Against Venemous Tongues

Skelton, John

STC 22608 (=M)
Brown and Robbins 193.5. Not in Ringler

Pithy pleasaunt and profitable workes of maister Skelton. Nowe collected and newly published
London: T. Marshe,1568.

Composition Date: 1515-1516 [Scattergood].

Against venemous tongues enpoysoned with sclaunder and false detractions. etc. vento vanitatis. li.ille. etc. In auspicatum. male ominatum. infortunatum se fateatur habuisse horoscopum quicunque maledixerit vati Pierio. S.L. etc.
sig: Aa1

SKELTON. LAVreate Oratoris Regis tertius.

Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi ad linguam dolosam? Psalm. Cxlij.
ref.ed: 137

Deus destruet te, in finem euellet te, et emigrabit te de tabernaculo tuo. et radicem tuam de terra viuentium. Psal. lxvii.

AL maters wel pondred, and wel to be regarded
How shuld a fals lying tung then be rewarded
Such tunges shuld be torne out by the harde rootes
Hoyning like hogges that groynis and wrotes.

Dilexisti omnia verba precipitationis lingua dolosa. vbi. s. etc.

5 For as I haue rede in volumes olde
A fals lying tunge is harde to withholde.
A sclaunderous tunge, a tunge of a skolde
Worketh more mischiefe than can be tolde.
That if I wist not to be controlde
10 Yet somwhat to say I dare well be bolde
How some delite for to lye, thycke and threfolde.

sig: [Aa1v]

Ad sannam hominem redigit comite et graphice.

For ye said, that he said, that I said, wote ye what
I made (he said) a windmil of an olde mat.
If there be none other mater but that,
15 Than ye may commaunde me to gentil Cok-wat.

Hic notat (purpuraria arte) intextas literas Romanas in amictibus post ambulonum ante et retro.

For before on your brest, and behind on your back,
In Romaine letters I neuer founde lack.
In your crosse-rowe nor Christ-crosse you spede,
Your Pater-noster, your Aue, nor your Crede.
20 Who-soeuer that tale vnto you tolde,
He saith vntruly, to say, that I would
Controlle the cognisaunce of noble men:
Either by language, or with my pen.

Pedagogium meum de sublimiori Minerua constat esse. ergo. etc.

My scole is more solem, and somwhat more haute
25 Than to be founde in any such faute.

Pedagogium meum male sanos maledicos (sib[i]lis
sibilis] sibulis M; manibus] mantibus M
, conplosisque manibus) explodit. etc.

ref.ed: 138
My scoles are not for vnthriftes vntaught,
For frantick faitours half mad, and half straught
But my learning is of an-other degree,
To taunt theim like liddro[n]s, lewde as thei bee

Laxent ergo antemnan elationis sue inflatam
sig: [Aa2]

30 For though some be lidder and list for to rayle,
Yet to lie vpon me they can not preuayle.
Then let them vale a bonet of their proud sayle.
And of their taunting toies rest with il hayle.

Nobilitati ignobilis cedat vilitas. etc.

There is no noble man wil iudge in me,
35 Any such foly to rest or to be.
I care muche the lesse what-euer they say,
For tunges vntayde be renning a_stray.
But yet I may say safely, so many wel lettred
Embraudred enlasid together, and fettred.
40 And so litle learning, so lewdly alowed:
What fault find ye herein but may be auowed?
But ye are so full of vertibilite,
And of frenetyke folabilite.
And of melancoly mutabilite.
45 That ye would coarte, and enforce me.
Nothing to write, but hay-the-gy of thre.
And I to suffre you lewdly to ly,
Of me, with your language full of vilany.

Sicut nou[acu]la
nouacula] nouocla M
acuta fecisti dolum, vbi. s.

Malicious tunges, though they haue no bones,
50 Are sharper then swordes, sturdier then stones.

Lege philostratum de vita tyanei Apollonij.

Sharper then raysors, that shaue and cut throtes.
More stinging then scorpions that stang Pharaotis

Venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum. Ps.

sig: [A2v]
More venemous and much more virulent,
Then any poysoned tode, or any serpent.

ref.ed: 139

Quid peregrinis egemus exemplis, ad domestica recurramus. etc. li. ille.

55 Such tunges vnhappy hath made great diuision.
In realmes, in cities, by suche fals abusion.
Of fals fickil tunges, suche cloked collusion.
Hath brought nobil princes to extreme confusion.

Quicquid loquantur vt effeminantur ita effantur. etc.

Somtime women were put in great blame,
60 Men said they could not their tunges atame.
But men take vpon theim nowe all the shame.
With skolding and sklaundering make their tungs lame

Nouarum rerum cupidissimi. captatores. delatores. adulatores. inuigilatores. deliratores. etc. id. genus li. ille.

For men be now tratlers a[n]d tellers of tales,
What tidings at Tot[nam], what newis in wales? Totnam] Totman M
65 What shippis are sailing to Scalis_malis
And all is not worth a couple of nut-shalis
But lering and lurking here and there like spies.
The deuil tere their tunges and pike out their ies.
Then ren they with lesinges, and blow them about.
70 With he wrate suche a bil withouten dout.
With, I can tel you what such a man said,
And you knew all, ye would be ill apayd.

sig: [A3]

De more vulpino gannientes ad aurem, fictas fabellas fabricant. li. ille.

But if that I knewe what his name hight,
For clatering of me, I would him sone quight.
75 For his false lying, of that I spake neuer,
I could make him shortly repent him for euer.
Although he made it neuer so tough,
He might be sure to haue shame ynough.

Cerberus horrendo baratri latrando, sub antro. Te rodatque voret lingua dolosa (precor)

ref.ed: 140
A fals double-tunge is more fiers and fell,
80 Then Cerberus the cur couching in the kenel of hel
Wherof hereafter, I thinke for to write,
Of fals double-tunges in the dispite.
Recipit se scripturum opus sancte, laudabile, acceptabile, numemorabileque, et nimis honorificandum.

Disperdat dominus vniuersa labia dolosa et linguam magniloquam.