A Dialogue Between the Plaintiff and the Defendant

Calverley, William

STC 4370
Ringler 4370 and TP 1261. UMI microfilm reel 132

A dyalogue bitwene the playntife and the defendaunt. Compyled by W. Caluerley, whyles he was prisoner in the towre of London
London: Thomas Godfray,1535?.

Composition Date: 1535?.

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¶A dyalogue bitwene the playntife and the Defendaunt. Compyled by Wylliam_Caluerley/ whyles he was prisoner in the towre of London.
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¶To the kynges highnesse.

O Exellent prince of my lyfe chefe patron
Medicyn to sycke men in their gret distresse
To all nedy: both shelde and protection
Refuge to wretches their dommage to redresse
5 Men that ar halfe deed/ restoring to quickenesse
Sith your grace of god was chosen to be so good
O exellent prince forgyue my offencesse
In th'onour of god that bought you with his blode

¶Blacke is my wede/ of complaynte and mourning
10 As a man cast from all felycite
Lyke one of a funerall/ bedewed with wepynge
Clad in the mantell of frowarde aduersyte
Trymblyng and quakinge/ of my lyfe no surete
But if I drinke of your most mercyfull flode
15 Than shall I neuer offende/ by your soueraynte
But saue that which god bought with his preciouse blode

¶O myrrour of lyght/ suffre nat to perisshe
Thy poore subiecte: but to his prayer enclyne
Whiche herafter thy lawes shall cherisshe
20 And kepe them as most holly and diuyne
Sith your grace hath ben treacle and chef medicyn
To other offendours which in myschef stode
Pardon me Salomon/ I wyll obey thy doctryne
And saue that which god bout with his precious blod

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25 ¶And for my parte/ of one hert abidyng
Uoyde of chaunge/ and all mutabilyte
I do present this boke/ with hande shakyng
Of hole affection/ knelyng on my kne
Desyring the lorde/ whiche is persons thre
30 By whose magnifycence we receyue all fode
That by your grace I may haue lybertye
And saue that which god bout with his preci[ous] blode precious] preci. 1535

¶For all my purpose combyned in-to one
Of whiche this boke shall make mencioun
35 Is to voyde yll wede/ and to take the good corne
As reason hath taught me by discretioune
Puttyng no trust in the whele of fortune
But in this dialogue comprehend that persons good
By grace and vertu may here contune contune: var. of continue
40 And saue that which god bought with his precious blode

¶Go forth lytle boke for fere tremblynge
Pray the prince to haue on the pytie
Uoyde of all picture/ or of any connynge
To compyle a[n]y curyouse ditie
45 Causynge thy prince to take on the mercy
Pray god graunt his grace that died on the rode
To preserue his hye noblenes and magnanimite
And to be partaker of Christes precious blode.

¶Thus endeth the supplication/ and here foloweth the Dialogue betwene the Playntyf and defendant.

The Playntyfe

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AS I sat musyng/ callyng to remembraunce
And consydered in myn owne fantasy
The vnsure trust of worldly varyaunce
Of men and women/ the chaunge and the folly
5 Thought in my mynde to compyle some ditye
Lyke one troubled in herte with heuynesse
No socour fyndinge/ me for to redresse.

¶Blamyng fortune/ why she stode nat certayne
But with her double whele brought men in doute
10 Causynge me for to suffre moche payne
Reportynge howe she had cast me out
From her fauour/ as she tourned about
Taking a wronge turne/ where I thought me sure
By her double meanes/ and my harde auenture

15 ¶Sayenge lady: thou settest by me no pryce
For by thy froward and furiouse vyolence
Thou hast tourned thy whele/ and visage of malyce
Bringynge me clene from all credence
Hauynge nothynge to make resystence
20 Thus by the fortune/ and thy mutabilyte the: =thee
Sole a[b]iecte/ and cast in-to pouerte abiecte] adiecte 1535

¶What haue I offended thou art so contrarious
Whiche hath caused me in mischefe to fall
Thus to be tourmented in thy syege perilouse
25 My swete sugre is tempered with gall
Wherfore to the/ I reply my hurtes all
But this as I wrote/ I herde a voyce crye
Peace I saye/ thou begynnest for to lye


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SOthly I parceyue well thy condicion
30 Thou dost as vnthriftes/ almost euery-chone
Wyll them excuse/ without exception
And blame fortune/ as their chef fone
Sayenge/ it is in her power alone
The to rule/ as a lady of desteny
35 Whiche is a secte of playne Idolatry

¶Nature hath taught the/ that wronge is to excuse
Under a curtayne/ your falshed to hyde
Lytell good corne amonges your chaf to vse
On your fautes you lyst nat to abyde
40 The gaule touched/ all that you set a ####ab#### syde
Sowynge roses fresshe/ the nettles you let passe
Under fortune to couer your trespasse

¶And if you maye tell your owne tale
Howe that all came by fortunes whele
45 Lockinge your falsnesse faste in a male
Shewynge of your vyces but a small percele
As brickle glasse/ sheweth brighter than stele
Though vpon fortune you wolde set your pretence
He is a fole that gyueth to you credence


50 THus was I pensyf/ the water from my eye
For fere spronge forth/ and made pale my visage
Sore a ####ab#### basshed I beynge solytary
Shulde here a voyce/ and se no ymage
It parted atwayne/ both colour and courage
55 But by the voyce/ I thought by nature
That it shulde be some mortall creature.

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¶I sat full styll and marked what it sayde
Ferefull of chere/ sad in countenaunce
Thinkinge to answere/ sone at abrayde
60 And to that sayenge gaue dilygent attendaunce
Thus than I sayde with good remembraunce
If thou wylt argue/ agaynst fortunes strength
It wyl be sene vpon the at the length

Fortune hath lyfte many men alofte
65 To hye astate and worldely dignyte
A nother sorte she hath gryped full vnsofte
And cast them downe in-to great aduersyte
By other proued/ nowe verifyed in me
Which is cast downe into stronge prison
70 There to abyde of the lawe correction


GOod reason that/ for lawes first was founde
In sondry wyse and busy occupacyon
Uertu to cherisshe/ vyces to confounde
Men chosen/ of power and good entencyon
75 Which of offendours shulde se done executyon
So that the vertuouse shulde be reserued
And haue promosyons/ such as they deserued.

Dedalus was the fyrst that prisons wrought
Full of ingyns/ called Laborinthus
80 All offenders thyder to be brought
A croked place/ to gete forthe daungerous
For suche as to good lawes were contrarious
And Tarquinus/ as I written fynde
Founde fyrst shaccles men for to bynde

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85 ¶These were ordayned vertue to preferre
And to maintayne trewe labour and busynesse
Besydes that/ to punisshe such as shulde erre
Whiche haue no ioye but vpon Idlenesse
And for other in their labours retchelesse
90 Purposynge to punisshe Sardanapall
Whiche of mischeues/ may be reconed principall


OF Sardanapall I neuer had acqueyntesse
I euer loued to a ####ab#### voide his company
Knowynge him to be vicyouse Idlenesse
95 Which is distruction/ to all maner of degre
Therfore thou offendest to atwyte me
With him whom I neuer yet loued
Not yet them/ which him in houshold cherisshed

¶And where thou sayst that prisons ordeyned be
100 Offendours to chastyce/ to mayntayne the right
For the welfare of euery comynaltye
To preferre vertue to his clere lyght
That to denaye it were nat in my myght
But one thynge wolde I demaunde of the
105 Whether suche robbe nat a hole comynaltye

¶That hath shepe in pastures goynge
Whiche grounde before this hath ben put to tyllage
Hauyng thousandes/ his poore neybour lackinge
He and his shepherdes alone in a vyllage
110 Thus getteth his goodes/ by extortion and pyllage
If a man parte of his goodes withdrawe
Shal he make answere therfore by goddes lawe


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NAy nat so I say/ it is all otherwyse
I may nat suffre you to go there amonge
115 Lest that you wolde perilouse thynges deuyse
Under a colour/ to occupie you with wrong
What shuld I lenger drawe the mater a ####ab#### long
Of goddes lawes thou art nat executor
Nor of thy souerayns/ no good reformator.

120 God gaue a lawe/ and with this a precept
That no man shuld his neyghbours good desyre
Thou hast nat the offyce them to corecte
But with god thou ronnest in great Ire.
But what thou meanest/ now sone I can conspire
125 Thou thynkest to make a cloke for the rayne.
It wyll nat be/ for it is all in vayne.

¶Of suche conspiracy began fyrst robbers
Theues by hye-wayes/ extorcion with violence
Murder/ sla[u]ghter/ and couert brybers
130 Discension/ grudgyng/ and disobedience
Now of thy tale to touche thy pretence
It is nat fortune that causeth their yll chaunce
But them-selues for lacke of good gouernaunce. them-selues] them/ selues 1535


¶Nat fortune? yes/ and that shall well be sene
135 For by her euer/ men do possesse treasures
Fallen hath to ruyn both kinge and quene
And raysed agayne by her onely socours
Exalted she hath/ many great conquerours
And to suche as she wolde nat se
140 Hath cast them downe in great aduersyte

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¶Loke who she enbraseth and holdeth in her chaine
Worldely people/ and their goodes transitory
And ryche marchauntes vnder her demeane
To knighthod she gyueth conquest and victory
145 She gyueth to other worldely prosperyte
Loke who her fauour hath recured
In this lyfe/ of welth they be assured.

¶These bysshops which be of lowe birth borne
And spirituall prelates in Rome towne
150 She hath them exalted other beforne
But nowe a lyttell she hath brought them downe
Thus whan she lyst her-selfe to frowne
She spareth niether manhod nor kynred
For of all persons she wyll be dred


155 SUche be wretches/ and to god vnkynde
That putteth them vnder her subiection
From goddes preceptes makyng them-selfe blynde
Submittynge them to fortune/ aboue good reason
And as touching the prelates that ar brought downe
160 Fortune pulled them nat from that place
It is the scorge of god/ for that they lacked grace.

¶The fall of one/ shulde be a clere lyght
To teache the other what they shulde eschewe
It is god that punissheth with his myght
165 And tryeth out the false from the trewe
Who that is here punisshed for his offence dewe
Happy may be/ if he say with good entent
Welcom from god/ the scourge of chastysement

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¶O what vnkinde people shuld them betake
170 And put their wylles vnto fortunes cure
Of god aboue the power to forsake
And with fortune all-thinge wyll assure
Thinking alwaye by her to endure
Lyke as she were of desteny a goddesse
175 That could bringe man to welth or wretchednesse


THy wordes stronge I may nat wel debar
Thy name I desyre before that I do spek
I thinke thou hast ben some man of war
Thy wynde causeth my herte to breke
180 Out from my eyen the water doth out leke
Thinkinge I haue begonne/ agaynst one to reply
Which by his strength wyll haue the mastry

¶For lyke as ro[u]nde droppes of the south rayne
Which that discende/ and fall from a ####ab#### lofte
185 On stones harde/ at the eye as it is sayne
Peerseth the hardnesse/ with their fallynge ofte
Albeit in toucheng/ the water is but softe
The persyng causeth by force no puisaunce
But by fallyng/ the longe contynuaunce

190 ¶So semblab[l]y of right I dare reherce semblably] semblaby 1535
Thy wordes marked with full and good entent
A hole in-to my herte doth perce
For I fere lest that I might be shent
And by my excusyng ronne in a contempt
195 More worthy for that to be punissheable
Than by the faute I shulde haue ben culpable


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IN warres trewly there haue I ben ofte
But my nature is alwaye to make pease
Without me most thinges do proue nought
200 Howe-so-euer it be/ by hardnesse or ease
Loke who that loueth me nat to please
Here he can nat longe be in tune
Although he thinke to mary with fortune

¶I haue me so vsed/ that thorow my noblenes
205 Clerkes in lerninge/ which clerely can concerne
Doughter of god/ lady/ and princes
Reason they call me/ good folke to gouerne
Atwene good and euyll/ iustly to decerne
I haue departed playnly to conclude
210 The lyfe of man/ from the lyfe of beestes rude.

¶With me I conserue/ both vertue and mesure
Consyderinge thinges/ what shal be ####ab#### fall
Taking no enterprice: but with me descrecion sure
And vpon prudence/ founde my workes all
215 Than to counsell/ Attemperaunce I do call
Warely prouydinge/ in my-selfe within
The ende of thinges/ before that I begynne.


HElas/ helas/ to write in wordes fewe
Lenger to lyue/ I haue no fantasye
220 For where shulde I my face out-shewe
Syth agaynste reason/ I haue helde champerty
Nowe dare I appere in-to no company
For to my body/ deth I haue prouyded
Leuing reason and vertu/ which shuld me haue gided

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225 ¶Nowe this mater troubleth my memory
Better to dye than to lyue in shame
For my offences thus stande I in ieoperdy
Fro my mortall body/ gone is my name
Youth and fraylnesse was moche to blame
230 Wherfore better it were from this lyfe disceuer
Than with slaunderouse fame/ for to lyue euer.

¶Some tonges there be venemouse of nature
Whan they perceyue a man from state meued
With their wylles do their busy cure
235 By yll reporte/ to make men more greued
There is no poyson so well expert and preued
Therfore now hert/ why brekest thou nat asonder
Of this worlde to rydde the from this wonder.


NAt so/ for I can breke a castell down
240 And bylde it after more fresshe to the syght
Exyle a man from dyuers region
And him reuoke whan I lyst by ryght
Thus may I do by my power and myght
So that thou wylt obeye to me reason
245 I shall the teche/ this trouble to ouercom

¶A thefe may robbe a man of his richesse
And by some meane make restitution
Another may by myght oppresse
The pore man from his possession
250 Yet after to him make satisfaction
Be it with lyfe or elles with deth.
Cor contritum et humiliatum deus non dispiciet.

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¶The lorde for a tyme may the chastyce
And of offenders sende the to the place
255 Whan he and I together do deuyse
That with repentance/ thou art fall in grace
Than sone after we shall deuyse a place
Takinge the vnto our great mercy
Thinkyng by correction/ gone is thy folly.


260 IF thou canst this matter thus recure
I shall the promyse all the dayes of my lyfe
To be vnder thy protection and lure
Obedyent at all/ as a louynge wyfe
Euer with vyce to holde warre and stryfe
265 For bi him I am brought in wretchednes and nede
Forsaken of good men/ frendship/ and kinrede

¶Take here my faith in pledge or hostage
To fulfyll it with sure condicyon
Credence you must my speche or langage
270 For what helpeth an oblygacion
To him/ which hath nought in possessyon
If I shulde breke/ spare nat to ordayne
For my wretchednes most cruell payne.

¶And I shall first for my offences all
275 Be sory in hert/ willynge to amende
And after that to write in generall
An example to other which shulde intende
Herafter/ in suche a cause to offende
If my souerayne sende nat Atropose with hast
280 Me to a ####ab#### rest with his dedly mase.


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FEare nat that/ for the stronge lyoun
To prostrate peple/ of kynde is merciable
Unto suche as fall before him downe
No beest in mercy to him comperable
285 His royall puysance can nat be vengeable
Who falleth down/ and for mercy doth call
He doth defende them from wolues and tygers all

¶This royall lyon/ of valyaunt gentry
A ####ab#### monge other beestes of force incomperable
290 Preueth nat his power nor regally
Agaynst beestes which be nat defensable
Nor agaynst wretches in cause semblable
But for their offences taketh mercye in morgage
Forgiuynge offences/ leauyng their outrage

295 ¶Therfore to wryte/ loke thou procede
And condempne againste me thy fyrst argument
Excepte that grace aboue fortune excede
And with him vertue/ both of one assent
Nothinge may last/ nor be permanent
300 But at the ende such guerdon they shall haue
As the iust matter of right shulde therfore craue matter: marter?


NOwe first Helas/ who shalbe my muse
Or to whom shall I for helpe call
Caliope/ my callynge wyll refuse
305 And on Pernaso hir worthy systers all
They wyll their spices tempre with no gall
For their swetnesse/ and lusty fresshe syngynge
Full farre discordeth from matter complaynyng

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¶Thus I nowe beginning/ derked with ignorance
310 My wyt is dull this thynge to discerne
Quenched ar the torches of parceueraunce
Clene extincte the lyght of my lanterne
Lackynge lernynge my style to gouerne
Drede and vnconnynge maketh a batayle
315 With dulnesse of wyt/ to hynder my trauayle

¶Supporte haue I none my dulnes to guyde
Pouerte hath written my name in his boke
Dispere standeth also by my syde
Which paleth my chere/ and astonyeth my loke
320 Thus I hotte/ drye/ and wery/ fyndeth no bote
Howe I shulde to reason my promyse fulfyll
Standyng waueringe betwene good and yll


DIspayre/ I say nay/ that is contrary
It is Idlenesse here in thys present lyfe
325 Which hath drawen many from their lybrary
And wyll nat suffre them to be contemplatyfe
For her condicion is to holde stryfe
With euery vertuouse occupacion
Which men shulde voyde/ by wysedom and reason

330 ¶Remembre thy busynesse/ loke thou take hede
Procede with thy worke thou hast take in hande
Grace shall crosse thy sayle with good spede
And kepe thy shyp from neglygences sande
Good_counsell shall brynge thy shyp to lande
335 And hope shall brynge vnto the socour
Trustyng some man shall acquyte thy labour

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¶I meane as thus/ the shyppe of thy traueyle
Which hath passed the great dangerouse seuen
Cast nat anker/ tyll thou hast good riuale
340 Let no tempest/ thunder/ nor leuyn
Nor no wyndes of the cloudy heuyn
Cause idlenesse to lay thy pyllow/ euen nor morow
Uoyde her/ and let her go with sorowe


THis writyng my letter/ I wrapped all in drede This: =Thus
345 In my right hande/ my penne beginneth to quake
And for fere/ my hert is lyke to blede
Yet must I forth/ and this vndertake
For to Reason promyse dyd I make
The teres distillynge fro myne eyes brinke
350 At this begynnyng I tempre with my inke

But hope and trust putteth away dispayre
In-to my mynde/ of newe I gan redresse
To make the wether bright and fayre
Reasons promyse/ with his bountuous largenesse
355 Brought in-to my herte so moche gladnesse
That without any maner of delay
As is this tenour/ this fyrst I gan say.

CReatures all/ in your fyrst prouydence
Be right well ware/ any-thyng to attame
360 Whiche vnto god shulde be offence
For if ye do the ende of it is shame
And in this worlde appalled is your name
But you repente/ god of his iustyce
Your vicious lyueng vnwarely wyll chastyce

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365 ¶Except you folowe vertue with dilygence
Forsaking vice/ the mother of Idlenesse
Your ende you may se/ by other experience
Which is nought/ but misery and wretchednesse
Forsake wronge/ and folowe rightwisenesse
370 Or elles of one thinge be you sure
God wyll nat suffre you longe to endure

¶Unto false prophetes gyue no credence
Folowyng mans lerninge/ and their tradicion
But to goddes preceptes with all reuerence
375 Put thy mynde and hole entencyon
Forsake nat god for all their punission
For they be wolues wrapped in a lammes-skinne
Honey without/ and poyson within

¶The wyly wolues that casteth to deuour
380 The sely lammes/ which can no defence
Nor no helpe/ them for to socoure
So feble they ar to make resystence
Whiche denyeth trewth/ by false apparence
What wonder is it/ the fraude nat conceyued
385 Though such lammes vnwarely be deceyued

¶Lammes they ar in shewyng/ shadowed with mekenesse
Cruell as tygers/ who doth them offence
Of great holynes pretendynge a lykenesse
But wo (alas) what harme doth apparence
390 What domage doth countrefayt innocence
Under a mantell of false simplicite
Uery hipocrites full of crueltie

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¶Remembre Rome/ cal now vnto thy mynde
The dayes ar passed of thy felicyte
395 Thy great conquestes are lefte behynde
To lyght is come all thy iniquite
Thy decrees sent forth in-to euery countre
Suche as agreed nat with Christes scripture
Ar clene extyncke/ no lenger may endure

400 ¶From Th'eest to the Weest thy lybertes dyd attayn
Aboue all power most excellent and royall
But now truth brought out/ so euident and plain
Hath hyndred sore thy seate imperiall
In peoples hertes to remayne perpetuall
405 Your hye prydes are now defaced
Your bulles and pardons/ almoste out-raced.

¶Kynges and princes were to the try[b]utary trybutary] tryputary 1535
Of all welth/ so gret was your flode
Untyll from god/ so fare you dyd vary
410 That all creatures/ knowynge yl from good
Perceyued you bare two faces in one hood
Than by good reason sone they prouyded
From your burdens/ for to be deuyded

¶O Rome/ Rome/ loke all thy olde abusion
415 Of thy Ceremonies/ and false disgysynge
Laye them asyde/ and now in conclusion
Cry god mercy/ thy trespas repentyng
Trust he wyll nat at length refuse thy askyng
The to receyue to worke in his vyne
420 And to haue as moche/ as he that cam at prime.

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Unto the kyng with faythfull obeysaunce
Towardes his grace/ shewe thy humilyte
Agaynst him nor his/ holde no varyaunce
But fyght for him/ in euery countre
425 Desyre to se him in ioye and felycite
Kepe his preceptes/ as thy lorde and souerayne
Euer as pleasure/ thinking them no payne.

¶Thy obeysaunce playnly/ at a worde
By god thou arte commaunded to owe in souerente
430 Unto thy kynge/ thy gouernour and thy lorde
In payne of dedly synne/ so he commaundeth the
Both to him/ and to such as he a ####ab#### gre
Of his people to take the gouernaunce
Them to folowe with their good ordinaunce

435 ¶Consyder thou/ it is a hertely reioysinge
To serue a prince/ that well doth aduertyse
Of his seruantes the faithfull iust meanynge
And wyll consyder to gwerdon their seruyce
Which at a nede wyll them nat despyce
440 But from all danger that shulde them noye or greue
Be euer redy to helpe them and releue.

¶As in this lande/ I dare affirme a thyng
Henry the eight/ full myghty of puisaunce
Of England and Fraunce/ our most noble king
445 Defensor of the faith/ hauing Irelande in gouernance
To al his subiectes/ greatest ioye and pleasance
By whose noble polycie/ and also disc[r]ecyon discrecyon] discecyon 1535
Conserued is this most noble regyon

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¶Duringe his tyme/ longe by his prudence
450 Pease and quiete/ he sustayneth by right
That natwithstanding his noble prouydence
In this worlde lyueth nat a better knight
Eyed as Argus/ with reason and foresyth foresyth: =foresight
And in good lerninge/ I dare of him tell
455 Of his predecessours/ the most he doth excell

¶This with his prudence/ and his manhede
Trewth he sustayneth/ fauour settyng a ####ab#### syde
To Christes scripture/ a mayntenour with dede
That in this lande/ false prophetes dare nat byde
460 A very supporter/ vpholder/ and also guyde
Of Christes churche defence/ and noble champion
To chastyce all tho/ that be Christes fone

¶Obseruinge alwayes/ the testament of Iesu
Studyenge euer to haue the trewe intellygence
465 Gyuenge his subiectes the lyght of vertue
Ipocrisy excluding vnder false apparence
Thus of the trewth he hath experience
Knowing him-selfe/ in many sondry wyse
Where they trespace/ their errour to chastyce

470 ¶Reuolue how our souerayne/ a mirrour of lit
Transcendeth all other/ by vertuouse exellence
Eschewinge all visyons/ sekinge the right
By his noble descrecyon/ and naturall prouydence
Temperinge his nature/ by mercy and clemence
475 Kepynge dangers from his subiectes in all-thinge
As appertayneth to a most noble kynge

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¶Thinges longe passed/ he kepeth in remembrance
Conseruing all thinges/ with honour in presence
For thinges to come/ maketh good ordinaunce
480 Folowing the traces of vertuouse contynence
Agaynst fayned myracles makynge resistence
By the great vertue/ and magnanimyte
Whiche is apropred to his roiall maiestie

¶Also his manhode/ sheweth him lyke a kyng
485 From other princes by maner of apparence
Of goodly stature as euer was raignyng
Spoken longe and farre of men/ from his presence
I knowe nat whether with dew reuerence
The region shuld be happyer/ that hath such a gouernour
490 Or els by god chosyn/ his grace to that honor

¶About him he hath for our great auayle
Dayly and hourly in his presence
Prudent and valyaunt to be of his counsayle
Suche of this worlde as hath most experience
495 Betwene good and euyll knowyng the difference
Tha[n] giuyng Res-publica/ to vs his subiectes Than] Tha 1535
With reuerent fere and loue/ obeyng his preceptes.

¶What hert so indurate/ shuld nat loue such one
Which so nobly conserueth his royall dygnite
500 Although he were made of the Adamant stone
Yet wolde it gyue/ for he with prosperyte
Is nat gladder/ nor for no aduersyte
Changeth no countinance/ his courage to renew
Both to god and man/ yeldyng that is dewe.

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505 ¶Thus a man that perfyte is and stable
As scripture with good reason doth preue
Nothing there is so fayre nor agreable
Than fynally this viciouse lyfe to leaue
On very god rightfully to be ####ab#### leue
510 Him to loue and worship aboue all-thynge
And next to him/ thy most redouted kynge

¶Olde examples of men that hath fall
If they with grace brought them to mynde
Myght be a myrrour to creatures all
515 Howe they in vertue shal remedies fynde
To eschew vyces/ of suche as were made blynde
Fro sodayne fallynge them-selues to preserue
Longe to contune/ and thanke of god deserue

¶But suche as lyst nat corrected to be
520 By example of other for vicyouse gouernaunce
Other of him shall the correction se
Bicause they shulde mende their misgouernance
Say nat that it is by fortunes variaunce
Colourynge such gyltes/ which they do vse
525 Their demerytes by collour so to excuse

¶Who foloweth vertu longest shall perceuer
Be it in riches or elles in pouerty
Lyght of trouth/ his clerenes kepynge euer
Against the assautes of longe prosperite
530 Make youth and vertu togyther to agre
For whan a man from vertu doth declyne
Harde it is/ if he make a good fyne

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¶Uertue conserueth all men in their glory
And here confirmeth their habitations
535 Where vyces putteth their price out of memory
For their trespases/ and also transgressyons
Than are they taken and cast in prisons
Sone after/ for their great punicyon
Brought to their ende/ by iust executyon

540 ¶Lokinge about them/ there shall they se
Their frendes/ and other for dolour sobbynge
With their handes wringyng thy sore aduersyte
Some wondering/ some be ####ab#### dewed with wepyng
Of strangers a noyce/ and a hidyouse cryenge
545 Thus is their ende/ with shamfull rumure
Where vertue lacketh/ nothing maye endure

¶Loke/ who in this worlde doth most desyre
By wronge tytle/ his state to magnify
By an etyke of couetouse/ hotter than fyre etyke: =hectic
550 Other mennes goodes/ as his owne to occupy
As I haue red/ and sene with myne eye
Though it hath lasted for a small tyme
The ende of it hath turned to ruyne

¶Marke in your mynde/ who-euer hath vsed
555 To oppresse trewth: by power and tyranny
And rightwysenesse/ by wyll hath refused
Supportynge him-selfe/ by extortion and robbery
Auoydyng reason/ folowinge sensualyte
Coniecter euer/ if their fyne and prefe
560 Were nat alwaye/ to dye at a mischefe

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¶To this I knowe/ no man can make descorde
For well it is proued/ all such wyll come to nout
Thousandes of examples I coulde bring to recorde
And mo I knowe/ if they were out sought
565 It shall nat nede/ for all men in their thought
Knoweth ill gotten/ worse euer spent
Yet for their extortion/ they shall be shent

¶Besydes that/ such as loueth idelnesse
Owinge to god/ neither loue nor drede
570 Couetouse people/ that men doth oppresse
And such as wyll do nothinge/ but for mede
As desemblers cladde in double wede
Who sercheth well/ nought is the ende
Yet god suffreth longe/ to haue them to amende

575 ¶From yll counsayle/ fast loke thou flee
For that hath brought many to mischaunce
Shedynge honey first/ stingyng after as the be
Though the honey be swete/ the stinge is greuance
So shall be the ende/ who foloweth the chaunce
580 That he shall curse the tyme/ and also repent
That euer with their hony/ he toke any talent

¶Suche maye be called/ the deuyls taberers
With froward soundes/ the eares to fulfyll
Or of Cures the perilous buttelers
585 Which gall with their honney/ downe distyll
Whose drinkes be both amorous and yll
And all clerkes well deuyse conne
Worse than the drinke of Cerenes tonne

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¶Therfore put lyfe neuer in a venture
590 But for matters iust/ and also trewe
Preue them by reason that they stande sure
Knowe well the grownde/ of mater olde or newe
The best than take/ and the worst eschew
After thy degre/ make thy cost and spendynge
595 That in a meane/ thou make a good endynge

¶Whan Dedalus taught his sonne for to flye
He bad him first of hye discretyon
From Phebus hete/ to kepe his wynges fre
And from Neptunus colde congelacion
600 Meanyng hereby/ for shorte conclusyo[n]
That who that lyst with ioye his state assure
In a good meane men shulde lengest endure

¶With great plenty/ men be nat best assured
After their lust alway to lyue in ease
605 And though that men great treasure hath recured
With their riches they fele many a disease
Gret personages hath nat alwai thinges them to please
Therfore as stories dyuers doth expresse
Hartely is ioye/ atwene pouertie and richese

610 ¶In the erth here/ the greatest felicite
For the hertes ease/ and richest possessyon
Is with suffysaunce content for to be
Of worldly trouble to eschew the occasyon
Meuyng no quarelles/ that shulde cause discension
615 Nor desyre nothinge/ harde to recure
For here is lyttell in this worlde sure.

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Morall Seneck/ recordeth by writynge
Richest of thinges/ is a meane from pouerte
Euer of one chere/ voyde of all grudgynge
620 Both in ioye/ and also aduersyte
Thorowe this worlde to haue their lyberte
And these Greke wordes which I written fynde
Alwayes remembre and bere them in thy mynde

Diogynes was content in his lytell tunne
625 His conquest was more souerayne of degre
Than Alexander/ for al his renowme
For he conquered his sensualyte
Makinge him subiecte to reason of dewtie
And clerke of his kechen he made attemperaunce
630 Which of his body had the hole gouernaunce

¶Examples we haue ynough vs to suffyce
In bokes founde .xx. thousande and mo
To exemplyfy folke that ben wyse
How this worlde is a thorow-fare full of wo
635 Tossed and tumbled with vanytes to and fro
Deth is annexed to vs by successyon
For Adams offence to vs conueyde downe

¶O wordely folke aduertyce with good entent wordely: =worldely
What vengeaunce/ and what punissyon
640 God shall take in his iugement
For our trespaces/ and also transgressyon
Which breketh his preceptes against all reason
Forgettynge howe with his preciouse blode
Us to saue/ he dyed on the rode.

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645 ¶Here for oure sakes/ and oure redemption
Thorowe hande and fote nayled to a tre
Soffred payne/ and cruell passyon
Nothinge asking of high nor lowe degre
Recompensed ayenwarde for to be
650 But that we shulde set/ all hole our ententes
To fulfyll all his commaundementes.

¶Thus endeth the Dialogue of the Playntyf and the defendaunte.
Printed at London by Thomas_Godfray.
Cum priuilegio Regali.