A Dialogue Defensive for Women

Burdet, Robert

STC 24601
Ringler 24601, TP 925 ("In the moneth of December...") and TP 2050 ("To you maystres Arthur..."). "By Robert Burdet, ed. Robert Vaghane" (Ringler). Answers STC 12104.5 (Anon, _The School-house of Women_, 1541). "Based heavily on Sir Thomas Elyot's 'Defense of Good Women'. 1540" (Ringler). UMI microfilm reel 157. Order no. 10191

A dyalogue defensyue for women, agaynst malycyous detractoures
London: R. Wyer for R. Banckes,[1542].

Composition Date: 1542 [E4v].

Psal. 14.60. Ibidem. Apoc. 1.
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¶A Dyalogue defensyue for women / agaynst malycyous detractoures.
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¶The Prologue.
¶To the ryght worshypfull and his synguler good maystres Arthur_hardberde Robert_Uaghane sendeth moste harty gretynge.

TO you maystres Arthur, my seruyce premysed
As reason of ryght, requyreth to recompence
Your gentle herte, whiche hath nat despysed
Afore this tyme, to take with beneuolence
5 My wrytynges vnworthye, full of vayne sentence
Whiche kyndnes consydered, good cause doth constrayne
And dewty me dryueth, to do my dylygence
With some small gyfte, for to requyte agayne.

¶Your bownteous benygnytie, imboldeth my rudenes
10 This treatyse folowynge, vnto you to dedycate
Whiche to myne handes, occurryde doubtles
As I on my Iourney, was rydynge but late
By a frende of myne, with whom I was assocyate
As by chaunce I alyghted, at a certayne place
15 Whiche wylled me than, that I wolde algate
Go forth and talke with hym, a lytell space.

¶Than secretly, he dyd vnto me commyt
Agaynst detraction, this dyalogue defensyue
For the woman sakes, both necessary and fyt
20 Whan preuye reprehendeth, agaynst them lyst to stryue
Of whose vyce the circumstaunce, he playnely doth dyscryue
That throughe auaryce, the syn insacyable
Detractours swarme, as bees aboute an hyue
Where felonous flatery, to them is profytable.

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25 ¶I toke the volume, and rede therin apase
And well perceyued at the fyrste syght
It was fayned in fauour, of one in your case
Howebeit I wolde nat aske hym, what she hyght
But vnto hym, I sayde anone full ryght
30 What is your mynde, that I herin do shall
For fayne I wolde, yf it lay in my myght
Your mynde accomplysshe, what-soeuer befall.

¶I wolde sayde he, yf it your pleasure were
That you wolde vouchsaue, at my hande to take
35 This lytell smale volume, your name for to bere
Whose fantasye with faynynge, is set for to make
Lest slaunder perchaunce, his sharpe sowne out_shake
To moue me [by] malyce, whiche onely meane rest by] 1542 omits
Your name may cause, suche noyses to asslake
40 Therfore present it, where-as you thynke best.

¶Than in my mynde, I thought that you were
Your cause consydered, and also your estate
Moste worthy to whom, I myght sende or bere
It to present, or els to dedycate
45 And because it declareth, howe the Pyes do prate
And what them causeth, suche pratynge to vse
I trust in God, it shall your mynde recreate
Throughe to rede it, yf you wyll nat refuse.

¶And of your thankes, to me I requyre
50 No parte at all, sens myne is nat the payne
But of your gentylnes, I humbly you desyre
That he may haue thankes, that labours doth sustayne
And as to my-selfe, no thanke I wyll clayme
Sens thanke to payne, is euer consequent
55 Yet natwithstandynge, whyle lyfe doth remayne
Myne herte and seruyce, shall be at your commaundement.

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¶This Dyalogue, as Dyamonde derely dyght
And as a (we[r]ke) moste worthely wrought werke] weke 1542
Shynynge with eloquence, as starre doth of lyght
60 Me-thynkes that you, of reason moste ought
As she that with payne, experyence hath bought
Haue in your custodye, as answere for your cause
As the free Fawcon, hath you herin taught
Your-selfe to defende, agaynst pyes and dawse.


Robert_Uaghane to the reader.

REde gentyll Reader, all rygour set aparte
Onely with indyfferencye, ponder this argument
Be nat weyde with wylfulnes, that ofte doth trewth subuarte
Enter let no parcyallytye in iudgement
5 Remembre this rule, that Iustyce in election
Taketh no place in wyll nor affection.

¶Bende nat then in Iudgement, althoughe parchaunce
Unto the hath be extended, a auncyent occasyon
Requyrynge agaynst women, to haue thy defyaunce
10 Do nat consent, to suche a lyght parswasyon
Euer consyder, it is a made affection
To iudge all vnparfyte, thoughe one lacke parfection.

¶Raylynge without reason, voyde of humanytye
Outragynge and lewde, for lacke of intellygence
15 Blynded throughe ygnoraunce, with mystes of sensualytye
Euermore the Pye, setteth out her sentence
Relatynge her malyce, by vniust accusacyon
This shall ye perceyue, by the Fawcons declaracyon.

¶Bestowe nat then thy laboure, to prate with the Pye
20 Uniustly accusynge, thy nowrysshe and mother
Rede and recorde, howe the Fawcon doth replye
Defendynge the femalles, with Aucthours one and other
Euermore aledged, and noted in the mergent
The gentyll reader, to satysfye and content.

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¶The Aucthour speaketh.

IN the moneth of Decembre, when phebus the bright
With his mocyon had entered in-to the fyrst degre
Of Capricorne, whan longe is the nyght
And the day-tyme, moste in breuytie

5 Than snowes lyeth depe, vpon the hylles hye
Waters congyled, in-to yse harde and thycke
Trees, Plantes, and Herbes, seme than to dye
Fewe thynges growynge, appere to be quycke

The wether moste bytter, with wyndes sharpe and colde
10 Causeth great company, togyther to resorte
Unto the fyre-syde, where ale good and olde
Merely they drynke, theyr hertes to comforte

Early in a mornynge, in this moneth of Decembre
From slepe I arose, and to my studye went
15 Before all thynges than, I dyd remembre
That tyme of euery man, shuld frutefully be spent

At the fyrste by chaunce, I red an oracyon
Moste pleasauntly set forth, with flowers rethorycall
Descrybynge the monstruous vyce of detraction
20 The dowghter of e[nu]ye, the furye infernall

Whose pestylent poyson, as cankar doth crepe
Amonge all people, in Cytie, Tower, and Towne
Bryngynge Innocentes, in-to paynes depe
And from theyr good names, it doth them cast downe

25 By readynge this Aucthour, I was pensyfe in my harte
As one that had proued, his wordes to be trewe
Sorowes constrayned me, to lay this boke aparte
The remembraunce therof, my paynes dyd renewe

Anone I espyed in the Oryent
30 That dame Aurora, to me dyd apeare
And the Sonne with his beames, as golde resplendent
To our Orizont, began to drawe neare

With spede than my studye, and bokes, I dyd forsake
Intendynge all thoughtes, from my mynde to expell
35 And towarde a Forest, the way dyd I take
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Nat far from the partyes, where I dyd dwell

In this Forest fayre, as I walked a whyle
Beholdynge hye trees, with armes longe and wyde
Sodaynly within the space of a myle
40 An Arbour moste pleasaunt, there I espyde

To that place of pleasure, for my recreacyon
With spede I approched, it made my herte lyght
Anone I was taken, with great admyracyon
Of all the fayre pleasures, when I had a syght

45 This place was enuyroned, with Hedgyes thre
Of Hauthorne thycke, thre dyches depe cast
Thre waters there were, whiche I dyd se
In-to the Arbour by them, as I past

Okes that were olde, in the fyrste hedge were growynge
50 And Elmes in the seconde, that large were and longe
In the thyrde Hedge, with bowes downe bowynge
Many trees togyther, were thruste in a thronge

The Ashe and the Aspe, with his leaues that do quake
The Boxe and the Beyche, togyther dyd stande
55 The Corke causynge slyppers, to cracke and to crake
With the Ewe-tre, a defence to this lande

The Plane and the Poplar, there I dyd se
The Salowe, the Pyne, and the Maple rownde
The Holy with hys pryckes, and the walnut-tre
60 With the Fyr and the Hasyll, hangynge to the grownde

In the myddes a Cypresse-tre, I dyd espye
Borderyd with Olyues, in cyrcle rownde
And vnder the Cypresse, downe dyd I lye
Where benches on eche syde, were made aboue the grownde

65 These trees to beholde, in my mynde I dyd muse
Of all kyndes there growynge, and in order set
All pleasures worldly, I wolde refuse
To haue suche an Arbour, yf I myght it get

Suche flagraunt sauours, suche odours swete
70 I neuer felt in the moneth of May
Agaynst all dolour, a medycyne moste swete
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Is to this Arbour, to take the redy way

As in this place pleasaunt, my-selfe I dyd comforte
With sauours soueraygne, and colours good for syght
75 A Fawcon and a Pye, to the same dyd resorte
And ouer my heade, in the Cypresse they dyd lyght

Great stryfe was betwene them, with argumentacyon
Theyr opynyons contrary semed vnto me
The Pye prated fast, with moche contencyon
80 And sayde that her sentence, nedes trewe must be.

¶The Fawcon.

¶The Fawcon moste gentyll, with sober behauour
Sayde ianglynge wordes, the trouth do nat trye
And fewe wyse men, I thynke do fauour
The lyghtnes of a pratynge Pye.

¶The Pye.

85 ¶The Pye than answered, with wordes full of yar
And sayde, my sayinges I wyll neuer denye
Of women I loke, to haue no hyar
Nought is theyr nature, theyr wyttes nat worth a flye.

¶The Fawcon.

¶All thynges sayde the fawcon, of Goddes creacyon
90 As scrypture recordeth, be perfyte in theyr kynde Deut .32. Gen .10.
Woman was create, by dyuyne operacyon
Perfyt in body, in reason, wyll, and mynde.

¶The Pye.

¶Perfyt? who there sayde the Pye I the pray
Perfection in woman, shall neuer take place
95 Unperfyt she is, and rude alway
In body, and in soule, voyde of all grace.

¶The Fawcon.

¶In the olde lawe, thou mayst playnly se
Sayde the Fawcon, that Goddes creatures all
Be sownde and perfyt, without deformitie
100 A bongler or a botcher, thou cannest nat God call

But yf thou wylt scrypture, leaue and forsake
And flye vnto reason, with me to contende
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In what thynge tell me, dyd God woman make
So vnperfyte, that thou canst nat her nature commende.

¶The Pye.

105 ¶In her bodye sayde the Pye, she lacketh perfection
Both faynt and feble, labours to sustayne
Harted as an hen, she nedeth protection
She can nother suffre the wynde, nor the rayne.

¶The Fawcon.

¶If strength of body, with houge and great quantyte
110 Preemynence quod the Fawcon, do proue and infer
Amonge all creatures, than man in dygnytie
To dyuers brute beastes, shulde far be vnder

In Lyon, Elephant, Bear, Bull, and Bore
Quantyte in bodye, boldnes, strength, and myght
115 In plenty and abundaunce, be sene euermore
No man hath lyke, thou mayst se with thy syght

Yet these beastes all, be subiect to man
For all theyr hougenes, he is hyest in degre
Wherfore gyftes bodely, nother may nor can
120 Preemynence in nature, proue where they be

If shape of body, that semely is in syght
If countenaunce comely, yf bewty gyue perfection
Than must thou nedes graunt, that woman of ryght
Ought before man, be taken in election

125 But corporall qualyties, as bewtye, strength, or shappe
Boldnes or greatnes, no proffe can make
Of nobylytie in man, in hym thoughe thou them lappe
Sens brute beastes of nature, these qualyties take

And lyke as theyr presence, no dygnytie can brynge
130 Unto man nor perfection, so on the other syde
Theyr lacke and absence of imperfection nothynge
Can proue in woman, in whom they do nat byde.

¶The Pye.

Yet humayne perfection, then sayde the Pye
In gyftes of the soule, doth chyefly consyst
135 As reason and knowledge, thou cannest nat denye
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Nor agaynst this verytye, thou cannest nat resyst.

¶The Fawcon.

¶I graunt sayde the Fawcon, that the power intellectyue
Of the soule, with reason and lyberty of wyll
Set man in perfection, as his gyftes prymytyue
140 By helpe wherof, Goddes lawes he doth fulfyll.

¶The Pye.

¶Than proue shall I lyghtly, that woman is
Unperfyt sayde the Pye, and bestyall of kynde
Sens these powers spyrytuall, by nature she doth mys
And none of them all, in her thou mayst fynde

145 Of knowledge she hath, no more than a Calfe
In Iudgement as wyse, as a Capon or a Gander
And the trouth of her to speake, in this behalfe
Her wyt is apysshe, and in lewdnes doth wander

To rayle and to skolde, no tongue she doth lacke
150 To inuent myschyfe, she is nat to seke
Of crafte and desceyte, she hath a great packe
But in goodnes, her wyt is nat worth a leke.

¶The Fawcon.

¶That woman hath these powers rehersed aboue
Of the soule sayde the Fawcon, that adde suche perfection
155 Unto mankynde, by reason I shall proue
That in this matter, shall be her protection

Th'effect without the cause, can neuer be founde
For betwene them, there is mutuall relacyon
Let this be of my reasonynge the grounde
160 And harke what shall folowe, in trewe declaracyon

Knowledge in lernynge, as in the artes seauen
In naturall Phylosophye, and morall also
To make dysputacyon, of the bodyes of heauen
And of earthly creatures, in theyr places lyinge so

165 Facultyes and craftes, to inuent and fynde out
And chaunses to tell, are they come a longe season
All these to be th'effectes, no man doth doubte
Of the intellectyue power, the wyll and the reason.

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¶The Pye.

¶What woman, I pray the than sayde the Pye
170 These gyftes haue had, that effectes thou dost call
Except thou be doubtles, dysposed to lye
Thou cannest reherse none, nother great nor small.

¶The Fawcon.

¶I can sayde the Fawcon, rehersall to the make
Of mo suche women, than thou hast in the
175 Condycyons gentle, wherfore good hede take
And thou shalt here named, mo than two or thre

Carmentes the mayde, fyrste dyd inuent
Our latyne letters, as wryters do tell
Her industrye and labour, with wyll and intent
180 In memorye perpetuall, do cause her to dwell

The .ix. virgynes pure, that musyes we call
The .vii. artes lyberall, dyd fyrste to vs fynde
And pleasaunt Poetrye, conteynynge matter morall
Under Fables fayned, these maydes dyd combynde

185 Mynerua, whiche also Pallas was named
As goddes was taken, of arte and sapyence
Because that in Grecia, she fyrste set and framed
Plantes, shrubbes, and trees, as Aucthours gyue euydence

The vse of armour, the helmet, and brest-plate
190 With Ingynes wonderfull, and fortresses stronge fortresses] fortresseys 1542
For warres with her policie, she dyd fyrste excogytate
The rehersall of her actes, requyreth tyme longe

Diotima a mayden, hyghe knowledge had
In Phylosophye, throughe whose fame and reporte
195 Socrates the Phylosopher, moste graue and sad
To her commyne Lecture, dyd come and resorte

Leontium also, a woman moste wyse
Agaynst Theophrast, with oracyons dyd contende
And workes moste excellent, she dyd deuyse
200 Agaynst detractours, women to defende

Paula and Eustochium, were lerned ryght well
Unto whom Hierome, of hyghe estymacyon
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Epystles and workes, the trouth for to tell
Dyuers dyd wryte, for theyr recreacyon

205 In our countrey natyue, women thou mayst se
In both tongues experte, the Latyne and the Greke
In Rethorycke and Poetrye, excellent they be
And with pen to endyte, they be nat to seke

If women in youth, had suche educacyon
210 In knowledge and lernynge, as men vse to haue
Theyr workes of theyr wyttes, wolde make full probacyon
And that of men counceyll, they nede nat to craue.

¶The Pye.

¶These Examples excell, yf they be vnfayned
Sayde the Pye, for women to the starres they extoll
215 In naturall knowledge, nowe am I constrayned
To graunt that woman hath, moche in her noll.

¶The Fawcon.

¶I shall proue sayde the Fawcon, that supernaturall
Knowledge in woman, may well take place
Prophecye I meane, the gyfte celestyall
220 In-to the soule infused, by especyall grace

Cassandra doughter, to Pyramus the kynge
A lady moste fayre, dyd shewe the destruction
Of noble Troye, whan it was moste florysshynge
That by Parys actes, it shulde come to confusyon

225 The .x. Maydens gentylles, that Uarro doth call
The Sybylles, this gyfte of Prophecye receyued
Of meruayles they dyd speake, before they dyd fall
Suche as trusted theyr sayinges, were nat deceyued

Sybylla_Tyburtyna, dyd wryte in her boke
230 That Messyas in Betheleem, of a mayde shulde be borne Lactant. q. gentiles
And that in Nazareth, mannes nature he toke
Man to redeme, that by synne was forlorne

Sybylla_Erythrea, as Lactancyus doth recorde
The processe of the Passyon, moste playnly doth expresse
235 Howe the Iewes vniustly, theyr soueraygne Lorde
Oppressed with paynes, and deadly dystresse

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His buffyttes, his scourgynge with whyppes that dyd cut
His crowne of thorne, with pryckes sharpe and longe
The eysell and gall, that to his mouth were put
240 These thynges she descrybed, and all his other wronge

The Eclypse of the Sonne, that made men to quake
With workes that were wonderfull, sene at that season
His dolorous death, that amendes dyd make
For mannes mysdede, and for his hyghe treason

245 All these she descrybed, by dyuyne reuelacyon
Longe-tyme before they came to effect
And as saynt Austayne maketh recytacyon
Of domes-day, the fearfull sygnes she dyd detect De ciuit. dei. 1.18.

In the actes of the Apostles, Luke doth recyte Act. 110.
250 Howe Phylyp the Euangelyst, had dowghters foure
All virgyns cleane, with whom was the spryte
Of Prophecye, as [the] Sybylles had before the] they 1542

Wherfore sens women, suche knowledge haue had
Both naturall pure, and nature excedynge
255 Who doubteth in this, except he be mad
Whyther they haue reason, with the power of vnderstandynge

But these two powers, set man in perfection
And from brute beastes, they do hym exclude
Women haue the same, as I haue made induction
260 Ergo they be perfyt, I may well conclude.

¶The Pye.

¶Althoughe I must graunt, that they of nature be
Perfyt sayde the Pye, made by Goddes creacyon Ebr .14.
So is the Deuyll, yet in Hell lyeth he
By dyuyne sentence, in endles dampnacyon.

¶The Fawcon.

265 ¶What meanest thou, that murderer to mynde
Sayde the Fawcon, that man dyd take in his snare
Our dysputacyon, is of woman-kynde
Whiche vnto the Deuyll, thou mayst nat compare.

¶The Pye.

¶Betwene two extremes, that in qualytyes agre Arystot.
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270 Comparyson may be made, than sayde the Pye
The Deuyll and woman, be lyke in degre
Theyr ende is to haue, an euyll destenye.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Why women sayde the Fawcon, make me relacyon
More than men, suche fortune shulde haue
275 Sens man and woman, be of Goddes creacyon
He denyeth no mercye, to them that do it craue. Mat. 70.

¶The Pye.

¶Where vyce is raygnynge, than sayde the Pye
Punysshement must folowe, thou knowest ryght well Ad co[r]inthos corinthos] cointhos 1542 60corinthos] cointhos 1542
All vyce raygneth in women, this is no lye
280 Therfore in paynes, they must nedes dwell.

¶The Fawcon.

¶The Fawcon than answered, mylde in his mode
Sayinge Pye from thy raylynge, thy-selfe remoue
Chryste that suffered death, racked on a rode
Forbyd that euer, thou shulde this proue.

¶The Pye.

285 ¶Proue sayde the Pye, what maystry is this?
Who put man I pray the, in his fyrste creacyon
From Paradyse, that place of pleasure and blys
But woman, throughe the Deuylles temptacyon?

And therfore doubtles, I may her well call
290 The fontayne and welsprynge, of all calamytie
For throughe her pryde, synne orygynall
Dyd ysshewe with death, to all her posterytie

And lyke as the fyrste woman, Eue I do meane
Dyd sowe the sede, of all iniquytie
295 So syth her tyme, women maynteyne
All synne and vyce, in moste enormytie

Wauerynge they be, and lyght as the wynde
Crewell as Tygres, than Lucyfer more prowde
And trust in them, no man can fynde
300 She is no woman, that can lye lowde

Of carnall pleasures, they be insacyable
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In battyll, bluddy bolde Barones for them dye
Woman to man, was neuer profyttable
But full of cost, who can this denye?

¶The Fawcon.

305 ¶A prouerbe proued sayde the Fawcon, I fynde
The barkynge of a Curre, no Kynge can restrayne
So no man can cause, the malycyous mynde
Of the pratynge Pye, from raylynge to refrayne.

¶The Pye.

¶A prater I am called, because I hyt the nayle
310 Euen vpon the heade, than sayde the Pye
Whan I say the trouth, thou sayst I rayle
Yet my trewe sayinges, thou cannest nat denye.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Nothynge sayde the Fawcon, is more repugnant
Unto the trouth, than thy sayinges all
315 And that may be proued, by reasones abundant
Deduced of pryncyples Theologycall

From Parydyse pleasaunt, as thou dost say
Adam was expulsed, with his posterytie Gen. 30.
That Eue was full cause, I do say nay
320 Whom thou dost call, the mother of myserie

As Eue Goddes commaundement, there dyd transgresse
So dyd Adam, as the storye doth tell
The Sone of a mayde, theyr offence dyd redresse
Whose death dyd breake, the brason durres of hell brason] brasones 1542 Psal. 14.60.

325 Nowe for-as-moche, as dysobedyence
Of both our fyrste parentes, Goddes yar dyd prouoke
It was nat all-onely, the womans offence
Wherby mankynde, dyd suffer Goddes stroke

And as Dyuynes make declaracyon 21. sisinarum distinct. 12.
330 If Adam had neuer, consented to synne
In Paradyse mankynde, shulde haue had habytacyon
Althoughe Eue before, to offende dyd begynne

Wherfore thou Ianglar, nowe mayst thou well se
Agaynst our fyrste mother, thy vniust accusacyon
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335 Seynge that man is proued, cause for to be
As well as the woman, of all trybulacyon.

¶The Pye.

¶Than chattered the Pye, and sayde with hyghe voyce
Thoughe it be so, as thou tellest to me
Beware yet in women, lest thou reioyce
340 They wyll deceyue the, by mutabylytye.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Who is sayde [t]he Fawcon, all tymes at one stay the] ihe 1542
Throughe this worlde wyde, and neuer mutable
Man is subiecte, to passyons alway Eccle. 1.
His lyfe in this worlde, must nedes be varyable.

¶The Pye.

345 ¶I graunt sayde the Pye, but this is my mynde
All women of promysse, be euer vnstable
Theyr fantasyes chaunge, and tourne as the wynde
And dowble be theyr dedes, this is no fable.

¶The Fawcon.

¶In reuoluynge of storyes, sayde the Fawcon then
350 Of women stedfastnes, moche mayst thou rede
On the contrary parte, thou shalt fynde of men
That they haue ben false, in worde and in dede

What kyngdomes noble? what Cyties of pryce
By treason haue perysshed, as Cronycles tell
355 Contryued throughe the false deuyce
Of cowharde Captaynes, that there dyd dwell

Who betrayde the hyghe kynge, our sauyour Iesu
Paynes for to suffre, with extreme passyon
But Iudas vniust, and treatour vntrewe
360 Whiche hanged hym-selfe, throughe desperacyon

Aeneas with Anthenor, Troye dyd betray
And gaue it to the Grekes, that were voyde of compassyon
Than perysshed that Cytie, as the storye doth say
The treason of those Traytours, caused great lamentacyon

365 Fewe feldes be foughten, without treason I dare say
Of one parte or other, fewe kyngdomes be wonne
sig: [B4v]
Without preuy packynge, for treason doth decay
Mo cyties and countryes, than battyll-axe or gonne

If stedfastnes were stablysshed, substancyally in men
370 And grauytie were graued, in rulers that be lyght
If promys were performed, yf the commaundementes ten
Of man were well obserued, both by day and nyght

Then constant I myght call hym, but synce that fayth fayleth
And treason with all vyce, in hym hath taken place
375 Therfore hym to prayse, lyttell it auayleth
For mutable he is, and tourneth in small space

That women be constant, and trewe as fyne stele
Examples we rede, of Penoelope
And Lucrecya, that sorowes dyd fele
380 Both matrones noble, as storyes do say

Hester the quene, fayre Iudyth moste chast Hest. 70. Iud: 130.
As scrypture doth say, theyr people dyd saue
From crewell death, whan all hope was past
Amonge the men, suche grace God them gaue

385 Who can descrybe, with pen or with tonge
The constant vertue, of Susan moste kynde
Unto her husbande, the storye is longe
In Danyell the Prophet, thou mayst it fynde Dan. 130.

The mother of the Machabeis, that .vii. were in nombre II mach: 70.
390 Exhorted her chyldren, marterdom to take
Her stedfastnes caused, all men to wondre
No payne coulde cause her, the fayth to forsake

The woman of Chananee, of Chryst was commended Ma. 150.
For her fayth vnfayned, and stedfast belefe
395 By her prayer deuoute, her doughter was amended
That by vexacyon of a Deuyll, suffered moche grefe

Of virgynes moste chaste, what nede I to speke
As Katheryne, Margaret, and many thousandes mo
No Tyrayne coulde cause them, theyr vowes to breke
400 Theyr chastyte to saue, they suffred moche wo

At Chrystes death, whan the Apostles all
Theyr mayster dyd leaue, throughe mutabylytie Marci. 140.
sig: C1
Men were founde lyght, and trundlynge as a ball
In them was no fayth, but infydelytye

405 In one woman than, all fayth dyd remayne
When men dyd shrynke, and tourne as the wynde
Mary Chrystes mother, it is that I meane
No sorowe coulde cause, her fayth to vntwynde

Examples for this matter, almoste innumerable
410 I coulde here recyte, yf tyme wolde permyt
That women of dede and worde, be ryght stable
But here be ynowe, for them that haue wyt.

¶The Pye.

¶Yet women sayde the Pye, be great confusyon
Unto all men, for in batteyll bolde
415 Of blode they haue caused, oft great effusyon
Of theyr myschyfe, moche in storyes is tolde.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Thy fables fayned, make small probacyon
Unto thy purpose, the Fawcon dyd say
Whan dyddest thou rede, in trewe declaracyon
420 That women cause batteyll, by nyght or by day.

¶The Pye.

¶Dyd nat fayre Helene, than sayde the Pye
Of Troye the cytie, cause the destruction
When the stronge walles, with towers and towrrettes hye
By the Grekes dyd fall, and had there subuersyon.

¶The Fawcon.

425 ¶Where malyce is raygnynge, there false accusacyon
Doth folowe sayde the Fawcon, in felde and in towne
Therfore of Troy, thou sayst the desolacyon
Was caused by Helene, the woman of renowne

Dyd nat Alyxaunder, his lust to fulfyll
430 Sone to kynge Pryame, by strength steale away
Fayre Helene from the Grekes, agaynst her owne wyll
Whan she her handes wronge, howe cannest thou say nay

If wepynge teares, yf syghes sore and sad
If lamentacyon, myght then haue preuayled
sig: [C1v]
435 Fayre Helene had escaped, Parys moste mad
From Grecye in-to Troye, with her whan he sealed

And thoughe battyll bloddye, with murder moste myserable
Betwene these two nacyons, enshewed to theyr payne
The adulterar it caused, by dede detestable
440 Whiche coulde nat from lust, his body restrayne

What mountayne myghty, what sees roughe and depe
Haue men passed throughe, as beastes without wyt
Theyr raygynge hath caused, good women to wepe
With vyolence constrayned, theyr lust to admyt

445 Suche myschyfes many men, oft haue procured
And yet they cesse nat, the same to support
As towchynge this matter, I am full assured
All theyr madnes fully, I can nat report.

¶The Pye.

¶I can report than, sayde the Pye
450 That women be crewell, and loue to be in stryfe
Cursed as Cayn, thou canst nat denye
Angry as the waspe, wedowe, mayde, and wyfe.

¶The Fawcon.

¶The fayre Fawcon answered, with wordes that were wyse
Sayinge Pye thou arte peuysshe, and blynde as a blocke
455 No man with reason may the suffyse
Thy malyce is meruaylous, and styffe as a stocke

Thou raylest agaynst reason, whan thou dost impute
Yar vnto women, with crewell condycyon
For vnto the contrarye, I shall dyspute
460 Theyr pacyence and pytye, in perfyt dyleccyon

Heate causeth yar, in man and in beaste Arystotle
Of yarfull herte, crewelnes doth sprynge
Where crewelty doth dwell, compassyon hath no rest
For contraryes togyther, can haue no bydynge Arystotle

465 What causeth fearsnes, in Lyon, wolfe, and beare
In Bores that be brym, and mastyffes moche of myght
Whiche all in theyr raygynge, in peces rent and teare
Theyr prayse that they take, by day or els by nyght

sig: C2
What moueth man, so fearse for to be
470 And crewell of dede, as beast wod and wylde
But heat causynge yar, whan he without pytie
In war doth destroy, the mother with the chylde

And lyke as heate feruent, yar doth inflame
In man and in beaste, and crewell them doth make
475 So coldnes contrary, crewelnes doth tame
Causynge man and beast, to shyuer and to quake

Women in theyr nature, be colde as a kay
In respect of men, wherfore inclynacyon
To be yarfull or crewell, from them is a_way
480 And petye moste tendre, in them hath habytacyon

Who is so sad, of crewelnes to here
In spoylynge or murdre, as these women be
For frayes and for feyghtynges, they make heuy chere
Upon euery mannes hynderaunce, they take great petye

485 What wepynge teares? what sore lamentacyon Luce. 23.
Dyd women make, in Hierusalem
Upon the lambes death, takynge compassyon
That borne was of mother, and mayde in Bethleem Mat. 20.

But men at that tyme, as beastes raygynge mad
490 Theyr hyghe kynge and maker, dyd nayle to a tre
At that season tell me, whyther men had
Lyke vnto women, compassyon and petie.

¶The Pye.

¶Admyt that thy reasones, dyd fully conclude
For women sayde the Pye, as thou dost infer
495 Yet profyte from them, thou must nedes exclude
Theyr husbandes they brynge, in det and daunger

Ease they loue all, to labour they dysdayne
Wasters they be of money, meate, and cloth
And from the blacke boll, they can nat refrayne
500 To speake all I knowe by them, I am loth.

¶The Fawcon.

¶I am full loth, the Fawcon dyd say
Unto the Pye, suche raylynge to here
sig: [C2v]
Nothynge is trewe, thou speakest here this day
Thy fables be fayned, and false this is clere

505 A womans offyce, as Arystotle tought
In his Econymyckes, is redy for to make prins econo: a. 30.
Suche thynges for sustynaunce, as to her be brought
Her famylye to fede, that paynes and labours take

All rychesse procured, by nyght or els by day
510 Throughe the mannes trauayle, in felde or in towne
The wyfe with her wysdom, must kepe from decay
And suffer no proffyte, in losse to fall downe

By practes I proue, in places as I passe
The prudent polycye, in suche gubernacyon
515 Of women that wysely, the worlde do compasse
In moste honest maner, to theyr commendacyon

What labour of bodye, do they oft sustayne
What breke of slepe, whan they shulde rest take
With honestye theyr husbandes, and house to mayntayne
520 These thynges to fulfyll, no paynes they forsake

Men dyuers I haue knowne, to wast, spyll, and spende
At drynkynges and games, suche rychesse as they had
Whan women full busylye, dyd labour to amende
Theyr husbandes lewdnes, that made them full sad

525 Wherfore sens women, theyr dewtyes do fulfyll
As I haue declared, without fayned fable
They rayle without reason, and speake all at wyll
That say vnto men, they be nat profyttable

Cryinge in his cradell, at his fyrste begynnynge
530 Whan man doth lye rocked, nat able to stande
Who doth hym than fede, with meates nurrysshynge
But woman that to helpe hym, doth put to her hande

Who can women lacke, in syckenes or in helth
To wasshe and to wrynge, and meates to prepare
535 A comforte they be, in pouertie and welth
Unto all men, to whom they repare

And therfore Scrypture, doth woman call
An helper to man, in euery dystresse Gen. 20.
sig: C3
Whan fortune fayleth, and causeth hym to fall
540 Chyfe remedye she is, of all his heuynesse

And thoughe thou Pye pratynge, by vniust accusacyon
All kyndes of vyce, to women hast obiect
Yet in all vertues, they haue delectacyon
And therfore of God, I thynke them elect

545 Humble they be, and lowly in harte
Pytefull and pacyent, with sobre behauour
And contynence from them, doth neuer departe
With dylygence for vertues, they do euer labour.

¶The Pye.

¶Howe canst thou them vertuous, and chast of lyfe call
550 Sayde the Pye, that men by subtyle prouocacyon
Moue vnto vyce, and cause them to fall
No deuyll vnto woman, is lyke in temptacyon

Meandre the flude, that maketh men to muse
And laboryous labyrynth, that Dedalus deuysed
555 Suche wyndynges and tournynges, neuer dyd vse
As women in temptacyon, for men haue contryued

All gyftes of nature, they inclyne to prouoke
Man vnto pleasure, and his reason to blynde
And with Cupydes darte, to gyue hym a stroke
560 Thus cleane and fresshe men, in bondage they bynde

Theyr countenaunce smylynge, as the messenger of loue
Theyr eyes moste wantonly, euer roll and turne
Upon syghtes semely, and all thynges aboue
Because loue them burneth, they desyre to burne

565 Theyr handes and fyngers, for this they kepe whyte
Dasshed full of rynges, with many a precyous stone
To shewe theyr prety fete, they haue great delyte
On theyr toes howe they tryppe, to se it is alone

They laughe, they speake, they synge, they daunce
570 The lustes of loue, in youth to inflame
Theyr garmentes be garnysshed, after the guyse of Fraunce
And to vse paynted wordes, theyr tongues be nat lame

Theyr brestes they lay forth, as a Boucher doth his flesshe
sig: [C3v]
To be solde in the shambles, and ouer them they lay
575 A fyne lase of sylke, with an owche that is fresshe
Or els a small chayne, that was gotten in theyr play

And as an horse-mayster, that to a fayre doth brynge
His Horses all platted, the mane and the tayle
So women theyr hear, as golde wyre shynynge
580 They wrappe, plete, and plat, yonge louers to assayle

But Paule vnto Tymothe, a document doth gyue
Unto all women, suche lyghtnes to despyse I. ad Timoth. 10.
And so doth Peter, whiche sayth they shulde lyue
Nat in wanton apparell, but in sad and sobre wyse I. Pe. 10.

585 I dare nat nowe speake, howe some do counterfet
The colours of theyr faces, as they were naturall
Straunge hear also, for theyr heades do they get
Of their muskes, posyes, and pommanders, I make no rehersall

All these prety tryckes, these prety dames do vse
590 In-to Uenus daunce, yonge Rufflers to allure
Howe canst thou Fawcon saye, but theyr gyftes they abuse
Defende them in this matter, thou canst nat I am sure.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Stop there sayde the Fawcon, and harke to me a season
For thy braggynge bostes, lyghtly I shall make base
595 And declare vnto the, by inuyncyble reason
That delyberate dyscrecyon, in the doth take no place

Shameles thou arte surely, thus shamefully to speake
That man to vyce is moued, by womans prouocacyon
For women of cleane lyuynge, be oft moued to breake
600 Theyr chastytie by churles, that chafe them by temptacyon

What paynted wordes, womans loue to allure
What tokens that be trycke, do these men vse
What rynges, what hertes of golde fyne and pure
Whiche women do vtterly contemne and refuse

605 And whan by suche tokens, men can nat obtayne
Theyr purpose and wyll, than they do inuent
Letters of loue, expressynge theyr payne
And preuely by messengers, they be forth sent

sig: [C4]
If letters be contemned, yf wrytynges take no place
610 Than labours do louers, in theyr owne persons take
They ryde and they ronne, many myles in small space
And moue honest women, chast lyfe to forsake

With syghes semynge sorowfull, theyr foly they expresse
With wepynges theyr wordes, be myxed for to moue
615 Pytefully complaynynge, of deadly dystresse
Thus women to deceyue, all wyles they do proue

But yf all theyr glosynges, theyr matters can nat spede
If theyr tokens with theyr trynkettes, and letters be despysed
Than oft constant women, they brynge in great drede
620 Whan by vyolent oppressyon, they haue them defyled

Dyna that to Iacob the Patryarke, was doughter
By Sychem was oppressed, as scrypture doth tell Gen. 34.
In punyshment of his vyolence, there folowed great slaughter
Amonge all the people, that in his cytie dyd dwell

625 In the cytie of Gabaa, what abhomynacyon
Dyd men commyt, agaynst the Leuytes wyfe Iudi. 19.
The wyde worlde may wondre, of theyr bestyall fasshyon
For amonge them by oppressyon, the woman lost her lyfe

Dyd nat A[m]non, that sone was to Dauyd the kynge Amnon] Annon 1542
630 Chast Thamar oppresse, his syster naturall II. Regum 130.
After whiche acte, he had nat longe lykynge
For absolon his brother, gaue hym woundes mortall

Lucrecya the Romayne, a matrone ryght famous
Defyled by oppressyon, of Tarquinius sone
635 After the dede, both shamefull and vylaynous
On a swerde that was sharpe and kene, she dyd rone

Suche dolour deadly, his herte dyd oppresse
Throughe the dede moste detestable, by vyolence co[m]mytted commytted] conmytted 1542
That death moste dredefull, to ende her dystresse
640 Before lyfe in election, she thought to be admytted

Many thousandes mo of maydes, wedowes, and wyues
Moste tyrannous tourmentes, as wryters do tell
Haue suffred, and also haue lost theyr lyues
Theyr chastyte to saue, and Tyrannes to repell

sig: [C4v]
645 Ursula with her felowes, this matter do recorde
Expulsed from theyr countrey, theyr clennes to kepe
Theyr virgynyte was vowed, to the hyghe kynge and lorde
And martyres they were made, with woundes wyde and depe

Margaret the mayde, maryage dyd refuse
650 Of Olibrius the Tyran, and his gyftes dyd forsake
A spouse in heauen, to her she dyd chuse
And mekely for his loue, death dyd she take

So dyd Katheryne the quene, and virgyne full pure
Agathe, and Annes, with Lucya the bryght
655 Wenefrede, and Cecylye, by clennes dyd procure
In heauen for euer, to be in Goddes syght.

¶The Pye.

¶Thou [ca]llest vp a ras[c]all rabble, sayde the Pye callest] rellest 1542; rascall] rastall 1542
Of wytles women, whom sayntes thou wylt make
What recorde hast thou, thy wordes to ratyfye
660 For without wytnes, as lyes I them take.

¶The Fawcon.

¶A rabble sayde the Fawcon, of raylers I may call
Wherof thou arte one, but of Sayntes in the blys
Of heauen nowe hauynge, the lyfe immortall
Theyr nombre a company, moste gloryous is

665 And to proue that these virgynes, rehersed before
In the cytie celestyall, haue theyr habytacyon
And in Goddes presence, shall be for euermore
The Authorytye of the Churche, I brynge for probacyon.

¶The Pye.

¶Ha ha here is a prety pastyme, sayde the Pye
670 To here thou mumble thy mu[mp]yng, and dronken dotterd dreames mumpyng] munpsyng 1542
As moche aucthorytye, they haue surely
As an eles tayle, whan it styrreth in streames.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Nother the ele sayde the Fawcon, nor yet the eles tayle
Aucthorytye haue, for reason they do lacke
675 But auncyent storyes, of aucthorytye can nat fayle
And that for to proue, I shall nat shrynke backe

sig: D1
And tell me nowe Pye, who fyrste buylder was
Of royall Rome, who made the walles stronge
That large were in heyght, and wyde in compas
680 And who made that domynyon, so large and so longe.

¶The Pye.

Romulus was fyrste founder therof, sayde the Pye
Of whom Roma it was called, as wryters recorde
Scipio and Cato, Rome dyd amplyfye
And Iulius Cesar, her fyrste Emperour and Lorde.

¶The Fawcon.

685 ¶If thou wylt sayd the Fawcon, that I shal credence gyue
Unto thy wordes, than wytnes I must haue
For wytnes of all men, that in this worlde lyue
Is euer accepted, the trouth for to saue.

¶The Pye.

¶Of Hystoryographers, many there be
690 Sayde the Pye, that the Romaynes gestes do declare
Whiche my sayinges, shall recorde abundauntlye
The trouth thou mayst lerne, yf to them thou repare

And to be breue, of many I brynge one
Titus_Li[u]ius, myne Authour in this case
695 Of no small aucthoryte, in myne opynyon
For his wordes amonge lerned men, do euer take place

And acceptynge of a worke, aucthoryte doth make
And gyue to the same, the strength of recorde
Wherfore the wytnes of Li[u]ius I take
700 Thy doubte to dyssolue, and deley thy dyscorde.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Stop there sayde the Fawcon, I haue myne intent
Whan a worke (as thou sayst) of the people is receyued
Than hath it aucthoryte, and as a foundement
Infallyble is taken, of verytie conceyued

705 The storyes of the Churche, by chrysten men compyled
That excellent were, in learnynge and in lyfe
Of crysten men, as verytie vndefyled
Haue euer ben taken, without any stryfe

sig: [D1v]
They be receyued, ergo I may conclude
710 Upon thy wordes, that aucthorytie they brynge
And from my sayinges, all fables the[y] exclude they] the 1542
As touchynge the examples, of womens good lyuynge

But nowe to retourne, after longe dygressyon
To our matter intended, myne examples declare
715 That men moche haue vsed, crafty instygacyon
Women to wrappe, in the deuylles net and snare

And as prouocacyon, hath ben in tymes past
Of men moche vsed, the clennes to subuert
Of women contynent, so suche as lyue chast
720 Be nowe prouoked, from clennes to auert

They be nat women, that theyr gyftes do abuse
Of nature and of grace, and to vyce them applye
But men moste sensuall, that studye and muse
Dayly theyr lust to fulfyll in lecherye

725 Nowe I praye the Pye playnly, as it is in thy thought
Speake here thy mynde, whyther more doth prouoke
The [man that] doth seke, or the woman that is sought man that] mn t hat 1542
The trouth herof shulde cause the, thy raylynge to reuoke.

Dost thou nat dayly, with thyne eyes se
730 Howe men mased with loue, to women make shute
And on the other parte, fewe or none they be
Of women to whom suche vyce, thou mayst impute.

¶The Pye.

¶Nowe am I constrayned, to graunt sayde the Pye
By reason and experyence, that all prouocacyon
735 Of man commeth commenly, for I can nat denye
Of thy sayinges and examples, the suffycyent probacyon

But yet for theyr rayment, all gorgyous and gay
Reprehended of the Apostles, both Peter and Paule
In excuse of the werars, what canst thou nowe say
740 If this matter thou defende, than wyse I the call.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Full sharpe be the sayinges, sayde the Fawcon in-dede
Of these two Apostles, that rayment reprehende
And deckynge of women, yet yf thou take good hede
sig: D2
Thou shalt fynde that women, they lyttell dyscommende

745 Saynt Austen to these sayinges, answere doth make Augusti.
Of both these Apostles, and sayth that none offence
Ryseth of rayment, whan women do take
Unto dyscrecyon, dylygent aduertence

If after the custome, of theyr countrey they vse
750 Rayment ryght royall, and accordynge to theyr state
Secludynge vayne-glorye, yf they do refuse
All purpose in louers, lust carnall to instygate

Than synne is auoyded, for who so decked was
In garmentes moste gorgyous, as Hester the quene
755 As the beames of the Sonne, shynynge throughe the glas
With golde and perles, to glyster she was sene

Euen so dyd Iudyth, her bewtye augment
With apparell of great pryce, that caused admyracyon
Yet these women both, for theyr good intent
760 Of scrypture deserued prayse, and commendacyon.

¶The Pye.

¶Thou semest sayde the Pye, all maner to commende
And vse of rayment, be it neuer so vayne
Yet Paule vnto Tymothe, dyd vtterly intende
All women from vanytie, in rayment to restrayne.

¶The Fawcon.

765 ¶Nothynge I thynke lesse, sayde the Fawcon I the tell
Than agaynst the sayinges, of Paule for to speake
All vanytie in rayment, the Apostle doth repell
All vanytie in the same, my mynde is to breake.

¶The Pye.

¶Be playne in thy termes, sayde the Pye I the pray
770 And dystynctly declare, what thy meanynge is
By vanytie of rayment, for nothynge can I say
To the yf thy mynde herin, I do mysse.

¶The Fawcon.

¶So oft sayde the Fawcon, as women rayment vse
Agaynst the guyse of theyr countrey, or aboue theyr degre
775 And power be decked, so oft they take and chuse
sig: [D2v]
In werynge theyr apparell, folysshe vanytie

Vanytie in rayment, also I do call
Whan for prayse or vayne-glorye, rayment is worne
Or els to prouoke, and cause men to fall
780 In-to lust of the body, whan reason is forlorne.

¶The Pye.

¶Do nat women sayde the Pye, theyr rayment abuse
All these foure wayes, whiche thou dost expresse
In moste vayne maner, thou canst nat excuse
Herein the femyne sexe, nor theyr lyghtnes redresse.

¶The Fawcon.

785 ¶I knowe nat sayde the Fawcon, the surety to say
That any so lyue, but yf thou suche fynde
What canst thou infer, nowe in the way
Of reasonynge, agaynst the whole kynde. reasonynge] reasonnynge 1542

¶The Pye.

¶If one be nought, so be all the rest
790 I say sayde the Pye, of the femyne gendre
For amonge them all, she that is best
Wolde be loth of her lyfe, a reckenynge to rendre.

¶The Fawcon.

¶In raylynge vnreasonable, thou ragest agaynst ryght
Sayde the Fawcon, whan thou dost of fewe womens vyce
795 Infer all the rest, in theyr lyuynge to be lyght
If thou harken thy blynde erre, shall be open at a tryce

Some men be murderers, shulde I therfore call
All mankynde murderers, some theues and traytours be
Shulde I therfore say, all men do fall
800 In-to the same vyce? no that were madnes playnlye

Because Cayn dyd murdre, therfore dyd his brother Gen. 40.
Abell the same, Esau was reiect
And forsaken of God, in the wombe of his mother Mala. 1.
Was therfore Iacob refused of God, and also neglect Ad ro. 90.

805 Horryble heresyes, these blynde sayinges be
If they be defended, and by scrypture confounded
And who is so blynde, but he may well se
sig: D3
That these sayinges agaynst women of reason, be nat grounded

For what raylynge heretycke, so shameles canst thou fynde
810 To say that our Lady, the virgyne moste pure
Was lyght in her lyuynge, or corrupte in her mynde
Because pleasure some women, to lust dyd allure

Cesse therfore thy sayinges, and raylynge moste rude
Condemne nat a multytude, that innocent is
815 As thoughe from all goodnes, thou woldest them exclude
Because that a fewe, be founde to do amys

Because that a fewe, be both lyght and vayne
In rayment and apparell, agaynst the Apostles rule
Thou mayst nat therfore, of the whole flocke complayne
820 As thoughe euery woman, from vertue dyd recule

But many there be, to sayinges euyll so prone
And dayly in the same, accustomed to slepe
That slaunders causynge many, to syghe and to grone
As pastymes they take, whan Innocentes do wepe.

¶The Pye.

825 ¶Yet the mayster sayde the Pye, may lawfully speake
Of his seruaunt his pleasure, be it false or trewe
Lyke maner the husbande, doth nat Goddes precept breake
Whan he [h]is wyfes sorowes, with slaunder doth renewe. his] is 1542

¶The Fawcon.

¶Blynde was the fyrste erre, and euen naked nought
830 But this is moche worse, sayde the Fawcon in very dede
Chryste that mannes soule, with his death derely bought
Forbyd that this erre, come in chrysten mannes crede

Dost thou nat fynde, d[e]clared in Scrypture declared] daclared 1542
That Chryst is the fountayne, of trouth and verytie Iohannes 140.
835 That man hath by grace, he hath by his nature
This trouth is the way, to the celestyall cytie

As trouth man to heauen, doth condyth and guyde
So by falsenes and lyes, that nocyuous be
Slaunderers sodaynly, to hell slyp and slyde
840 Where euer they shall rest, in carefull calamytie

For Dauyd the prophet, in his Psalme doth recorde Psal. 14.
sig: [D3v]
That sclaunderars and lyars, to endles perdycyon
Shall fall by iust sentence, of the heuenly lorde
Whan synne shall be rewarded, with ryght retrybucyon

845 The wyse man also, beareth wytnes to this matter Sapi. 1.
And sayth that the mouth, the soule doth sley and kyll
Of that man whiche delyteth, of sclaunders to clatter
And the names of good people, with detraction to spyll

Nowe for-as-moche, as deedly detraction
850 To all people is dampnable, no state or degre
Excepted at all, therfore dredefull dampnacyon
All men deserue, that of theyr wyues sclaunderars be

And it is commonly sayde, that on the deuyll to lye
Offence and synne it is, is it nat than offence
855 Agaynst crysten women, with sclaundars out to crye
Of whose gentyll nature, man shulde speake in defence

Paule sayth that man, shuld loue his wedded wyfe Ad eph. 5
As his owne body, and cherysshe her alway
Agaynst Paule they do playnly, that loue to be in stryfe
860 With theyr wyues, whose names with sclaunder they decay

Peace therfore Pye, and this opynyon peuyshe
That men may rayle theyr pleasure, speake thou no more
For sclaunder is a matter, of all other moste theuyshe
The offence therof doubtles, deserueth sorowes sore

865 And yf blynde affections, thou woldest set asyde
And eluyshe enuye, from thy herte cleane expell
Than woldest thou say, that reason in men doth nat byde
That with raylynge, the fame of women hurte and quell

For in case that any, be founde lewde or lyght
870 In so great a nombre of women, as there is
Thou mayst nat at theyr vyce, geast or rayle by ryght
But be heuye and sorye, for suche as do amys

And in this behalfe to say, I dare be bolde
That none, the hole kynde of women doth sclaunder
875 Excepte he be suche, as was nought yonge and olde
And blyndly by vyce, lyueth in the deuylles daunger.

¶The Pye.

sig: [D4]
¶I graunt sayde the Pye, that sclaunder is nought
And lyghtnes in iudgement, that causeth moche wo
But yf mens lyues and womens, were to the bothom sought
880 Of men than of women good, thou shuldest fynde mo.

¶The Fawcon.

¶This doubte to dyscuse, to no man it pertayneth
Sayde the Fawcon, for God this matter must trye
But experyence, and also scrypture me constrayneth
The rather to women, in this behalfe to wrye

885 For scrypture me teacheth, that all kyndes of synne
More by man than woman, had rote and begynnynge
And practyse doth proue, that contynuaunce therin
Of men moste chefely, hath ea[k]e and mayntaynynge eake] eade 1542

The fyrste murdre by croked Cayn, was commytted
890 Whan innocent Abell, to death he dyd dryue Gen. 40.
Incontynent Lamech, [murdre] admytted murdre] began 1542 Ibidem.

For agaynst stymulacyons, he wolde nat stryue

Noe fyrste dronkarde, whose fylthynes his chylde
Cham dyd dyscouer, his bretherne it perceyuynge [G]en. Gen.] Cen. 1542 90.Gen.] Cen. 1542
895 Abhorred that dede, wylfull and wylde
And couered the preuyties, cause of theyr conceyuynge

Fyrste tyran was Nemrath, fyrste ydolater was he Genesis. 10. et .11.
He set nought by God, by his lyghtnynge, nor his thondre
The tower of Babell he buylded, that all men myght se
900 Than deuyded were the tongues, that made men to wondre

The synne agaynst nature, both brute and bestyall
Men fyrste dyd commyt, as scrypture doth recorde Gen. 19.
Of .v. Cyties the people perysshed, great and small
In punysshement of that synne, by the hyghe kynge and lorde

905 Pharao of Egypt, that Tyran styfe and stowte Exodi. 1.
Fyrst Innocentes dyd murdre, and to death dyd them dresse
For the murdre of those chyldren, he dyed without doubte Exo. 14.
The red_see hym swalowed, with his people more and lesse

And lyke as these offences, had fyrste orygynall
910 Begynnynge of men, so contynuaunce they haue
Of men moste chyfely, whiche dayly to them fall
sig: [D4v]
From enormyties they labour nat, theyr soules for to saue

For who doth kyll and murdre, in batteyll that is bolde
Who robbeth and spoleth, both by see and by lande
915 Who Tyranny doth vse, that maketh hertes colde
Who Innocentes doth kyll, with a bloddy hande

Who? but man set on myschyfe this vyce doth commyt
As lewdnes were lawfull, all vyce he doth take
In the snare he lyeth slepynge, the knot is fast knyt
920 No kynde of cryme croked, he wyll forsake

In Sessyons and in Cyes, who is periured but he
Great othes that be odyous, no man refuseth
And lecherye is laudable, in euery degre
Both symonye synfull, and vsurye man vseth

925 And althoughe some women, to these synnes do fall
Aboue rehersed, yet in respect of men
Theyr nombre is nothynge, or els very small
For agaynst one of them offendynge, of the tother there be ten.

¶The Pye.

¶I thynke sayde the Pye, that thy sayinges nowe be
930 Indyfferent agaynst men, for practyes doth expresse
That fewe of these vyces, in women we may se
Whiche thou hast rehersed, but in men they be doubtles

For murdre and robrye, that openly is done
Symonye, vsurye, and treason vntrewe
935 Brybrye that chaungeth, that iudge as the mone
Heresyes and scysmes, that dyssencyon do renewe

Periurye and rybawdrye, with pollynge and oppressyon
All these synnes sensuall, that fowle and fylthy be
Of man be moche vsed, I must nedes make confessyon
940 Moche more than of woman, that from these semeth fre.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Yet man at his daunger, as thoughe well he were
Doth laughe sayde the Fawcon, so synne doth hym blynde
If his synne he dyd se, than chaunge wolde his chere
Perceyuynge to his maker, howe he is vnkynde

945 His breast he wolde beate, for mercye he wolde call
sig: E1
For his dedes of dampnacyon, he wolde knele on his kne
And many salt teares, from his chekes than shulde fall
If he his workes wycked, dyd ponder as they be.

¶The Pye.

¶As it ought to be sayde the Pye, thou dost speake
950 But as thou dost speake, so shall it nat be
Whyle man is here lyuynge, Goddes lawes he wyll breake
Cease therfore thy sayinges, by the counceyll of me.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Than shall I retourne, to make repetycyon
Of our matter fyrste moued, sayd the Fawcon in this place
955 Thou saydest that all women, do lacke perfection
Of body and theyr soules, be voyde of all grace

Apertlye I haue proued, that as perfyte they be
In body as man, and theyr soules haue creacyon
Unto the ymage, of the hyghe Trynyte
960 Thus perfyt they were create, by dyuyne operacyon

That depenes of wyt, with reason profounde
In women take place, myne examples expresse
For the .vii. Artes lyberall, had theyr fyrste grounde
And inuencyon by women, this is doubtlesse

965 Aptnes also, and pronytie they haue
Unto all kyndes of vertue moste pure
With dylygent endeuour, they haue laboured to saue
Theyr soules from all vyce, and grace to procure

And furthermore Pye, I haue made declaracyon
970 That women in lyuynge, the men do excell
Confounded I haue, thy false accusacyon
And reasones I haue vsed, thy raylynges to repell

Of scrypture somtyme, the sayinges I haue sought
Hystoryes profane, and experyence moste sure
975 The documentes of Doctours, forth I haue brought
For the femynyne sakes, theyr ryght to recure.

¶The Pye.

¶By thy processe sayde the Pye, as I can perceyue
Thou concludest all women, vertuous to be
sig: [E1v]
Because that a fewe, vertues dyd recey[u]e
980 Wherof examples, thou dydes recyte to me

At the length thou dost take, for fynall conclusyon
That women in theyr lyuynge, far men do excell
As thoughe they alonely, of grace had infusyon
This vtterly from men, grace thou wylt repell.

¶The Fawcon.

985 ¶Nat so sayde the Fawcon, for that is nat my mynde
Grace from all men, vtterly to exclude
Nor by myne examples, thou canst nat fynde
That all women vertuous, I entende to conclude

But this conclusyon, of all my sayinges take
990 That to knowledge and vertue, women apt be
And yf of theyr lyues, comparyson thou make
More godly than men, they seme vnto me.

¶The Pye.

¶Theyr proctour thou arte made, sayd the Pye I perceyue
A rewarde to receyue, theyr parte thou dost take
995 But whan they with doblenes, shall the deceyue
I thynke than this offyce, thou wylt forsake.

¶The Fawcon.

¶The trouth to defende, why shulde I refuse
A proctour to be, the Fawcon dyd say
Innocentes to helpe, we shulde our wyttes vse
1000 In theyr causes iust, and helpe them alway

None other rewarde, to receyue I desyre
But trouth to trye forth, and malyce to subdue
This brought to passe, than haue I my hyre
For than shall be knowen, the false from the true

1005 And where-as by doublenes, I shall be deceyued
(As thou sayst of women) that can nat so be
For doublenes of those, is neuer conceyued
In whose hertes is playnes, and symplycytie.

¶The Pye.

¶I se sayde the Pye, with the to contende
1010 Agaynst the femyne gendre, I am moche vnable
sig: E2
As one ouercome, therfore I make an ende
For lytell it auayleth, before the to fable.

¶The Fawcon.

¶Yet one thynge of the, or thou from hens flye
I demaunde sayde the fawcon, what moued thy mynde
1015 In all thy sore sayinges, so shamefully to lye
With raylynge outragyous, agaynst woman-kynde

Whyther theyr nature, theyr wordes, or theyr lyuynge
Thy tongue haue prouoked, to deadly detraction
Or rather by rashnes, of enuye procedynge
1020 Theyr fame to defaulke, thou hast delectacyon.

¶The Pye.

¶Theyr nature is good, than sayde the Pye
And so be theyr dedes, the trouth for to tell
Malyce me moued, of women to lye
Syster to Megera, the ragynge fende of hell.

¶The Fawcon.

1025 ¶Why dost thou than women, more than men sclaunder
The Fawcon dyd say, with thy wordes that be wylde
Sens men by dedes deadly, lyue in more daunger
Of soule than women, whiche seme vndefylde.

¶The Pye.

¶The lowest parte of the hedge, is troden downe
1030 Under fote sayde the Pye, whan the hyest is forborne
Womans power is small, in felde and in towne
Therfore I them sclaunder, therfore I them skorne

Men rule and gouerne, by see and by lande
Promocyons and profytes, by them I may haue
1035 Therfore to catche somwhat, in-to my hande
I laude them, I flatter them, whan I begyn to craue

He that wylleth with welth, in this worlde leade his lyfe
Placebo he must play, his kne both bowe and bende
Flaterars fare of the best, and lyue without stryfe
1040 Whan playnes with trouth, great men do offende

Theyr appetytes to please, my mynde I applye
As they say I say, be it wronge or ryght
sig: [E2v]
Somtyme I graunt, somtyme I denye
Yonge Rufflers to please, whose wyttes be full lyght.

¶The Fawcon.

1045 ¶Than yf thou shuldes playnly, and as the trouth is
Thy mynde agaynst men, sayde the Fawcon expresse
Rebuke they shulde haue, of prayse they shulde mys
And thy style agaynst women, than woldes thou redresse.

¶The Pye.

¶I graunt sayde the Pye, but yet adulacyon
1050 Nedes must I vse, great men to content
And agaynst women, my common detraction
These two to contynewe, is my full intent

Auaryce of mynde, that is insacyable
Adulacyon to vse, hath gyuen me occasyon
1055 And so hath enuye, the vyce detestable
Prouoked detraction, with false accusacyon.

¶The Fawcon.

¶The Fawcon moste fayre, moche moued in his mynde
Agaynst the Pyes wordes, and open confessyon
With syghes sore, ascendynge from his herte kynde
1060 In lamentynge maner, made this exclamacyon

O worlde moste wretched, O tyme infortunate
O blyndnes moste beastlye, O lyfe without lyght
O vertue, O grace, from mans soule seperate
The dedes of darknes, haue put forth his syght

1065 Nowe reason is blynded, by synne sensuall
And iudgement corrupte, by offence customable
Wyll wandereth wyldly, by appetyte carnall
All powers of mans soule, be founde reprouable

Flaterars moste false, that fables can fayne
1070 Great men accept, and to counceyll take
Playnes and Iustyce, be exyled cleane
And oppressyon causeth, Innocentes to quake

Extorsyon is extolled, and rygour doth rule
Detraction and derysyon, with nobles do dwell
1075 Uerytie and petie, from these men recule
sig: E3
And falsenes with flatery, trewe playnes do quell

All these seme lawfull, to men that be of myght
Theyr wylles and pleasures, they take for a lawe
With ragynge and raylynge, they ronne agaynst ryght
1080 For smal is theyr lernyng, theyr wyttes nat worth an hawe

O Pye moste peuysshe, howe canst thou suche prayse
And Innocentes condemne, whose dedes deserue lawde
The hertes of playne people, thou dost dysease
Whiche couet in trouth, to lyue without frawde

1085 But seynge my sayinges, can take no place
In hertes that be harde, congelyd with vyce
No remedye I fynde, but prayer for grace
That man from his synne, may wake and aryce.

¶The Aucthour.

¶Whan these wordes were spoken, the Fawcon toke flyght
1090 The Pye for to punysshe, that fled fast away
Of them both shortly, I lost there the syght
And whomwarde I walked, from that Arbour gay

Anone I drewe forth, the argumentacyon
Of these two byrdes, the Fawcon and the Pye
1095 As you haue harde me make recytacyon
Nothynge from theyr sayinges, my style I dyd wrye

The people to profyte, my purpose is playne
No man to dysplease, with worde or with wyll
But deadly detraction, I wolde restrayne
1100 That causeth many men, theyr soules for to spyll

The prynce of peace pearles, the lambe immaculate
That suffered sorowes sharpe, synne to suppresse
And with his blode, wasshed our soules con[t]amynate contamynate] concamynate 1542 Apoc. 1.

On the Aulter of the Crosse, the deuyll to depresse

1105 He graunt by his grace, that charytie may sprynge
In euery mans herte, as flowres sprynge in May
Than God shall we loue, our heauenly kynge
And enuye expell, that our soules doth decay

Than reason shall rule our dedes with dyscrecyon
1110 Betwene man and man, loue shall be vnfayned
sig: [E3v]
No man agaynst women, shall vse detraction
For enuye throughe charytie, shall be than restrayned

After this sorte, by moste godly gouernaunce
If man hym-selfe vse, in good conuersacyon
1115 In God before all thynges, hauynge affyaunce
Than well he may trust, to come to saluacyon

Heauen he shall haue, the cytie celestyall
The bryght beames of glorye, shall gyue his soule lyght
All worldly pleasures, his ioy excede shall
1120 Of the hyghe Trynytie, whan he hath a syght

The increate wysdom, that all the worlde wrought
To his blysse moste blessyd, this company brynge
Our Sauyour I meane, that man and woman bought
Graunt vs in heauen, to here the Aungelles synge.
1125 AMEN.


Robert_Uaghane to the Fawcon.

¶Folowe? no O Fawcon, to faynte the with flyght
In pressynge thy pynyons, to punysshe the Pye
Syt styll sobrely, and thou shalt se with thy syght
The tyme that Innocentes, theyr owne trouth shall trye
5 Whan reason reygneth, that ryght wyll nat reprye
And plantyth Prudence, suche poyntes to ouer_se
Than shall wauerynge fortune, her whele tourne awrye
And the pratynge Pyes, punysshed shall be.

Robert_Uaghane to the Pye.

¶Pyke the hence Pye, pyke the hence prater
Pyke the hence peuysshe, pyke the pyed Pye
Walke in the wanyond, and wayte for some water
To lyckar thy lyppes, that of lyinge are drye
5 Thy braggynge bostes, once shalt thou dere bye
Happe wyll so happen, I holde the a grote
Than far from thy countrey, thou wylt be fayne to flye
Or cowardly in couerte, go and chaunge thy cote.
sig: [E4]

Lenuoy de Robert_Uaghane.

¶Moue nat thy mynde, with crewell malyce
Agaynst thy detractours, O symple Innocence
Remembre howe prycketh them, the synne of auaryce
Gyuynge them boldenes, thou knowest by experyence
5 Acquaynt the therfore, with pearles pacyence
Requyre thou her, with the for to abyde
Euer to stande, and be in thy defence
Tyll suche a tyme, as thy trouth may be tryed.

¶Uexe nat thy vaynes, with vyolent hate
10 Expell from the, all enuye and yar
Receyue no ranker, for hurtynge thyne estate
Neuer from pacyence, flye thou for yar
Onely she is thy remedye
None other, but her knowe I Recure to be. last three words set suprascript

Robert_Uaghane to the treatyse.

GO forth lytell treatyse, I do the commyt
To her womanly wysdom, that shall the retayne
And thoughe thou be both lose and vnknyt
I doubte nat, but she wyll do her busye payne
5 To sowe the togyther, with fyne sylke of Spayne
[A]nd make the an hyllynge, of fyne veluet blewe letter broken
Because in the, is nothynge sayde certayne
But she her-selfe, doth knowe it to be trewe.

¶Haue than no drede, to be in her protection
10 As thou dost her, so wyll she the defende
And for to say the soth, in myne election
I can nat se, what nature more can lende
To any wyght, her fourme to amende
Her vertues vernysshe, as vyolettes in vere
15 I wyll nat speake, other to offende
But in wyt and womanheade, I knowe nat her pere.

sig: [E4v]
¶Therfore, whan thou shalt come to her syght
Whiche wyll be shortely, as far as I gesse
Say thou arte sende, to pleade in her ryght
20 As in the quarell, of thyne owne maystresse
Than shall she se, what thou canst expresse
For her defence, her ryght to recure
And from detractours, that wolde the suppresse
In her Cypresse cofer, she wyll kepe the sure.

¶Thus endeth the Fawcon and the Pye.Anno domini. 1542.
¶Imprynted by me Robert_wyer / for Rycharde_Banckes.
Cum priuilegio regali / ad imprimendum solum. per septem annum.