A Pretty Complaint of Peace


STC 5611
Ringler 5611 and TP 181 ('As one vnworthy ...'). UMI microfilm reel 920

A pretye complaynt of Peace that was banyshed out of dyuers countreys
London: I. Byddell,1538?.

Composition Date: 1538? [STC].

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¶A pretye complaynt of Peace that was banyshed out of dyuers countreys and brought by Welth in-to England / and than fearyng both to be thens exiled, made great mone / vntyl Prudence retayned them agayne.
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¶The prologe to the reder.

AS one vnworthy to wryte or dedicate
For lacke of conning or pleasaunt eloquence
This simple worke, to any great estate
Or vnto them whiche haue experience
5 Of goodly lernynge by grace and influence
yet my poore hert which wyssheth all-thynge well
Wold Peace and Welth in England styl shold dwell

The poorest sorte therfore I do nowe praye
This for to rede, for they may dayly se
10 That where a house is fallen in decaye
It hath moost nede, newe mended for to be
So is this mater moost mete for pouerte
That nede of welth, which doth complayne and tell
That Peace and he in Englande coulde not dwell

15 How-beit all men I hertely desyre
For to receyue my true intencion
Whiche by this treatyse shall playnly well appere
That to my countrey I haue so good affection
To shewe the people, what hurt commeth of discencion
20 Wherfore yf ye wyll florysshe and excell
Let Peace and Welth, in Englande euer dwell

¶The ende of the prologe.
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¶The complaynte of Peace.

WEre it for theyr profyte that on euery syde
Men me refused I coulde be content
But seynge that in all the worlde so wyde
Where I am not, they haue cause to lament
5 Why wolde I than theyr madnes repent
Whiche euer-more are redy to rebell
And me exyle, which with them fayne wold dwell

And yet of pity I greatly do bewayle
Theyr vnkyndnes and inf[e]licite infelicite] infilicite 1538
10 To se the sorowe / the labour, and trauayle
That foloweth euer where-as they banysshe me
Yet one by an-other can not warned be
Untyll they fele suche wo and greuous payne
That they are glad to wys[s]he for me agayne wysshe] wysfhe 1538

15 Who wyll mourne at theyr misery
Or who may say one worde in theyr defence
For here I plede for my-selfe truly
That to no man I neuer dyd offence
But euer commaunded, trouthe and obedience
20 Unto theyr prynce / and one to loue an-other
As it besemeth euery chrysten brother

The brute beestes whiche lacke reason and wyt
Unto your shame, shewe loue and amitie
O folysshe man why doest thou than forget
25 Thy name / thy nature / and eke thy dignitie
Remembre lyke whom, that god hath formed the
And the hath made a creature reasonable
Mete to receyue his gyftes incomparable

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And yf that beestes / truly dyd me despyse
30 I wolde impute the contumely
Therof to nat[u]re / but ye that sholde be wyse
And haue of reason the very vse onely
Which that they lacke / yet shewe they forth dayly
More frendly concorde accordynge to theyr kynde
35 Than any men that I can se or fynde

Beholde the byrdes in companyes that fle
Note how the dere, and shepe in herdes do fede
The fysshe by scoles that swym as ye may se
The swarmes of bees / and also ye may rede
40 Of lytle antes the polesye and gyde
And many beestes that seldome fight and rage
But man with reason sheweth hym more sauage

Me-thynke that man of nature wolde desyre
To lyue in peace / remembrynge in his mynde
45 How poore and naked he fyrst in entred here
Whan nature onely was to hym suche a frende
To gyue hym souke / to swadell, and to wynde
Whiche elles forthwith than in his infancye
Must nedes haue dyed, there was no remedy

50 And yet yf nature with you can haue no place
In whom that reason ought to be resident
Whiche in brute beestes auayleth in that case
I wyll you shewe a thynge more excellent
Whiche sholde perswade, your frowarde yll intent
55 To loue / which is of Chryst the true doctryne
And ought to be your onely discyplyne

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That doctryne onely ye say you haue profest
Where are the dedes that sholde it than declare
Of concorde / peace / quietnes / and rest
60 Whan one with other, to fyght styll wyll not spare
I am a byrde that sene is very rare
In any lande there to contynue longe
Yet euer gladly I wolde them amonge

But I am dryuen away on euery syde
65 From lande to lande wors than a banysshed man
In any countrey, small tyme I do abyde
I am full wery / what remedy nowe than
Is there no counsell, that any gyue me can
Where that I may nowe haue a restynge-place
70 Amonge some people, that haue so good a grace

In Fraunce I trusted amonge them for to dwell
But there I founde my purpose was in vayne
For they full fearsly away dyd me expell
Than fled I thens to Flaunders and to Spayne
75 But warre myne enemy persued fast agyane
So that I was from thens full fayne to flye
In sundry countreys, and so to Italye

In Italy I was a certayne space
And sawe the bysshop with his cardinals
80 Dwellyng in Rome, with whom I found smal grace
I may them lyke full well to paynted wals
Recorde of Paule, whiche one of them so cals
Whiche dyd hym stryke / nothyng vnto his prayse
Agayne my wyll, whiche that am called Pease

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85 I dyd abhorre theyr great abhominacion
To se howe lordly they dyd bothe go and ryde
Nothynge lyke to Chrystes apostles fasshyon
There was couetous / lechery / and pryde
With other knackes, that I coulde not abyde
90 For prety poyson, there wrought so preuyly
I had small comforte to dwell in Italy

Than as I mused whyther for to fare
Whan as an outlawe they dyd me reprehende
A frende of myne byd me not to care
95 For in-to Englande he sayd he wolde me sende
Whiche countrey to me so hyly dyd commende
And his reporte I toke it also sure
That there for euer I thought styll to endure

Of welth I herde this goodly commendacion
100 Whiche to me truly was no small comforte
To here of Englande the goodly cytuacion
Wherfore in haste I gate me to a porte
And sayled thens vntyll I dyd resorte
Unto that lande, where euen as welth had sayd
105 I founde all-thyng, whiche made me well apayde

For in that region I had full gentyll chere
With welth my frende that helde me company
Whiche in Englande had dwelled many yere
And me assured that euen so sholde I
110 Wherto I agreed, and so we bothe truly
Came to a city / where all-thynge was pleasaunt
Called London, somtyme Troye_nouaunt

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This city to me all other dyd excell
Theyr goodly ordre was to me great pleasure
115 There found I concorde which lyked me ful well
With true dealyng / iust wayght / and good measure
Plenty of vitayle / golde, and great treasure
And Iustyce ruled there moost lyke a kynge
Whiche was to me surely a full ioyfull thynge

120 The poore people I sawe them fast apply
Theyr true labour, theyr housoldes to maynteyn housoldes: =households
That glad I was to se how louyngly
One dyd for other, refusynge no great payne
Loue in theyr hertes appered there so playne
125 That there was neighbour, come dyne and go with me
And I shall surely go twyse as farre with the

Those louynge wordes greatly dyd me reioyce
So that I was in great felicitye
But sodeynly I herde a wonders noyse
130 Of one, Discencyon, come in the north-countree
Whiche was euer an enemy to me
And men of hym so greatly spake and sayd
That I was neuer before so moche afrayde

Yet dyd I hyde me there full preuely
135 In hope that wysedome, wolde put hym to flyght
How-beit I sawe there was no remedy
But that to warre all men were redy dyght
Wantyng nothyng that shold them helpe to fight
Full wo was I to se poore wyues mone
140 For theyr husbandes which to the war were gone

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Me-thought London was chaunged sodeynly
For there was romblyng and serche on euery syde
For bowes / bylles / speres / and swerdes truly
For gonnes / gonpoudre / and horses for to ryde
145 Alas thought I what shall of me betyde
Suche ratlynge of har[n]eys I dyd both here and se
That I am dryuen from hens away to fle

Than in a nyght I stale me thens away
And toke my iourney towarde the west-country
150 The next mornyng soone after sprynge of day sprynge] sprynnge 1538
I had espyed a ryght great company
Of harneysed men / than in a busshe crepte I
Tyll they were paste / I was full sore afrayde
They clatered cornish I know not what they said

155 But than I was brought in-to moche dispayre
For west nor Eest, I wyst not where to go
In all Englande I sawe men dyd repayre
To warre / to warre / my cruell mortall fo
And as I was in this distresse and wo
160 I sawe one commyng full sad with heuy chere
Not lyke to fyght, to whom I drewe me nere

He dyd salute me with all gentylnes
Me-thought he was a man of honeste
How-beit his chere suche sorow dyd expres
165 That I forgate playne what that he sholde be
With his sad garmentes, which mornyng were to se
Untyll he spake, and toke me by the hande
And sayd he was lyke to forsake this lande

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Than by his voyce I knewe full well his name
170 Which yet was chaunged through wo and pensifnes
What Welth sayd I? ye Peace quod he the same
Where art thou bounde in this great heuynes
It dothe appere thou arte in wofulnes
And yf in Englande there be no place for the
175 Than knowe I well there is no grace for me


No no Peace, thou must from hens departe
And so must I, which doth me moche repent
The people are so fonde and ouerthwarte
That vntyll we a whyle haue ben absent
180 And warre haue made them bare and indigent
They wyll not knowe the great diuersite
Of Peace, and warre / Welth, and aduersite

O Englande, Englande it dothe me greatly rue
The to forsake, whiche than must nedes decaye
185 How-beit thy people so frayle are and vntrue
That Peace and I with you abyde not maye
Whiche wyll at length, surely cause you to saye
Alas that euer we were so madde and wode
Them to exyle whiche were our frendes so good

190 Forsoth Peace / this dare I sure affarme
Of Englande haue I suche experience
That no countrey is able do it harme
And yf they kepe theyr true obedience
This lande sure is of suche excellence
195 They nede not feare no chrysten kynge nor Iewe
Yf in them-selfe they be both iust and trewe

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Welth thou hast spoken not all that might be said
Of pleasaunt Englande, but nowe let it suffyse
For I ensure the I am full sore afrayde
200 To se the people on euery syde aryse
Wherfore I pray the nowe gyue me thyne aduyse
This goodly countrey I wolde not yet forsake
And yf I wyst the besynes wolde aslake


To gyue the counsell nowe beynge in distresse
205 I am in doubte what I to the may say
Which am in daunger as moche as thou doubtles
But yf thou wylte nedes tary and assay
Yf that the worlde wyll turne a better way
In-to some abbey amonge religious men
210 There hyde thy-selfe, that is my counsell then


Nay nay, by god I thynke not that waye best
I do mystrust theyr cloked holynes
There is no place for me to hyde in rest
For some men thynke that of this besynes
215 Yf all were tryed they wolde not be gyltles
Wherfore those felowes I dare not come a_nye
For feare some-thyng be founde with them a_wrye

What may I do now for a certeyne space
To se yf that this mater wyll amende
220 For in no towne I dare ones shewe my face
Wel in-to wyldernes, I wyll now surely wende
And there to tary a tyme I do intende
My frende welth, what shal become of the
Wylt thou not now a whyle go dwel with me

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225 Alas Peace to lyue in wylde deserte
I haue not vsed, wherfore it wolde me greue
How sholde I welth there haue a mery herte
Where is no comforte, no socour nor relyue
But here of promes my trouth to the I gyue
230 And yf thou wylte in wyldernes go dwel
I wyll go se yf all-thynge may be wel

For to the courte I wyll strayght take my way
I am in fauour with the kynges counsell
There shal I heare some-thyng what they do say
235 Of that false knaue (Discencion) that rebell
And yf of trouthe that I may ones heare tel
That he be gone, with spede I wyll me hye
To brynge the worde where-euer that thou be


I se wel Welth that thou canst not endure
240 In forestes wylde, amonge the busshes thycke
Thou hast ben vsed so moche vnto pleasure
That cold and hunger perchaunce wold make the sycke
Wherfore fare-wel good deynty gentyl greke
For at the courte ye wyll go fyll your wallet
245 And in the woodes I must go pyke a sallet


My frende Peace / I praye the be content
My faythfull mynde thou nedest not to mystruste
But sythe thou hast a cowardes herte so faynt
That in the wodes now nedes hyde the thou must
250 I wyll auenture to proue and se the worst
And yf that wysdome may cause dyscorde to fle
That tydynges in post I wyll sure brynge to the

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And yf I se no hope nor remedy
But that Discencion is lyke to preuayle
255 Yet vnto the agayne sure come wyll I
And out of England than wyl we both hens sayle
Whiche wyl at length cause them ful sore to wayle
Wherfore farewell, syth we must nedes departe
And after sorowe god sende a mery herte

¶A Wofull complaynt of Peace, whan Welthe had forsaken hym.

260 NOw am I here poore Peace lefte all alone
Which am constrayned to lyue in wyldernes
For welthe my frende vnto the court is gone
He must nedes be where-as all pleasure is
How-beit I haue yet some comforte of this
265 In courte men say is good to haue a frende
But out of syght perchaunce wyll out of mynde

For welthe in courte where is so good welfare
His olde true frendes dothe many tymes forgete
And speacyally yf they be poore and bare
270 But yf with welthe no more that I may mete
Yet suche a let[te]r to hym than wyll I wryte letter] letetr 1538
That he shall knowe he is to moche vnkynde
That out of syght I sholde be out of mynde

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But of one thynge I am certayne and sure
275 Thoughe Welth / In court lyue well and pleasauntly
That there he maye no great longe tyme endure
Except I Peace / must thyther come truely
Wherfore some payne / a whyle suffre wyll I
And se whiche waye that hurlle wyll the wynde
280 Thoughe out of syght / I be and out of mynde

O Welthe Welthe, of the maye I complayne
That in-to Englande brought me fyrst to dwell
Whiche to forsake / it were to me great payne
This goodly countrey forsothe I lyke so well
285 O madde people bothe folyshe and cruell
Small cause haue ye to triumphe or to ioye
Your pleasaunt lande / vnwyselye to destroye

Suppose ye by warre to cause it to encrease
In honoure, substaunce, ryches, and dygnyte
290 Nay nay trulye / for yf that I poore Peace
Hens be exyled, than loke for pouerte
Warre nothynge bryngeth but great calamite
Ye folyshe people / what thynge do ye intende
Your owne dystruccyon styll foloweth at the ende

295 For thoughe I coulde now many thynges resyte
How euyll euer that rebelles haue preuayled
Whiche that I thynke not mete as nowe to wryte
Yet men alyue are / which that haue bewayled
Theyr noughty purpose which falsly hath them failed
300 Aske western men / which ones wer mad and wild
Howe wel they sped / for goyng to blackheth_felde

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I thynke small cause ye haue for to complayne
Excepte it be of pleasaunt welthynes
For no nacyon indureth lesser payne
305 Who hath it proued / the matter may expres
But sure in Englande there is moche ydelnes
Whiche is the rote of great debate and stryfe
For euery wretche wyll lede an easy lyfe

Howbeit truely / there is a common sayenge
310 That great ryche-men / and borne to moche lande
Are chefe causers of good poore-mens decayenge
With kepyng of fermes / and pastors in theyr handes
I knowe not I / howe that the matter standes matter] matters 1538
But I am sure that Englande maye alone
315 Susteyne his people / requyrynge helpe of none

What sholde I medle with reragys and fynes
Whiche with extremyte / that some men do requere
Wherfore poore men / full often grones and whynes
Theyr tenementes set so hye and dere
320 They are yll greued and yet they knowe not where
And of theyr paynes wolde fayne haue remedye
How-beit theyr medsyne lyke poyson is contrarye medsyne: =medicine

Ye seke for ease as men whiche lacke all wytte
And worthy sure / of great reproue and blame
325 God hath ordeyned a Kynge royall and mete
For to commaunde Iustyce in his name
All thynges to order / to setle and to frame
Whome that ye ought to honour and obey
And not to seke by warre a folyshe way

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330 Warre is the cause of great destruccyon
It bryngeth men to wretched pouerte
And they whiche are / in true possessyon
Theyr very ryght causeth them to fle
They are to blynde / forsoth that wyll not se
335 The great ruyne that foloweth cruell warre
Where none is made / but euery man dothe marre

For many a Duke / Erle / Lorde / and knyght
Which thorowe Peace / do lyue full welth[e]ly welthely] welthly 1538
By forse of warre / are dryuen frome theyr ryght
340 And men of substaunce are brought to mysery
The poore plowman / also full wofully
Whiche pyketh out his lyuinge with great payne
Soweth his corne / into the grounde in vayne

For warre destroyeth bothe Cyte Towne and lande
345 Who can expresse any wretchednesse
But that in warre it redy maye be fande
Extreme hunger / [and] synne with moost excesse and] but 1538
Murder / burnynge / thefte / and fylthynesse
What chrysten man can loue that noughty lyfe
350 Where they defloryshe both wydow / mayd and wyfe

Ye ought of truthe greatly to be ashamed
Yf that ye note / your frowarde yll intent
That ye for christians / wold loke ons to be named
Sith christ your maister which was from heuen sent
355 Shewed by his lyfe / and his commaundement
That he had Peace / in fauoure mooste of pryce
But you loue warre / and count your-selfe for wyse

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And yet as fooles ye wyll sure proue at length
Ye make a rod to beate your tayle withall
360 God wyl be true, for al your power and strength
Your folysshe pryde wyll haue a shamfull fall
O frowarde man to thy remembraunce call
That warres rewarde shall be to the agayne
For all thy labour but sorowe, wo, and payne

365 Of Paules epistles ye shal rede fewe or none
But that with Peace he dothe al men salute
And how dothe he extoll my name alone
To the Corinthians, where he dothe me repute
Most worthy prayse, which thing shold you confute
370 That fauour warre, the rote of euery vice
Out of your foly for shame aryse aryse

What sholde I expresse that Esaye doth me prayse
Whiche beynge inspired with the spirite diuyne
Prophesyed before that Chryst sholde come in Peace
375 Not lyke a warriour which causeth moche ruyne
Syth that a hethen poet wrote so fyne
Countyng Peace (to your great shame I_wus)
Chiefe of all thynges / whose name was Sillius

Alas alas what maye I farther saye
380 Sith hethen poetes your honour do depryue
Which haue nothyng but reason for to laye
And ye the testament of gods moost holy lyfe
To loue discencion / discorde / debate and stryfe
Ye may be counted vnto your vtter shame
385 As men vsurpynge, of Chryst a wrongfull name

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Of authors more / what nede I to indyte
Syth god hym-selfe chiefe author of all-thynge
Dothe me commende, whiche ought you to excyte
To loue) whiche dothe so many pleasures brynge
390 And I doubte not, but that there is a kynge
In Englande, whiche so wel dothe fauour me
That I agayne shall come to my degre

But nowe of welthe I longe greatly to heare
Which in the court hath suche good bankettynge
395 He thynketh lytle vpon my euyl chere
That in the wodes, I haue, where byrdes synge synge] so synge 1538
I wolde reioyce nowe moche of his commynge
It is .viij. wekes syth that on yonder playne
He went fro me / god sende hym sone agayne

400 I meruayle moche he is awaye so longe
How-beit his taryenge I lyke it some-what wel
For I suppose, and yf all-thynge were wronge
He is to wyse there to abyde and dwel
Some mery tydynges I hope he wyl me tel
405 Wherfore come welth my mynde doth moch desire
To se the ones, now pleasauntly appere

welth saluteth Peace.

God blysse the Peace, and sende the wel to fare
Thou hast me-thynke a chaunged peare of chekes
Is it with hunger, or els with wo and care
410 What meat hast thou? onyons / chese / or lekes
Thou art abated ryght euyll in .viij. wekes
Plucke vp thy herte / be mery, glad and fayne
Discencion is gone, with all his noughty trayne

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Now welcome welth euen with all my hert
415 Thy mery tydynges dothe greatly me reioyce
Me-thynke that gone is all my care and smert
Thy ioyfull wordes do make so good a noyse
Now of my meat thou shalt sure haue the choyse
And for thy drynke, for lacke of pleasaunt wyne
420 I wyl the gyue swete water, clere and fyne


Gramercy Peace of thy great gentylnes
I meruayle not that thou art maserate
To se thy fare so bare in wyldernes
For al-thyng here thy courage dothe abate
425 How-be-it agayne, I trust to eleuate
The) for with wysedom I trust so sure to stande
That false Discencion shal neuer hurt this lande

And who thynkest thou hath caused hym to fle
Whiche in this mater hath wrought moost besyly
430 But Prudence) that is a frende to the and me
And he hath handled the thynge so wyttyly
That we haue cause to loue hym hertely
For by his wysedome, his labour, and his payne
All thynges are ended, and no man kylled nor slayne

435 But Peace I pray the now with all haste and spede
The to prepare vnto the court to wende
And I shall holde the company and gyde
The kynges grace dyd me vnto the sende
To brynge the forthe, whiche doth the so commende
440 That thou art bounde for euermore to loue
That godly prince, which war doth moche reproue

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And noble-men which are his counsellers
So dothe the fauour, that thou canst neuer fall
For some of them haue proued the chaunce of warres
445 Whiche knowe it is the sprynge of myschiefes all
And I am sure that many one now shall
Whiche were great doers in this besynes
Whyle that they lyue, fynde payne of nedynes

But wo alas this nacion is so frayle
450 That often-tymes of foly mad and vayne
They wolde set forth the blynde and folysshe tayle
To rule the heed which hath bothe wyt and brayne
I say no more, for many knowe the payne
That hath ensued of false discorde and stryfe
455 Though they haue scaped the haserd of theyr lyfe


O lusty welthe, nowe cherefull is my mode
Though fooles of foly the sorowe do susteyne
That I do fynde the kynge to me so good
Within his lande me styll for to retayne
460 And that his lordes of me be also fayne
I do reioyce therof so hertely
That to the courte I wyll go meryly


Now come on than, for thou arte founde absent
In wyldernes thou mayst not hyde thy face
465 Thou must obey the kynges commaundement
With whom thou art in fauour and in grace
He wyll the sende abrode in euery place
To shewe his people his blessed godly wyll
That thou and I / in Englande dwel shall styll

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470 Nowe by my faythe I wyll neuer deny
Hym for to serue, which is so gracyous
Wherfore haue with the forth strayght by and by
My herte is pleased that was full tedious
Syth that the way is nothynge daungerous
475 Wherfore I trust to make a plentyous rayme rayme: ='realm'?
Now war is gone, that cursed noughty cayme

For I may tryumphe, which late in wyldernes
Was in dispayre lest Welth had me disceyued
Whan he departed fro me but now doubtles
480 In-to the court I am so wel receyued
That many thinges which war wold haue decayed
I trust to se them florysshe vp and sprynge
There is so noble and gracious a kynge

Whom god I praye, his royall maieste
485 Alwayes preserue and make hym fortunate
Agayne all those what-euer that they be
That wolde vnwysely or falsly violate
Eng[la]nde his realme) and maynteyn euery estate Englande] Engalnde 1538
With gentylmen, and commons good and true
490 And cause rebels theyr folysshnes to rue

sig: [C3v]
¶Imprynted at London in Flete_strete / at the signe of the sonne, by me Iohan_Byddell.
Cum priuilegio.