One and Thirty Epigrams

Crowley, Robert

STC 6088
Ringler 6088 and TP 170 (also TP 1, 3, 6, 12, 33, 35, 142, 148, 151, 170, 627, 818, 823, 838, 926.8, 956, 969, 1193, 1412, 1413, 1608, 1614, 1682, 1683, 1729, 1763, 1821, 1835, 1836, 2069, 2116, 2175, 2191, 2192). There are actually 33 epigrams. Ed. J. M. Cowper, EETS es 15 (1872), 1-51; 15 rpt. John Strype, _Ecclesiastical Memorials_, 2 (1721), 465-72. UMI microfilm reel 34

One and thyrtye epigrammes, wherein are bryefly touched so many abuses, that ought to be put away
London: [R. Grafton for] R. Crowley,1550.

Variant source 1: [Anr. ed.], 1550 (STC 6088.3) (=B).

Composition Date: 1550? [STC].

Psal .xv.
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¶One and thyrtye Epigrammes, wherein are bryefly touched so many Abuses, that maye and ought to be put away. Compiled and Imprinted by Robert_Crowley, dwellynge in Elye_rentes in Holburne. Anno domini, 1550.
i. Cor .xiiii. What-so-euer ye do, let the same be done to edifie wythall.
Gala .i. i] vi 1550, B If I shoulde study to please men: tha[n] coulde I not be the seruaunt of Christe.
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¶The table of the contentes of thys boke.

Of Abbayes.
Of Alehouses.
Of Allayes.
Of Almes-houses.

Of Balyarrantes.
Of Baudes.
Of Beggars.Beggars] Beggarrs 1550
Of Berebaytyng.
Of Brawlars.
Of Blasphemouse Swerars.

Of Colyars.
Of Commocionars.
Of Commune drounkards.
Of Commune Lyars.

Of Dyce-playars.
Of Double-beneficed men.

E] 1550 omits
Of the Excheker.
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Of Flatterars.
Of Foles.
Of Forestallars.

Of Godles men.

Of Idle persons.
Of Inuentars of straynge newes

Of Laye-men that take tythes.
Of Leasemongars.

Of Marchauntes.
Of Men that haue diuers offices

Of Nice wyues.

Of Obstinate Papistes.

Of Rent-raysars.

Of Uayne wrytars.
Of Unsaciable Purchaysars.
Of Usura[r]s.Usurars] Usuras 1550
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The Boke to the Reader.

IF bokes may be bolde to blame and reproue,
The faultes of all menne boeth hyghe and lowe:
As the Prophetes dyd whom Gods spirite did moue
Than blame not myne Autor for right well I knowe:
5 Hys penne is not tempered vayne doctrine to sowe,
But as Esaye hath bydden so muste he nedes crye,
And tell the Lordes people of their iniquitie.
Nowe if I do the worldelinges in anye poynte offende
In that I reproue them for their wyckednes:
10 It is a plaine token they wyll not emende
I take all the wyse-men of the earth to wytnes,
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To them therfore mine Autor biddeth me confesse,
That sith they be determined styll in their synne to dwell:
He accounteth them no better than fire-brandes of hell.
15 Wherefore he bade me bid them holde them contente,
He hath not written to them that will not emende,
For to the willinge wicked no prophete shall be sente,
Excepte it be to tell them that at the laste ende
They shal be sure and certayne wyth Satanas to wende,
20 for before suche swyne no pearles maye be caste,
That in the filthye puddell take all their repaste,
To suche onely therfore I muste his message do,
As haue not their delite in wickednes to dwell,
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But when they heare their fault are sorye they dyd so,
25 And louingely imbrace suche men as do them tell,
Reformynge euermore their lyfe by the gospell,
To these men am I sente and these I truste will take
My warnynge in good parte and their euill forsake,

Iohn .viii. He that is of God, heareth the worde of God.

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Of Abbayes.

As I walked alone and mused on thynges,
That haue in my time bene done by great kings,
I bethought me of Abbayes that sometyme I sawe,
Whiche are nowe suppressed all by a lawe,
5 O Lorde (thought I then) what occasion was here,
To prouide for learninge and make pouertye chere?
The landes and the Iewels that hereby were hadde,
Would haue found godly prechers which might well haue ladde:
The people aright that now go astraye,
10 And haue fedde the pore that famishe euerye daye,
But as I thus thought it came to my mynde,
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That the people wyll not see but delyte to be blynde.
Wherefore they are not worthy good preachars to haue,
Nor yet to be prouided for but styll in vayne to craue.
15 Than sayde I (O Lorde God) make this tyme shorte, Math .24
For theyr sake onlye Lorde that be thy chosen sorte.

Of Alehouses.

NEdes must we haue places for vitayls to be solde,
For such as be sycke pore, feble and olde.
But Lorde to howe greate abuse they be growne,
20 In eche lyttle Hamlet, vyllage and towne.
They are become places of waste and excesse,
An herbour for such men as lyue in Idlenes.
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And lyghtly in the contrey they be placed so,
That they stande in mens waye when they shoulde to church go.
25 And then such as loue not to hear theyr fautes tolde,
By the minister that readeth the newe Testament and olde:
Do turne into the alehouse and let the church go,
Yea, and men accompted wyse and honeste do so.
But London (God be praysed) all men maye commende A commendation of London.
30 Whych doeth nowe this greate enormitie emende.
For in seruice-tyme no dore standeth vp,
Where such men are wonte to fyll can and cuppe.
Wolde God in the countrey they woulde do the same,
Either for Gods feare or for world[e]ly shame.
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35 How hallow they the Saboth that do the tyme spende,
In drynkinge and idlenes tyll the daye be at an ende?
Not so well as he doeth that goeth to the plowe,
Or pitcheth vp the sheues from the carte to the mowe,
But he doeth make holye the Sabothe in-dede, [Luke] Luke] Mat 1550, B .xiii Luke] Mat 1550, B
40 That heareth Goddes worde and helpeth suche as nede,

Of Allayes.

TWo sortes of Allayes in London I finde,
The one agaynste the lawe and the other agaynste kinde,
The firste is where bowlinge forbidden, menne vse,
And wastynge theyr goodes do their laboure refuse.
45 But in London (alas) some men are deuillishelye. A dispraise of London.
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Suffered to professe it as an acte to lyue by.
Well I wyll saye no more but suche as lyue so,
And officers that suffer them shall togither go,
To Satan their sire for of god they are not,
50 Who commaundeth to laboure syxe dayes ye wotte. Exo .xxiii.
And the seuenth he commaundeth. all menne to sanctifie,
In beynge well occupied and not idlelye,
The other sorte of Allayes that be agaynste kynde, Allayes agaynste kynde.
Do make my harte wepe whan they come to my minde
55 For there are pore people welmoste innumerable,
That are dryuen to begge and yet to worcke they are able,
If they might haue al thinges prouided aright,
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Alas, is not thys a greate ouer_syght?
Ye Aldermen and other that take Allaye-rente
60 Why bestowe ye not the riches that god hath you sente.
In woule or in flaxe to finde them occupied
That nowe lye and begge by euerye highe-waye-side,
And you that be chiefe and haue the commune treasure,
Why can you neuer finde a time of leas[u]re,
65 To se where the treasure will finde them workinge
To the profit of the Citye in some maner thinge
But (alas) this my tale is to deafe men tolde
For the charitie of rich men is nowe thorowe colde,
And this is a Citye in name, but in dede,
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70 It is a packe of people that seke after meede, Loke the definition of a Citie, you that be lerned
For Officers and al do seke their owne gaine,
But for the wealth of the commons not one taketh paine
An hell with-out order I maye it well call
Where euerye man is for him-selfe and no manne for all,

Of almes-houses,

75 A Marchaunte that longe-tyme hadde bene in straunge landis
Returned to his contrey whiche in Europe standes,
And in his returne hys waye laye to passe,
By a Spittlehouse not farre from where his dwelling was,
He loked for this hospitall but none coulde he se,
80 For a Lordely house was builte where the hospitall shoulde be,
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Good Lorde (sayd this marchaunt) is my contrey so wealthy?
That the verye beggers houses be builte so gorgiouslye?
Than by the waye-syde hym chaunced to se
A pore-manne that craued of hym for charitie,
85 Whye (quod thys Marchaunt) what meaneth thys thynge?
Do ye begge by the waye and haue a house for a kyng?
alas syr (quod the pore-man) we are all turned oute
And lye and dye in corners here and there-aboute,
Men of greate riches haue bought our dwellinge-place,
90 And whan we craue of them they turne awaye their face,
Lorde god (quod this marchaunt) in Turkye haue I bene,
yet emonge those Heathen, none such crueltie haue I sene
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The vengeaunce of god muste fall no remedye,
Upon these wicked men and that verye shortelye,

Of Baylife Arrantes.

95 A Baylife there was. in the weste-contrey,
That dyd as they do in all quarters men saye,
He serued with one wryte an whole score or tweyne,
And toke in hand to excuse them hauinge pence for his payne,
And when he should warne a quest in sessions to appeare,
100 He woulde surely warne them that woulde make hym no cheare,
And then take a bribe to make answere for them,
But when he mette his frendes than woulde he saye but hem
But such as had no cheare nor money to paye
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Were sure to trudge to the sessions alwaye,
105 Ye must geue him some thynge. to sowe his hadlande The baylefes hadlande
Or else ye can haue no fauoure at his hande,
Some puddyngis or Baken. or chese for to eate,
A bushell of barley some malt or some wheate,
His hadland is good grownd and beareth all-thynge,
110 Be it Baken or beffe. stockefyshe or lynge
Thus pore-men are pold and pyld to the bare,
By such as shoulde serue them to kepe them from care,

Of Bawdes.

THe bawdes of the stues be turned all out
But some think they inhabit al England through-out
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115 In tauerns and tiplyng-houses many myght be founde
If officers would make serch but as they are bounde
Well let them take heede I wyll say no more
But when god reuengeth he punisheth sore
An horrible thynge it is for to fall,
120 Into that Lordis handis that is eternall Hebr .x.

Of Beggers.

THe beggars whome nede compelleth to craue
Ought at our handis some reliefe to haue,
But such as do counterfayt Haueynge theyr strength
To labour if they luste, beyng know[n]e at the length
125 Ought to be constrayned to worcke what they can,
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And lyue on theyr laboures as besemeth a christyan,
And if they refuse to worcke for theyr meate,
Then ought they to faste as not worthy to eate i[i]. T[hess] ii. Thess] i. Tim 1550, B .3.ii. Thess] i. Tim 1550, B
And such as be sore and wyll not be healed,
130 Oughte not in any case to be charished,
I heard of two beggars that vnder an hedge sate Of twoe be[gga]rsbeggars] bey[g]grs 1550.beggars] bey[g]grs 1550
Who dyd wyth longe talke theyr matters debate,
They had boeth sore legges most lothsome to se,
Al rawe from the fote welmost to the knee
135 My legge quod the one I thank god is fayre
So is myne (quod the other) in a colde ayre.
For then it loketh rawe and as redde as any bloud
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I woulde not haue it healed for any worldis good,
For were it once whole my lyuinge were gone,
140 And for a sturdye begger I shoulde be take anone.
No manne woulde pittye me but for my sore legge,
Wherfore if it were whole I might in vaine begge.
I shoulde be constrained to laboure and sweate,
And perhaps sometime wyth schourges be beate,
145 Well (sayde the tother) lette vs take hede therefore,
That we let them not heale but kepe them styll sore.
An-other thynge I hearde of a begger that was lame,
Muche like one of these if it were not the same,
Who syttinge by the fire wyth the cuppe in his hande,
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150 Began to wonder whan he shoulde be a good husbande.
I shall neuer thriue (quod this begar) I wene
For I gate but .xvi. d. to_daye and haue spente eyghtene
Well let the worlde wagge we muste neades haue drynke
Go fyll me thys quarte pot. full to the brynke,
155 The tonge muste haue bastynge it wyll the better wagge,
To pull a goddes-penye out of a churles bagge.
Yet cesse not to gyue to all wythoute anye regarde,
Thoughe the beggers be wicked thou shalte haue thy rewarde,

Of Bear-baytynge.

WHat follye is thys? to kepe wyth daunger,
160 A greate mastyfe dogge and a foule ouglye Beare
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And to thys onelye ende to se them two fyght,
Wyth terrible tearynge a full ouglye syght,
And yet me-thynke those men be mooste foles of all,
Whose store of money is but verye smale,
165 And yet euerye sondaye they wyll surelye spende,
One penye or two the bearwardes lyuyng to mende,
At Paryse_garden eche sundaye a man shall not fayle, Parise_garden
To fynde two or thre hundredes for the bearwardes vaile,
One halpenye a_piece they vse for to giue
170 When some haue no more in their purse I beleue
Well, at the laste daye theyr conscience wyll declare
That the pore ought to haue all that they maye spare,
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For god hath commaunded that what we maye spare, Eccles .4.
Be geuen to the pore that be full of care,
175 If you giue it therefore to se a Beare fyght,
Be ye sure goddes curse wyl vpon you lyght,

Of Brawlers

A Brawler that loueth to breake the kinges peace,
And seke his owne sorowe his fansye to please,
Is lyke a curre-Dogge that setteth vpon
180 Eche mastyfe and hounde that he may light on,
He getteth hym hatered of euerye manne,
And meteth with his maister euer nowe and than,
To hurte other menne he taketh greate payne,
He turneth no manne
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to profite or gayne,
185 Except it be the Surgian or the Armorer,
The Baylife, the Constable or the Iayler,
This is a worthye membre in a commune-wealthe,
That to worcke other wo will lose his owne health,
What other men will iudge I can not tell:
190 But if he scape Tiburne I thinke he wyll hange in hell.

Of Blasphemous swerers
THe sonne of Syrach wryteth playnelye, Eccl[e]s Eccles] Eccls 1550 .iii. Eccles] Eccls 1550
Of suche menne as do sweare blasphemouselye,
The manne that sweareth muche shall be fylled, sayeth he,
Wyth all wicked manners and iniquitie,
195 In the house of that manne
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the plage shall not cease,
He shal be styll plaged either more or les.
Christe byddeth all his affirme and denie,
Wyth yea, yea, nay, nay, affirmyng no lye.
Whatsoeuer ye ad more (saith he) cometh of iuell,
200 And is of the wycked suggestion of the Deuyll,
But we can not talke wythouten othes plentye,
Some sweare by Gods nayles hys herte and his bodye,
And some sweare [by] his fleshe his bloude and hys fote, by] 1550, B omit
And some by hys guttes, hys lyfe and herte-rote.
205 Some other woulde seme all sweryng to refrayne,
And they inuent idle othes, such is theyr idle brayne.
By Cocke and by Pye,
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and by the goose-wyng,
By the crosse of the mouse-fote and by saynte Chyckyn.
And some sweare by the Diuell such is theyr blyndenes, Math .v.
210 Not knowyng that they call these thynges to wytnes.
Of their Consciences in that they affirme or denye,
So boeth sortes commit moste abhominable blasphemie.

Of the colier of Croydon.

IT is sayde that in Croydon there dyd sometyme dwell,
A Colier that dyd all other Coliers excell
215 For his riches thys Colier myght haue bene a knight
But in the order of knighthode he hadde no delyght
Woulde god all our knightes dyd minde colinge no more,
Than this Colier dyd knyghtyng.
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as is sayde before.
For when none but pore Colyars dyd wyth coles mell,
220 At a reasonable price they dyd theyr Coles sell.
But sence oure Knyght-Colyars haue had the fyrste sale,
We haue payed much money and had fewe sackes to tale.
A lode that of late yeres for a royall was solde,
wyll coste nowe .xvi. s. of syluer or golde.
225 God graunt these men grace theyr pollyng to refrayne,
Or els bryng them backe to theyr olde state agayne.
And especially the Colyar that at Croydon doth sell,
For men thyncke he is cosen to the Colyar of Hell.

Of Commotionars.

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WHen the bodye is vexed through humors corrupted
230 To restore it to helth those humours muste be purged
For if they remayne they wyll styll encrease:
Euery daye more and more and augment the disease.
So that in short tyme the body muste decaye,
Excepte God geue health by some other waye.
235 Euen so doth it fare by the weale publyke,
Whych chaunceth to be often diseased and sycke,
Through the mischeuouse malice of such men as be,
Desyrouse to breake the publyke Unitie.
Eche publyke bodye muste be purged therfore,
240 Of these rotten humours as is sayed before.
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Els wyll it decay, as do the bodyes naturall,
When rotten humours haue infected them ouer-all.
But if the publyke bodye can not be purged well,
By force of purgation as Phisickes rules do tell:
245 When bodyes be weake and so lowe brought,
That by purgation no health can be wroght:
Then must there be sought some easyar waye,
To kyl the strength of those humors. thus doth Phisicke saye.
When the Swerde wyl not helpe in the common-wealth,
250 To purge it of Commotionars and bryng it to health:
Then must discrete counsell fynde wayes to kyll,
The powr[e] of those rebelles and let them of theyr wyll. powre] powr 1550
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And that must be by cherishyng the humours naturall,
And by quickenyng agayne of the spirites vitall,
255 Whych in the commune-wealth are the subiectes trew.
That do alwaye study sedition to eschew
When these men, through cherishing do growe and be strong:
Then can no Commotionars continew long.
For as when the strength of ill humours is kylled,
260 In a naturall bodye, they be sone consumed,
Or made of iuell good, as it is playne to se:
So wyll it bytyde of such men as be,
In the Commune-wealth geuen vnto Sedition,
When they se they can not finyshe theyr Intention.
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265 And what is their power but the people ignoraunte
Whom thei do abuse by their counselles malignaunt?
When the hertes of the people be wonne to their prince,
Than can no commotioners do hurte in hys prouince,
If this wyll not help than God wyll take cure,
270 And destroy these Commosioners we may be right sure,
Excepte the tyme be come that the bodye muste dye,
For than there canne be found no maner remedy,
God graunte that our synne haue not broughte vs so lowe
That we be paste cure god onelye doeth thys knowe,
275 And I truste to se healthe agayne if the finall ende,
Be not nowe nere at hande whyche the Lorde shortelye sende
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Of commen drunkardes

ESaye lamenteth and sayeth oute alas Esaye .v.
Muche wo shall betide you that do youre tyme passe,
In eatinge and drinckynge from morninge to nighte,
280 Til none of your membres canne do his office righte.
Woe be to you, sayeth he, that do so earlye rise,
To fyll your-selues wyth drincke. in suche beastelye wise
But if he were nowe liuyng and sawe this worldes state
He wold saye this of our drunkards that sytte vp so late,
285 For fewe of oure drunckardes do vse to rise earelye,
But muche of the nighte they wyll drincke lustelye,
Well, sainte Paule doeth warne all that be of pure mynde i. Cor .[v]. v] i 1550, B v] i 1550, B
To auoide drunckardes company
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where-so-euer they do them finde.
Se ye neyther eate nor drincke wyth suche menne sayeth he
290 That be geuen to drinkinge what-so-euer they be
But alas manye curates that shoulde vs thys tell
Do all their parishioners in drynckyng excell,

Of commune Liars

SOlomon the sage in Sapience doeth saye Sapi .i.
That the mouthe that lyeth doeth the verye soule sleye
295 If the murderer of bodies [b]e worthye to dye be] de 1550
The murderer of soules shoulde not escape, trowe I.
For as the Soule doeth the bodye excell
So is his treaspace greater that doeth the soule quell
But Lyars (alas) are nowe muche set by,
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300 And thought to be menne in a maner necessarie
To be entertayned of eche noble-manne,
Who are muche delighted wyth lyes nowe and than
But this delite will be sorowe I feare me at the laste
Whan the liar for hys liynge into paynes shall be caste

Of Dicears.

305 EMonge wyttye saiynges this precept I finde
To auoid and fle dice (mi son) haue euer in mynde Cato.
For diceynge hath brought many wealthye menne to care
And manye ryche heyre it hath made full bare
Some menne it hath sette vp I wyll not denye
310 And brought to more worship than they be worthye
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God knoweth to what ende he suffereth thys thing
Perchaunce to rewarde them wyth hel at their endynge.
For doubtlesse those goodes are gotten amisse
That are gotten from him that prodigall is,
315 And especially at the dyce where boeth do intende
To get others goods, or else hys owne to spende
Nowe if prodigalitye or couetise be vyce
He can not but offend that playeth at the dyce
For be they two or mo thys thyng is certayne
320 Prodigalytie and couetise do in them all raygne
Besyde the wycked othes and the tyme myspent
Wherof they thincke they nede not them-selues to repent,
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But thys I dare saye, that though dyceyng were no sin,
Nor the goodis mysgoten that men do ther-at wynne
325 Yet the othes that they swere and the tyme myspent
Shall be theyr damnacion vnlesse they repent
Leaue of your vayne dyceyng ye dycers therefore
For vnlesse ye repent, god hath vengeaunce in store
And when ye thynke least then wyl he pour it oute
330 And make you to stoupe, be ye neuer so stoute.

Of double-benificed men.

THe kyng of that realme, where iustice doeth reygne
Perused olde statutis that in bokis remayne.
And as he turned the boke him chaunced to se
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That such as haue benifices shoulde resident be.
335 And haue theyr abydyng whyles theyr lyfe shoulde endure
Emong them ouer whome God hath geuen them cure.
Then sayed he to him-selfe, [I] thyncke well there is: I] A 1550, I B
No Lawe in thys realme worse obserued then this.
Yet can there nothynge, my stocke more decaye,
340 Then when hyrelynges suffer my shepe go astraye.
Then called he his councell and tolde them his mynde,
And wylled that they shoulde some remedy fynde.
Whoe wyth good aduice agreed on this thyng,
That Uisitours should be sent wyth the powre of the Kyng,
345 To punyshe all such as herein dyd offende,
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Unlesse they were founde thorowe wyllynge to amende
These visitours found many stout priestes but chieflye one,
That hadde sondrye benifices but woulde surrender none Osee .iiii.
Than was this stoute felowe brought to the kynge
350 Who sayde vnto hym syr howe chaunceth this thing?
Wyl ye transegresse my lawes and than disobeye disobeye] disobeye? 1550
Menne hauing my power? syr what can you saye?
If it mai like your grace (quod he) loe heare is to se
your seale at a graunte. of a pluralitie
355 Well saide the kinge than I repente me of all yll:
But tell me maister doctoure wil you haue your benifices styll?
If your grace do me ryghte (quod he) I must haue them my life-tyme
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So shalt thou (quod the kynge) for to_morow by pryme
God wyllynge, thy body, shalbe diuided and sent
360 To ech benifice a piece to make the resident.
Away wyth hym (quod the kyng) and let al thyngis be done
As I haue geuen sentence to_morow ere none
For syth thou arte a sto[u]t priest an example thou shalt be
That all stouburne priestes may take warnyng by the.

Of the Exchecker.

365 IN the weste parte of Europe there was sometyme a kynge,
That had a court for receyte: of money to him belongeing.
But the ministers of that Court dyd longe and many a daye
Take brybes to bare with suche men as should forfaytis pay.
sig: [C5]
At the laste to the Kyng, this theyr falshode was tolde,
370 By suche as about hym, were faythfull and bolde.
Then dyd the Kyng sende for these ministers ill,
And layde all theyr faltes before them in a byll.
Then were they abashed and had nought to saye,
But cryed for hys perdon, but he bade awaye.
375 Ye haue borne wyth theues and haue robbed me,
And suffered my people impoueryshed to be.
No statute coulde cause th'offendars to emende,
Because you bare wyth them, when they dyd offende.
Awaye wyth them all. laye them in prisone.
380 Tyll we haue determined, what shall wyth them be done.
sig: C5v]
What iudgment they had I haue not hearde yet
But well I wot they deserued a tiburne typpet

Of Flaterars

A Flatterynge frende is worse then a foe
For a frende is betrusted when the other is not so.
385 Of an open enimie a man may be ware ii. Re .iii.
when the flatteryng frend wyl worcke men much care
For if Abner had knowne, what was in Ioabs harte
I do not doubt but he would haue out of his waye sterte
Or at the leaste he would not haue admitted hym so ny
390 As to be embraced of hym and on his dagger to dye
Wherefore I aduertise al men to be ware
sig: [C6]
Of all flatterynge frendis that bring men to care
As for open ennimies trust them if ye wyll
I can not forbyd you to admyt your owne yll.
395 Woulde god all men woulde such flatterars trye:
As hange at theyr elbowes to get some-what therby.
But (alas) nowe-adayes men of honour do promote
Many a false flatterynge and lewde harlot
Whych thynge may at the lengthe be theyr owne decaye
400 For if the wynde turne the flatterars wyll awaye
The swallowe in sommer wyll in your house dwell,
But when wynter is commynge she wyll saye farewell.
And when the short dayes begyn to be colde
sig: [C6v]
Robin redbrest wil come home to ye and be very bolde.
405 But when Summer returneth and bushes wax grene:
then Robyn your man wyll no more be sene.
So some of your flattera[r]s wyll in prosperitie, flatterars] flatteras 1550
be of your householde and of your family.
And some other wyl when nede doth them payne,
410 Sue to do your seruice tyll they be welthy agayne.

Of Foles.

THe preachar sayeth thus, a pore wytty ladde, Eccle .iiii
is better then on olde Kynge whose wytte is but badde.
The wyse-man in pouertie is ryght honourable,
Whan the fole in his ryches is worthy a Bable.
sig: [C7]
415 Some foles there be of nature that vnderstande nought,
Some other vnderstand thynges, but haue euer in theyr thought,
That they them-selues be wysest, whych folly passeth all,
And doeth soneste appeare, as well in greate as small.
These foles wyll not heare any mans reade or counsell,
420 And what-soeuer they them-selfe do, is excedyng well.
But other mens doynges they wyll euer dyprease, dyprease: see OED depress vb. 4; B has dispraise
For other can do nought that may theyr mynde please.
And further, they thyncke it becometh them well,
in euery mans matter, them-selfe to entermel.
425 And when they come in place where is any talke,
No man shal fynde a tyme to speake so faste theyr tonges shal walke.
sig: [C7v]
Of theyr owne dedis and goodes, they wyll bragge and boaste.
And declare all theyr mishaps, and what they haue loste.
If ye tell them of theyr fautes, then wyll they nedes fyght,
430 Ye must saye as they saye, be it wronge or ryght. wronge] wrounge 1550, wronge B
In fine, ye must prayse them and sette forth theyr fame,
And what-soeuer they do, you may them not blame.
If ye tell them of knowledge, they saye they lacke none,
And wysshe they had lesse, and then they make mone,
435 For the losse of vayne toyes, wherin they delyte.
And then if ye reasone farre, beware, they wyll fyght.
All wise-men take hede, and shunne theyr companye,
For of all other men, they are most vngodly.
sig: [C8]

Of Forestallars.

THe fryses of Walis to Brystowe are brought,
440 But before thei were wouen in Walis they are bought
So that nowe we do paye foure grotes or els more,
For the fry[s]e we haue bought. for eyght pens heretofore. fryse] fryfe 1550, fryse B
And some saye the woule is bought ere it do growe.
And the corne long before it come in the mowe.
445 And one thyng there is that hurteth moste of all,
Reuersions of fermes are bought, long ere they fall.
And ryght so are benifices in euery coaste,
So that persons and vicars kepe neyther sodde nor roste.
The pore of the paryshe whome the person should fede:
450 Can haue nought of oure tythis,
sig: [C8v]
to sucuoure theyr nede.
Reuersions of fermes are bought on ech syde,
And the olde tenant must pay well if he wyll abyde.
And where the father payde a peny and a Capon or twayne,
The sonne muste paye ten pownde [t]his passeth my brayne. this] his 1550, thys B
455 Well, let thes forestallars repent them bytyme,
Leste the clarke of the market be wyth them ere pryme.
For he when he cometh wyll punysh them all,
That do any nedeful thynge ingrose or forestall.
For well I wotte thys, when he went laste awaye:
460 He sent vs his seruaunt, and thus dyd he saye.
Se that emong you none seke his owne gayne, i. Cor .x.
But profyte ech other
sig: D1
wyth trauayle and payne.

Of Godlesse men

HOlye Dauid that was boeth prophet[e] and kinge prophete] propheth 1550, prophete B
Sawe in hys tyme (as appeareth by hys wrytynge) Psalm .x.
465 That in those dayes there were men of wycked hert
That dyd all godlye wayes vtterlye peruerte,
And so there are nowe the pitye is the more,
That lyue more carnalye than euer men dyd before, men] men men 1550
These men (sayeth kinge Dauid) in their hertes do saye
470 Surelye there is no God let vs take our owne waye,
Thus i[u]dged kyng Dauid and that for good skyll
Bicause he sawe their worckes were wycked and euyll,
They are (sayeth he) corrupt
sig: [D1v]
and nought in all theyr wayes
Not one doeth good and therfore he sayes
475 That they thincke ther is no God theyr worckis do declare
For to do the thynge that good is they haue no maner care
But what would Dauid saye if he were in these dayes
When men wyl do Ill and iustifie theyr yl weyes?
They leaue the good vndone and do that yll is
480 And then they call that yll good what woulde Dauid saye to this?
I know not what Dauid would saye in this case,
But I knowe that good Esay doeth cursse them apase
Woe sayth this prophete to them that do call Esai .v.
That thyng good that euell is but this is not all
485 He sayeth woe to them
sig: D2
that call dearckenes lyght
Preferryng theyr fansey before the worde of myght
If they fynde a thynge wrytten in Paul Luke or Iohn
Or any other scripture they wyll therof none
Except they may easily perceyue and se
490 That wyth theyr fleshly fansey they may make it agre
All other textis of scripture they wyll not stycke to deny
Yea some of them wyll god and his scripture defie
And say they wyl make merie here for when they be gone
They can haue no ioye For soule they haue none
495 If these menne be not godles muche meruell haue I
Well the cause is the Lordes lette hym and them trye
I knowe at the laste
sig: [D2v]
they shall fynde him to strong.
The daye of his vengeaunce wyll not tarye longe,

Of Idle persons

IDlenes hath ben cause of much wyckednes, Eccles .33.
500 As Ecclesasticus doeth playnely wytnes
Idle persons therfore can not be all cleare,
As by the storie of Sodome it doeth well appeare
But that we may come nere to our owne age
The Idlenes of abbays made them outrage
505 Yet let vs come neare euen to the tyme present
And se what myschyfe Idle persons do inuent
What conspiracies haue ben wroght wythin this lyttle whyle,
By Idle men that dyd
sig: D3
the commons begyle,
And what haue Idle men alwaye practised
510 To breake the peace of prynces that they myght be hyered
I wyll not saye what the Idlenes of priestes hath done,
Nor yet the Idlenes of seruauntis in London,
Let euerie man search his owne houshold well
And whether the thynge be true that I tell,
515 Yea what abuse dyd euer. emonge the people rayne
But the same dyd fyrst sprynge out of an Idle brayn.
Idlenes therfore maye ryghte well be named
The gate of all mischiefe that euer was framed
Ye masters and fathers therfore that feare God omnipotent
520 Kepe youre families
sig: [D3v]
leaste ye be shente
For if thorowe their idlenes they fall into outrage
Your iudgemente shall be strayght for they are committed to your charg[e] charge] charg 1550
Kepe them therfore styll occupied, in doynge youre busines
Or els in readynge or hearynge some bokes of Godlines
525 And woulde god the maiestrates woulde se men set a_worke
And that within thys realme none were suffered to lurke
This realme hath thre commodities woule tynne and leade
Whiche being wrought within the realme eche man might get his bread

¶Of inuenters of straunge newes

SOme men do delite straunge newes to inuente
530 Of this mannes doynge and that mannes intente
What is done in Fraunce
sig: D4
and in the Emperours lande,
And what thyng the Scottes do nowe take in hande.
What the Kynge and his counsell, do intende to do.
Though for the most parte it be nothynge so.
535 Such men cause the people that els woulde be styll,
To murmour and grudge, whych thyng is very ill,
Yea, sometyme they cause the people to ryse, We sawe the expe[r]ienceexperience] expepience 1550 of thys of late.experience] expepience 1550
And assemble them-selfe, in most wycked wyse.
In Plato hys common-wealth, such men shoulde not dwell,
540 For Poetes and Oratoures he dyd expell.
Oh that these newes-bryngars had for theyr rewarde,
Newe halters of hemppe to sette them forwarde.
sig: [D4v]

¶Of Laye-men that take Tithes and priests that vse theyr tit[h]es
tithes] tites 1550

WHan Iustice began in Iudgment to syt,
To punysh all such men as dyd fautes commit:
545 Then was there a man before hyr accused,
For tythes that he toke and priuately used.
When dewe proufe was had and the thyng manifeste
The wyttnesses sworne and the treaspace confeste:
Then gaue the Iudge Iudgement and these wordes he spake,
550 Se that from this Caytyfe Ye do all his goodes take,
For seynge he made that priuate That commune shoulde be:
He shall haue this Iustice Wythe Iudgment of me.
Those pore-men that by the tithes
sig: [D5]
shoulde be releued,
Shal haue all his goodes emonge them diuided.
555 And because he shewed no mercie, no mercie shall he haue: Iacob .ii.
The sentence is geuen. go hange vp the slaue.

Of leasemongars.

OF late a Leasemongar of London laye sycke,
And thynckyng to dye, his conscience dyd him prycke.
Wherefore he sayde thus wyth hym-selfe secretly,
560 I wyll sende for a preachar to knowe what remedy.
But whilse he thus laye he fell in a sloumber,
and sawe in his dreame pore folke a greate number.
Whoe sayde they had learned thys at the preachars hande,
To paye all wyth patience that theyr Landlordes demaunde
sig: [D5v]
565 For they for theyr sufferaunce in such oppression,
Are promised rewarde in the resurrection.
Where such men as take Leases them-selues to aduaunce,
Are sure to haue Hell by ryght inheritaunce.

Of Marchauntes.

IF Marchauntes wold medle wyth marchaundice onely,
570 And leaue fermes to such men as muste lyue thereby:
Then were they moste worthy to be had in price,
As men that prouide vs of all kyndes Marchaundice.
But syth they take fermes to let them out agayne,
To such men as muste haue them though it be to theyr payn:,
575 And to leauye greate fines or to ouer the rent,
sig: [D6]
And do purchayse greate landes for the same intent:
We muste nedes cal them membres vnprofitable,
As men that woulde make all the Realme miserable.
Howe they leaue theyr trade and lende oute theyr money,
580 To yonge Marchaunte-men for greate Usurie,
Whereby some yonge men are dreuen to leaue all: Whereby] Whrereby 1550
And do into moste extreme pouertie fall:
It greueth me to wryte, but what remedy?
They muste heare theyr faute syth they be so greedye.
585 And thus I saye to them and trewe they shall it fynde,
The Lorde wyll haue all theyr iuell doynges in mynde.
And at the laste daye when they shall aryse:
sig: [D6v]
All shall be layed playne before theyr owne eyes
Where iudgemente shall be geuen as saynte Iames doeth wytnes
590 Wythoute all mercye to suche as be merciles Iacob .ii.

¶Of men that haue diuers offices

WHan the Citye of Rome was ruled aryght,
As aunciente Autours do recorde and wryte
Ambition was punished wyth vtter exile
Yet were there some that dyd venter some-whyle
595 But we reade not of anye that euer wente aboute,
To haue two offices at once were they neuer so stoute.
But alas in this Realme we counte hym not wyse
That seketh not by all meanes that he canne deuise
sig: [D7]
To rake offices togither wythoute anye staye
600 But Christe shal saie to these menne at the laste daye Luke .xvi
Geue accounts of your Baliwickes ye mene wythoute grace
Ye that sought to be rulers in euerye place
Geue accountes of your Baliwike for come is the daye
That ye muste leaue youre offices and walke your fathers waye.

Of Nice wyues.

605 THe sonne of Sirache of women doeth saye. Eccles .26.
That theire nicenes and hordom is perceiued alwaye.
By there wanton lokes and lyftynge vp of eyes
And their lokinge ascoye in most wanton wise
And in the same Iesus_Syrach I finde Eccles .xi.
610 That the gate and the garment
sig: [D7v]
do declare the mynde.
If these thynges be trew, (as no doubt they be)
What shold we thynk of the women that in London we se?
For more wanton lokes I dare boldely saye,
Were neuer in Iewyshe whores, then in London wyues thys daye.
615 And if gate and garmentes do shewe any-thynge:
Our wiues do passe their whoris, in whorelyke deckynge.
I thynk the abominable whores of the Stews,
Dyd neuer more whorelyke attyrementes vse.
The cappe on hyr heade, is lyke a Sowes mawe,
620 Such an-other facion I thynk neuer Iewe sawe
Then fyne geare on the foreheade, sette after the new trycke,
Though it coste a crowne or two.
sig: [D8]
what then? they may not stycke.
If theyr heyre wyl not take colour then must they by newe
And laye it oute in tussockis this thynge is to true.
625 At ech syde a tussocke as bygge as a ball
A very fayre syght for a fornicator bestiall
Hyr face faire paynted to make it shyne bryght
And hyr bosome all bare and most whorelyke dight
Hyr mydle braced in as smal as a wande:
630 And some by wastes of wyre at the paste-wyfes hande
A bumbe lyke a barrell wyth whoopes at the skyrte
Hyr shoes of such stuffe that may touche no dyrte
Upon hyr whyte fyngers manye rynges of golde
Wyth suche maner stones
sig: [D8v]
as are most dearlye solde
635 Of all their other trifles I wyll saye nothynge
Leaste I haue but small thanckes for thys my writynge,
All modeste Matrons I truste wyll take my parte
As for nice whippets wordes shall not come nye my hert.
I haue tolde them but trueth let them saye what they wyll
640 I haue sayde they be whorelike and so I saye still,

Of Obstinate Papistes

AN obstinate Papiste that was sometyme a Frier
Hadde of his Friers cote so greate a desire
That he stale out of England and wente to Louayne
And gate his Fryers cote on his foles backe agayne
645 A wilfull Beggar
sig: E1
this papist wyl be,
A fole and a fryer and thus is one man thre.
Would god all the papistis that he lefte behynde
[Were] wyth him in frye[r]s cotis, accordyng to theyr kynde Were] Where 1550; fryers] fryes 1550
Or els I woulde they were wyth theyr father the pope,
650 For whylse they be in England thei do but lyue in hope.
And excep[t] they myght get the Bible-boke burned, except] excep 1550
Into dispeyre theyr hope wyl shortly be turned.
God graunte them the grace this hope to forsake
And their naturall prynce for theyr heade to take
655 Forsakinge the Pope wyth al hys peltrye,
Whiche of longe tyme they haue sette so much by.
sig: [E1v]

Of rente-raysers.

A Manne that had landes of tenne pounde by yere
Surueyed the same and lette it out deare
So that of tenne pounde he made well a score
660 Moe poundes by the yere than other dyd before
But when he was tolde whan daunger it was
To oppresse his tenauntes he sayed he did not passe.
For thys thynge he sayde full certayne he wyste
That wyth hys owne he myghte alwayes do as he lyste
665 But immediatlye I trowe thys oppressoure fyl sicke:
Of a voyce that he harde geue accountes of thy Baliwick Luke .xvi

Of Uayne wryters, vaine talkers and vaine hearers.

sig: E2
OF late as I laye and lacked my reste
At suche time as Titan drewe faste to the Easte
Thys sayinge of Christe came into my minde
670 Whyche certayne and true all maner menne shall fynde
Of euerye idle worde ye shall geue a rekeninge Math .xii
Be it spoken by mouthe or put in wrytynge
O Lorde (thought I then) what case be th[e]y in they] thy 1550
That talke and write vaynely and thinke it no sinne?
675 Than slombred I a littel and thoughte that I sawe
Thre sortes of vayne menne condempned by gods lawe
The one was a wryter of thynges nought and vayne
And an-other a talker and thys was theyr payne.
sig: [E2v]
The wryter hadde the crowne of hys heade opened
680 Whose braynes wyth a stycke the talker styrred
And he wyth boeth handes drewe the talkers tonge
so that wythout hys mouthe it was an handefull longe
The thirde was an herkener of fables and lyes
Whose eares were almost drawen vp to his eyes

Of vnsaciable purchasers

685 AN vnreasonable ryche-man dyd ryde by the way
Who for lacke of menne Hadde wyth hym a boye
And as he paste by a pasture most pleasaunte to se
Of late I haue purchasid thys grounde Iacke, quod he
Mary maister (quod the boye) men saye ouer-all
690 That your purchase is greate but your housholde is smal
sig: E3
Why Iacke (quod this riche-man) what haue they to do?
Woulde they haue me to purchase and kepe greate house to?
I can not tell (quod the boye) what maketh them to brawle, Luk .xiiii.
But they saye that ye purchase the Deuill his dame and all

Of Usurars

695 A Certaine man had landes little thoughe it were
And yet wold faine haue liued lyke a gentlemans peare
Of thys lande he made sale and toke readye golde
And let that for double the rente of the lande that was solde
Than came there a broker and sayde if he woulde do,
700 As he woulde aduise hym he shoulde make of one penye two
Marye that woulde I fayne do (quod this vsurer than)
I praye the teache me
sig: [E3v]
the feat if thou can
You shall (sayde thys broker) lende but for a monethes-day
And be sure of a suffitien[t]e gage alwaye, suffitientte] suffitience 1550, suffitiente B
705 Wyth a playne bill of sale if the day be not kept
And se that ye do no causis accepte.
Than muste you be sure that your intereste be
One penye for a shyllynge and thre pence for three
So by the yeres ende twelue moneths geue twelue pens
710 For the vse of a shyllynge lo I haue tolde you all sens.
Than saide this vsurer this matter goeth well
For my twentye-pounde lande that I chaunced to sell
I shall haue foure hundred pounde rente by the yere,
To lyue [l]yke a Lorde
sig: [E4]
and make iolye chere. lyke] syke 1550, lyke B
715 Than came there a Prophete and tolde thys manne playne
That h[e]auen is no place for suche vnlawefull gayne heauen] hauen 1550, heauen B Psal .xv.

Why sir (quod this Usurar) it is my liuynge.
Yea syr (quod this Prophet) but it is not youre calling
You are called to liue after twentye pounde by yere,
720 And after that rate ye shoulde measure your chere
Tyll god did encrease you by his mercifull wayes
By encreasynge your corne and youre cattell in the leyes
Whyche encrese wyth your landes you are bounde to employe
To the profite of all them that do dwell you bye,
725 Ye are not borne to your-selfe neither maye you take
That thynge for youre owne
sig: [E4v]
where-of God did you make
But Stuarde and Baylife that shall yelde a rekeninge
At the daye of Iudgmente for euerye-thyng.
And do ye not doubte but then ye shall knowe Luke .xvi.
730 Whether ye maye your goodes at youre pleasure bestowe
And whether ye maye vse wayes wycked and yl,
To incr[ea]se your riches at your owne will. increase] incraese 1550
But chieflye to lende youre goodes to vsurie
Is a thinge that you shall moste dearelye abye
735 For Christe saieth in Luke that the Heathen do so
Take hede lest ye flytte frome pleasure to woe Luke .vi.

Cum p[r]iuilegiopriuilegio] piuilegio 1550 ad imprimendum solum.