The Bowge of Courte

Skelton, John

STC 22597 (=A)
Ringler 22597 and Brown and Robbins 1470.5. Ed. A. Dyce, _The Poetical Works of John Skelton_, 1 (1843), 30-50; ed. Robert S. Kinsman, _John Skelton: Poems_ (Oxford, 1969), pp. 11-28; ed. John Scattergood, _John Skelton: The Complete English Poems_ (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983), pp. 46-61. UMI microfilm reel 1188

Here begynneth a lytell treatyse named the bowge of courte
Westminster: W. de Worde,1499?.

Composition Date: 1498 [Scattergood].

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¶Here begynneth a lytell treatyse named the bowge of courte.
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IN A[u]tumpne whan the sonne in vyrgyne
By radyante hete enryped hath our corne
Whan luna full of mutabylyte
As Emperes the dyademe hath worne
5 Of our pole artyke smylynge halfe in scorne
At our foly and our vnstedfastnesse
The tyme whan Mars to werre hym dyd dres

I callynge to mynde the great auctoryte
Of poetes olde whyche full craftely
10 Under as couerte termes as coude be
Can touche a troughte and cloke it subtylly troughte] trouth C, M; it] M omits
Wyth fresshe vtteraunce full sentencyously
Dyuerse in style some spared not vyce to wrythe wrythe] wryte C, M
Some of [moralyte] nobly dyde endyte moralyte] mortalyte A, M; moralyte C

15 Wherby I rede theyr renome and theyr fame
Maye neuer dye bute euermore endure
I was sore moued to a_force the same
But Ignoraunce full soone dyde me dys[c]ure dyscure] dysture A, C; dyscure M
And shewed that in this arte [I] was not sure I] A, C omit; I M
20 For to Illumyne she sayde I was to dulle
Auysynge me my penne awaye to pulle

And not to wrythe / for he so wyll atteyne wrythe] wryte C, M
Excedynge ferther than his connynge is
His hede maye be harde but feble is his brayne his] M omits
25 Yet haue I knowen suche er this
But of reproche surely he maye not mys
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That clymmeth hyer than he may fotynge haue
What and he slyde downe who shall hym saue

ref.ed: 47
Thus vp and down my mynde was drawen and cast
30 That I ne wyste what to do was beste
Soo sore enwered that I was at the laste
Enforsed to slepe and for to take some reste
And to lye downe as soone as I m[e] dreste me] my A, C, M
At harwyche_porte slumbrynge as I laye
35 In myne hostes house called powers_keye

Me-thoughte I sawe a shyppe goodly of sayle
Come saylynge forth in-to that hauen brood
Her takelynge ryche and of hye apparayle
She kyste an anker and there she laye at rode kyste] keste C, kast M
40 Marchauntes her borded to see what she had lode lode] M omits
There-in they founde Royall marchaundyse
Fraghted with plesure of what ye coude deuyse

But than I thoughte I wolde not dwell behynde
Amonge all other I put my-selfe in prece
45 Than there coude I none aquentaunce fynde
There was moche noyse anone one cryed cese
Sharpely commaundynge eche man holde hys pece
Maysters he sayde the shyp that ye here see
The bowge of courte it hyghte for certeyn[te] certeynte] certeynet A, certayne C, certeynte M

50 The awnner therof is lady of estate
Whoos name to tell is dame saunce_pere
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[Her] marchaundyse is ryche and fortunate Her] Here A; Her C, M
But who wyll haue it muste paye therfore dere
This Royall chaffre that is shypped here
55 Is called fauore_to_stonde_in_her_good_grace
Than sholde ye see there pressynge in a_pace

Of one and other that wolde this lady see
Whiche sat behynde a tra[u]es of sylke fyne
Of golde of tessew the fynest that myghte be
60 In a trone whiche fer clerer dyde shyne clerer] clere M
Than Phebus in his spere celestyne
Whoos beaute honoure goodly porte
I haue to lytyll connynge to reporte

But of eche thynge there as I toke hede
65 Amonge all other was wrytten in her trone
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In golde letters this worde whiche I dyde rede
Garder le fortune que est mauelz et bone
And as I stode redynge this verse my-selfe allone
Her chyef gentylwoman daunger by her name
70 Gaue me a taunte and sayde I was to blame

To be so perte to prese so proudly vppe
She sayde she trowed that I [had] eten sause had] A, C omit; had M
She asked yf euer I dranke of saucys cuppe
And I than softly answered to that clause
75 That so to saye. I had gyuen her no cause
Than asked she me Syr so god the spede
What is thy name and I sayde it was drede

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What mouyd the quod she hydder to come
Forsoth quod I to bye some of youre ware
80 And with that worde on me she gaue a glome
With browes bente and gan on me to stare
Full daynnously and fro me she dyde fare
Leuynge me stondynge as a mased man
To whome there came an-other gentylwoman

85 Desyre her name was and so she me tolde
Sayenge to me broder be of good chere
Abasshe you not but hardely be bolde
Auaunce your-selfe to aproche and come nere
What though our chaffer be neuer so dere
90 Yet I auyse you to speke for ony drede
Who spareth to speke in fayth he spareth to spede

Maystres quod I. I haue none aquentaunce
That wyll for me be medyatoure and mene
And this an-other I haue but smale substaunce And] But M
95 Pece quod Desyre ye speke not worth a bene
Yf ye haue not in fayth I wyll you lene
A precyous Iewell no rycher in this londe
Bone auenture haue here now in your honde

Shyfte now therwith let see as ye can
100 In bowge of courte cheuysaunce to make
For I dare saye that there nys erthly man
But an he can bone auenture take an] and C, M
There can no fauour nor frendshyp hym forsake
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Bone auenture may brynge you in suche case
105 That ye shall stonde in fauoure and in grace

But of one thynge I werne you er I goo werne] warne M; er] or C
She that styreth the shyp make her your frende
Maystres quod I. I praye you tell me why soo
And how I maye that waye and meanes fynde
110 Forsothe quod she how-euer blowe the wynde
Fortune gydeth and ruleth all oure shyppe
Whome she hateth shall ouer the see-boorde skyp see boorde] shyp borde M

Whome she loueth of all plesyre is ryche
Whyles she laughe[th] and hath luste for to playe laugheth] laughed A; laugheth C, M
115 Whome she hate[t]h she casteth in the dyche hateth] hateh A, hateth C, M
For whan she fro[u]neth she thynketh to make a fray
She cherysshe[th] him and hym she casseth a_waye cheryssheth] cherysshed A, C, M; casseth] casteth C, chasseth M
Alas quod I how myghte I haue her sure
In fayth quod she by bone auenture

120 Thus in a rowe of martchauntes a grete route
Suwed to fortune that she wold be theyre frynde
They thronge in fast and flocked her aboute
And I with them prayed her to haue in mynde
She promysed to vs all she wolde be kynde
125 Of bowge of court she asketh what we wold haue
And we asked fauoure / and fauour she vs gaue

¶Thus endeth the prologue. And begynneth the bowge of Courte breuely compyled.
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THe sayle is vp fortune ruleth our helme
We wante no wynde to passe now ouer-all
Fauoure we haue toughther than ony elme toughther] tougher C, M
That wyll abyde and neuer frome vs fall
5 But vnder hony ofte-tyme lyeth bytter gall
For as me-thoughte in our shyppe I dyde see
Full subtyll persones in nombre foure and thre

The fyrste was Fauell full of flatery
Wyth fables false that well coude fayne a tale
10 The seconde was Suspecte whiche that dayly
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Mysdempte eche man with face deedly and pale
And Haruy_ha[f]ter that well coude picke a male Haruy hafter] Haruy haster A, M, Heruy haster C
With other foure of theyr affynyte
Dysdayne. Ryotte. Dyssymuler. Subtylte.

15 Fortune theyr frende with whome oft she dyde daunce
They coude not faile thei thought they were so sure
And oftentymes I wolde my-selfe a[u]aunce
With them to make solace and pleasure
But my dysporte they coude not well endure
20 They sayde they hated for to dele with Drede
Than Fauell gan wyth fayre speche me to fede


Noo-thynge erthely that I wonder so sore
As of your connynge that is so excellent
Deynte to haue with vs suche one in store
25 So vertuously that hath his dayes spente
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Fortune to you gyftes of grace hath lente
Loo what it is a man to haue connynge
All erthly tresoure it is surmountynge

Ye be an apte man as ony can be founde
30 To dwell with vs and serue my ladyes grace
Ye be to her yea worth a thousande pounde
I herde her speke of you within shorte space shorte] a shorte C
Whan there were dyuerse that sore dyde you manace
And though I say it I was my-selfe your frende
35 For here be dyuerse to you that be vnkynde

But this one thynge ye maye be sure of me
For by that lorde that bought dere all mankynde
I can not flater I muste be playne to the
And ye nede ought man shewe to me your mynde
40 For ye haue me whome faythfull ye shall fynde
Whyles I haue ought by god thou shalt not lacke
And yf nede be a bolde worde I dare cracke

Nay naye be sure whyles I am on your syde
Ye maye not fall truste me ye maye not fayle
45 Ye stonde in fauoure and fortune is your gyde
And as she wyll so shall our grete shyppe sayle
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Thyse lewde cok-wattes shall neuermore preuayle cok wattes] cok witts M
Ageynste you hardely therfore be not afrayde
Fare-well tyll soone but no worde that I sayde


50 Than thanked I hym for his grete gentylnes
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But as me-thoughte he ware on hym a cloke
That lyned was with doubtfull doublenes
Me-thoughte of wordes that he had full a poke
His stomak stuffed ofte-tymes dyde reboke
55 Suspycyon me-thoughte mette hym at a brayde
And I drewe nere to herke what they two sayde

In fayth quod suspecte) spake drede no worde of me
Why what than wylte thou lete men to speke
He sayth he can not well accorde with the
60 Twyst quod suspecte) goo playe hym I ne reke Twyst] Whist C, Twysshe M
By cryste quod fauell drede is soleyne freke
What lete vs holde him vp man for a whyle
Ye soo quod suspecte) he maye vs bothe begyle

And whan he came walkynge soberly
65 Wyth whom / and /ha / and with a croked loke
Me-thoughte his hede was full of gelousy
His eyen rollynge his hondes faste they quoke
And to me warde the strayte waye he toke
God spede broder to me quod he than
70 And thus to talke with me he began


Ye remembre the gentylman ryghte nowe
That commaunde with you me-thought a p[ra]ty spa[c]e commaunde] commened C; praty space] party spake A, M, party space C
Beware of him for I make god auowe
He wyll begyle you and speke fayre to your face
75 Ye neuer dwelte in suche an-other place
For here is none that dare well other truste
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But I wolde telle you a thynge and I durste

Spake he a fayth no worde to you of me
I wote and he dyde ye wolde me telle
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80 I haue a fauoure to you wherof it be
That I muste shewe you moche of my counselle
But I wonder what the deuyll of helle
He sayde of me whan he with you dyde talke
By myne auyse vse not with him to walke

85 The soueraynst thynge that ony man maye haue
Is lytyll to saye / and moche to here and see
For but I trusted you so god me saue
I wolde noo-thynge so playne be
To you oonly me-thynke I durste shryue me
90 For now am I plenarely dysposed
To shewe you thynges that may not be disclosed


Than I assured hym my fydelyte
His counseyle secrete neuer to dys[c]ure dyscure] dysture A, C, dyscure M
Yf he coude fynde in herte to truste me
95 Els I prayed hym with all my besy cure
To kepe it hymselfe for than he myghte be sure
That noo [man] erthly coude hym bewreye man] wan A, man C, M
Whyles of his mynde it were lockte with the keye

By god quod he this and thus it is
100 And of his mynde he shewed me all and some
Fare-well quod he we wyll talke more of this
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Soo he departed there he wolde be come
I dare not speke I promysed to be dome
But as I stode musynge in my mynde
105 Haruy_ha[f]ter came lepynge lyghte as lynde Haruy hafter] Haruy haster A, M, Heruy haster C

Upon his breste he bare a versynge-boxe
His throte was clere and lustely coude fayne
M[e]-thoughte his gowne was all furred wyth foxe Me thoughte] My thoughte A, C, Me thought M
And euer he sange / sythe I am no-thynge playne
110 To kepe him frome pykynge it was a grete payne
He gased on me with his gotyshe berde
Whan I loked on hym my purse was half aferde

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Heruy hafter] Heruy haster A, C, Heruy Haster M

Syr god you saue why loke ye so sadde
What thynge is that I maye do for you
115 A wonder thynge that ye waxe not madde
For and I studye sholde as ye doo nowe
My wytte wolde waste I make god auowe
Tell me your mynde me-thynke ye make a verse
I coude it s[k]an and ye wolde it reherse skan] stan A, C, skan M; it reherse] reherse M

120 But to the poynte shortely to procede
Where hathe your dwellynge ben er ye cam here
For as I trowe I haue sene you in-dede
Er this whan that ye made me Royall chere
Holde vp the helme loke vp and lete god stere
125 I wolde be mery what wynde that euer blowe
Heue and how rombelow row the bote norman rowe

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Prynces of youghte can ye synge by rote
Or shall I sayle wyth you a felashyp assaye
For on the booke [I] can not synge a note I] A omits; I C, M
130 Wolde to god it wolde please you some daye
A balade-boke before me for to laye
And lerne me to synge (Re my fa sol)
And whan I fayle bobbe me on the noll

Loo what is to you a pleasure grete
135 To haue that connynge and wayes that ye haue
By goddis soule I wonder how ye gete
Soo greate pleasyre or who to you it gaue
Syr pardone me I am an homely knaue
To be with you thus perte and thus bolde
140 But ye be welcome to our housholde

And I dare saye there is no man here-Inne
But wolde be glad of your company
I wyste neuer man that so soone coude wynne
The fauoure that ye haue with my lady
145 I praye to god that it maye neuer dy
It is your fortune for to haue that grace
As I be saued it is a wonder case

For as for me I serued here many a daye
And yet vnneth I can haue my lyuynge
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150 But I requyre you no worde that I saye
For and I knowe ony erthly thynge
That is agayne you ye shall haue wetynge
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And ye be welcome syr so god me saue
I hope here-after a frende of you to haue


155 Wyth that as he departed soo fro me
Anone ther mette with him as me-thoughte
A man / but wonderly besene was he
He loked hawte he sette eche man at noughte hawte] hawtie M
His gawdy garment with s[c]or[n]nys was all wrought scornnys] storunys A, C, scornes M
160 With Indygnacyon lyned was his hode
He frowned as he wolde swere by cockes blode

He bote the lyppe he loked passynge coye the] his C
His face was belymmed as byes had him stounge
It was no tyme with him to Iape nor toye
165 Enuye hathe wasted hys lyuer and his lounge
Hatred by the herte so had hym wrounge
That he loked pale as asshes to my syghte
Dysdayne I wene [t]his comerous car[k]es hyghte this] his A, C, M; carkes] carbes A, C, crabes M

To heruy_ha[f]ter than he spake of me heruy hafter] heruy haster A, C, M
170 And I drewe nere to harke what they two sayde
Now quod Dysdayne as I shall saued be
I haue grete scorne and am rygh[t]e euyll apayed ryghte] ryghce A
Than quod Heruy why arte thou so dysmayde
By cryste quod he for it is shame to saye
175 To see Iohan_dawes that came but yester-daye

How he is now taken in conceyte
This doctour dawcocke Drede I wene he hyghte
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By goddis bones but yf we haue som sleyte
It is lyke he wyll stonde in our lyghte our] your M
180 By god quod Heruy and it so happen myghte
Lete vs therfore shortely at a worde
Fynde some mene to caste him ouer the borde

By him that me boughte than quod Dysdayne
I wonder sore he is in such conceyte
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185 Turde quod Ha[f]ter I wyll the no-thynge [l]ayne Hafter] Haster A, C, M; layne] sayne A, M, layne C
There muste for hym be layde some prety beyte
We tweyne I trowe be not withoute dysceyte
Fyrste pycke a quarell and fall oute with hym then
And soo outface hym with a carde of ten

190 Forthwith he made on me a prowde assawte
With scornfull loke meuyd all in moode scornfull] scorfull M
He wente aboute to take me in a fawte
He frounde he stared he stampped where he stoode
I loked on hym I wende he had be woode
195 He set the arme proudly vnder the syde
And in this wyse he gan with me to chyde


Remembrest thou what thou sayd yester-nyght
Wylt thou abyde by the wordes agayne
By god I haue of the now grete dyspyte
200 I shall the angre ones in euery vayne
It is greate scorne to see suche an hayne
As thou arte one that cam but yesterdaye
With vs olde seruauntes such maysters to playe

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I tell the I am of countenaunce
205 What weneste I were. I trowe þu knowe not me
By goddis woundes but for dysplesaunce
Of my querell soone wolde I venged be
But no force I shall ones mete with the
Come whan it wyll oppose the I shall
210 What-someuer auenture therof fall

Trowest thou dreuyll I saye thou gawdy kna[u]e
That I haue deynte to see the cherysshed thus
By goddis syde my sworde thy berde shall shaue
Well ones thou shalte be chermed I_wus
215 Naye strawe for tales thou shalte not rule vs
We be thy betters and so thou shalte vs take
Or we shall the oute of thy clothes shake

ref.ed: 56


Wyth that came Ryotte russhynge all at-ones
A rusty gallande to_ragged and to_rente
220 And on the borde he whyrled a payre of bones
Quater treye dews he clatered as he wente
Nowe haue at all by saynte Thomas of kente
And euer he threwe and kyst I wote nere what
His here was growen thorowe-oute his hat

225 Thenne I behelde how he dysgysed was
His hede was heuy for watchynge ouer-nyghte
His eyen blereed his face shone lyke a glas
His gowne so shorte that it ne couer myghte
His rumpe he wente so all for somer lyghte
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230 His hose was garded wyth a lyste of grene
Yet at the knee they were broken I wene

His cote was checked with patches rede and blewe checked] checkered M
Of kyrkeby_kendall was his shorte demye
And ay he sange in fayth decon thou crewe
235 His elbowe bare he ware his gere so nye
His nose a_droppynge his lyppes were full drye a_droppynge] droppynge M
And by his syde his whynarde and his pouche
The deuyll myghte daunce therin for ony crowche

Counter he coude (O lux) vpon a potte
240 An eestryche-fedder of a capons tayle An] And M
He set vp fresshely vpon his hat a_lofte
What reuell-route quod he and gan to rayle
How ofte he hadde hit Ienet on the tayle hadde] M omits
Of felyce fetewse [a]nd lytell prety cate and] dnd A
245 How ofte he knocked at her klycked-gate

What sholde I tell more of his rebaudrye
I was ashamed so to here hym prate
He had no pleasure but in harlotrye
Ay quod he in the deuylles date
250 What arte thou I sawe the nowe but late
Forsothe quod I in this courte I dwell nowe
Welcome quod Ryote I make god au[o]we auowe] auwe A, auowe C, M

ref.ed: 57


And syr in fayth why comste not vs amonge
To make the mery as other felowes done
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255 Thou muste swere and stare man aldaye longe
And wake all nyghte and slepe tyll it be none
Thou mayste not studye or muse on the mone
This worlde is no-thynge but ete drynke and slepe
And thus with vs good company to kepe

260 Plucke vp thyne herte vpon a mery pyne
And lete us laugh a placke or tweyne at nale placke] plucke M
What the deuyll man myrthe was neuer one was neuer one] is here within M
What loo man see here of dyce a bale
A brydelynge-caste for that is in thy male
265 Now haue at all that lyeth vpon the burde
Fye on this dyce they be not worth a turde

Haue at the hasarde or at the dosen browne
Or els I pas a peny to a pounde I] C omits
Now wolde to god thou wolde leye money downe
270 Lorde how that I wolde caste it full rounde
Ay in my pouche a buckell I haue founde
The armes of calyce I haue no coyne nor crosse
I am not happy I renne ay on the losse

400 Now renne muste I to the stewys syde
To wete yf malkyn my lemman haue gete oughte
I lete her to hyre that men maye on her ryde
Her har[n]es easy ferre and nere is soughte harnes] harmes A, C, armes M
By goddis sydes syns I her thyder broughte
405 She hath gote me more money with her tayle
Than hath some shyppe that in-to bordews sayle

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Had I as good an hors as she is a mare
I durste auenture to Iourney thorugh Fraunce
Who rydeth on her he nedeth not to care
410 For she is trussed for to breke a launce
It is a curte[l] that well can wynche and praunce curtel] curtet A, C, curtel M
To her wyll I nowe all my pouerte lege
And tyll I come haue here is myne hat to plege is] M omits

ref.ed: 58


Gone is this knaue this rybaude foule and leude
415 He ran as fast as euer that he myghte
Unthryft[y]nes in hym may well be shewed Unthryftynes] Unthryftnes A, C, Unthryftynes M
For [w]home tyborne groneth both daye and nyghte whome] home A, whome C, M
And as I stode and kyste asyde my syghte kyste] keste C, caste M
Dysdayne I sawe with Dyssymulacyon
420 Standynge in sadde communicacion

But there was poyntynge and noddynge with þe hede
And many wordes sayde in secrete wyse
They wandred ay and stode styll in no stede
Me-thoughte alwaye Dyscymular dyde deuyse
425 Me passynge sore myne herte than gan aryse
I dempte and drede theyr talkynge was not good
Anone dyscymular came where I stode

Than in his hode I sawe there faces tweyne
That one was lene and lyke a pyned goost
430 That other loked as he wolde me haue slayne me haue] haue me C
And to me warde as he gan for to coost
Whan that he was euen at me almoost
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I sawe a knyfe hyd in his one sleue
Wheron was wryten this worde myscheue

435 And in his other sleue me-thought I sawe
A spone of golde full of hony swete
To fede a fole and for to preye a dawe preye] preue C
And on that sleue these wordes were wrete
A false abstracte cometh from a fals concrete
440 His hode was syde his cope was roset graye
Thyse were the wordes he to me dyde saye he] that he M

Dyssymulatio[n] /
Dyssymulation] Dyssymulatioy A

How do ye mayster ye loke so soberly
As I be saued at the dredefull daye
It is a perylous vyce this enuy
445 Alas a connynge man ne dwelle maye
In no place well but foles with [hym] fraye hym] A, M omit, hym C
But as for that conny[n]ge hath no foo connynge] connyge A
Saue hym that nought can / scrypture sayth soo.

ref.ed: 59
I knowe your vertu and your lytterkture lytterkture] lytterature C, lytterkture M
450 By that lytel connynge that I haue
Ye be malygned sore I you ensure
But ye haue crafte your-selfe alwaye to saue
It is grete scorne to se a mysproude knaue
With a clerke that connynge is to prate
455 Lete theym go lowse theym in the deuylles date

For all-be-it that this longe not to me
Yet on my backe I bere suche lewde delynge
sig: [B5]
Ryghte now I spake with one I trowe I see
But what a strawe I maye not tell all-thynge
460 By god I saye there is a grete herte-brennynge
Betwene the persone ye wote of [y]ou you] Iou A, M, you C
Alas I coude not dele so with a [I]ew Iew] yew A, C, M

I wolde eche man were as playne as I
It is a worlde I saye [to] here of some to] te A, to C, M
465 I hate this faynynge fye vpon it fye
A man can not wote where to become
I_wys I coude tell but humlery home tell] not tell C
I dare not speke we be so layde awayte
For all our courte is full of dysceyte

470 Now by saynte fraunceys that holy man and frere
I hate this wayes agayne you that they take this] these C
Were I as you I wolde ryde them full nere
And by my trouthe but yf an ende they make
Yet wyll I saye some wordes for your sake
475 That shall them angre I holde there-on a grote
For some shall wene be hanged by the throte

I haue a stoppynge-oyster in my poke
Truste me and yf it come to a nede
But I am lothe for to reyse a smoke
480 Yf ye coude be otherwyse agrede
And so I wolde it were so god me spede
For this maye brede to a confusyon
Withoute god make a good conclusyon

sig: [B5v]
Naye see where yonder stondeth the teder man
485 A flaterynge knaue and false he is god wote
The dreuyll stondeth to herken and he can
ref.ed: 60
It were more thryft he boughte him a newe cote
It wyll not be / his purse is not on_flote
All that he wereth it is borowed ware
490 His wytte is thynne his hode is threde-bare

More coude I saye but what this is ynowe
Adewe tyll soone we shall speke more of this
Ye muste be ruled as I shall tell you howe
Amendis maye be of that is now a_mys
495 And I am your syr so haue I blys
In euery poynte that I can do or saye In] To M
Gyue me your honde fare-well and haue good daye


Sodaynly as he departed me fro
Came pressynge in one in a wonder araye
500 Er I was ware behynde me he sayde bo
Thenne I astonyed of that sodeyne fraye
Sterte all at ones I lyked no-thynge his playe
For yf I had not quyckely fledde the touche
He had plucte oute the nobles of my pouche

505 He was trussed in a garmente strayte
I haue not sene suche an-others page
For he coude well vpon a casket wayte
His hode all pounsed and garded lyke a cage hode] body M
Lyghte lyme-fynger he toke none other wage
sig: [B6]
510 Harken quod he loo here myne honde in thyne
To vs welcome thou arte by saynte Quyntyne


But by that lorde that is one two and thre
I haue an errande to rounde in your ere
He tolde me so by god ye maye truste me
515 Par[d]e remembre whan ye were there Parde] Parte A, C, M
There I wynked on you / wote ye not where
In (A) loco I mene iuxta (B)
Woo is hym that is blynde and maye not see

ref.ed: 61
But to here the subtylte and the crafte
520 As I shall tell you yf ye wyll harke agayne
And whan I sawe the horsons wolde you hafte
To holde myne honde by god I had grete payne
For forth-wyth there I had him slayne
But that I dr[e]de mordre wolde come oute drede] drde A, drede C, M
525 Who deleth with shrewes hath nede to loke aboute


And as he ro[u]nded thus in myne ere rounded] roynded A, rounded C, M
Of false collusyon confetryd by assente
Me-thoughte I see lewde felawes here and there
Came for to slee me of mortall entente
530 And as they came the shypborde faste I hente
And thoughte to lepe / and euen with that woke
Caughte penne and ynke and wroth this lytyll boke wroth] wrote C, M

I wolde therwith no man were myscontente
Besechynge you that shall it see or rede
sig: [B6v]
535 In euery poynte to be indyfferente
Syth all in substaunce of slumbrynge doth procede
I wyll not saye it is mater in-dede
But yet oftyme suche dremes be founde trewe
Now constrewe ye what is the resydewe
¶Thus endeth the Bowge of courte. Enprynted at westmynster By me Wynkyn_the_worde.