An Answer to Master Smyth

"W. G." [Gray, William]

STC 12206a.3
Ringler 12206a.3 and TP 2216. Rpt. Ernest W. Dormer, _Gray of Reading_ (Reading, 1923), pp. 91-4. A contribution to the Gray-Smyth flyting. Single sheet folio, printed on both sides. UMI microfilm reel 1861

An answere to maister Smyth
London: [Richard Lant for] Richard Bankes, sold by John Turke,[1540].

Composition Date: c. 1540 [STC].

folio: 1

An answere to maister Smyth seruaunt to the kynges most royall maiestye. And clerke of the Quenes graces counsell / though most vnworthy.

¶Whether ye trolle in or els trolle out
Ye trolle vntruly / loke better about.

WHere-as of late two thinges ye parused
Concerning the treason of Thomas_Crumwell
Undoutedly both your wyt and your syght were confused
Lackyng a medecyne / blyndnesse to expell
5 Put on your spectacles and marke it well
Than shall you se / and say / maugre your hart
That trolle_in / hath played a true subiectes part

For where-as trolle_a_way (as ye say) tolde trouth
Declaring the offences / wherin Crumwell offended
10 It was not the thyng / wherwith troll_in was wroth
For in that poynt / Troll_in / Troll_away commended
But this was the mater / wherfore they contended
Trolle_away / vnder pretence of trollyng against treason
Practised proude popery / as appereth by reason.

15 And ye supporting the same / your pen runneth at large
Boldly as blynde bayerd / ye write in his defence
And in your myscheuous maner / ye lay falsly to my charge
Sayeng / who that craftely coloureth any others offence
Of lykelyhode in his owne hert / hath the same pretence
20 But here ye speke of lykelyhode / and so blyndly go by gesse
Your fondnesse is the folyssher / and my faute is the lesse.

¶An horse beyng nothing galled / of force ye may make to kycke
With spurryng and with prickinge / more than reason wolde requyre
But if the horse were lustye / coragious and also quycke
25 Ye might be the fyrst perchaunce / that might lye in the myre
As wyse as ye / haue ben drowned in their owne desyre
Many a man / anothers mischefe / of malyce wyll prepare
And yet him-selfe the fyrst / that is caught in the snare.

¶Bycause of making stryfe (ye say) ye wyll take neither parte
30 But here ye breke promyse / for agaynst all reason and r[i]ght right] rtght 1540
Speking with your mouth / that you thinke not with your harte
Agaynst trolle_in / ye take trolle_awayes parte / with all your myght
Thus all thinges lyghtly that ye make / amonge them-selues do fyght
Wherfore whatsoeuer ye write or saye / gretly it shall not skyll
35 For if ye speke any-thing wysely / I thinke it be agaynst your wyll. Ve illi per quem scandalum uenit, Luce .xvij.

¶But blyndly haue ye sclaundred me / good maister Thomas_Smyth
Scraping togither scriptures / your madnesse to mayntayne
Truly your rude rowsty reason / being so farre from the pyth
Had nede of suche a cloke / to kepe it from the rayne
40 For all the worlde may perceyue / how falsly ye forge and fayne
Yet styll you affyrme your falshed / as though ye knew thinges presysely
Christes blessyng on your hert / forsoth ye haue done full wysely.

¶Ye rumble amonge the scryptures / as one that were halfe mad
Wrestyng and writhyng them / accordyng to your owne purpose
45 Facyonyng and framyng them / to your sayenges good and bad
Lyke as the holy Papystes / were wont to paynt their popysshe glose
Do ye take the holy scripture to be lyke a shypmans hose?
Nay nay / although a shypmans hose / wyll serue all sortes of legges
Yet Christes holy scrypture / wyll serue no rotten dregges.

folio: 1v
50 Counsell with some tayler / whan that ye wryte nexte
Take measure of diuinyte / before ye cut the facyon
So shall ye square your scryptures / and the better trym your texte
And than shall men of lernyng / commende your operacyon
But howe shulde he be connyng / that knoweth not his occupacyon
55 Howe shuld a cobler cut a cote / or a smyth tast good wyne
Or how shulde you scarsely a clerke / be nowe a good deuyne?

What lyuyng man (excepte it were you) beynge in his right wyttes
Wolde write as ye haue written / and all not worth a myte
I thinke it be some peuysshe pange / that cometh ouer your hert by fyttes
60 Under the coloure of charyte / to worke your cruell spyte
If men wolde marke your madnesse / and beholde your deuelyssh delyte
Shuld se how ye wrest the scriptures to your sayeng / not worth .ii. chippes
And ioyne them all togither / as iust as Germans lyppes.

¶Whan ye haue spytte your poyson / and sayde euen the worst ye can
65 Than come ye in with charite / wyllyng all stryfe to cease
But surely good maister Smyth / ye speke lyke a mery man
Moche lyke a comen pyke-quarell / that stryfe wolde encrease
Continually cryeng in frayes / holde / kepe the kynges pease
But those be prety peace-makers / in-dede for euery daye
70 That styll bestowe mo strokes / than they that began the fraye.

What wyse man wolde not laugh / for to here you bragge and boste
Of your name / your seruyce / of your offyce and all this gere
As though ye were prymrose-perelesse / and a ruler of the roste
By the declaryng wherof / ye thinke to put pore men in fere
75 But your braggyng and your bostyng / shall neyther be here nor there
As longe as I may indifferently / be suffred to vse my pen
Ye shall neuer be able to face me out / with a carde of ten. Qui [s]e laudat stercore coronabitur, se] fe 1540se] fe 1540

A wyse man wolde haue praysed god / and than prayed for the kyng
The which of their gret goodnesse / to your offyce dyd you call
80 And not to haue bragged therof / and than put it out in printyng
For ye stande not yet so sure / but it is possyble ye may fall
And though your offyce be great / I trust your power be but small
Or els parchaunce ye wold quickly thurst a poore man among the thornes thurst: =thrust
But god almyghty prouydeth well to sende a shrewde cow short hornes.

85 Christ preserue the kynges most noble grace / and sende him longe lyfe
Euen Henry the eight (next vnder god) of this church / the hed supreme
Christ preserue and kepe quene Katheryn / his most lawfull wyfe
Christ preserue Prince Edwarde / the very right heyre of this realme
Christ styll ensence their noble counsell / with the influence of heauen ensence: "inform"; see OED s.v. insense
90 Christ for his tendre mercy / amende all-thing that is a_mys
Christ sende maister Smyth more charite / whan his good pleasure is.


By me a poore man whose herte if ye knewe
Wolde be the kynges seruaunt as fayne as you.
set at the end of the first line of the above couplet

¶Imprinted at London by me Rychard_Bankes / And be to be solde in Pater_noster_rowe by Iohnn_Turke / at the sygne of the Rose.
Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.
This line was set by the printer as part of the colophon