Castle of Labour, The

Anon [attrib. to Alexander Barclay by Bale]

STC 12380
Ringler 12380 and TP 2322 ('O ye mortall people...'). No Brown and Robbins entry. Translated c. 1503 from _Le chasteau de labour_ by Pierre Gringore (1499), itself closely based on _Le chemin de povrete et de richesse_ by Jehan Bruyant, 1342 (_Dictionnaire des lettres francais_ (Paris, 1964), I, 398-99). Lacks 8 leaves. UMI microfilm reel 20. Order no. 685. BM ref. no. Huth 29. STC 12379 comprises two fragments of a single leaf, B5? (Ringler)

Here begynneth the castell of laboure
London: R. Pynson,1505?.

Variant source 1: A. Verard, c. 1503 (STC 12379). Variant source 2: W. de Worde, 1506 (STC 12381).

Composition Date: c. 1503.

my] me 1506. in my subuenaunce ='to my aid', here and below? A word *subvenance is not recorded in OED or MED, but cf. subvention.cauyllacyon: =cavillation, 'chicanery, trickery'
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¶Here begynneth the castell of laboure .

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Here begynneth the prologe of this present treatyse.
O ye mortall people that desyre to obtayne O] 1506 omits
Eternall blysse by your labour diligent
Wt mortal riches subdue you to payne
To rede this treatyse to the right entent
5 Whiche shall shewe you playne and euydent.
That idelnes moder of all aduersyte
Hyr subiectes bryngeth to extreme pouertye.

The ryche by Idelnesse to pouertye ar brought
By it the oratour leseth his scyence.
10 The great clerke by it is set at nought.
Thus is it ennemye vnto sapyence.
Wherfore let vs do our diligence.
This leude capytayne fro vs to exyle
Whyche nought entendeth but man to begyle.

15 Idell people euer troubled ar with thought.
With indigence mys[ad]uenture and necessyt[e] mysaduenture] mysdauenture 1505; necessyte] necessyt 1505, necessyte 1506
And in the snare whan they ar cought
They ar enuyroned with pouertye.
Than cometh disconforte in theyr aduersyte.
20 And also dispayre them doth manace.
And thought and trouble euer dothe them chace.

Therfore ye people that be subiecte to this vyce.
By your great sleuth and neglygence.
Brake your bondes / I aduyse you to aryse
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25 And to these wordes gyue your aduertence
Whiche wyse-man saythe in brief sentence. wyse] the wyse 1506
Who laboureth nat to get his lyuynge
Is nat worthy here to haue abidynge.

¶Thus whan this vyce a man dothe assayle.
30 Of sleuthfulnes and of ocyosyte
By theyr meanes dothe ryches fayle.
What foloweth than but pouertye.
Thus tourneth his welthe vnto aduersyte.
So of his foly dothe he repente.
35 Than echone to hym dothe iniurye.
Which oft to vs appereth euydent.

¶Therfore to vs it is ryght profytable
For to take reason for to be our gyde.
Wyth vnderstandynge / whiche ar agreable
40 Vs for to gouerne in euery tyde.
Wherby we may / yf sleuthe be set asyde
Ouercome pouerte and obteyne rychesse.
And dystroy thought mysfortune and distresse

¶But mannys mynde is full vnstedfaste.
45 More prone to vyce than to godlynesse. godlynesse] goodlynesse 1506
And whan by vyce man thus is ouercast
Than cometh disceyte / vserye and falsnesse.
Counsaylynge man all to vnthryftynesse.
Thus yf that reason be nat our frende and gyde. benat] be not 1506
50 Trouthe shall decay / by falshode and pryde.

But who wolde lyue in meane moderate.
sig: A3
And by way of dilygence rich[e]sse purchace richesse] richsse 1505, rychesse 1506
Good-wyll must he haue to be his aduocate
With a gode herte / for therin is solace
55 Intencyon to gode / must we purchace.
And than may we lyue bytwene hye and lowe
By suche meane that our frendes may vs knowe

In this lyfe can none haue skarsnesse
Whyle that reason is his protectour.
60 If he in labourynge take payne and besynesse
Auoydynge sleuthe that blynde gouernour.
Whiche man assayleth euery day and hour
Wherby ar many brought to distresse
But dilygence bryngeth man vnto rychesse vnto] to 1506

65 By whiche rychesse man cometh to noblesse
Whiche to vertue is as cheyf nouryse.
Therfore leue we sleuthe drawynge to besynesse
Enclynynge to vertue and leuynge couetyse.
Thus is it gode to eche that is wyse
70 Remembrynge howe sone he shall haue an ende
In trouthe and vertue his short tyme to spende

Thus in conclusyon who redeth this treatyse
To the rude langage gyue none aduertence
It is but wryten the tyme to exercyse
75 Without study / payne / or dylygence.
Wyth style inor[na]te / voyde of eloquence inornate] inorante 1505, inornate 1506
Expressynge the wayes of dilygence and Idelnesse
The one of pouertye the other of rychesse

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¶Thus endeth the prologe. And begynneth the castell of laboure .

IN musinge an eueninge w[ith] me was none with] whit 1505, with 1506. While whit(=with) is a possible form, with is the usual form in the copytext.
An olde prouerbe cam in my subuenaunce

A naturall foule in a hous alone
Wyll make for hym-self shyft or cheuisaunce
5 Than cam in-to my remembraunce.
A circumspect of many dygnitees circumspect ='state of watchfulness or circumspection, vigilant and cautious observation of circumstances or events'; see OED s.vv. circumspect n, circumspection n, 1b
Fro whiche a man hauynge suffisaunce
Wythdraweth his herte as fro vanitees

It is ay sene that youthes lustynesse
10 For to subdue is harde and daungerous
Some lyue in ioy / pleasure and gladnesse
Fortune to some is right contrarious
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Some dethe tacheth in theyr estate prosperous tacheth ='lays hold of'; see OED s.v. tache v2, 2
Whome he ouerthroweth with his mortall blast
15 Thus goeth the worlde / none is so eurous eurous ='lucky'
But outher must he dye fyrste or last

A yonge harte is vnstable and volage
And knoweth nat in what estate to byde
Some-tyme disposed vnto maryage
20 Somtyme to serue god the worlde set asyde
Thus as my mynde varyenge dyd glyde
I thought it moste for myne auauntage.
Desyrynge god for to be my gyde
Fermely I concluded vpon mariage.

25 Thus hauynge all my frendes at assent
In short processe I puruayed me a wyfe

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Wythout wysdome / yet was I content
To hyr to kepe the dayes of my lyfe
I thought no-thynge on wynynge losse or stryfe
30 She vnto me lyghtly dyd consent
Than in an euenynge sad and pensyfe
By hyr lyenge symple of myne entente

Sodaynly I was in great daunger
For to me ferysly dyd appere ferysly: =fiercely; the 1506 text reads fyersly
35 An odyous man / an vnknowen straunger
With thre women cruell of manere
This company to me approched nere.
Whan that I them togeder sawe assemble
So cruell was theyr countenaunce and chere
40 That fere constrayned my body for to tremble

The man was mysshapen / pale and rusty rusty ='presenting an appearance suggestive of something old and rusted'; see OED s.v. rusty adj.1, 3
Rude / foule and right abhomynable
The wymen also as I coude spye
Of shape were foule and detestable.
45 Theyr chere was yll and myserable
With countenaunce replenysshed with ire
Lene as any wolf rauysable rauysable: =ravisable, 'ravenous'
Theyr iyen brynnynge as rede as fyre.

The man approched fyers as he wolde fyght
50 Wyth straynge iyen / and sayde his name was nede straynge] starynge 1506
His wyfe sayde necessyte she hyght.
The seconde pouertye / and the thyrde in-dede
Hyr named distresse so thought I by hyr wede.
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Than I desyred to knowe theyr lynage
55 Pouerty was theyr moder full of drede
This tolde they me in breyf langage.

Touchynge theyr fader they coude nat denye
But that he dwelt in the depest pyt of hell
Whan I that harde right sore aferde was I
60 Than nede approched with countenaunce cruell
Myne body streynynge so that it dyd swell
Necessyte me so sore dyd handle
So that sothly it semed right well
Or that she went she wolde me strangle

65 Than sodaynly cam pouertye
Whiche me tourmented with rudenesse
Than with great crudelyte.
Upon my bely lept distresse
They all abounded in cruelnesse
70 On me smytynge with all theyr myght
Disgorgynge fyre in theyr fyersnesse
Vpon me as a torche-lyght.

Some at me foyned / some smote downe-ryght
That the strokes loude dyd redounde
75 For all my payne / durynge that nyght
My wyfe euer slept styll and sounde
She in hyr pleasour dyd habounde
And wolde nat wake for my dysease
For yf I were brought to the grounde
80 I trowe she cared nat a pease

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AS she thus slept and I in payne
With these foure fures dyd endure
To me approche I sawe certayne
A foule and counterfayted creature counterfayted ='misshapen, of monstrous form'; see OED s.v. counterfeited ppl. a, 2
85 Odius / proude and fyers I you ensure
And by the hande she toke me fast
She thought hyr purpose to procure
And drewe myne armes that they nere brast

This false witche me so dyd greue
90 Whiche by hyr name was called thought
That vneth coude I me remeue
Thus vnto dethe she me nere brought.
Of wordes and tales she wanted nought
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Euer she talked I wot nat what
95 And behynde hyr a vylayne coughed coughed] cought 1506
That was as blereiyed as a cat.

BEynge in this perturbacyon
This churle on me gaped full wyde
I fered sore his intencyon
100 Whan that I sawe hym by my syde
He loked as he had ben fryed
Of shape and colour he was ful vyle he was] was he 1506
Than he began with me to chyde
In his langage whiche was subtyle

105 Upon my bely he set his knees
And sayde his name was heuynesse
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Wyth scarled bordred were his iyes scarled: =scarlet
Bolde and full of vnlustyn[e]sse Bolde] Balde 1506; vnlustynesse] vnlustynsse 1505, vnlustynesse 1506
He semed fader of all vnthryftynesse
110 Iagged and gardyd full vngay. Iagged and gardyd ='(with clothing) ragged and tricked out'
With a face fylled with falsnesse
Berdyd lyke to a kytlynge of may. kytlynge ='cub, whelp, kitten'

Hym to beholde I was dismayde
Howe he of thynges fast dyd clatter fast] past 1506
115 Many a newe tale to me he sayde
He had well lerned for to patter
Of thynges to come fast dyd he chatter
Byddynge me call them to remembraunce
He lyst no-thynge with me to flatter
120 But put me to extreme vtteraunce.

He bad I shulde remember my dettes
And brought me forthe my countynge-boke
He shewed me there of my receptes
And me compelled theron to loke
125 By fere constrayned my body quoke my] me 1506
That powre was past me for to speke
That rybawde fered me with his loke
That conforte to me coude I none t[a]ke. take] toke 1505, take 1506

Of his turmente what sholde I say
130 I neuer was in suche encumbraunce
He bode styll and went nat a_way
And dyd me moche more greuaunce
Than all the other by theyr noysaunce
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And turned me fro syde to syde
135 To slepe he lefte me no suffraunce
But fersely styll at me dyd chyde

¶This false caytyf by his cruelnesse
Troubled me that my wyt was gone
He put me in so great distresse
140 That my herte was colde as any stone.
I knewe nat to whome me for to mone
So was I enuyroned rounde aboute.
They me tourmented so echone
That of my lyfe I had great doute.

145 ¶Than rounde aboute me dyd I loke
Fyrste of all sawe I pouerte

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And fals nede by the berde me shoke.
There were dystresse and necessyte.
Thought was in theyr companye.
150 And heuynesse dyd clater faste
All these six so layde at me.
That fro my bed they me nere caste.

Than as I dyd my hede remeue
About me lokynge for confort
155 I sawe one come / whiche dyd me greue.
More than all the other sorte.
He sayde his name was disconforte.
Of colour was he pale and wan
It nought auayled hym to exorte.
160 I sawe neuer suche another man.

By the hande fast he me toke
And with great myght dyd me constrayne
Full sore me by the berde he shoke
This thefe renewed all my payne
165 His encumbraunce wasted my brayne
That often I wysshed that I were dede
He wolde hym-selfe no-thynge ref[r]ayne. refrayne] refayne 1505
But kept me styll fast by the hede

In frowarde imaginacion
170 Disconforte kept me a longe space.
He bad me in conclusyon
To sue to hym after his grace.
Saynge that the tyme and space
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Onys lost coude nat reco[u]ered be.
175 With suche termes dyd he me manase
Than in conclusyon thus sayde he.

A pore man howe shalt thou pay
All thy dettes that are behynde.
Brede and drynke must thou puruay.
180 And a hous to kepe the fro the wynde
Bothe men and maydens must thou fynde.
With euery-thynge that longeth them to
Doth nat fortune strongly the bynde.
Nowe let se howe thou canst do.

185 Whan I this harde I was nere mad.
And often fortune cursed I.
The speciall cause why I was sad.
Was for my purse was clene empty
Than was it nede I dyd espye
190 My gowne to plege vnto one
I sawe there was no remedye
Thought that I had but that alone Thought: =though

O blessed iesu what may this be
Maryed was I in an euyll chaunce.
195 To lyue in suche pouertye.
As I this sayde the same instaunce.
Cam to me Dispayre in cruell ordynaunce.
One of the worste of all the sorte.
She was cheyf captayne of theyr daunce
200 And doughter vnto Disconforte.

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¶This dispayre dyd me so assayle.
That loste was my discressyon.
My face began to wax pale
By fere of hyr cruell vexacion.
205 So cruell was hyr perturbacion.
Whiche on me she dyd extende.
That I thought in conclusion
Of my-selfe to make an ende.

¶I was redy to renne here and there.
210 To clym vp a_hye and than to fall
By my lyfe set I nat an here.
By meanes of this fury infernall
I thought / who nedis to his deth shall.
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It is but folye it to prolonge
215 This is a worde sayde ouerall.
He that is drowned may no man hange.

And therfore thought I for to do
The worste that outher I coude or myght outher] eyther 1506
To sle my fader and moder also
220 If I had founde them in my syght
Than vnto my mynde cam full ryght
That I shulde dye no more but onys
Wherfore Dyspayre that wretched wyght
Bad me go therto atonys.

225 I sawe well that without labour
I neuer shulde obteyne rychesse.
Fortune therof is gouernour
To some she gyueth with largesse
But I haue neyther mor nor lesse
230 So that I wery am of my lyfe
Auoyde of ioy full of distresse.
Lo what it is to take a wyfe

I se disconforte doth me g[re]ue greue] gerue 1505, greue 1506
Dispayre encreaseth my langour
235 That fote ne hande may I remeue may] can 1506
Suche is my payne and my dolour
Neyther thought I on worshyp ne honour
On knyght / squyer / baron nor lorde nor] ne 1506
My mynde was on no-thynge that houre
240 But to hange my-selfe with a corde.

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Or elles to lepe in-to some ryuer
And ther with payne my-selfe to drowne
I fered nat in what manere fered] cared 1506
I dyed / so that my lyfe were done
245 Dispayre made me hyr campyon
And had me so take in hyr snare
That sodeynly as I fell in sowne
She me nere strangled or I was ware.

AS I was in this perturbacyon
250 I sawe a lady plesaunt and bryght
For to beholde hyr meke fassyon
Sothly it was a plesaunt syght
Hir caperon with perle was pyght
sig: B2
With precyous stones about enlumynynge
255 Hyr beautefull face shone as bryght
As phebus dothe in a may mornynge

This lady standynge me before
In hyr behauour was meke and lyberall
Gode and gracious to ryche and pore
260 She semed to me the quene celestyall
A quene excellent I may hyr call
For she was doughter shortly to say
Unto that meke lorde and immortall
The whiche was borne on christmas day

265 Sore I desyred to knowe hyr name
Bycause she was of suche excellence
She sayde Reason whome none doth blame
Than was I ryght glad of hyr presence
This noble lady by hyr dylygence
270 Approched nere vnto my syde
Dispayre anone gat hyr thens
And disconfort with hyr dyd glyde

All the hole company dyd auoyde
What tyme reason sat by me thus
275 It was some wynde wolde me haue noyed
Sende vnto me by myght of Eolus
I trowe that Pluto / or Neptunus
Or mars cheyf forger of bat[a]yle batayle] batyle 1505
Or elles helporter Cerberus
280 Engendred them me to assayle

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What shulde I say they fled that tyde
Bothe dispayre and the other rout
Than was there none with me to chyde
I risynge vp loked rounde aboute
285 Than of no-thynge was I in doute
Whan reason began to speke softly
Whan she had dryuen the other out
That hyr to here great ioy had I

Reason spake with delyberacyon
290 Replete with wysdome excellently
So that sothly in conclusion
She semed an oratour wytty
What she sayde was sayde playnly
To the vnderstondynge of euery man
295 And syttynge in a chayer me by
Wysely to speke thus she began

My frende this thought se thou eschewe
Ferest thou that rychesse wyll fayle
Subdue thy-selfe to force and vertue
300 And be ruled by my counsayle
Whiche shal the gyde in eche batayle
So thou consyder what thou hast to do
Thou mayst get gode by trauayle by] by thy 1506
For to fynde the and all thyne to.

305 ONe god alone must thou honour. god] god god 1505, god 1506
And hym serue with all diligence
And as thy-selfe loue thy neyghbour.
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Agaynst hym do thou none offence
In trouble se thou haue pacyence
310 After the tyme and the season
To eche man haue thou obedyence
These be the termes of reason

Thou shuldest nat to largely
Reioyse thy-selfe of thy rychesse
315 Nor yet be wrothe semblably
Of pouertye / payne / or distresse
Whan atropos hym-selfe doth dresse
Eche to smyte with his mortall launce
He smyteth the ryche with cruelnesse
320 And to the pore hathe oft suffraunce

Why shulde thyne hert for fere thus fayle
Is it nat rychesse ynoughe to the
To haue thy handes redy to trauayle
Without wem or mayme of thy body
325 If that thou labour c[er]taynlye certaynlye] cretaynlye 1505, certaynly 1506
Thou shall nat fayle to haue rychesse
So that thou from all synne do fle
Peasably lyuynge in mekenesse.

Fyrst auoyde eche synne mortall
330 Replenysshe the with the grace deuyne
Behaue the so in this lyfe mortall
That thou to hell do nat declyne
Submyt thy-self vnto the discyplyne
Of hym that made eche crature crature: =creature; the 1506 text reads creature
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335 Pray hym thyn harte so to enlumyne
That thou aduersyte may endure

Whan nede cometh to thy presence
To besye laboure infyx thy courage
So shalt thou make hym to go thens
340 Constraynynge hym maugre his vysage
And if dystresse do vnto the outrage
Thoroughe besynesse away hym chase
If thought wolde do to the damage
In some gode dede put thy solace

345 And if pouertye do the assayle
Or fals and feble necessyte
Enforce thy body vnto trauayle
By suche meane shalt thou cause them fle
If disconforte do trouble the
350 Tende nat vnto his temptacion
If dyspayre wolde thy lady be
Leue hyr and come vnto me reason

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IF pryde on the do auenture
Despyte dysdayne or presumpcyon
355 Beware of them they ar nat sure
Of them cometh great abusyon
Cast fro the collaudacion collaudacion ='high praise'
Vayne_glorye with mysgouernaunce
Fle fro fals_ymagynacion
360 Fle bostynge and oultrecuydaunce oultrecuydaunce: =outrecuidance, 'arrogance, presumption'

If suche vyces on the do warre
Them and theyr workes se thou despyse
Co[n]streyne them by myght to stande a_farre Constreyne] Costreyne 1505, Constrayne 1506
Pray humilyte the to promyse
365 Hyr helpe / and socoure in any wyse
With contemplacyon and deuocyon
But aboue all I the aduyse
Be meke of thyn entencyon

Humilyte must be the cheyf
370 Agaynst pryde grounde of all vyce
But for to kepe the fro myscheyf But] And 1506
Do so that thou mayst haue iustice
Gete gode_prouysyon if thou be wyse
Let hym euer kepe the vantgarde
375 Than shall pryde full of all malyce all] 1506 omits
Renounsynge the auoyde rewarde rewarde] rerewarde 1506

sig: [B4v]

AFter that pryde is fro the chased
By the myght of humylite
Wyth another shalt thou be manased shalt thou] thou shalt 1506
380 Whyche is daungerous called enuye.
Accompanyed wyth myserye
With falshode / murder / and treason
Suche shall be in his companye
Wyth sclander / and fals detraccyon

385 As a daunger[ous] capytayne daungerous] daungerouns 1505, daungerous 1506
Enuye wyll the assayle and touche
He shall do the full moche payne
If thou as subiect vnto hym crouche
Ill_reporte hathe he in his pouche
390 Wyth many vyces and dyuers
Whiche vnto vertue ar reproche
Hym alway tendynge to reuers.

Whan that thou seest hyr the about
In me put thou thy truste and ioy
395 Be not afrayde nor do nat dout
sig: [B5]
Truste well I shall them all destroye
Faythe and charyte shall them noye
Se thou all-waye do hyr honour
So shall she wyt on the employ
400 To knowe howe she men dothe socour

Charyte hathe waytynge one hyr dignyte one: =on
Very trewe_loue and misericorde
Beneuolence with grace and veryte
Amonge them fonde is no discorde
405 But peas mekenesse and concorde
These shall the helpe in thy necessyte
And thus as I vnto the recorde
They shall enuye auoyde fro the

ANd than whan done is this assaute
410 On the shall come a tyraunt daungerous
Whose name is yre withouten faute
To all vyce fyers and desyrous
And vnto vertue all-waye contraryous
The whiche in seruauntes doth abounde
sig: [B5v]
415 He may well say that he is eurous
Whome this vyce doth nat confounde

Crueltye bereth his banyer
Felony is his cheyf campyon
Peruersyte is his portere
420 Madnes reyneth in his dongeon
Cursed murder that fals felon
Of his hous is as cheyf captayne
Here is a cursed relygyon
To hym that foloweth theyr trayne

425 Therfore yf yre do the distresse
Shewe thy force and thy puissaunce
Call vnto [the] debonayrnesse vnto the] vnto 1505, vnto the 1503, 1506
Agaynst yre a full myghty launce
With hyr shall come fayre suffraunce
430 Pacyence is cheyf / with discressyon
Stedfastnesse with attemperaunce
Subduynge the vnto correccyon

Ire hathe nouther mercy nor petye
On man nor woman here lyuynge
435 But echone assayleth full cruelly
Ennemye to peas and to warre accordynge
Susteyner of eche vyce semynge
Whose furour melteth mannys hart
Whiche to his [counsell are] le[n]ynge counsell are lenynge] counseler leuynge 1505, counsel are leninge 1503, counsell are lenynge 1506
440 Wherfore thy syght therfro dyuert

sig: [B6]
It is impossyble that a man yrous
May vnto god do gode seruyce
For yre is a synne ryght daungerous
Whiche is gouerned without iustyce
445 It is a fyers and mortall vyce
Whiche often dothe ryght great damage
Sythe thou art warned be thou w[y]se wyse] wese 1505, wyse 1503, 1506
Lyst that he do to the outrage.

Shewe thy force and thy puyssaunce and thy] and 1506
450 Call vnto the force with noblesse noblesse] noblenesse 1506
Pray pacyence to be thy launce
Whiche shall this vyce lyghtly oppresse
Whan yre is gone sleuthe shall hyr dresse
On euery syde with the to fyght
455 Whiche of all vyce is cheyf maystresse
A stronge tyraunt dispysynge ryght

AS cheyf captayne of all the rout
Sleuthe shall haue pleasour the to assayle
And sonne I put the out of dout
460 That in thy bed she shall nat fayle
sig: [B6v]
On the to lye bothe wanne and pale
On hyr shall wayte vnlustynesse
With neglygence voyde of trauayle
Cheyf guyder of all vnth[ry]ftynesse. vnthryftynesse] vnthyrftynesse 1505, vnthryftenesse 1506

465 Defende the fersly as a man
For with sleuthe shall come rechelesse
For to subdue the yf he can
Puttynge the to vnlustynesse
Accompanyed with fals fayntnesse
470 The whiche by theyr iniquyte
Many one bryngeth fro rychesse
Vnto great payne and pouertye

Cowardyse wyll the folowe fast
If thou do nat thy-selfe defende
475 Vnto the grounde he wyll the cast
But yf that thou thy myght extende
And hyr withstandynge yf thou entende
With hyr to fyght by force souerayne
Vnto the grounde shall she descende
480 Lyke the wynde peased by rayne peased ='calmed, stilled'

Sleuthe to the woll make good chere
By faynt and feble dissimulacion
But at the ende is his manere
For [to] stynge lyke the scorpion For to stynge] For stynge 1505, For to stange 1506
485 Be ware of his abusyon
Lyst that thou in his bondes rest
But for helpe in conclusyon
sig: C1
To god must thou make thy request

Agaynst sleuth for thy defence
490 E[n]tencion to goode must thou requyre Entencion] Extencion 1505, Entencyon 1506
Prouyde chefly for dilygence
Besynesse with charge se thou desyre
And for good_hert se thou enquyre
Pray gode_wyll to be thy gyde.
495 So shall thou sleuthe cast in the myre
Hym and his asse as he dothe ryde

AFter this assaut perylous
On the shall come voyde of iustyce
One ougly fiers and daungerous
500 Whose name is called auaryce
Beware his cursed couetyse.
For by his wordes fals and subtyle
Many one to hym dothe he atyse
Whome at the ende he dothe begyle

505 Auaryce is so yll and vnsaciable
Neuer fulfylled with rychesse
sig: [C1v]
And of his mynde ay fonde vnstable fonde: =found; the 1506 text reads founde
By thought euer fylled with heuyn[e]sse fylled] fulfylled 1506; heuynesse] heuynsse 1505, heuynesse 1506
This auaryce dothe all them oppresse
510 Whiche lyghtly fyndeth nat socour
He and his seruauntes wyll them dresse
The to assayle at euery hour.

Whan auarice doth the assayle
Wyth hym woll come full lyghtly
515 Vsury and rapyne wythouten fayle
Fals_swerynge and okerye okerye ='usury'; a noun *okery is not recorded in OED, but see OED s.v. ocker, oker n
Murder / theft / and trecherye
Fraude / falshode / and decepcion
Accompanyed with roberye
520 Malyce / and cauyllacy[o]n cauyllacyon] cauyllacyn 1505, cauyllacyon 1506cauyllacyon: =cavillation, 'chicanery, trickery'

Whan that thou seest this companye
With auaryce the to distresse.
Withdrawe thy-selfe to charyte
To suffysaunce and to largesse
525 But in largesse auoyde excesse
And by almes I the ensure
Auaryce thou shalt oppresse
That he no lenger shall endure

And yf that any maner creature
530 Wolde say that these vyces all
Be gyuen vnto them by nature
Or yet by destenye infernall
Me-semeth nay / theyr wyll is liberall
sig: C2
God hathe vs gyuen reasan and wit
535 Vs for to guyde vnto ioye eternall
Whiche we shall haue if we deserue it.

Therfore my sone se that thou entende
Vnto thy-selfe with perfyte dylygence
Wherby thou mayst the fro this vyce defende
540 For euer thou seest by playne euydence
That auaryce full [is] of maliuolence full is] full 1505, 1506
Hym moste hurteth that loueth it best
With largesse make for hym defence
If thou woldest haue thy mynde in rest

545 SO whan thou ouercome hast auaryce
Withe braunches of his lynage
To the woll come a cruell vyce
Named glotonye full of outrage
Whiche wyll to the do great damage
550 If thou thy-selfe to hym subdue
As well in youthe as in thy age.
This vyce on many doth renewe

sig: [C2v]
To drynke whan thou hast no thurst
Wythout mesure or any reason
555 And to ete whan thou hast no lust
Therin is no discressyon
He may be called a foule gloton
That of his wombe his god doth make
Be ware of this abusyon
560 Lyst in his bondes this vyce the take

Disordered_appetyte is with glotonye
And serueth hym cheyf on the nyght
And gurmandyse is of his meyny
And sleuth wi[th] hym encr[e]aseth myght with] wiht 1505, with 1506; encreaseth] encraseth 1505, encreaseth 1506
565 All these fyersly on the woll lyght
On eche syde the temptynge myghtely
But lyft vp thyne iyen to heuen bryght
Besechynge god of helpe mekely

Sothly whan that thy stomake
570 Is furnysshed with mete beyonde nature
Thou mayste be lykened vnto a sacke
Replete with fylthe dunge and ordure
It displeaseth god sore / I the ensure
And to thy-selfe doest thou outrage
575 Than bableth thy tunge without mesure
To others hurte / sclander and damage.

Yet mayst thou make right gode resystence
Agaynst them maugre theyr vysage
So that thou wylt take abstynence
sig: C3
580 The whiche shall be for thyne auauntage
Sobryete is cheyf of this passage passage ='exchange of blows'? See OED s.v. passage n, 13c
Whiche shall glotonye fro the auoyde
Who in great drynkynge hath vsage
By dethe lyghtly is destroyed

585 Dronkenesse dothe the lunges brenne
And maketh the membres for to quake
Dro[n]ken men often laugh and grenne Dronken] Droken 1505, Dronken 1506
Than men doth them for foles take
Dronkenesse the wyt dothe brake
590 It maketh a man to fyght and chyde
Sothly this vyce often doth make
A man of his frendes homycyde

WHan thou escaped hast glotonye
And passed his cruell morsure morsure ='bite'
595 The sore assayle wyll lecherye
A cruell vyce I the ensure
The whiche is of suche nature
At hyr begynnynge hyr face to paynt
But if that she a whyle endure
sig: [C3v]
600 Thy body wyll she make full faynt

This foule synne ougly to name
With hyr braunches ryght many-folde
Hym that it louth bryngeth to shame louth: =loves, although the usual form in the copytext is loueth (3x); the 1506 text reads loueth
Example of hercules the bolde
605 I coude mo counte if that I wolde
Whome lechery hathe made to smert
Breyfly if thou wylt haue tolde
It destroyeth many a noble hert.

It woll the gyue foulysshe pleasaunce foulysshe: =foolish
610 With a desyre right disordynate
Superfluyte with his launce
If he wyth the do make debate
He wyll the lay on the grounde prostrate
And brynge the vnto captiuyte
615 Makynge the fall fro thyne estate
And to knowe thy fragylite.

Cupido shall thyne iyen bynde
Hauynge venus hym to socour
Thus whan these two haue made the blynde
620 They shall the brynge in great errour
Than shalt thou fall into langour
For whan thou art in theyr bondes cought
If thou leue nat / by theyr rygour
Shortly they shall the brynge to nought

625 For to auoyde the crudelyte
sig: [C4]
Of this fals archer amerous
Take thou the shelde of chastyte
Therin is fortune prosperous
Chastyte is so vyctoryous
630 That he wyll take vyndycacyon
Of this fals vyce full vycious
And vaynquysshe his operacyon

Many be that wyll them excuse
Of theyr loke and beholdynge
635 Saynge that none can them accuse
For beholdynge of any-thynge
This reason is vnto them semynge
Be not our iyen made for to se
Suche excusacions wyll they brynge
640 For to defende theyr infelicyte

Thus say they for theyr excusaunce
Why may we nat loke here and there
That is trouthe without doutaunce
Of thy loke nedest thou nat to fere
645 But yet my son this mayst thou lere
Thyn iyen vnto the god hathe sent
With them to loke euery-where
So that thou haue a gode entent

The fayre regarde of maryage
650 Is vnto god ryght great delyte
In good hope for to haue lynage
Or ellys it is of no profyte
sig: [C4v]
Therfore if thou wylt be perfyte
Dryue away this folysshe pleasaunce
655 Geuynge vnto hym no respyte
For to take the in-to his daunce

Remember the great and sore vengeaunce
Taken of god for this outrage
Often-tymes without doutaunce
660 Of the mayster it maketh the page
But as I sayde in mariage
Behaue the as thou ought to do
With gode hope for to haue lynage
Or elles sothly thou synnest to

665 Therfore in bryef conclusyon
To auoyde the payne infernall
Fle from all yll operacyon.
Procedynge of these synnes m[or]tall mortall] mrotall 1505, mortall 1506
And of pryde in especyall
670 For whiche lucyfer fell downe to hell
Take this for a doctrine generall
Whiche ensuynge I shall the tell.

¶Agaynst pryde take thou mekenesse
For enuye take thou charyte
675 Pacyence putteth yre in dystresse
By dylygence sleuthe is in captiuite
For couetyse take thou liberalyte
Glotonye by sobernesse is made thral
Chastyte subdueth lechery
sig: [C5]
680 But gode and ferme fayth ruleth all

It is trouthe that mannys nature
To all yll vyce is prone and redy
Wherfore the better may he endure
The whiche vseth somwhat p[au]cyte paucyte] percyte 1505, 1506
685 Whiche is a great frende vnto chastyte
Agaynst synne take suche resystence
If thou wylt auoyde aduersyte
And purchace a place in goddys presence

Therfore if thou wolt heuen obteyne
690 As thy-selfe loue thy neyghbour
Fro mortall synne thy-selfe refrayne
Fere god and do hym honour
Do his byddynge whiche is thy creatour
Speke lytell here what wyse-men say
695 So mayste thou escape terrene langour terrene langour ='earthly distress'
And haue wheron to lyue alway

Where-as many wordes ar spoken
For to speke in breyf langage
Often wysdome and trouthe is broken
700 Of moche speche cometh great damage
Who in great langage hath vsage
Some worde may he say in gode entent
The whiche soundeth to great outrage
And causeth hym after to repent

705 Behaue thy-selfe curtes and amyable
sig: [C5v]
Cause no debate / stryfe / nor discorde
Be prudent / symple / and seruyable
Speke thou of no man yll reporte
Take gode hope and gode conforte
710 Lo here the playne way of hardnesse
Whiche shall the brynge vnto the sorte
That thou desyrest / that is rychesse

Rychesse goten by sore labour
By watchynge trauayle and by payne
715 Is vnto god moche more pleasour
Than it is whan it is sodayne
One maye in this lyfe mundayne
Obtayne rychesse wyth great vertue
But whan it is yll-goten certayne
720 The getters vnto the deuyll subdue

Folowe therfore the vertuous way
On the ryght hande that none dothe begyle
Leue the left / the whiche all-way
Destroyeth man / be he neuer so subtyle
725 This way that none dothe defyle
On the ryght hande is called dylygence
For thoughe the left on the d[o] smyle do] da 1505, do 1506
The latter ende i[s] voyde of all defence is] in 1505, is 1506

In this cursed way on the left syde
730 Many a man dothe walke gladly
So at the ende ar they destroyed
For that theyr gode is goten falsly
sig: [C6]
Some be drowned and some hanged [on hye] hanged on hye] hanged 1505, hanged on hye 1506
Be they neuer so hardy / subtyll / or wyse
735 Suche is the ende / but the other sothly
Brengeth a man vnto paradyse

A man that foloweth the left way
Can vnethe hym-selfe refrayne
He that hym-selfe refrayne nat may
740 Shall fynde it harde to come agayne
Therfore begynne in the waye of payne
Whiche shall the brynge to the sterred regyon
And for thy leders haue no disdayne
To take vnderstondynge wyt and reason

745 Some foules yll and obstynate
Whan thy are repreued by iustyce
Say that they therto ar destynate that] that that 1505, that 1506
Wenynge for to excuse theyr malyce
They say that fortune must accomplyse
750 That that is theyr destenye
Thus dothe the deuyll these wretches atyse
To kepe them in theyr incredulyte

Gode-wyll must thou haue therfore
Auoyde yll-thought fro thyne entent
755 And if that thou be tempted sore
Beware do nat therto consent
Lyft vp thyne iyen to the fyrmament
Prayenge helpe and than I reason.
Shall be right glade / fayne and diligent
760 The to delyuer in euery season

sig: [C6v]
If destenye shulde haue dominacion
Than our gode dedes shulde nat auayle
Echone wolde make trangression
If thou so thynke thy mynde doth fayle
765 If thou do well for thy trauayle
Thou shalt haue ioye / and for yll punycyon
Gete heuen / and withouten fayle
Thou escapest all tribulacyon

Thoughe that thy destenye be nought
770 Be thou nat redy to do the werst
He that is of a cursed thought
Euermore leueth the best
If thou do yll / be ware the last
Iustyce to eche geueth his guerdon
775 Whan thy soule fro this lyfe is past
Thou shalt haue euen as thou hast done

In this noble way of [d]iligence diligence] giligence 1505, dylygence 1506
If that thou thy-selfe redresse.
Thou shalt by playne experience.
780 By meane therof obteyne rychesse
As for the way of sleuthfulnesse
Howe-euer it appere the ende is nought
There is but wo / payne and dystresse
Disconforte / trouble care and thought

785 The way of sleuthe a man doth brynge
Vnto a place of captyuite
Where nought is but hunger and murnynge
sig: D1
Called the maner of wo and pouertye
There is no-thynge but necessyte
790 Brede nor drynke / worke nor trauayle
There lyueth man in suche penurye
That hunger constrayneth his hart t[o] fayle to] ta 1505, to 1506

Whan one is fall in suche myschaunce
And subdued in suche pouertye
795 He must to haue his sustenaunce
His clothes sell releued for to be
Whan they ar gone than what dothe he
Than must he be a begger or a thefe
So in conclusyon here may ye se
800 Of sleuthe what is the ende and the prefe

Of suche folke that ben ocyous
By ryght no man shulde haue mercy
They ar to them-selfe contrarious
Sleuthe disceyueth them so falsly
805 Some be pale blacke and rusty
Agaynst the sonne syttynge for solace
Some dye for hunger some colde and thursty
Sorowe mot he haue that it doth purchace

If thou haste passed a place perilous
810 And thens escaped without damage
Take gode hede se thou be cautelous cautelous ='cautious'; see OED s.v. cautelous adj., 2
Retourn nat theder for thyne auauntage
But the behaue as prudent wyse and sage
Auoydynge all sleuthe and neglygence
sig: [D1v]
815 Go aboute by another passage
Whiche is the way of dyligen[ce] dyligence] dyligent 1505, dylygence 1506

If thou se some goynge am[y]sse amysse] amasse 1505, amysse 1506
Lyghtly auoyde theyr company
Suche as in thy presence thy mouthe wyl kysse
820 And wolde the sle if they myght pryuely
Be nat aquaynted with suche comonly
Kepe well thy cou[n]sell shewe nat it
Whan one blynde ledeth another lyghtly
Often they bothe fall in the pytte

825 Take therfore the ryght passage
Of gode hope and gode esperance
Be diligent for thyne owne auauntage
For therin is richesse and pleasaunce
Bothe in plentye and in suffysaunce
830 But set nat thyn herte theron to sore
Gete nat wrongfully suche abundaunce
That thy soule suffer peyne therfore

Who that rychesse to moche doth pryse
For it takynge labour and greuaunce
835 Is so brought by vnhappy couetyse
That he is neuer at his pleasaunce
Thoughe he haue rychesse in abundaunce
For all is he nat therwith content
But a man that hathe suffisaunce
840 To all gode gladly dothe consent

sig: D2
Suffisaunce dothe god greatly please
As thou full well mayst vnderstonde
And couetyse dothe hym dysplease
Therfore auoyde his cruell honde
845 Let hym nat take the in his bonde
Lyst his excesse do the begyle
If thou remember thou art but fonde fonde ='foolish'?
With it thou endurest but a whyle

Remember it is no-thynge permanent
850 In abundaunce to haue rychesse
As water rennynge sone is it spent
Whan deth cometh all thyn excesse
Of welth and richesse tourneth to heuynesse
Thou must it all leue the behynde
855 Than one of thy kynne with largesse
Bloweth thy pens out with the wynde

Therfore with lytell be thou content
Thankynge euer god of pouertye
Thanke hym of that he hathe the sent
860 Auoydynge synne and iniquite
If thou wyth synne subdued be
Thou canst do no dede meritory[e] meritorye] meritorys 1505, merytorye 1506
Do well and than I ensure the
Thou shalt obtayne the heuenly glorye

865 Some folke in all theyr lyfe
To gete gode ar full diligent
Lettynge neythe[r] for hatered ne stryfe neyther] neythey 1505, neyther 1506
sig: [D2v]
And yet ar they neuer content
Vnto all fal[s]hode they do consent falshode] falhode 1505, falshode 1506
870 They tende nat but to get and saue
With couetyse is theyr herte so brent
That they thynke neuer y[n]oughe to haue ynoughe] youghe 1505, ynough 1506

Whan they ar moste in fortunes grace
Lyfted vp hye vnto the mone Lyfted] Lystfted 1505, Lyfted 1506
875 She shewynge them hyr frowarde face
Causeth them lyghtly to come downe
Thoughe they before sat in theyr trone
Fortune on them hath made a mowe
Wherby theyr rychesse fro them is gone
880 Than one the grounde lye they full lowe. one: =on

Therfore se thou fortune defye
Sythe hyr rych[e]sse is so vn[s]table rychesse] rychsse 1505, rychesse 1506; vnstable] vntable 1505, vnstable 1506
And in god onely thy-selfe affye
In whom is rychesse perdurable
885 His suffisaunce is full profytable.
Therfore in hym thy-selfe assure
And in this purpose be thou stable
God hym loueth that doth endure

A man ryche full of Ignoraunce
890 Whiche in tyme passed hath had honour
In fortunes rychesse hauynge pleasaunce
Is nowe downe dryuen by a sodayne shoure
He neuer afore was vsed to labour
Thus after he hath lept from hye to lowe
sig: D3
895 By idelnes fortune doth on hym lour
He lyeth on the grounde and none wyll hym knowe

Of clothynge desyre thou no newe gyse
But clothe thy-selfe alway honestly
Suffer nat pryde vpon the to ryse
900 But go ay meke and symplye
And se thou be content onely
So thou haue good wheron to lyue
Without gatherynge ouer-largely
Thou knowest nat whan deth wyll aryue

905 If it fortune that by necessyte
Thou put thy-selfe in the seruyce
Of any man of great auctoryte
Outher lorde / marchaunt / or iustice
Be nat foulysshe / flaterynge / nor nyse
910 Nor yet sleuthfulle in any wyse
Se that thou fle from eche vyce
Lyst he the vtterly despyse

What-euer he say suffer mekely
Fere hym with loue entyer and cordyall
915 Serue hym bothe day and nyght truly
Say of hym goode ouer-all
Remember loue is so specyall
That without it no gode is done
Of his goodes be nat lyberall
920 And god shall pay the thy guerdon

sig: [D3v]
Thou ought of right to set thy hert
With all thy myght and thy puyssaunce
Thy masters wyll for to aduert
And it to fulfyll without doutaunce
925 So call thou vnto thy subuenaunce
This prouerbe that I the lere
Kepe it in thy remembraunce
Loue goeth neuer without fere

Fere without loue may right well be
930 We fere without loue them that vs manase
But where-as true loue is in certentye
It maketh men lyue euen by compas
[T]herfore this loue se thou purchace Therfore] Sherfore 1505, Therfore 1506
And [yf] thou shalt fall in his fauour sone yf] than 1505, 1506
935 Than thy rewarde to thy solace
Shalbe euen after as thou hast done

If thou truly thy mayster serue
He shall perceyue it within a whyle
Than shalt thou haue that thou doest deserue
940 With a gode name whiche none doth fyle
But if that thou do hym begyle
He shall perceyue it at the laste
Than shall thy dedes thy name defyle
So out of his hous he shall the cast

945 Whan that thou art thus departed
Wythout his loue full folysshely
As a seruant full yll aduerted
sig: [D4]
Another mayster must thou seke truly
Than shall other come pryuely
950 And enquyre whether thou were yll or gode
If he say yll that they may spye
No man woll haue the by the rode

But if that any be in necessyte
And can none other seruaunt fynde
955 Than perauenture he woll haue the
And alway be to the vnkynde
But if he be a fole or blynde
Elles wyll he none of thy seruyce
Than shalt thou wa[n]der out with the wynde wander] warder 1505, wander 1506
960 No mayster shall loue thy gyse

If that thou wolt thy mayster please
Thou must haue these thre propertees
Fyrst must thou haue an asses eares
With an hertes fete in all degrees
965 An hogges snout / and after these
By suche meanes shall I declare
That in tyme of aduersytees
By them the better thou mayst fare

By an asses eres this is ment
970 That thou must harken hym about
If thou se he be nat content
Say nought but se thou hym dout dout ='dread, fear'; see OED s.v. doubt v, 5a
Where-as he is se thou nat rout rout ='behave riotously'; see OED s.v. rout v7, 3
What he commaundeth do gladly
sig: [D4v]
975 Than shall he nat put the out
If thou behaue the thus wysely

By the hogges snout mene I thys the] this 1506
What mete so-euer to the is brought
Thoughe it be some-what amysse
980 Take pacyence and say thou nought
Ete thou it nat but it be ought
Rather suffer thou a lytell penurye
Another tyme better shalbe bought
For to amende that iniury

985 Let thy snout smel in eche place
And specially for to seke labour
If thou so do in lytell space
Thou shalt nat fayle of his fauour
Let thy pacyence ouercome his rigour
990 And take good hede to his condicion
Se that thou alway hym honour
Submyttynge the to his correccyon

This signyfyeth the fete of an hert
Thou must do thy mayster socour
995 Both day and nyght thoughe thou shuld smerte
To renne and go at euery hour
Day nor nyght spare no labour
Rather than he shulde haue damage
Helpe hym in welth and in dolour
1000 If any man do to hym outrage

sig: [D5]
Thus reason left of hyr parlament
Than after turned I me to rest
And than cam wysedome full dilygent
A man prudent / discrete and honest
1005 Stondynge nere afore my brest
I lyfted myne hede vnto hym nere
He had suche glose vpon the text had] made 1506
That I had maruayle hym to here

HE that hym ruleth by reason
1010 Getteth bothe ryches and honour
Takynge vpon hym labour
Euer hath he a ryche mansyon
That is ruled by reason

He purueyeth eche thynge in season
sig: [D5v]
1015 As best is whan the tyme is grene
After a storme the sonne dothe shene
That man is quyte of all discencion
Whiche is ruled by reason

¶Sothly my frende it is abusyon
1020 This caduke richesse greatly t[o] prayse to] ty 1505, to 1506
To many a man it dothe dysease
He auoydeth sclaunder a[n]d detraccion and] ad 1505, and 1506
Whiche is rewled by reason

¶Ye knowe that within a lytell season
1025 Fortunes fauour many one procure
But of hyr grace no man is sure
Therfore he is wyse in conclusyon is wyse] wyse is 1506
Whiche is ruled by reason

I make townes and castels stronge of walles
1030 I make iestes / stories / and comedyes /
I made the seuen artes lyberals
With poemes and many tragydees
I haue made many omelyes
Whiche vnto man ar full profytable
1035 Wherby he maye auoyde all folyes
And of his mynde be ferme and stable

Whan reason on man hathe dominacyon
I promote hym vnto great dignite
I hate discorde / and adulacion
1040 And loue peas / concorde / and equyte
sig: [D6]
He that wyll lyue well in prosperyte
Muste haue reason to be his gouernoure
And than wyll I of myne owne lybertye
Of very right be his protectoure

1045 I am wysedome whiche haue knowlegynge
Of goode and yll without doutaunce
But without reason I do no-thynge
For in hir is no maner ignoraunce
Who me procureth I hym auaunce
1050 Wherfore sonne if thou wylt procede
Be euer content with suffysaunce
Than shall I helpe the at thy nede

Obey to re[a]son what-euer she say reason] reoson 1505, reason 1506
With all thyn hert in lowlynesse
1055 Than by hyr grace shalt thou puruay
Bothe worshyp honour and richesse
She helpeth men out of dystresse
By hyr wyt and discressyon
If thou wylt come to parfytnesse
1060 Put the in hir subieccion

¶The auctour.

¶Thus wysedome vnto me dyde speke dyde speke] spake 1506
At reasons wyll and commaundement
Wherby great confort dyd I take
His reasons were so wyse and prudent
1065 On whose saynge I fyxed myne entent
sig: [D6v]
Concludynge vpon the way of payne
But for the tyme passed I was dolent
Whiche loste / coude nat be called agayne

Tha[n] halfe-faynt for watchynge excessyf Than] That 1505, Than 1506
1070 I lyfted my hede vp lokynge me about
Left alone sore / sad / and pensyf
Than was I agayne in dout
I fered them that afore went out
Than sawe I one full of grauyte
1075 Go compaysynge my bed about
With two seruauntes in this companye this] his 1506

Whan he vnto me dyd appere
I thought he had ben some aduocate
His hode was furred wyth menyuere
1080 His gowne of the same lyke his estate
He me behelde without any debate
And sayde his name was disceyt full slye
Of whome comethe many a mortall fate
His lytell varlet was named vsurye

1085 Falshode was his seruauntes name
So knewe I by his fals vysage
The mayster cared no-thynge for shame
Yet was he a comely personage
He me so flaterynge by his langage
1090 Set hym downe there by my cheke
I maruayled what was his vsage
Than thus vnto me he began to speke.

sig: E1

SAy my frende wheron doest thou muse
Thou doest thy-selfe destroy with thought
1095 All thy wyt thou doest abuse
Th[o]u stodyest sore and all for nought Thou] Thu 1505, Thou 1506
Reason hathe the in hyr bondes cought
But let hyr go by my counsayle
Than of rychesse that thou hast sought
1100 By my helpe thou shalt nat fayle

Wysedome hath the aduertysed
To put the in reasones subiectyon
A strawe man let hyr be despysed
And yelde the vnder my proteccyon
1105 Who loueth reason lacketh discressyon
sig: [E1v]
Thou all-way seest a man resonable
That fereth god iustyce and punycyon
Hath neuer ought this is verytable

Reason that foule doth the counsayle
1110 To lyue alway vertuously
Thou shalt haue hunger for thy trauayle
She byddeth the alway laboure besyly
But by my craft I all sodaynly
Make hym this day pore ryche to_morowe
1115 Therfore reason se thou defye
Let hyr and all hyrs go with sorowe

Reason with lytell is well content
She settethe no-thynge by exesse
For to labour she is euer diligent
1120 Without gatherynge of great rychesse
But I exalt men vnto noblesse
Sodaynly by my art subtyle
If any wolde do to me falsnesse
I take hym lyg[h]tly in his owne wyle lyghtly] lygtly 1505

1125 But whyle that thou ensuest reason
Thou shalt neuer come to dignyte
But pore and sympl[e] in euery season symple] sympl 1505, symple 1506
As a bonde-man had in captyuyte
Out of all maner hope of lybertye
1130 Oppressed shalt thou be ouer-all
Euery day well mayst thou se
That the great dothe ete the small

sig: E2
Leue therfore reason by my counsayle
If thou wylt haue rychesse lyghtly
1135 And if that any do the assayle
By my craft I shall blere theyr iye
If that thou do entende to me
Thou shalt fynde that thou hast sought
I shall be at thy wyll redy
1140 And whyle I lyue thou shalt lacke nought

If that thou wolt come to thyn ease
And haue golde at thy pleasour
Thy neyghbour se that thou dysease
With iniu[r]ye / damage force and rygour iniurye] iniuye 1505, iniurye 1506
1145 Let me disceyte be as thy gouernour
Or elles my seruaunt vsurye
From one to another go euery hour
With a glosynge langage of flaterye

Let thy tunge be as a knyfe
1150 Wyth euery man therwyth to rage
And where thou woldest haue no stryfe
Shewe thy-selfe / discrete and sage
Specyally where-as is auauntage
Speke fayre tyll thou haue thy pray
1155 But yet let nat to do damage
To euery man whyle that thou may

Gouerne the euer wyth decepcyon
sig: [E2v]
Care nat for them that ar in payne
At pore folke haue thou derision
1160 To gete gode do the not refrayne
For to dysceyue men set thy brayne
In theyr presence shewe them gode chere
But of theyr hurte se thou be fayne
In theyr abscence in eche manere

1165 Speke fayre with falshode amonge
Shewe thy-selfe meke and treatable
Take money by ryght and wronge
Make the ryche man myserable
Gather togeder rychesse arrable arrable: =horrible
1170 Fere neyther god ne the deuyll of hell
Of thy wordes be thou nat stable
To ryche enuyous / to pore cruell

Pay nought in plede nor in processe plede: =plead, 'law-suit'
Lene no-thynge but vnto vsere
1175 Se that thou the pore oppresse
Take theyr herytage and nouryture
Spare no-thynge the to periure
And if any do the repreue if any] yf that ony 1506
By swerynge fast thy-selfe assure
1180 From his gode hym to remeue

Thou shalt haue rychesse at the last
To lyue in great prosperyte
If thou speke fayre and borowe fast
Faynynge thy-selfe in charyte
sig: E3
1185 For nowe-a_dayes in trouth and veryte
No man of the woll haue count
Without clothynge of auctoryte
Lyke a knyght or a vycount

Kepe thy termes lyke thyn estate
1190 With ermyne or sables fur thy gowne
If any man haue enuye therat
By thy craft turne hym vp-set-downe
Thus mayst thou encreas thy renowne
And if any come with the to speke
1195 Let thy man say thou art nat in the towne
That he may come often the to seke

Let hym retour the to enquyre retour ='return' (see OED s.v. retour v, 2); the 1506 text reads retourne
Be nat asshamed for to lye
And what thynge thou doeth desyre thou doeth] that thou doost 1506
1200 Be it gode or bad do it lyghtly
Take no hede to well nor truly
So it be done take thou no thou[g]ht thought] thouht 1505
And I shall euer helpe the besely euer helpe the] helpe the euer 1506
So that at nede thou shalt lacke nought

1205 To hym that is curtais and lowly
Euery man dare agay[n]say agaynsay] agaysay 1505
But to one ryche gay and hastye
Skant is one that dare say nay
They wyll hym fere lyste that he fray fray ='make a disturbance'; see OED s.v. fray v1, 5
1210 Therfore eche man wyll hym forbere
Fayne felonye on them to lay
sig: [E3v]
And than shall euery man the fere

¶What-euer thou doest worke by wyle
Fyll thy stomake full of falsnesse
1215 Fro the reason do thou exyle
Of hyr nought cometh but destresse
Refuse fayth take thou falsnesse
For suche is the worlde in this season
As thou mayst se by euydence expresse
1220 They ar all pore that folowe reason

Se thou be redy ay to take
Withoute geuynge ought agayne
Thy promesse swerynge se thou forsake
Thus mayst thou haue ryches sodayne
1225 Let thy tunge folowe the comon trayne
Of adulacyon couerde with eloquence
Thus shall euery man be fayne
Vnto the for to do reuerence

If there come to the any myschaunce
1230 Care nat it shall do the no grefe
Thou shalt haue for thy sustenaunce
Me and my men the to relefe
We shall defende the fro myschef
And vnder the vmber of veryte
1235 Thoughe he be neuer so fals a thefe
We shall ouercome hym by our subtyltye
Loke what it is for to haue polecye
With craft subtyltye and practyke practyke: =practic, 'contrivance, cunning'; see OED s.v. practic n1, 5
By whiche meanes he that worketh slye
sig: [E4]
1240 Casteth his ennemye lyghtly in the dyke

Trewe wysdome se thou exyle
Whiche causeth thought and heuynesse
Muse alway men to begyle
Let nat to make fayre promesses
1245 Euery day here twenty messes
But haue at none of them deuocion
And spare thou nat to take excesses
Of theft / falshode / and ex[t]orcion extorcion] excorcion 1505, extorcyon 1506

Beleue me for thyne auauntage
1250 And refuse thou reason vtterly
Falshode my frende shalbe thy page
Exaltynge the to rychesse myghtely
Whan thou art in suche case truly
Euery man shall do the honour
1255 And yf that a[n]y do to the vylanye
Se thou hym tame by thy rygour

Whyle that reason on the doth reyne
Thou shalt neuer come to worthynesse
But euer of pouertye complayne
1260 Auoyde of myrthe full of sadnesse
Thou shalt nat ned to count expresse
Crownes / nobles / nor royals
Thou shalt be voyde of all rychesse
And of degrees temporalles.

1265 Thou hast herde what I haue the tolde
sig: [E4v]
This is my mynde and my counsayle
Whe[r]fore on me se thou be bolde Wherfore] Whefore 1505
And do here-after for thyn auayle
Thus mayst thou come without trauayle
1270 To rychesse / so thou auoyde reason
If thou thus do without fayle
No more will I say at this season

¶The auctour.

¶Whan this fals caytyf had thus sayde
I was abstract nere fro my mynde
1275 His wordes made me sore afrayde
That I vnstable was as the wynde
About me socour coude I none fynde
For fere I quaked / colde were my fete
I had in me as good a mynde
1280 As hath a Gose vpon a spete

That whiche reason dyd me counsayle
Was gode holsome / and resonable
Disceyte contrarye dyd me assayle
Shewynge me craftes dysceyuable
1285 Thus was my mynde as varyable
As a fane stan[d]ynge in the wynde standynge] stanbynge 1505, stondynge 1506
In no purpose ferme nor stable
As nowe-a_dayes we many fynde

As I thus lay troubled full sore
1290 Wysdome retourned to me agayne
More prudent than he was before
Whiche with his langage discrete and playne
sig: [E5]
Exorted me for to refrayne
Me fro that thefe deceptyon
1295 And than reason shulde me may[n]teyne maynteyne] mayteyne 1505
And thus sayde he in conclusyon


DOest thou trust fal[s]hode / or dysceyte falshode] falhode 1505, falshode 1506
A pore man they woll the dyffame
They loue but dyscorde and debate
1300 They prayse the yll and good doth blame
And they pryncypally ar the same
Whiche bryngeth man to the pyt of hell
Trust in reason moste noble of fame
Whiche no-thynge doth but that is well

sig: [E5v]
1305 That man is mad that l[e]ueth reason leueth] lyueth 1505, leueth 1506
Vnto dysceyte for to be lenynge
He that so dothe after in breyf season
Agaynste hym-self is murmurynge
Therfore be thou the wythdrawynge
1310 For of hym venym dothe descende
Lyue after reason aboue all-thynge
For who well lyueth[ /] well doth ende

Howe many dayly doest thou se
That leuynge reason them-selfe assure
1315 In falshode / hauynge great dignite
Fro pore men takynge theyr pasture
In this extorcion they longe endure
By falshode getynge gode mundayne
But whan that knowen is theyr nature
1320 They be made pore by chaunce sodayne

We haue oft sene great wyndes blowe
And with a lytell rayne [o]uercome ouercome] euercome 1505, ouercome 1506
So many men be brought full lowe
Before exalted by fals costom
1325 Some rayed in scarlet / and other some
Arayed in golde / tyssue / and veluet
The one after vnto the swerde become
The other trayned vnto the gebet.

If that they had trusted in reason
1330 Leuynge falshode that dysceyuour
They shulde nat haue had suche confusyon
sig: [E6]
But styll haue lyued in theyr honour
Reason that lady of great valour
Dothe nought that is to repreue
1335 But dysceyte that fals traytour
His cheyf subiectes doth myscheyf

Sythe that rychesse is so varyable
Wherfore take we therfore suche payne
Consyderynge our lyfe so vnstable
1340 From dethe we can vs nat ref[r]ayne refrayne] refayne 1505, refrayne 1506
The day and the hour is vncertayne the hour] houre 1506
Therfore let us lyue skarsly skarsly ='sparingly'
For this is a thynge moste certayne
That fyrst or laste we must nedis dye

1345 Disceyte in his fyrst begynnynge
To eche man well Inoughe doth sounde
But an euyll deth is his endynge
His scolers thus doth he confounde
But hym that in rychesse doth abounde in rychesse] in no rychesse 1505, in rychesse 1506
1350 By reason goten eche man dothe prayse
In deceyte suche ende is founde
That euery man dothe it disprayse

By reason well mayst thou obtayne
R[i]chesse mundayne suffycyently Richesse] Rrchesse 1505, Rychesse 1506
1355 Who that hathe none bydeth in payne
And of[te] is entreated vncurteysly ofte] of 1505, ofte 1506
Who hathe nat money and that largely
Were he as holy as was saynt poule
sig: [E6v]
Where-euer he goeth contynually
1360 He shall be taken for a fole taken for] taken but for 1506

Who that by reason dothe gode purchace
He lyueth therwith right merely
To his pleasour with grat solace
But yf that any thorowe enuye
1365 Wolde do hym wronge or iniurye
He must to god call for socour
And than shall he full hastely
Hym ayde and helpe at euery hour

¶The auctour.

Thus in my bed sore troubled layde
1370 Halfe releued was my courage
I toke gode hede to that he sayde
For he was wyse discrete and sage
And thynkynge it for myn auauntage
Submytted me to the grace dyuyne
1375 I knowe dysceyte by his outrage
Wolde me haue brought vnto ruyne

So purposed I fully to take
The counsayle of my lady reason
And dysceyte vtterly forsake
1380 With his falshode and abusyon
Than beynge of [this] opynyon this opynyon] opynyon 1505, this opynyon 1506
Reason dyd vnto me apere
With hir face bryght as the sonne
sig: F1
Arayde in a ryche manere

1385 This lady was right gracious
Pleasaunt curteys and amyable
On me lokynge with chere ioyous
With a salutacyon right honorable
For this fals caytyf myserable
1390 Disceyte with his seruauntes two
For all theyr chere abhomynable
At hyr comynge dyd fro me go

I Am glad of the perfyte vyctorye
Whiche thou hast obtayned this nyght
1395 It shall be to the right merytorye
In the hyghe trone that is so lyght
sig: [F1v]
Wysedome with his noble myght
Hath ben for the a goode solicitour
But sith thou haste agreed to the right
1400 Nowe shalt thou be my seruytour

I gyue the in commaundement
For to serue me ferme and faythfully
Haunt company wyse and prudent
So shalt thou haue rychesse largely
1405 I knowe that mannys mynde truly
By temptacion full oft doth vary
What I commaunde do thou gladly
And to me reason be nat contrary

What man that I do sustayne
1410 I make clene from all maner vyce
But he that falshode doth maynteyne
Hateth concorde / peas / and iustice
God wyll that thou leue malice
And vsurye in pryncypall
1415 Whiche thou must do if thou be wyse
With perfyte wyll and cordyall

I kepe men in theyr fraunchyse
I make the feble stronge and able
Disceyte to yll men doth atyse
1420 And doth nought that is profytable
Be therfore constant / ferme / and stable /
Endue thy hert with force and vertue
So shalt thou disceyte full myserable
sig: F2
By godly wysdome strongly subdue

1425 Gode name is better than rychesse
The grace of god is full excellent
Truste nat in the fayre promysse
Of disceyte / ne his termes eloquent
Behaue thy-selfe wyse / and prudent
1430 Be ruled by grace and pacience
Both day and nyght be diligent
To get the treasour of sapience

And if that god gyue the wysdome
Be nat therof proude nor glorious
1435 But more symple se thou become symple ='humble'
Thankynge hym with chere pyteous
Let [t]hy mynde be euer vertuous thy: letter broken
Submyttynge the to thy creat[o]ur creatour] creatur 1505
Whiche is so meke and gracyous
1440 That he wyl be thy gouernour

With eche man be in charyte
Begynnynge at thy-selfe fyrst of all
Let all thy dedes sounde vnto equyte
To pore men be thou lyberall
1445 Men wyse and vertuous to the call
Whiche shall the kepe from all damage
Auoyde flaterers from thy hall
The to disceyue is theyr vsage

With me abydeth none malicious
sig: [F2v]
1450 Tyraunt traytoure nor cowarde
But noble people / wyse / and vertuous
And peas as chefe bereth the standarde
Who casteth on me his regarde
Shall surely skape both hole and sounde
1455 Who in dysceyte hathe his forwarde forwarde ='compact, covenant, promise'; see OED s.v. foreward n1
Whan he moste trusteth is brought to grounde

If that by fortune thou haue aduersyte
Without noyse paciently endure
God knoweth thy fragylyte
1460 Fro poynt to poynt I the ensure
And if disceyte on the procure
Auoyde the cause the tyme and place
For without dout I the ensure
Disceyte stynketh in goddys face

1465 Where-as is pryde myscheyf is bye
Therfore of humilyte take confort
Fals flaterye se thou defye
And tende no-thynge to disconforte
Beware falshode and yll reporte
1470 Auoyde robery and all maner wronge
If thou do as I the exorte
In vertue shalt thou lyue full longe

Thou mayste get if thou folowe me
Rychesse mundayne in suffisaunce
1475 Without falshode or iniquyte
Or doynge thy neybour any greuaunce
sig: F3
Thy gode and yll in a balaunce
Shall be weyed at the day extreme
And than after thyn ordynaunce
1480 The myghty iuge shall the deme

Therfore sonne by me thou maye
Obteyne goodes mundayne and eternall mundayne] mundayned 1505, mundayne 1506
Lyue without thought in lowe araye
Without any payne corporal
1485 Of this rychesse that is temporal
Thou mayst with ioye here haue thy part here haue] haue here 1506
And the hyghe glorye celestyal
Whan thy soule shall hens depart

Beholde what two great benefices
1490 I ordeyne for my seruytours seruytours] seruytour 1506
Where other fylled with malyces
By falshode lese all suche honours
Periures theues and seductours Periures ='perjurers'; see OED s.v. perjure n1; the 1506 text reads Periurers
Saturate with synne and ordure
1495 Lyue here in castels and in tours
But theyr estate can nat endure

Roberye / pykynge and cauyllacion
Theft with falshode doth gouerne
That fals tyraunt decepcyon
1500 And ledeth hym vnto the tauerne
Fals vsurye dothe discerne
Theyr armes with his termes blasynge
With pryde of all vyce lanterne
sig: [F3v]
Vnto theyr counsell is lenynge

1505 Suche as they haue but smale conscience
Therfore se that thou them despyse Therfore] Wherfore 1506
They refuse vertue / cunnynge and syence
Lenynge to ryot suche is theyr gyse
Wherfore dere sonne I the aduyse
1510 Let nat theyr power on the extende
For yf it do / I the promyse
At Tyburne wyll they make the ende

If falshode thoroughe his wyllynes
Exalt a man vnto honour
1515 And after if that his rychesse
Be loste by some sodayne shour
They to whome he dyd rigour
Before wyl ioy of his damage
They wylbe redy at euery hour
1520 To hym to render his outrage

One vnto another wyll say
Loke where he lyeth that was so ryche.
His gode yll-goten is nowe away
And lo where he lyeth in the dyche
1525 We thought that his ende wolde be suche
He hathe lyued in welth to longe
His scabbed skyn [s]o nowe doth ytche so] lo 1505, 1506
That he dare nat come vs amonge

Thus mayst thou se it is profytable
sig: [F4]
1530 To lyue truly in this mortall lyfe
Gettynge rychesse by meanes verytable
Sythe it yll-gotten encreaseth stryfe
Who laboureth for rychesse excessyf
Weneth to come vnto hye estate
1535 But at the last he abydeth pensyf.
And euery gode man dothe hym hate

Leue therfore vyce / and loue vertue
If thou wylt lyue in lybertye
And than men knowynge the gode and true
1540 Wylbe glad / of thy company
But yet must thou haue humilite
Wyth pacyence / and concorde thy way to dresse
Wyth fayth / trouthe / and equyte
If thou wolt get heuenly rychesse

1545 Be thou symple of countenaunce
Speke fayre with chere amyable
Beware dysceyte and fere his launce
Be nat of purpose varyable
It is a thynge abhomynable
1550 Vnder an abyde of faythfulnesse
To haue a fals hert and reprouable
Full of wrathe / yre and falsnesse

Vnder the vmber of veryte
Many one vseth fals discepcion
1555 Vsynge to speke right faythfully
But falshode is in theyr entencyon
sig: [F4v]
They thynke other to disceyue by treason
But theyr-self dysceyued do they fynde
But lerne this sonne of me reason
1560 God knoweth euery mannys mynde

God k[no]weth pleyne and clerely knoweth] konweth 1505, knoweth 1506
Mannys mynde thought and courage
For he by his grace ineffably ineffably: =ineffable?
Made hym lyke to his owne ymage
1565 Shuldest thou nat than do hym homage
Whiche hathe the gyuen so great a benefyce
Passynge all other in auauntage
That is the royalme of paradyse royalme] realme 1506

And after whan by disobedyence
1570 Man was damned to be in pay[n]e
That hyghe lorde a lambe of innocence
With his owne blode brought hym agayne
This blessed lorde had no dysdayne
For to become a man mortall
1575 And suffer deth with many a payne
To make vs fre that erst were thrall

This lorde chefe mayster of iustice
Shall kepe his iugement fynall
Than some that there be moste of pryce there] here 1506
1580 Shall than be myserablest of all
The pore and ryche shall be egall
Eche man shall haue lyke audience
All mankynde there in generall
sig: [F5]
Shall there abyde this iuges sentence

1585 The aungels shall theyr trumpettes blowe
Callynge men to the iugement
Than euery man full well shall knowe
Howe that he here his lyfe hath spent
With an hyghe voyce that lorde omnipotent
1590 Shall call my seruantes with hym to dwel
The bad all pensyf / wo / and dolent
Perpetually shalbe damned to hell

Nowe art thou so that thou mayste chuse
The harde way of s[al]uacyon saluacyon] slauacyon 1505, saluacyon 1506
1595 Or elles if thou wolt that abuse
Thou fyndest the way of perdycyon
Do after me son that I am reason I] 1506 omits
To auoyde the fendes cruell bande bande] bonde 1506
And than that iuge prynce of dyscressyon
1600 Shall the set on his right hande

On the rayne-bowe meke and propyce propyce ='propitious, gracious'; see OED s.vv. propice, propitious
On hye shall syt that myghty lorde
Hauynge on his one hande iustyce
And one the other myserycorde one: =on
1605 With them shall peas be and concorde shall peas be] shall be peas 1506
And veryte shall be there playne
This iuge with these at one accorde
Shall iuge the lynage humayne

God shall my seruauntes vnto hym call
sig: [F5v]
1610 With meke chere and countenaunce
Vnto his hyghe sete imperyall
But after another maner chaunce
He shall say wordes of great penaunce
To falshodes seruauntes whiche shalbe dum
1615 Puttynge them to extreme vttraunce
Ite maledicti in ignem eternum.

What shall theyr rychesse than auayle
Whan they shall haue but rightwysnesse
Eche man shall haue after his trauayle
1620 The gode lyght / and the yll derkenesse
Some shall thynke it a day of swetnesse
But other some wyth crye and yell
Shall thynke that day of bytter[n]esse bytternesse] bytteresse 1505, bytternesse 1506
Descendynge downe to the pyt of hell

1625 Therfore frende to thy-self take hede
Renounce falshode with all iniquyte
This day shall make the to haue drede
If thou it call to mynde trulye
Who getteth rychesse here falsly
1630 Of hell-paynes shall haue his part
And therfore hyther come am I
Fro thys payne the to dyuert

¶Therfore aryse and do me homage
With meke hert and intencion
1635 Refusynge falshode with his outrage
Makynge suche prouysyon
sig: [F6]
That thou mayst lyue by dyscressyon
Than shall I make the to possede
A place in the heuenly regyon
1640 Lo al my seruauntes hath such mede

The actour.

AFter that I herde my lady reason
So wysely speke full of pruden[ce] prudence] prudent 1505, prudence 1506
I forsoke disceyte / falshode and treason
Yeldynge me vnto hyr magnificence
1645 I kneled downe in hir presence
Knowynge it for myne auauntage
With meke loue and obedyence
Vnto reason I made homage

sig: [F6v]
Holdynge my handes vp to hyr grace
1650 With lowe chere dyd I me present
There shewed I hyr all the case
Howe that I my lyfe had spent
This noble lady wyse and prudent
Suerly vnto me dyd promesse
1655 So I wolde make amendemente
To be my lady and maystresse

Than this lady approched nere lady] laday 1505, lady 1506
Of all other moste gode and gracious
With lowly countenaunce and [c]here chere] there 1505, chere 1506
1660 Of my helthe gratly desyrous
And to hyr seruauntes neuer contrarious
Seynge hyr nere thus vnto hyr sayde I
Most excellent lady moste gode and glorious
To you wyll I me submyt gladly

1665 Do ye with me what is [y]our pleasoure your] our 1505, your 1506
I am euer redy glad and diligent
To do all-thynge that may you honoure
Neuer wyllynge more to be negligent
To suche vertues / or counsayle prudent
1670 I defye falshode with his subtyltees
To you obeynge with hole entent
Bothe in welth and aduersytees

Reason was glad in eche degre
Whan she herde me say in this wyse
1675 Than as syster vnto humylyte
sig: G1
Out of hyr chear sone dyd she ryse chear: =chair
And kyssynge me she dyd promyse
Euer at my nede for to be kynde
Than sodaynly in a secrete wyse
1680 This lady entred into my mynde

Thus whyle that reason was my gyde
I gouerned me well and wysely
Dysceyte and falshode settynge asyde
With wretchednesse and vsurye
1685 To byde with reason purposed I
As longe as god lent me my lyfe
Beynge in this purpose dyd I spye
Aproche an olde man and his wyfe

Whan I them sawe I was content
1690 They were so meke and gracyous
The mannys name was euydent
Gode_wyll / to none contrarious contrarious] was contraryous 1506
The womans gode_hert to none enuyous
The whiche two had with them brought
1695 A yonge chylde / pleasaunt / gode and vertuous
In excellence passynge my thought

This childe euer by gode_wyll stode
Vpon hyr hande to hyr le[n]ynge lenynge] leuynge 1505, lenynge 1506
This was his name / Lust_to_do_gode
1700 As me-thought vnto my semynge
These thre togeder on me smylynge
Aproched nere / and fyrste of all
sig: [G1v]
Gode_hert began with this saynge
With meke countenaunce and lyberall


1705 SIthe that reason resteth in the
Son / I shall nat from the depart
The tyme and season nowe mayst thou se
Whiche to the bryngeth the ase of hert ase: =ease
We shall fro the all yll dyuert
1710 Puttynge into thy subieccion
Thy wyfe and chyldren hole and quart quart ='healthy; see OED s.v. quart, quert adj.
Whan age cometh the vpon.

We thre togeder shall the conuey
Vnto a place full of all pleasaunce
sig: G2
1715 There shall we shyft for the puruay
To helpe the out of all greuaunce
This place is of great cheuysaunce
Goten onely by way of dyligence
The whiche place shal the auaunce
1720 To the hye degre of excellence

Folowe vs and we shall the brynge
Into the hye-way / whiche is right specious
The whiche way hath at his endynge
A fayre castel / pleasaunt and sumptuous
1725 In whiche remayneth a treasour precious
That is worldly goodes full of noblesse
This place is called that is so beauteous
Labour / wherin remayneth rychesse

Reason right often hath the tolde
1730 Of this castell whiche is so honorable
Passynge all castels a thousande-folde
And vnto mankynde most profytable
But the way is so variable
That none can com thyder without vs thre
1735 But he must haue some fortune myserable
And be compelled agayne to fle

The[r]fore who theder doth hym dresse Therfore] Thefore 1505, Therfore 1506
Nat hauynge vs in his companye
Shall neuer truly haue rychesse
1740 His fortune is in great difficultye
Many one cometh vnto dignyte
sig: [G2v]
By falshode / vsurye / and rapyne
But at the ende symple pouertye
Kepeth them fallen into ruyne

1745 Syth thou [a]pplyest to reasons doctryne applyest] opplyest 1505, applyest 1506
I shall helpe the euer at thy nede
My wyfe shall vnto the enclyne
My sone shall helpe the for to spede
Do after vs / and haue no drede
1750 For we thre shal to the be kynde
Whan thou hast laboured / for thy mede
If thou well do thou shalt well fynde

Lust_to_do_gode / is nowe redy
Vnto this place the to conuey
1755 Therfore aryse and come lyghtly
And we shall well for the puruay
Reason hyr seruauntes helpeth alway
Whiche hath vs hyther vnto the brought
Ryse vp let vs go without delay
1760 For after great rest oft cometh thought

¶The actour.

I accorded vnto them lyghtly
Auoyde of sleuth and negligence
With them theder to go gladly
Vnto this place cheyf of diligence
1765 Whyche of all honour hath preemynence
Eche man for to helpe at his nede
Than thought [I] for to recompence I] 1505 omits, I 1506
The tyme loste / and thyder to spede

sig: G3
But I tolde them I knewe no-thynge
1770 Of dyligence / nor yet of besynesse
Gode_hert sayde / By our techynge
Thou shalt knowe the way expresse
Thou mayste bothe say and thynke doutlesse
Whyle we thre ar thy conductours
1775 That thou art voyde of heuynesse
And sure of all worldly honours

A_wake and put the in aparayle
To moche slepe hurteth man certayne
In this way must thou sore trauayle
1780 For reason so dothe it ordeyne
For what man that taketh payne
On hym with trauayle and abstynence
To rychesse [n]ed[e]s must attayne nedes] medys 1505, nedes 1506
Therfore aryse and go we hens


1785 Go sonne thou must bestowe thy tyme
In other wyse than thou hast done
Let [nat] to labour for no cryme nat] 1505 omits, not 1506
Lettynge thy dedes ay sounde to reason
And as for me / I me abandon
1790 With my husbonde on the to wayte
Vnto this castell and noble mansyon
Wherin is rychesse without dysceyte

Who other begyleth hym-selfe disceyueth
Rychesse yll-goten cometh to yll ende
1795 Who in this castell falshode conceyueth
sig: [G3v]
Shall nat his power far extende
But after dethe if thou wylt ascende
Take me [and] trauayle to be thy gyde and] 1505 omits, and 1506
Whiche in this castell shall the defende
1800 By our meanes in euery tyde


¶Do my faders commaundement
If thou truly wolde haue rychesse
And to my moder be dylygent
In that thou mayst wit[h] loulynesse with] wit 1505, with 1506
1805 And I shall do my wyll and besynesse
Vnto my power the to susteyne
Wherfore auoyde thou sleuthfulnesse
And vs to folowe take on the peyne

¶The actour.

sig: [G4]
The previous section heading is repeated here in the copytext.

THus I hauynge great delyte I] as I 1503
1810 To here them speke so wysely
Lept fro my bed without respyte Lept fro] Depured 1503
And made me redy hastely
Gode_wyll went full redely
To lyght a candell at myne instaunce
1815 Whiche as she went songe so merely
That hyr to here I had pleasaunce

I toke my clothes vnto me necessarye
And made me redy at theyr instaunce
Lust_to_do_gode full gladly
1820 To bere the candell had great pleasaunce
Than went they forthe all in ordynaunce
As folke replenysshed with mekenesse
That to beholde theyr cou[n]tenaunce
My herte was fylled with gladnesse

1825 Lust_to_do_gode / went alway
Before berynge the candell-lyght
Gode_wyll went next in fayre aray
And than gode_hert / I folowed right
Sothly it was a pleasaunt syght
1830 To se to_geder so meke a company
I had nat suche sorowe all the nyght
As I had than myrthe and melodye

sig: [G4v]

THan entred we into the way
Of great payne called dyligence
1835 Wythout restynge I went alway
There founde I no resystence
These thre were euer in my presence
For the way was vnknowen to me
I hasted me vnder theyr defence
1840 That I myght there the soner be

Thus went we forth a lytell whyle
Of the way was I ignoraunt
My thre felawes dyd on me smyle
On me beholdynge with glad semblaunt
1845 Than sawe I this castell fayre and plesaunt
sig: [G5]
Moste ryche / stronge and sumptuous
Whan I it sawe so resplendaunt
Sothly of hert I was full ioyous

Vnto the gate whan I was nye
1850 I wolde haue entred without sauegarde sauegarde ='safe-conduct, guarantee of safe passage'; see OED s.v. safe-guard n, 3
But the porter resysted me
Beholdynge me with chere frowarde
Of that castell he kept the garde
His wyfe was euer in his presence
1855 Thynkest thou to enter he sayde cowarde
Nat hauynge our loue nor our lycence


¶Thynkest thou to enter without our leue
Into this castell cheyf grounde of rychesse of] to 1506
Nay nay thou must hens remeue
1860 None entreth here but by mekenesse
My wyfe Cure and I Besynesse
Haue suche offyce in this castel
To vs obeyeth bothe more and lesse
That hathe intencyon therin to dwell

1865 By the fayre path of diligence
Thou art come hyder as I byleue
Yet mayst thou nat here haue resydence
Without our loue fauour and leue
Thou mayste nat enter therfore remeue
1870 For wyth the am I nat content
sig: [G5v]
Auoyde or elles I shall the greue
His wyfe than sayde incontynent


Gentyll husbonde holde hym excused
He wyll obey vnto your commaundement
1875 Let nat his mekenesse be refused
He wyll nought without your assent
I knowe hym wyse / discrete / and prudent
He wyll gladly do you homage
So it wyll please you be content
1880 Of fauour to graunt hym passage

Commaunde hym what-so-euer ye please
And he shall do it without fallace fallace ='falsehood, deception'
He purposeth nat you to dysplease
But hym submytteth vnto you[r] grace your] you 1505, your 1506
1885 Praynge that he may haue place
Into this castell for to go
He hath our fauour to purchace
Gode_hert / and Gode_wyll also

¶The actour.

Than besynesse as a man full kynde
1890 Sayde / syth thou hast suche socour
My fauour redy shalt thou fynde
The for to helpe at euery hour
To here hym speke I had pleasour
Than sayde he / sythe thou hast reason
sig: [G6]
1895 Thou shalt nat fayle of great honour
Wyth welth and rychesse in breyf season


I That called am besynesse
Vnto man richesse do procure
My wyfe also in all destresse
1900 Doth man of hyr helpe assure
This place is called by droyture droyture ='uprightness'
The excellent castell of labour
If thou here be I the ensure
Thou must be besye in euery hour

1905 Sythe thou art in our subieccion
sig: [G6v]
Trust well thou shalt come to rychesse
For whyle in thy mynde abydeth reason
By no meane cannest thou haue skasnesse skasnesse: =scarceness
I shall helpe the in all besynesse
1910 In this castell to ensue the trayne
The captayne therof / and the mayst[resse] maystresse] maysters 1505, maystresse 1506
Ar called by name trauayle and payne

Thou shalt in this place haue moche ado
Mannys good-wyll for to deserue
1915 Thou shalt skant fynde the meane therto
The captayne is so yl to serue
Vneth his byddynge canst thou obserue
Without it be wel done and a_pace
But in godenesse thou the styll preserue
1920 Thou shalt be sone out of theyr grace

Thus do I the afore aduert
Of the great payne that thou shalt fynde
Lest that after it shulde greue thy hert
Therfore on wysedome set thy mynde
1925 The captayne is somwhat vnkynde
Whiche shall do to the great rigour
Eche thynge tourneth as the wynde
Wythin this castell of labour

¶The actour.

¶All that shall do me none yll
1930 I shall assay them for to please
sig: H1
I haue fonde gode_hert / and gode_wyll
With Lust_to_do_gode / whiche shall me ase
I trust no man for to dysplease
Whyle I of them do take counsayle
1935 I wyll nat let for no dysease
To go into this castell of trauayle

THan besynesse and cure brought me into
This castell / ample / and spacyous
Shewynge me men and wymen also
1940 Sore workynge and none ocyous
Them to beholde was a thynge maruelous
Bothe yonge and olde of euery facultye
To labour was there none contra[r]ious contrarious] contracious 1505; contraryous 1506
Eche one wolde afore his felawe be

sig: [H1v]
1945 They smote with hambers that we[re] stronge were] we 1505, were 1506
That to beholde I had great wonder
Suche a noyse was them amonge
That it sounded lyke the thunder
Some were aboue / and some were vnder
1950 In theyr shertes laborynge for hete
Some dyd peaces brake in_sunder
Some agayne them togeder bete

To beholde them I had delyte
Seynge them worke so lustely
1955 That to laboure I had appetyte
Cure and Besynesse that dyd spye
Whyche sayde vnto me shortly
That if I coude labour well
They wolde get me lycence gladly
1960 In that castell for to dwell

Than to them answered I certayne
That to labour I was content
Than spake they to the captayne
Requyringe hym for to assent
1965 He graunted me a place present
Conuenie[n]t for my degre Conuenient] Conueniet 1505, Conuenyent 1506
There promysed I for to be diligent
So that in theyr fauour I myght be

I set me downe vnto labour.
1970 With besynesse and parfyte diligence
Trustynge therby to haue honour
sig: H2
Cure and besynesse were nat thens
I was right glad of theyr presence
For they taught me howe I shulde do
1975 Vnto them I gaue audyence
And what they sayde I agred therto

Than cam the wyfe of the capytayne capytayne] capytaayne 1505
Goynge here and there trottynge
They tolde me that hyr name was payne
1980 Eche manys labour vysytynge
Hyr handes and hyr forehede swetynge
She taryed no more in any place
Than doth a pursyuaunt ridynge pursyuaunt ='messenger'; see OED s.v. pursuivant n, 2b
Whan he wolde purchace some grace

1985 Sometyme in hyr smocke rennynge faste
No-thynge entendynge to rest nor ease entendynge] tendynge 1506
She ran styll whyle hyr breth wolde laste
Nat sp[a]rynge fo[r] no dysease sparynge for] sprynge fo 1505, sparynge for 1506
She was diligent eche man to please
1990 And me behelde approchynge nere
She sayde syr porter ye me displease
For bryngynge of this stranger here


Syr Besynesse that ar portere
Of this castell shewe me playne
1995 Who hathe broug[h]t hyther this straunger? brought] brougt 1505
I sawe hym neuer afore certayne
sig: [H2v]
Cometh he fro fraunce / or fro britayne
I must knowe his cause and his entent
He muste submyt hym vnto my payne
2000 Or elles in vayne his tyme is spent


¶My lady peyne haue ye no dout
For hyther is he come truly
With gode_hert / and gode_wyll hym about
Whiche hyther hathe hym brought besely
2005 Lust_to_do_gode is to hym nye
Whiche is a chylde ryght honorable
Ye shall fynde hym to you redy
Humble of hert and seruyable


¶My husbonde and I loue hym right well
2010 We shall helpe hym at euery nede
Ye shall nat nede hym ought to tell
Therfore my lady haue ye no drede
Euen as he dothe gyue hym his mede
And my husbonde shalbe his borowe
2015 That in his labour he shall spede
And neyther spare for peyne nor sorowe


sig: H3

YE say bothe well and wysely
I knowe nat yet howe he wyll preue
For many one be sone wery
2020 Of labour whan it doth them greue
But suche sothly be to repreue
But we shall sone se what labour
He can do / or that he remeue
To come to rychesse and honour

¶The actour.

2025 ¶Than payne to me approched nere
Byddynge me labour diligently
And that I shulde in eche manere
sig: [H3v]
Do my besynesse well and wysely
Nat sparynge my body nor my bonys
2030 And he that dyd nat so truly
Shulde auoyde that place atonys

I tolde hyr that I had desyre
To worke fast without fayne
And for to folowe hyr pleasyre
2035 So that she shulde nat complayne
Saynge I trusted to obteyne
By my labour welth and rychesse
And that I shulde my-selfe constrayne
To be nere Cure / and Besynesse


2040 ¶That is answered by gode moyen moyen ='means'
Whan trauayle my husbonde shall you se
The whiche is feble and auncyen
Your worke and labour shall he ouerse
Of hym rewarde[d] shall ye be rewarded] rewarde 1505, rewarded 1506
2045 After your worke and your labour
And in the meane-tyme ye shall haue me
Alway redy at your socour

¶The actour.

¶Than began I to labour fast
Enployinge theron pleasour and myght
2050 Contynuynge whyle the nyght dyd last
sig: [H4]
Than in the mornynge appered lyght
In at a wyndowe that was bryght
Than blewe I my candell out
Labourynge styll with all my myght
2055 As other that were me about

Styll to labour I dyd me caste
By suffraunce of the grace dyuyne
Vnto the tyme of the brakefaste
Where we had neyther ale ne wyne
2060 They myght nat tary for to dyne
So sure on labour was theyr purpose
Tyll labour caused them to declyne
By payne constrayned so vp they rose

They were all homely as companions
2065 Theyr labour gaue them an appetyt reall reall ='royal'? See OED s.v. real adj. 1
Some yete garleke / some yete onyons yete ... yete] ete ... ete 1506
Suche seruyce was amonge them all
Broun brede to them was cordyall
Wetynge it in the water clere
2070 Drynkynge of the fountayne clere as crystall
They had no scorne of this manere

There was neyther befe ne moton
To ete whan hunger dyd them assayle
Suche is the maner in this season
2075 Some be rewarded yll theyr trauayle
They wrought in peas and in batayle
Some etynge and labourynge both at onys
sig: [H4v]
Nat sparynge theyr body without fayle
As chefe laborers for the nones

2080 WHan I sawe theyr condycion I] that I 1506
So prone to labour and besynesse
I set myne hole and ferme entencion
By suche labour to gete rychesse
Than vpon me came fayntnesse
2085 That I had lyst to refresshe nature
Whan they me sawe in suche distresse
I lacked no brede I you ensure

I wolde be of theyr companye
And takynge this brede with gode-wyll
2090 I therof bote ryght merely bote: =bit
sig: [H5]
Styll workynge nat thynkynge yll
I had no scorne me for to fylle
With this brede but theron bote
And after with chere meke and styll
2095 With fayre water I wasshed my throte

I fylled my bely fayre and well
With this fayre brede made of rye
Drynkynge alway at the well
And yet styll wrought I merely
2100 I was as well at eas truly
As thughe I had [had] all deyntees had had] had 1505, had had 1506
In the worlde / for certaynly
To moche is nought in all degrees

Shortly to say I was as full
2105 As was conuenyent to nature
For excesse maketh the mynde dull
I reporte[d] me to besynesse and cure reported] reporte 1505, 1506
For often-tymes man dothe murmure
Whan he is full of mete and wyne
2110 To all vyce prone I the ensure
Excludynge hym fro the grace dyuyne

Whan I was thus refresshed well
I drewe me to my warke agayne
Gode_hert and Gode_wyll dyd me tell
2115 Howe I sholde do / also certayne
Lust_to_do_gode dyd me maynteyne
Thus drewe I me vnto besynesse
sig: [H5v]
I spared neyther trauayle nor peyne
Wythout falshode to get rychesse

2120 CUre and charge dyd me beholde
Commaundynge me to labour fast
And tolde me surely that they wolde
Rewarde me truly at the last
So laboured I tyll the day was past
2125 And as I laboured songe I merely
Tyll hesperus cloudes the day ouercast
And that the nyght aproched nye

Than cure vnbyden went a_pace
And lyghtly lyghted a candell
2130 She set it by my workynge-place
sig: [H6]
And many newe poyntes to me dyd tell
She sayde who bydeth in this castell
After the commaundement of reason
Must worke vnto the curfue-knell
2135 Consyderynge the tyme and season

At hyr byddynge I wrought styll fast
Hauynge therin delyte and pleasour
Tyll that the bel range at the last
Whiche was a conuenyent hour
2140 Than hunger cam with his rigour
Whiche cruelly dyd me assayle
With that sawe I come from a tour
The capytayne called trauayle

sig: [H6v]
FRende thou art welcome vnto this place
2145 For thy labour true and diligent
Whiche hath brought the into my grace
Therfore shal I gyue the riches permanent
So after that thy youthe is spent
I shall the promyse and behest
2150 After thy labour incontynent
Thou shalt come to the hous of rest

Thou shalt haue rest at thy desyre
After thy payne and tribulacion
Thou shalt syt merely by thy fyre
2155 After that thy worke is done
There shalt thou fynde consolacyon
After thy payne and thy trauayle
Thus shalt thou fynde in conclusyon
After pouertye ryche apparayle

2160 And therfore at one worde shortly
Nowe do as thou thynkest best
For with gode-wyll the leue gyue I
For to go home vnto thy rest
And thy prayer and thy request
2165 I trauayle shall vnto the promesse
Go nowe thou shalt haue my behest
Af[t]er labour / that is richesse. After] Afer 1505, After 1506

¶The actour.

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¶Than toke I leue of trauayle
Goynge to reste full of gladnesse
2170 Than with hye voyce withouten fayle
I called the porter named besynes
Than to the yates I dyd me dresse
The whiche were shyt than had I dout
Yet shewed I the porter suche mekenes
2175 That he agreed to let me out

BEsynesse and cure his wyfe
Let me out at the gate mekely
Alway me warnynge for drede of stryfe
On the mornynge to ryse erly
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2180 My labour for to fynysshe parfytely
Saynge all that I had done was nought
Without it were ended lyghtly
Wherfore theron set thy thought

He sayde in the castell of rychesse
2185 No man can haue any audyence
Whyle he soiourneth with ydelnesse
The capt[a]yne hath gyuen that sentence captayne] captyne 1505
But by the way of dyligence
One may ryght well obteyne this place
2190 Here mayst thou se in thy presence
By what hardnesse thou fell in grace

In labour must thou haue perseueraunce
Auoydynge great rest that is so daungerous
Whiche bryngeth wyse-men into ignoraunce
2195 And to rychesse is right contrarious
Auoyde sleuth whiche is so odyous
That of hym cometh nought but pouertye.
Aboue all to falshode be contrarious
Despysynge his goodes full of iniquyte

2200 If thou hym loue sonne I ensure the
Of my worde mayst thou be certayne
That thou offendest the deyte
Of our lorde / and deseruest peyne
Eternall / therfore the refrayne
2205 Fro this falshode in eche degre
And if that sleuth vpon the rayne
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As pore as Iob was shalt thou be

Without rest no man may lyue
For it is accordynge to trauayle
2210 But in rychesse if thou wolt preue
Rest nat to moche by my counsayle.
Remember this lesson se thou nat fayle
And to th'entent thou forsake nat this lawe
Nat it forgettynge / for thyne auayle
2215 By thyne eare I shall the drawe


My frende one can nat ay endure
For to labour to his auauntage
Therfore se thou thy-selfe assure
To labour fast in thy yonge age
2220 Infyxe thy mynde and thy courage
On reason and thou shalt haue rychesse
By ydelnesse thou doest outrage
Bothe to the and all thyne doutlesse.

¶The actour.

Than drewe she myne ere agayne
2225 As cure had done before doutlesse
And than vanysshed away certayne
Leuynge me there full of fayntnesse
Procedynge of my labour and besynesse
Thus seynge them gone I thought it best
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2230 To re[f]resshe nature without excesse refresshe] reeresshe 1505, refresshe 1506
And so drewe me to the hous of rest

I sawe rest whiche dyd me abyde
Within his hous withouten blame
And my wyfe on the other syde
2235 Dressed my souper without dyffame
There rested I in goddys name
Famylierly nat as a stranger
Thankynge god of inmortall fame
That I escaped was that daunger

¶The hous of rest.

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2240 VNto the table I went that tyde
Entendyng to soupe without outrage
My wyfe sat on the other syde
After my custome and olde vsage
There had we brede wyne and potage
2245 And of flesshe a smale pytaunce
Without to [do] any hurte or damage do] 1505, 1506 omit
We souped togeder at our pleasaunce

My wyfe voyded the table clene
And vnto me aproched nere
2250 Than on my sholder dyd she lene
After hyr costome and manere
There tolde I hyr of the daungere
Whiche I was in the nyght before
Howe that she slept with mery chere
2255 The whyle that I was troubled sore

I tolde hyr that in all my lyfe
I had nat so great peruersyte
Nowe in pleasour and nowe in stryfe
Tourmented fyersly felt I me
2260 For fals Nede / and Necessyte
Wyth pouertye / and hyr felawe distresse
Thought and heuynesse wyth crueltye
Lay on my bed me to oppresse

Dysconfort and Disesperaunce
2265 Lay vpon me with theyr treason
Redy to brynge me to myschaunce
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Or in the way of perdicion
That had nat ben my lady reason
Whiche me enformed to myne auauntage
2270 They had brought me vnto confusyon
Or done to me some great outrage

Wysdome dyd greatly me profyte
For I haunted his companye
Whiche by his meanes made me quyte
2275 Of falshode / disceyte / and vsurye
Whiche thre by theyr polecye
Had me nere brought to conf[u]syon confusyon] confysyon 1505
But after agayne confort had I
Of that wyse lady called reason

2280 To whome I haue made homage
For she of hyr owne beneuolence
Hathe gyuen me at breyf langage
Gode_hert / and Gode_wyll for my defence
Whiche haue a chylde ay in my presen[c]e presence] presente 1505, presence 1506
2285 Lust_to_do_gode named is he
Redy to helpe me in all indigence
Out of payne and peruersyte

We went vnto the castell of labour
Where was many an artifycer
2290 Cure stode at the gate that hour
Besynesse hyr husbonde was porter
They receyued me with gode chere
Trauayle was theyr captayne
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His wyues name was called payne

2295 There wrought I all nyght and day certayne nyght and day] daye and nyght 1506
With fre-wyll and glad plesaunce
To_morowe must I retoure agayne
To this castell of fayre ordynaunce
There fonde I but smale pytaunce
2300 But euery man after his degre
After his labour had his fe

And therfore my welbeloued wyfe
Consyder the payne and the trauayle
Whyche whyle ye slept without stryfe
2305 Right cruelly dyd me assayle
But nowe am I well without fayle
Sythe I haue escaped this daungere
And in your presence may appere

My wyfe therof cared no-thynge
2310 But leughe me to derysyon leughe: =laughed, the strong form of the past tense in Scots English (see OED s.v. laugh v); the 1506 text also reads leughe
She scorned me and my talkynge
For were it wynnynge or perdicion
It was to hyr all one conclusyon
For so she were serued at hyr desyre
2315 She cared nat if I lay in the myre

She called me fole and cared nought
And was nere redy wyth me to fyght
She swore by god that hyr dere bought
She wolde make me remember that nyght
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2320 Therfore I went to bed euen-ryght
For the thre-foted stole sore fered I
To chat with a woman it is but foly

A man shulde take no hede at all
To what-someuer a woman say
2325 Of hyr tunge she is lyberall
It is no wysedome hyr to denay
In peas may he be by no way
That wolde styll a woman / it is contrary
She is a publyke and comon secretary

2330 Who-euer he be that hathe a wyfe
Had nede for to haue pacyence
Or elles must he lyue alway in stryfe
Thoughe she be bounde to obedyence
Yet doth she after hyr owne sentence
2335 I dare no more say for drede of blame
That man is happy that one can tame

On this poynt I made me redy
And so went to my bed full ryght
Where I slept styll and merely
2340 Tyll four of the clocke after mydnyght
Than vp I rose by the candellyght
Thynkynge on Cure and besynesse
And to my worke sonne dyd I me dresse

Ay praynge god by his ordynaunce
2345 That if I may nat obteyne rychesse
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That I may purchace suffysaunce
Whiche is my lady and my maysteresse
To enforme me to lyue in symplenesse
So that after this lyfe mortall
2350 I maye reioys the realme eternall

A[u]ctoris excusatio.
Auctoris] Actoris 1505
GO forth smale treatyse and humbly the present
Vnto the reders as indigne of audience
Exortyng them with meke and lowe entent
To this rude langage to gyue none aduertence
5 For many one hath parfyte diligence
Whiche by no meane his mynde can expresse
The cause therof is lacke of eloquence
Whiche nowe is caduke by meane of sleuthful[n]esse

The yonge chylde is nat all parfyte
10 To renne whan he can neyther crepe nor go
But whan he begynneth he hath great delyte
In his newe science / wherfore he hath great wo
Endurynge falles with many paynes mo
Thus suche peyne so longe dothe he endure
15 And to hym-selfe he entendethe so
That of his fete he is parfyte and sure

So certaynly in suche case am I
Some-what asaynge if I can ensue
The steppes of them the whiche craftely
20 All vyce of wrytynge vtterly eschue
sig: [I5v]
But ignoraunce right oft doth me subdue
And often I falle for lacke of exercyse
This rude langage so on me doth renewe
That I agayne vnethes may aryse

25 The cause why I folowe nat these oratours
Is for lacke of intellygence
And that I haue nat smelled of the flours
Spryngynge in the garden of parfyte eloquence
Wherfore with humble and meke obedyence
30 I submyt me to the correccion
Of them whom minerua with hyr science
Hathe indued / this is my conclusyon
¶Thus endeth the castell of labour wherin is rychesse / vertue and honoure.
¶Enprynted be me Richarde_Pynson.
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