Collyn Clout

Skelton, John

STC 22601
Ringler 22601 and TP 2114. STC 22601 is the source of the copytext (=K), owing to the unavailability of G, which is here collated from Scattergood's edition. UMI microfilm reel 19

Here after foloweth a litel boke called Colyn Cloute
London: R. Copland for R. Kele,1545?.

Variant source 1: T. Godfray, 1531? (STC 22600.5) (G) [from Scattergood's transcription] Variant source 2: T. Marshe, 1568 (STC 22608) (=M) Variant source 3: London, British Library, Harley 2252, fols. 147r-154v (=H) Variant source 4: London, British Library, Lansdowne 762, fol. 71r (=L)

Composition Date: 1521-1522 [Scattergood].

This line inset with a blank line followingL. 758 indented, followed by blank line
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Here-after foloweth a litel boke called Colyn_Cloute compyled by mayster Skelton poete Laureate.
Quis consurg[e]tconsurget] consurgat K, resurgat H [mihi] aduers[u]s malignantes. aut quis stabit mecum aduersus operantes iniquitatem. Nemo dominemihi] mecum K, M; H omits
sig: [A1v] [page blank]

sig: A2
WHat can it auayle
To dryue forth a snayle
Or to make a sayle
Of an herynges tayle
5 To ryme or to rayle
ref.ed: 247
To wryte or to indyte
Eyther for delyte Eyther] Other G
Or elles for to despyte for to despyte] to desyte G, for despite M, for to desyte H
Or bokes to compyle
10 Of dyuers maner style
Uyce to reuyle
And synne to exyle
To teche or to preche
As reason wyll reche
15 Say this and say that
His hed is so fat
He wotteth neuer what
Nor wherof he speketh
He cryeth and he creketh
20 He pryeth and he peketh peketh] preketh G, peketh M, prekythe H
He chydes and he chatters
He prates and he patters prates] prayeth G, prates M, pratythe H
He clytters and he clatters
sig: [A2v]
He medles and he smatters
25 He gloses and he flatters
Or yf he speake playne
Than he lacketh brayne
He is but a fole
Let hym go to scole
30 A thre-foted stole
That he may downe syt
For he lacketh wyt
And yf that he hyt
The nayle on the hede
35 It standeth in no stede
The deuyll they say is dede
The deuell is dede

It may well so be
Or els they wolde se
40 Otherwyse and fle
From wordly vanyte
And foule couetousnesse
And other wretchednesse
Fyckell falsenesse
45 Uaryablenesse
sig: [A3]
With vnstablenesse

ref.ed: 248
¶And if ye stande in doute
Who brought this ryme aboute
My name is Colyn_Cloute
50 I purpose to shake oute
All my connyng bagge
Lyke a clerkely hagge
For though my ryme be ragged
Tattered and iagged
55 Rudely rayne-beaten
Rusty and moughte-eaten moughte] moche G, moothe M, mothe H
If ye talke well ther-with talke] take G, H, talke M
It hath in it some pyth
For as farre as I can se
60 It is wronge with eche degre
For the temporalte
Accuseth the spiritualte
The spirituall agayne spirituall] spirytualte G, spirituall M
Dothe grudge and complayne
65 Upon the temporall men
Thus eche of other bloder bloder] blother G, M
The tone agayn[st] the tother agaynst] agayng K, against G, M
sig: [A3v]
Alas they make me shoder
For in hoder_moder
70 The churche is put in faute
The prelates ben so haut
They say / and loke so hy
As though they wolde fly
Aboue the sterry skye

75 Laye-men say in-[d]ede dede] hede K, dede G, M
How they take no [h]ede hede] dede K, hede G, M
[T]heyr sely shepe to fede Theyr] Sheyr K, Theyr G
But plucke away and pull
The fleces of theyr wull The fleces of theyr wull] Theyr fleces of wull G
80 Unethes they leue a locke
Of wull amonges theyr floc[k]e flocke] floche K, flocke G
And as for theyr connynge
A glommynge and a mummynge
And make ther-of a iape
85 They gaspe and they gape
All to haue promocyon
There is theyr hole deuocyon
ref.ed: 249
With money / if it wyll hap
To catche the forked cap
sig: [A4]
90 Forsothe they are to lewd
To say so all beshrewd.

¶What trow ye they say more
Of the bysshoppes lore
How in matters they be rawe
95 They lumber forth the lawe
To herken Iacke and Gyll
Whan they [p]ut vp a byll put] but K, put G, M
And iudge it as they wyll
For other mennes skyll
100 Expoundyng out theyr clauses
And leue theyr owne causes
In theyr pryncypall cure
They make but lytell sure
And meddels very lyght
105 In the churches ryght
But Ire and venire
And sol fa / so a lamyre
That the premenyre
Is lyke to be set a_fyre
110 In theyr iurisdictions
Through temporall afflictions
sig: [A4v]
Men say they haue prescriptions
Agaynst the spirituall contradictions
Accomptynge them as fyctions

115 And whyles the heedes do this
The remenaunt is amys
Of the clergy all
Bothe great and small
I wot neuer how they warke
120 But thus the people carke
And surely thus they say
Bysshoppes if they may
Small houses wolde kepe houses] housholdes G, houses M; wolde] woll G, wold M
But slombre forth and slepe
125 And assay to crepe
With-in the noble walles
Of the kynges halles
ref.ed: 250
To fat theyr bodyes full
Theyr soules lame and dull
130 And haue full lytell care
How euyll theyr shepe fare

¶The temporalyte say playne
sig: [A5]
Howe bysshoppes dysdayne
Sermons for to make
135 Or suche laboure to take
And for to say trouth
A great parte is f[or] slouth for] full K, G, ful M, for H
But the greattest parte
Is for they haue but small arte
140 And ryght sklender connyng
With-in theyr heedes wonnyng
But this reason they take
How they are able to make
With theyr golde and treasure
145 Clerkes out of measure
And yet that is a pleasure
Howe-be-it some there be
Almost two or thre
Of that dygnyte
150 Full worshypfull clerkes
As appereth by theyr werkes
Lyke Aaron and Ure
The wolfe from the dore
To wary and to kepe
155 From theyr goostly shepe
sig: [A5v]
And theyr spirituall lammes
Sequestred from rammes
And from the berded gotes
With theyr heery cotes
160 Set nought by golde ne grotes
Theyr names if I durst tell

¶But they are loth to mell
And loth to hang the bell
Aboute the cattes necke
165 For drede to haue a checke
They ar fayne to play / deuz decke
ref.ed: 251
How-be-it they are good men
Moche herted lyke an hen
Theyr lessons forgotten they haue
170 That becket them gaue That becket them gaue] That Saynt Thomas of Canterbury gaue G, That Becket them gaue M
Thomas manum mittet ad forcia
Spernit damna spernit opprobria
Nulla Thoma[m] frangit iniuria Thomam] Thoman K, Thomam G
But nowe euery spirituall father
175 Men say they had rather
Spende moche of theyr share
Than to be combred with care

sig: [A6]
¶Spende / nay but spare
For let se who that dare
180 Sho the mockysshe mare
They make her wynche and keke
But it is not worth a leke
Boldnesse is to seke
The churche for to defend
185 Take me as I intende
For lothe I am to offende
In this that I haue pende
I tell you as men say
Amende whan ye may
190 For vsqe ad montem sare
Men say ye cannot appare
For some say ye hunte in parkes ye] they G, ye M, H; in parkes] partrykes G, in parkes M
And hauke on hobby larkes
And other wanton warkes
195 Whan the nyght darkes
What hath lay-men to do

The gray gooes for to sho
Lyke houndes of hell
They crye and they yell
sig: [A6v]
200 Howe that ye sell
The grace of the holy gost
Thus they make theyr bost
Through euery cost
Howe some of you do eate
205 In lenton season fleshe-mete
ref.ed: 252
Fesauntes partryche and cranes
Men call you therfor prophanes
Ye pycke no shrympes nor pranes
Saltfysshe / stocfysshe nor heryng
210 It is not for your werynge
Nor in holy lenton season
Ye wyll netheyr benes ne peason
But ye loke to be let lose lose] losse K, lose G
To a pygge or to a gose
215 Your gorge not endewed
Without a capon stewed
Or a stewed cocke
Under her surfled smocke
And her wanton wodicocke

220 And howe whan ye gyue orders
In your prouinciall borders
sig: [A7]
As at sicientes
Some are insufficientes
Some parum sapientes
225 Some nichil intelligentes
Some valde negligentes
Some nullum sensum habentes
But bestyall and vntought
But whan thei haue ones caught
230 Dominus vobiscum by the hede
Than renne they in euery stede
God wot with dronken nolles
Yet take th[e]y cure of soules they] thy K, they G, M; cure] cures M
And woteth neuer what thei rede
235 Pater-noster nor Crede
Construe not worth a whystle
Nether gospell nor pystle
Theyr mattyns madly sayde
Nothynge deuoutly prayde
240 Theyr lernynge is so small
Theyr prymes and houres fall
And lepe out of theyr lyppes
Lyke sawdust or drye chyppes
I speke not nowe of all
sig: [A7v]
245 But the moost parte [i]n generall in] en K, in G
Of suche vacabundus
ref.ed: 253
Speketh [t]otus Mundus totus] otus K, totus G, M
Howe some synge letabundus
At euery ale-stake
250 With welcome hake and make
By the brede that god brake
I am sory for your sake
I speke not of the good wyfe
But of theyr apostles lyfe theyr] her G, their M, ther H
255 Cum ipsis vel illis
Qui manent in villis
Est vxor vel ancilla
Welcome Iacke and Gylla
My prety Petronylla
260 And you wyll be stylla
You shall haue your wylla
Of suche Pater-noster-pekes
All the worlde spekes

¶In you the faute is supposed
265 For that they are not apposed
By iust examinacyon
sig: [A8]
In connyng and conuersacyon
They haue none instructyon
To make a true constructyon
270 A preest without a letter
Without his vertue be gretter
Doutlesse [were] moche better were] where K, were G, M
Upon hym for to take
A mattocke or a rake
275 Alas for very shame
Some can not declyne their name
Some can not scarsly rede
And yet he wyll not drede
For to kepe a cure
280 And in nothyng is sure
This dominus vobiscum
As wyse as Tom_a_thrum Tom] Iacke G, Tom M
A chaplayne of trust
Layth all in the dust

285 Thus I colyn_cloute This line inset and followed by a blank line
As I go aboute
ref.ed: 254
And wandrynge as I walke
I here the people talke
sig: [A8v]
Men say for syluer and golde
290 Myters are bought and solde
There shall no clergy appose
A myter nor a crose
But a full purse
A strawe for goddes curse
295 What are they the worse
For a symonyake
Is but a hermoniake
And no more ye make
Of symony men say
300 But a chyldes play

¶Ouer this the foresayd laye
Reporte howe the pope may
A holy anker call
Out of the stony wall
305 And hym a bysshop make
If he on hym dare take
To kepe so harde a rule
To ryde vpon a mule
With golde all betrapped
310 In purple and paule be_lapped
sig: B1
Some hatted and some capped
Rychely be_wrapped
God wot to theyr great paynes
In rotchettes of fyne raynes
315 Whyte as morowes-mylke morowes] mares G, morowes M, marys H
Theyr tabertes of fyne sylke
Theyr styrops of myxt gold begared begared] begared G, begarded M, be_gloryd H
There may no cost be spared
Theyr moyles golde dothe eate
320 Theyr neyghbours dye for meate

What care they though gil sweate
Or Iacke_of_the_Noke
The pore people the[y] yoke they] the K, they G, M
With sommons and citacyons
325 And excommunycacyons
ref.ed: 255
About churches and market
The bysshop on his carpet
At home full softe dothe syt
This is a [farly] fyt farly] fearfull K, G, fearful M, ffarly H
330 To here the people iangle
Howe warely they wrangle
Alas why do ye not handle
sig: [B1v]
And them all [to_]mangle to_mangle] mangle K, G, M
Full falsely on you they lye
335 And shamefully you ascrye
And say as vntruely
As the butterflye
A man myght saye in mocke
Ware the wether-cocke
340 Of the steple of Poules
And thus they hurte theyr soules
In sclaunderyng you for truthe
Alas it is great ruthe
Some say ye syt in trones
345 Lyke [princeps] aquilonis princeps] prynces K, M, princeps G
And shryne your rotten bones
With perles and precyous stones
But howe the commons grones
And the people mones
350 For prestes and for lones
Lent and neuer payd
But from day to day delayde
The commune-welth decayde
Men say ye are tonge-tayde
355 And therof speke nothynge
sig: [B2]
But dyssymulyng and glosyng
Wher-fore men be supposyng
That ye gyue shrewd counsell
Agaynst the commune-well
360 By poollynge and pyllage
In cytyes and vyllage
By taxyng and tollage
Ye make monkes to haue the culerage make] haue M
For couerynge of an olde cottage an] and K, an G
365 That commytted is a collage
In the charter of dottage
ref.ed: 256
Tenure par seruyce de sottage
And not par seruyce de socage
After olde seygnyours
370 And the lernyng of Lytelton tenours
Ye haue so ouerthwarted
That good lawes are subuerted
And good reason peruerted

¶Relygous men are fayne
375 For to tourne agayne
In secula seculorum
And to forsake theyr corum
sig: [B2v]
And vacabundare per forum
And take a fyne meritorum
380 Contra regulam morum
Aut blacke monacorum
Aut canonicorum
Aut Bernardinorum
Aut crucifixorum
385 And to synge from place to place
Lyke apostataas
And the selfe-same game
Be_gone and nowe with shame
Amongest the sely nonnes
390 My lady nowe she ronnes
Dame Sybly our abbesse
Dame Dorothe and lady Besse
Dame Sare our pryoresse
Out of theyr cloyster and quere
395 With an heuy chere
Must cast vp theyr blacke vayles
And set vp theyr fucke-sayles fucke sayles] flucke sayles G, fucke sayles M, fulke saylys H
To catch wynde with their ventales
What Colyne there thou shales
400 Yet thus with yll hayles
sig: [B3]
The lay-fee people rayles

¶And all [the faute] they lay the faute] K, M omit, the faute G
In you prelates / and say In] On M, In G, H
Ye do them wrong and no ryght them ] M omits, them G
405 To put them thus to flyght
No matyns at mydnyght
ref.ed: 257
Boke and chalys gone quyte
Plucke awaye the leedes
Ouer theyr heedes
410 And sell away theyr belles
And all that they haue elles
Thus the people telles
Rayles lyke rebelles
Rede[s] shrewdly and spelles Redes] Rede K, G, M
415 And with foundacyons melles
And talke[s] lyke tytyuelles talkes] talke K, G, M
Howe ye brake the dedes wylles
Turne monasteris in-to water-milles
Of an abbay [ye] make a gra[u]ng ye] they K, ye G, M, to H
420 Your workes they saye are stra[u]ng
So that theyr founders soules
Haue lost theyr beade-rolles
sig: [B3v]
The mony for theyr masses
Spent amonge wanton lasses
425 The[yr] diriges are forgotten Theyr] The K, M, H, Theyr G
Theyr founders lye there rotten
But where theyr soules dwell
Therwith I wyll not mell
What coulde the turke do more
430 With all his false lore
Turke / sarazyn / or iew
I reporte me to you

¶O mercyfull Iesu
You supporte and rescue rescue] rescite M
435 My style for to dyrecte
It may take some effecte
For I abhorre to wryte
Howe the lay-fee dyspyte
You prelates that of ryght
440 Shulde be lanternes of lyght
Ye lyue they say in delyte
Drowned in deliciis
In gloria et diuiciis
In o admirabile honore
sig: [B4]
445 In gloria et splendore
Fulgurantes haste
Uiuentes parum caste
ref.ed: 258
Yet swete-meate hath soure sauce
For after gl[o]ria laus gloria] glyria K, gloria G, M
450 Chryst by cruelte
Was nayled vpyn a tre
He payed a bytter pencyon
For mannes redemcyon
He dranke eysell and gall
455 To redeme vs withall
But swete ypocras ye drynke
With let the cat wynke
Iche wot what yche [do] thynk yche do] yche other K, yche do G, eche other M
Howe-be-it per assimule
460 Some men thynke that ye
Shall haue penalyte
For your ini[q]uyte
Nota what I say Nota what I say] Note whayte I say H, Note well what to say L
And bere it well a_way
465 If it please not theologys not theologys] not theologi H, the not onely L
It is good for astrologys
For Ptholome tolde me
sig: [B4v]
The sonne somtyme to be
In Ariete
470 Ascendent a degre a degre] a dextre H, ad dextram L
Whan Scorpion descendynge
Was so then pretendynge
All fatall for one A fatall fall] All fatall K, M, A fatall fall G, Affatuall fall L
That shall syt on a trone shall syt] shuld sytte H, syttys nowe L
475 And rule all thynges alone
Your teth whet on this bone whet on] whetten G, whet on M, whette on H
Amongest you euerychone
[A]nd let Collyn_Cloute haue none And] Fnd K, And G; haue none] alon H, alone L
Maner of cause to mone
480 Lay salue to your owne sore
For els / as I sayd before
After gloria laus
May come a soure sauce
Sory therfore am I
485 But trouth can neuer lye

¶With language thus poluted
Holy churche is bruted
And shamfully confuted
ref.ed: 259
My penne nowe wyll I sharpe
sig: [B5]
490 And wrest vp my harpe
With sharpe twynkyng trebelles
Agaynst all suche rebelles Agaynst] Agayne G
That laboure to confounde
And bryng the churche to the grounde
495 As ye may dayly se
Howe the lay-fee
Of one affynyte
Consent and agre
Agaynst the churche to be
500 And the dygnyte
Of the bysshoppes [s]ee see] fee K, G, M
And eyther ye be to bad
Or els they ar mad
Of this to reporte
505 But vnder your supporte
Tyll my dyenge day
I shall bothe wryte and say
And ye shall do the same
Howe they are to blame
510 You thus to dyffame
For it maketh me sad
Howe the peop[l]e are glad the people] the the peope K, the people G
sig: [B5v]
The churche to depraue
And some there are that raue
515 Presumynge on theyr owne wyt owne] M omits
What there is neuer a whyt
To maynteyne argumentes
Agaynst the sacramentes

Some make epylogacyon
520 Of hyghe predestynacyon
And of resyde[u]acyon resydeuacyon] resydenacyon K, G, residenation M
They make interpretacyon
Of an aquarde facyon
A[n]d of the prescience
525 Of dyuyne assence
And what Ipostacis
Of Christes manhode is
Suche logyke men wyll chop
And in theyr fury hop
ref.ed: 260
530 When the good ale-sop
Dothe daunce in theyr fore-top
Bothe women and men
Suche ye may well knowe and ken
That agaynst preesthode agaynst] agayn M
sig: [B6]
535 Theyr maly[c]e sprede abrode malyce] malyee K
Raylynge haynously
And dysdaynously
Of prestly dygnytes prestly] prrestly K
B[y] theyr malygnytes By] But K, M, By G
540 And some haue a smac[ke] smacke] smacek KThis line inset with a blank line following

Of Luthers sacke
And a brennyng sparke
Of Luthers we[r]ke werke] weike K, warke G, M
And are some-what suspecte
545 In Luthers secte
And some of them bar[ke] barke] barek K
Clatter and carpe
Of that heresy arte
Called wytclyftista wytclyftista] wicleuista M
550 The deuelysshe dogmatista
And some be hussyans
And some be arryans
And some be pollegians
And make moche varyans
555 Bytwene the clergye
And the temporaltye

sig: [B6v]
¶Howe the church hath to mykel
And they haue to lytell
And bryng in ma[t]erialites in materialites] in maierialites K, in materyalytes G, him in maierialities M
560 And qualyfyed qualytes
Of pluralytes
Of tryalytes
And of tot-quottes
They commune lyke sottes sottes] scottes M, sottes G, H
565 As cometh to theyr lottes
Of prebendaries and deanes
Howe some of them gleanes
And gathereth vp the store gathereth] gathered M; the] in G, the M
For to catche more and more
ref.ed: 261
570 Of persons and vycaryes
They make many out-cryes
They can not kepe theyr wyues
From them for theyr lyues
And thus the loselles stryues
575 And lewdely sayes by Christ
Agaynst the sely preest
Alas and well_away
What ayles them thus to say
They mought be better aduysed
sig: [B7]
580 Then to be so dysgysed
But they haue enterprysed
And shamfully surmysed
Howe prelacy is solde and bought
And come vp of nought
585 And where the prelates be
Come of lowe degre
And set in maieste
And spirituall dygnyte dygnyte] dyngnyte K
Farewell benygnyte
590 Farewell symplici[te] symplicite] sympliciet K
Farewell humylyte
Farewell good charyte

Ye are so puffed with pryde
That no man may abyde
595 Your hygh and lordely lokes
Ye cast vp then your bokes
And vertue is forgotten
For then ye wyll be wroken
Of euery lyght quarell
600 And call a lorde a iauell
A knyght a knaue to make to] ye G, H, to M
sig: [B7v]
Ye bost / ye face / ye crake
And vpon you take
To rule kynge and kayser
605 And yf ye may haue layser ye] you M
Ye wyll brynge all to noyght
And that is all your thought
For the lordes temporall
Theyr rule is very small
610 Almost nothyng at all
ref.ed: 262
Men saye howe ye appall
The noble blode royall
In ernest and in game
Ye are the lesse to blame
615 For lordes of noble blode
If they well v[n]derstode vnderstode] vnderstand M
How connyng myght them auaunce
They wold pype you another daunce
But noble-men borne
620 To lerne they haue scorne
But hun[te] and blowe an horne hunte] hunet K
Lepe ouer lakes and dykes
Set nothyng by polytykes
Ther-fore ye kepe them bace
sig: [B8]
625 And mocke them to theyr face
This is a pyteous case
To you that ouer the whele
Lordes must crouche and knele crouche] couch M, crouche G, cruche H
And breke theyr hose at the kne
630 As dayly men may se
And to remembraunce call
Fortune so turneth the ball
And ruleth so ouer all
That honoure hath a great fall
635 Shall I tell you more / ye shall
I am loth to tell all
But the communalte ye call
Ydolles of Babylon
De terra zabulon
640 De terra Neptalym
For you loue to go trym
Brought vp of poore estate
With pryde inordinate
Sodaynly vpstarte
645 From the donge-carte
The mattockes and the shule shule=shovel, sv OED
To reygne and to rule
sig: [B8v]
And haue no grace to thynke
Howe [ye] were wonte to drynke ye] they K, M, H, thy G
650 Of a lether botell
With a knauysshe stoppell
ref.ed: 263
Whan mamockes was your meate
With moulde brede to eate
Ye wolde none other gete wolde] coude G, would M, cowde H
655 To chewe and to gnawe
To fyll therwith your mawe
Lodged in the strawe
Couchyng your drousy heddes
Somtyme in lousy beddes
660 Al[l] this is out of mynde All] Alas K, M, All G, H
Ye growe nowe out of kynde
Many one [ye] haue [vnt]wynde ye haue vntwynde] haue but wynde K, G, haue but winde M
And make the commons blynde
But qui se existimat stare
665 Let hym well beware
Lest that his fote slyp
And haue suche a tryp
And fal[l]e in suche dekay falle] false K, fall G, H, falle M
That all the worlde myght say
670 Come downe on the deuyll way. deuyll] diuels M, deuyll G, H
sig: C1
¶Yet ouer all that
Of bysshops they chat
That though ye round your hear
An ynche aboue your ear
675 And [haue] aures patentes haue] K, M omit, haue G
And parum intendentes
And your [tonsors be croppyd] tonsors be croppyd] coursers betrapped K, G, coursers be trapped M
Your eares they be stopped
For maister adulator
680 And doctour assentator
And blandior blandiris
With mentior mentiris
That ye can not espye In G this line appears after 'And so ... your eye'; in M it is transposed with the following line
They folowe your desyres
685 And so they blere your eye
Howe the male dothe [wrye] wrye] wryte K, M, wrye G, H

¶Alas for goddes wyll
Why syt ye prelates styll
And suffre all this yll
690 Ye bysshops of estates
Shulde open the brode gates
ref.ed: 264
For your spirituall charge
sig: [C1v]
And [com forthe] at large com forthe] conforte K, G, confort M
Lyke lanternes of lyght
695 In the peoples syght
In pullpettes attentyke
For the wele publyke
Of preesthode in this case
And alwayes to chase
700 Suche maner of sysmatykes
And halfe-heretykes
That wolde intoxicate
That wolde conquinate
That wolde contemminate
705 And that wolde vyolate
And that wolde derogate
And that wolde abrogate
The churche hygh estates
After this maner rates
710 The which shulde be
Both franke and free
And haue theyr lyberte
A[s] of antiquyte As] And K, G, M
It was ratefyed
715 And also gratifyed
sig: [C2]
This leaf is torn and the text, where lacunose, is corrected by comparison with G and M
By holy synodalles
And bulles papalles
As it is res certa
Conteyned in magna Carta

720 ¶But maister Damyan
Or some other man
That clerkely is / and can
Well scrypture expounde
And textes grounde textes] hys textes G, M omits
725 His benefyce worthe ten pou[nde]
Or skante worth twenty ma[rke]
And yet a noble clerke
He must do this werke
As I knowe a_parte
730 Some maisters of arte
Some doctours of lawe
Some lernde in other sawe
ref.ed: 265
As in dyuynyte
That hath no dygnyte
735 But the pore degre
Of the vnyuersyte
Or els frere Frederyck[e]
sig: [C2v]
Or els frere Dominike
Or frere Hugulinus
740 Or frere Agustinus
Or frere Carmelus
[T]hat gostly can heale vs
[Or e]ls yf we may
[Gette a] frere graye
745 [Or el]s of the order
[Upo]n Grenewyche border
[Calle]d obseruaunce
[And a] frere of Fraunce
[Or els] the poore scot
750 [It mu]st come to his lot
[To sho]te forthe his shot
[Or of B]abuell_besyde_Bery
[To post]ell vpon a kyry
[That] wolde it shulde [be] noted be] K omits, be G, M
755 [How] scripture shulde be coted
[And so] clerkely promoted
[And yet] the frere doted
[But [men say] your a]uctoryte But men say] Men say / But K, G, ML. 758 indented, followed by blank line

sig: [C3]
And your noble se se] fee M, see H
760 And your dygnyte
Shulde be imprynted better
Then all the freres letter
For if ye wolde take payne
To preche a worde or twayne
765 Though it were neuer so playne
With clauses two or thre
So as they myght be
Compendyously conueyde
These wordes shuld be more weyd These] Those M
770 And better perceyued
And thankfully receyued thankfully] thankefullyer G, thankfully M
And better shulde remayne
Amonge the people playne
ref.ed: 266
That wold your wordes retayne
775 And reherce them agayne
Than a thousand thousande other
That blaber / barke and bloder bloder] blother G, M
And make a walshmans hose
Of the texte and of the glose

780 ¶For protestatyon made
sig: [C3v]
That I wyll not wade
Farther in this broke
Nor farther for to loke
In deuysynge of this boke
785 But answere that I may
For my-selfe alway
Eyther analogice
Or els cathagorice
So that in diuinite
790 Doctors that lerned be
Nor bachelers of that faculte
That hath taken degre
In the vniuersite
Shall not be obiected for me for] by G, for M, at by H

795 But doctour bullatus
Parum litteratus litteratus] littteratus K
Domi[n]us doctoratus Dominus] Domimus K
At the brode gatus
Doctour daupatus
800 And bacheler bacheleratus
Dronken as a mouse
At the ale-house
sig: [C4]
Taketh his pyllyon and his cap
At the good ale-tap
805 For lacke of good wyne
As wyse as Robyn_swyne
Under an notaryes sygne an] a G, M, H
Was make a dyuyne
As wyse as waltoms calfe
810 Must preche a goddes halfe
In the pulpyt solempnely
More mete in a pyllory
For by saynt Hyllary
ref.ed: 267
He can nothyng smatter
815 Of logyke / nor scole-matter
Neyther sylogysare
Nor of [enthymemare] enthymemare] emptimeniare K, M, emptymeniare G, entimemare H
Nor knoweth his el[enke]s knoweth] knoweth not G, knoweth M; elenkes] eloquens K, G, eloquence M
Nor his predicamen[te]s predicamentes] predicamens K, predicamentes G, predicamence M

820 And yet he wyll mell
To amend the gospell
And wyll preche and tell
What they do in hell
And he dare not well neuen
sig: [C4v]
830 [..............................................]
835 [..............................................]
840 [..............................................]
845 [..............................................]
850 [..............................................]
855 [..............................................]
860 [..............................................]
865 [..............................................]
sig: [C5v]
870 Wyll knowe a Rauen from a rayle
A qualye, the raile and the olde rauen and] G omits, and M
Sed libera nos a malo Amen.
And by Dudum theyr clementine
Agaynst curates [they] repyne they] K, M omit, they G, H
875 And say propreli they ar sacerdotes
To shryue / assoyle and reles and] and to G, and M
Dame mergeres soule out of hell
But when the freare fell in the well
He coud not syng him-selfe therout
880 But by the helpe of christyan_clout
Another clementyne also

How frere Fabian / with other mo
Exiuit de paradiso
Whan they agayn theder shal come
885 De hoc petimus consilium
And through all the world they go
Wit Dirige and placebo

But nowe my mynd ye vnderstand
For the[y] must take in hande they] the K, they G, M
890 To prech and withstande
sig: [C6]
All maner of abiections
For bysshops haue protections
They say to do corrections
But they haue no aff[e]ctions affections] afflictions K, affections G, M, affeccions H
895 To take the sayd dyrections the sayd] sadde G, the sayd M
ref.ed: 269
In such maner of cases
Men say they bere no faces
To occupye suche places
To sowe the sede of graces sowe] saue G, sow M, sowe H
900 Theyr hertes are so faynted
And they be so attaynted
With coueytous and ambycyon and] G, H omit, and M
And other superstycyon
That they be deef and dum
905 And play scylens and glum
Can say nothynge but mum

They occupye them so
With syngyng placebo
They wyll no farther go
910 They had leuer to please
And take their worldly ease
Than to take on hande
sig: [C6v]
Worship[fully] to withstande. Worshipfully] Worship K, Worshyp G, M
Such temporall warre and bate This line is inset and followed by a blank line
915 As nowe is made of late
Agaynst holy churche estate
Or to maynteyne good quarelles
The lay-men call them barelles
Full of glotony
920 And of hypocrysy
That counterfaytes and payntes
As they were very sayntes
In matters that them lyke
They shewe them polytyke

925 ¶Pretendyng grautye
And sygnyoryte
With all solempnyte
For theyr indempnyte
For they wyll haue no losse
930 Of a peny / nor of a crosse
Of theyr predyall landes
Th[a]t cometh to theyr handes That] Thut K
And as farre as they dare set
sig: [C7]
All is fysshe that cometh to the net the] M, H omit
935 Buyldyng royally
Theyr mancyons curyously
ref.ed: 270
with turrettes and with toures
With halles and with boures
Stretchynge to the starres
940 With glasse wyndowes and barres
Hangynge aboute the walles
Clothes of golde and palles
Arras of ryche aray
Fresshe as flours in May
945 With dame Dyana naked
Howe lusty Uenus quaked
And howe Cupyde shaked
His darte / and bent his bowe
For to shote a crowe
950 At her tyrly_tyrlowe
And howe Parys of Troy
Daunced a lege_de_moy lege_de_moy] lege moy G, lege de moy M
Made lusty sporte and ioy
with dame Helyn the quene
955 With suche storyes by_dene
Their chambres well be_sene be_sene] sene G, be_seen M
sig: [C7v]
With triumphes of Cesar
And of his Pompeyus war
Of renowne and of fame
960 By them to get a name.

¶How all the worlde stares
How they ryde in goodly chares
Conueyed by Olyphantes
With lauryat garlantes
965 And by vnycornes
With their semely hornes
Upon these beestes rydynge
Naked boyes strydynge
With wanton wenches winkyng
970 Nowe truly to my thynkynge
That is a speculacyon
And a mete meditacyon meditacyon] meditacynon K
For prelates of estate
Their courage to abate
975 From worldly wantonnesse
Theyr chambre thus to dresse
ref.ed: 271
With suche parfetnesse
And all suche holynesse
sig: [C8]
Howbeit they let downe fall
980 Their churches cathedrall.

¶Squyre / knyght and lorde
Thus the churche remorde
With all temporall people
They ru[n]ne agaynst the steple runne] rune K, renne G, runne M
985 T[h]us talkynge and tellyng Thus] Tus K
Howe some of you are mellyng
Yet softe and fayre for swellyng
Beware of a quenes yellyng
It is a besy thyng
990 For one man to rule a [k]yng kyng] gyng K, kynge G, kyng M, H
Alone / and make rekenyng
To gouerne ouer-all
And rule a realme royall
By one mannes wyt
995 Fortune may chaunce to flyt
And whan he weneth to syt
Yet may he mysse the quysshon
For I rede a preposycyon
[C]um regibus amicare Cum] Sum K, G, M
1000 Et omnibus dominare
sig: [C8v]
Et supra te [g]rauare grauare] prauare K, M, grauare G
Wherfore he hathe good vre
That can hymselfe assure
Howe fortune wyll endure
1005 Than let reason you supporte
For the communalte [reporte] reporte] K, M omit, reporte G, dothe reporte H
That they haue great wonder
That [y]e kepe them so vnder ye] we K, ye G, M, H
Yet they meruayle so moche less[e] lesse] lessr K
1010 For ye play so at the chesse
As they suppose and gesse
That some of you but late
Hath played so checkemate
With lordes of great [est]ate estate] steate K, estate G, M
1015 After suche a rate
That they shall mell nor make
ref.ed: 272
For vpon them take
For kynge nor kayser sake
But at the playsure of one
1020 That ruleth the rest alone

¶Helas / I say helas
Howe may this come to passe
sig: D1
That a man shall here a masse
And nat so hardy on his hede
1025 To loke on god in forme of brede
But that the parysshe-clerke
There-vpon must herke
And graunt hym at his askyng
For to se the sacryng

1030 And how may this accorde
No man to our souerayne lorde
So hardy to make sute
Nor to execute
His comma[u]ndement
1035 Without the assent
Of [y]our presydent your] our K, M, your G
Nor to expresse to his parson
Without your consentacyon your consentacyon] G omits, your assentacion M, george gascone H
Graunt hym his lycence
1040 To preas to his presence
Nor to speke to hym secretly
Openly nor preuyly
Without his presydent be by
Or els his substytute
sig: [D1v]
1045 Whom he wyll depute
Neyther erle ne duke
Permytted by saynt Luke
And by swete saynt Marke
This is a wonderous warke
1050 That the people talke this
Some-what there is amysse
Ye deuil can not stop their mouthes
But they wyl talke of such vncouthes
All that euer they ken
1055 Agaynst all spirituall men

¶Whether it be wrong or ryght
Or els for dyspyght
ref.ed: 273
Or howe-euer it hap
Theyr tonges thus do clap
1060 And through suche detractyon
They put you to your actyon
And whether they say trewly
As they may abyde therby abyde] byde G, abide M
Or els that they do lye
1065 Ye knowe better then I
But nowe / deb[e]tis scire debetis] debatis K, debetis G, M
sig: [D2]
And groundly audire
In your conuenire
Of this premenire
1070 Or els in the myre
They saye they wyll you cast
Therfore stande sure and fast

Stande sure and take good fotyng
And let be all your motyng
1075 Your gasyng and your totyng
And your parcyall promotyng
Of those that stande in your grace
But olde seruauntes ye chase
And put them out of theyr place
1080 Make ye no murmuracyon
Though I wryte after this facion
Though I Colyn_Cloute
Among the hole route Among] Amongest G, Among M
Of you that clerkes be
1085 Take vpon me
Thus copyously to wryte
I do it not for no despyte
Wherfore take no dysdayne
sig: [D2v]
At my style rude and playne
1090 For I rebuke no man
That vertuous is / why than
Wreke ye your anger on me
For those that ver[t]uous be vertuous] veruous K, vertuous G, M
Haue no cause to say Haue] Hath G, Haue M, H
1095 That I speke out of the way

¶Of no good bysshop speke I
Nor good preest I escrye I escrye] of the clargy M, I escrye G
Good frere / nor good chanon
ref.ed: 274
Good nonne / nor good canon
1100 Good monke / nor good clercke
Nor of no good werke
But my recountyng is
Of them that do amys
In spekyng and rebellyng
1105 In hynderyng and dysauaylyng
H[o]ly churche our mother Holy] Hyly K
One agaynst another
To vse suche despy[t]yng despytyng] despysyng K, dispising M, dysputyng H
Is all my hole wrytyng
1110 To hynder no man
sig: [D3]
As nere as I can
For no man haue I named
Wherfore sholde I be blamed
Ye ought to be ashamed
1115 Agaynst me to be gr[am]ed gramed] greued K, G, M, H
And can not tell no cause why not] M, H omit
But that I wryte trewly

Then yf any ther be
Of hygh or lowe degre
1120 Of the spiritualte
Or of the temporalte
That dothe thynke of wene
That his conscyence be not clene
And feleth hym-selfe sycke
1125 Or touched on the quycke
Suche grace god them sende
Them-selfe to amende
For I wyll not pretende
Any man to offende

1130 Wherfore as thynketh me
Great ydeottes they be
sig: [D3v]
And lytell grace they haue
This treatyse to depraue
Nor wyll here no prechyng
1135 Nor no vertuous techyng
Nor wyll haue no resytyng
Of any vertuous wrytyng
ref.ed: 275
Wyll knowe none intellygence
To refourme theyr neglygence
1140 But lyue styll out of facyon
To theyr owne dampnacyon
To do shame / they haue no shame
But they wold no man shulde them blame
They haue an euyl name
1145 But yet they wyll occupy the same

¶With them the worde of god
I counted for no rod
They counte it for a raylyng
That nothyng is auaylyng
1150 The prechers with euyll hayling
Shall they daunt vs prelates daunt] taunt G, daunt M, teche H
That be theyr prymates
Not so hardy on theyr pates
sig: [D4]
Herke howe the losell prates
1155 With a wyde wesaunt
Auaunt syr Guy of gaunt
Auaunt lewde preest auaunt
Auaunt syr doctour deuyas deuyas] dyuers M, De[u]yas G, Deuias H
Prate of thy matyns and [thy] masse they] they K, thy G, M
1160 And let our maters passe
Howe darest thou daucocke mell
Howe darest thou losell
Allygate the gospell
Agaynst vs of the counsell
1165 Auaunt to the deuyll of hell

¶Take hym wa[r]deyne of the flete wardeyne] wadeyne K, wardeyn G, warden M
Set hym fast by the fete
I say lyeutenaunt of the toure
Make this lurdeyne for to loure
1170 Lodge hym in lytell ease
Fede hym with beanes and pease
The kynges benche or marshalsy
Haue hym thyder by and by
The vyllayne precheth openly
1175 And declareth our vyllany
sig: [D4v]
And of our f[e]e-symplenesse fee] fre K, M
He sayes that we are rechelesse
ref.ed: 276
And full of wylfulnesse
Shameles / and mercylesse
1180 Incorrigible and insaciate
And after this rate
Agaynst vs dothe prate This line inset and followed by a blank line
At Poules_crosse / or els-where
Openly at westmynstere
1185 And saynt_Mary_spyttell
They set not by vs a whystell whystell] shytell G, whistel M, shetyll H
At the Austen fryers At] And at G, At M
They count vs for lyers

And at saynt_Thomas_of_akers
1190 They carpe vs lyke crakers carpe] carpe of G, carpe M
Howe we wyll rule all at wyll
Without good reason or skyll
And say how that we be
Full o[f] par[c]yalyte of parcyalyte] or paryalyte K, of pacyallyte G, of parcialitie M
1195 And howe at a pronge
We tourne ryght into wronge
sig: [D5]
Delay causes so longe
That ryght no man can fonge
They say many matters be born
1200 By the ryght of a rambes-horne
Is not this a shamfull scorne
To be teared thus and torne?

¶How may we thus indure
Wherfore we make you sure
1205 Ye prechers shall be yawde
Some shall be sawde
As noble Ezechyas
The holy prophet was
And some of you shall dye
1210 Lyke holy Ieremy
Some hanged / some slayne
Some beaten to the brayne
And we wyll rule and rayne
And our matters mayntayne
1215 Who dare say there-agayne
Or who dare dysdayne
At [our] pleasure and wyll our] your K, M, our G, owur H
For be it good / or be it yll or] G omits, or M
ref.ed: 277
sig: [D5v]
As it is / it shall be styll
1220 For all master doctour of cyuyll
Or of diuinite / or doctour d[r]yuyll diuinite] diuine M, Diuynyte G; dryuyll] deyuyll K, Dryuyll G, dryuil M, Oryll H
Let hym cough / rough / or sneuyll
Renne god renne deuyll
Renne who may renne best
1225 And let take all the rest
We set not a nut-shell
The way to heuen or to hell

¶Lo / this is the gyse now-a_dayes
It is to drede men sayes
1230 Lest they be s[e]duces seduces] scduces K, Seduces G, saducies M, Adusayes H
As they be [sad] sayne sad] sayd K, sad G, sayd M
Whiche determyne playne
We shulde not ryse agayne
At dredefull domis-day
1235 And so it semeth they play
Whiche hate to be cor[r]ected corrected] coreected K
Whan they be infected
Nor wyll suffre this boke
By hoke ne by croke
1240 Prynted for to be
sig: [D6]
For that no man shulde se
Nor rede in any scrolles
Of theyr dronken nolles
Nor of theyr noddy-polles
1245 Nor of theyr sely soules
Nor of some wytles pates
Of dyuers great estates
As well as other men
Now to withdrawe my pen
1250 And now a whyle to rest
Me semeth it for the best

¶The fore-castell of my shyp
Shall glyde and smothely slyp
Out of the wawes wod
1255 Of the stormy flod
Shote anker and lye at rode
And sayle not farre a_brode
Tyll the cost be clere
ref.ed: 278
That the lode-starre appere
1260 My shyp nowe wyll I [st]ere stere] pere K, M, stere G, H
Towarde the porte-sa[lue] porte salue] porte sauel K, porte salue G, port salu M
Of our sauyour Iesu
sig: [D6v]
Suche grace that he vs sende
To rectyfye and amende
1265 Thynges that are amys
Whan that his pleasure is

In opere imperfecto In opere semper perfecto Et in opere plusquam perfecto
¶Imprinted at London by me Rycharde_Kele dwellyng in the powltry at the long shop vnder saynt_Myldredes. chyrche.
sig: [D7]