hath punished with his sharp rod.
Goodhope, your pothecary assigned am I.
That Goddes grace hath vexed you sharply,
And pained you with a purgation of odious poverty,
Mixed with bitter aloes of hard adversity;
Now must I make you an electuary soft,
I to minister it, you to receive it oft,
With rhubarb of repentance in you for to rest;
With drammes of devotion your diet must be drest;
With gummes ghostly of glad heart and mind,
To thank God of his sond, and comfort ye shall find.
Put from you presumption and admit humility,
And heartily thank God of your adversity;
And love that Lorde that for your love was dead,
Wounded from the foot to the crowne of the head.
For who loveth God can ail nothing but good;
He may help you, He may mende your mood.
Prosperity by Him is given solaciously to man,
Adversity by Him therewith now and then;
Health of body his business to achieve,
Disease and sickness his conscience to discrive,
Affliction and trouble to prove his patience,
Contradiction to prove his sapience,
Grace of assistance his measure to declare,
Sometime to fall, another time to beware.
And now ye have had, sir, a wonderous fall,
To learn you hereafter for to beware withal.
How say you, sir? can ye these wordes grope?
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, sir, now am I armed with Goodhope,
And sore I repent me of my wilfulness;
I aske God mercy of my negligence,
Under Goodhope enduring ever still,
Me humbly committing unto Goddes will.
GOODHOPE.Then shall you be soon delivered from distress1
For now I see coming to youward Redress.


Stage 5. Scene 33

Enter REDRESS
REDRESS. Christ be among you, and the Holy Ghost!
GOODHOPE.He be your conduct, the Lord of mightes most!
REDRESS. Sir, is your patient anything amended?
GOODHOPE. Yea, sir, he is sorry for that he hath offended.
REDRESS. How feel you yourself, my friend? how is your mind?
MAGNIFICENCE. A wretched man, sir, to my Maker unkind.
REDRESS. Yea, but have ye repented with heart Contrite?
MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, the repentance I have no man can write.
REDRESS. And have ye banished from you all despair?
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, wholly to Goodhope I have made my repair.
GOODHOPE. Questionless he doth me assure
In goodhope alway for to endure.
REDRESS. Then stand up, sir, in Goddes name!
And I trust to ratify and amend your fame.
Goodhope, I pray you with hearty affection
To send over to me Sad Circumspection.
GOODHOPE. Sir, your requeste shall not be delayed.
[Exit GOODHOPE.]
REDRESS. Now surely, Magnificence, I am right well apayed
Of that I see you now in the state of grace;
Now shall ye be renewed with solace:
Take now upon you this habiliment,
And to that I say give good advertisement.
[MAGNIFICENCE takes the garment.]
MAGNIFICENCE. To your request I shall be comformable.
REDRESS. First, I say, with minde firm and stable
Determine to amende all your wanton excess,
And be ruled by me, whiche am called Redress.
Redress my name is, that little am I used
As the world requireth, but rather I am refused.
Redress should be at the reckoning in every account,
And specially to redress that were out of joint.
Full many thinges there be that lacketh redress,
The which were too longe nowe to express;
But redress is redeless,1 and may do no correction.
Now welcome, forsooth, Sad Circumspection.


Stage 5. Scene 34

Enter SAD CIRCUMSPECTION
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Sir, after your message I hied me hither straight,
For to understand your pleasure and also your mind.
REDRESS. Sir, to acquaint you the continue of my conceit,
Is from adversity Magnificence to unbind.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. How fortuned you, Magnificence, so far to fall behind?
MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, the long absence of you, Sad Circumspection,
Caused me of Adversity to fall in subjection.

REDRESS. All that he saith, of truthe doth proceed;
For where Sad Circumspection is long out of the way,
Of Adversity it is to stand in dread.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Without faile, sir, that is no nay;
Circumspection inhateth all running astray.
But, sir, by me to rule first ye began.
MAGNIFICENCE. My wilfulnesse, sir, excuse I ne can.

SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Then of folly in times past you repent?
MAGNIFICENCE. Soothely, to repent me I have great cause.
Howbeit, from you I received a letter sent,
Which contained in it a special clause
That I shoulde use largesse.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Nay, sir, there a pause.
REDRESS. Yet let us see this matter thoroughly engrossed.
MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, this letter ye sent to me, at Pontoise was enclosed.SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Who brought you that letter, wote ye what he hight?
MAGNIFICENCE. Largesse, sir, by his credence was his name.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. This letter ye speak of, never did I write.
REDRESS. To give so hasty credence ye were much to blame.
MAGNIFICENCE. Truth it is, sir; for after he wrought me much shame,
And caused me also to use too much Liberty,
And made also Measure to be put from me.

REDRESS. Then Wealth with you might in no wise abide.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Ah ha! Fancy and Folly met with you, I trow.
REDRESS. It would be found so, if it were well tried.
MAGNIFICENCE. Surely my wealth with them was overthrow.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Remember you, therefore, how late ye were low.
REDRESS. Yea, and beware of unhappy Abusion.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. And keep you from counterfeiting of Cloaked Collusion.

MAGNIFICENCE. Sir, in Goodhope I am to amende.
REDRESS. Use not then your countenance for to counterfeit.
Sad Cir. And from crafters and hafters I you forfende.


Stage 5. Scene 35

Enter PERSEVERANCE
MAGNIFICENCE. Well, sir, after your counsel my mind I will set.
REDRESS. What, brother Perseverance! surely well met.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Ye come hither as well as can be thought.
PERSEVERANCE. I heard say that Adversity with Magnificence had fought.

MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, sir, with Adversity I have been vexed.
But Goodhope and Redress hath mended mine estate,
And Sad Circumspection to me they have annexed.
REDRESS. What this man hath said, perceive ye his conceit?
MAGNIFICENCE. Yea, sir, from him my corage shall never flit.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. According to truth they be well devised.

MAGNIFICENCE. Sirs, I am agreed to abide your ordinance,
Faithful assurance with good peradvertance.
PERSEVERANCE. If you be so minded, we be right glad.
REDRESS. And ye shall have more worship than ever ye had.

MAGNIFICENCE. Well, I perceive in you there is much sadness,
Gravity of counsel, providence, and wit;
Your comfortable advice and wit exceedeth all gladness.
But friendly I will refrain you further, ere we flit,
Whereto were most meetly my corage to knit:
Your mindes I beseech you herein to express,
Commencing this process at Master Redress.

REDRESS. Sith unto me foremost this process is erected,
Herein I will aforce me to shewe you my mind.
First, from your magnificence, sin must be abjected,
In all workes more grace shall ye find;
Be gentle then of corage and learn to be kind,
For of nobleness the chief point is to be liberal.
So that your largesse be not too prodigal.

SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Liberty to a lorde belongeth of right,
But wilful waywardness must walk out of the way;
Measure of your lustes must have the oversight,
And not all the niggard nor the chinchard to play;
Let never niggardship your nobleness affray;
In your rewardes use such moderation
That nothing be given without consideration.

PERSEVERANCE. To the increase of your honour then arm you with right,
And fumously address you with magnanimity;
And ever let the dread of God be in your sight;
And know yourself mortal, for all your dignity;
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Set not all your affiance in Fortune full of guile;
Remember this life lasteth but a while.

MAGNIFICENCE. Redress, in my remembrance your lesson shall rest,
And Sad Circumspection I marke in my mind:
But, Perseverance, meseemeth your problem was best;
I shall it never forget, nor leave it behind,
But wholly to Perseverance myself I will bind,
Of that I have misdone to make a redress,
And with Sad Circumspection Correct my wantonness.

REDRESS. Unto this process briefly compiled,
Comprehending the world casual and transitory,
Who list to consider shall never be beguiled,
If it be registered well in memory;
A plain example of worldly vain-glory,
How in this world there is no sickerness,
But fallible flattery enmixed with bitterness.

SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. A mirror encircled is this interlude,
This life inconstant for to behold and see;
Suddenly advanced, and suddenly subdued,
Suddenly riches, and suddenly poverty,
Suddenly comfort, and suddenly adversity;
Suddenly thus Fortune can both smile and frown,
Suddenly set up, and suddenly cast down.

Suddenly promoted, and suddenly put back,
Suddenly chenshed, and suddenly cast aside,
Suddenly commended, and suddenly find a lack,
Suddenly granted, and suddenly denied,
Suddenly hid, and suddenly espied;
Suddenly thus Fortune can both smile and frown,
Suddenly set up, and suddenly cast down.

PERSEVERANCE. This treatise, devised to make you disport,
Sheweth nowadays how the world cumbered is,
To the pith of the matter who list to resort;
To-day it is well, to-morrow it is all amiss,
To-day in delight, to-morrow bare of bliss,
To-day a lord, to-morrow lie in the dust:
Thus in the world there is no earthly trust.

To-day fair weather, to-morrow a stormy rage;
To-day hot, to-morrow outrageous cold,
To-day a yeoman, to-morrow made a page,
To-day in surety, to-morrow bought and sold,
To-day masterfist, to-morrow he hath no hold,
To-day a man, to-morrow he lieth in the dust:
Thus in this world there is no earthly trust.

MAGNIFICENCE. This matter we have moved, you mirthful to make,
Pressly purposed under pretence of play,
Showeth wisdom to them that wisdom can take,
How suddenly worldly wealth doth decay,
How wisdom through wantonness vanishes away,
How none estate living of himself can be sure,
For the wealth of this worlde cannot endure;

Of the terrestre richery we fall in the flood,
Beaten with stormes of many a froward blast,
Ensorbed with the waves savage and wood,
Without our ship be sure, it is likely to brast,
Yet of magnificence oft made is the mast;
Thus none estate living of him can be sure,
For the wealth of this woride cannot endure.

REDRESS. Now seemeth us fitting that ye then resort
Home to your palace with joy and royalty.
SAD CIRCUMSPECTION. Where everything is ordained after your noble port.
PERSEVERANCE. There to endure with all felicity.
MAGNIFICENCE. I am Content, my friendes, that it so be.
REDRESS. And ye that have hearde this disport and game,
Jesus preserve you from endless woe and shame!

Amen.

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

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

Proper Citation: Skelton, John. Magnificence. At From Stage to Page - Medieval and Renaissance Drama. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/drama. Date Visited.