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Title: The Ship of Fools, Volume 1

Author: Sebastian Brandt

Translator: Alexander Barclay

Release Date: December 23, 2006 [EBook #20179]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors in the 1874 introduction have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. In the spirit of the 1874 edition, the text of the Ship of Fools itself has been retained exactly as it stands, even to the punctuation.
Portrait of Sebastian Brandt.




The ship of fools.






It is necessary to explain that in the present edition of the Ship of Fools, with a view to both philological and bibliographical interests, the text, even to the punctuation, has been printed exactly as it stands in the earlier impression (Pynson's), the authenticity of which Barclay himself thus vouches for in a deprecatory apology at the end of his labours (II. 330):—

"... some wordes be in my boke amys

For though that I my selfe dyd it correct

Yet with some fautis I knowe it is infect

Part by my owne ouersyght and neglygence

And part by the prynters nat perfyte in science

And other some escaped ar and past

For that the Prynters in theyr besynes

Do all theyr workes hedelynge, and in hast"

Yet the differences of reading of the later edition (Cawood's), are surprisingly few and mostly unimportant, though great pains were evidently bestowed on the production of the book, all the misprints being carefully corrected, and the orthography duly adjusted to the fashion of the time. These differences have, in this edition, been placed in one alphabetical arrangement with the glossary, by which plan it is believed reference to them will be made more easy, and much repetition avoided.

The woodcuts, no less valuable for their artistic merit than they are interesting as pictures of contemporary manners, have been facsimiled for the present edition from the originals as they appear in the Basle edition of the Latin, "denuo seduloque reuisa," issued under Brandt's own superintendence in 1497. This work has been done by Mr J. T. Reid, to whom it is due to say that he has executed it with the most painstaking and scrupulous fidelity.

The portrait of Brandt, which forms the frontispiece to this volume, is taken from Zarncke's edition of the Narrenschiff; that of Barclay presenting one of his books to his patron, prefixed to the Notice of his life, appears with a little more detail in the Mirror of Good Manners and the Pynson editions of the Sallust; it is, however, of no authority, being used for a similar purpose in various other publications.

For the copy of the extremely rare original edition from which the text of the present has been printed, I am indebted to the private collection and the well known liberality of Mr David Laing of the Signet Library, to whom I beg here to return my best thanks, for this as well as many other valuable favours in connection with the present work.

In prosecuting enquiries regarding the life of an author of whom so little is known as of Barclay, one must be indebted for aid, more or less, to the kindness of friends. In this way I have to acknowledge my obligations to Mr Æneas Mackay, Advocate, and Mr Ralph Thomas, ("Olphar Hamst"), for searches made in the British Museum and elsewhere.

For collations of Barclay's Works, other than the Ship of Fools, all of which are of the utmost degree of rarity, and consequent inaccessibility, I am indebted to the kindness of Henry Huth, Esq., 30 Princes' Gate, Kensington; the Rev. W. D. Macray, of the Bodleian Library, Oxford; W. B. Rye, Esq., of the British Museum; Henry Bradshaw, Esq., of the University Library, Cambridge; and Professor Skeat, Cambridge.

For my brief notice of Brandt and his Work, it is also proper to acknowledge my obligations to Zarncke's critical edition of the Narrenschiff (Leipzig, 1854) which is a perfect encyclopædia of everything Brandtian.


Advocates' Library,

Edinburgh, December 1873.

Volume I.


Notice of Barclay and his Writings

Barclay's Will


Bibliographical Catalogue of Barclay's Works

The Ship of Fools

Volume II.

The Ship of Fools (concluded)


Chapter I. of the Original (German), and of the Latin, and French Versions of the Ship of Fools


If popularity be taken as the measure of success in literary effort, Sebastian Brandt's "Ship of Fools" must be considered one of the most successful books recorded in the whole history of literature. Published in edition after edition (the first dated 1494), at a time, but shortly after the invention of printing, when books were expensive, and their circulation limited; translated into the leading languages of Europe at a time when translations of new works were only the result of the most signal merits, its success was then quite unparalleled. It may be said, in modern phrase, to have been the rage of the reading world at the end of the fifteenth and throughout the sixteenth centuries. It was translated into Latin by one Professor (Locher, 1497), and imitated in the same language and under the same title, by another (Badius Ascensius, 1507); it appeared in Dutch and Low German, and was twice translated into English, and three times into French; imitations competed with the original in French and German, as well as Latin, and greatest and most unprecedented distinction of all, it was preached, but, we should opine, only certain parts of it, from the pulpit by the best preachers of the time as a new gospel. The Germans proudly award it the epithet, "epoch-making," and its long-continued popularity affords good, if not quite sufficient, ground for the extravagant eulogies they lavish upon it. Trithemius calls it "Divina Satira," and doubts whether anything could have been written more suited to the spirit of the age; Locher compares Brandt with Dante, and Hutten styles him the new law-giver of German poetry.

A more recent and impartial critic (Müller, "Chips from a German Workshop," Vol. III.), thus suggestively sets forth the varied grounds of Brandt's wonderful popularity:—"His satires, it is true, are not very powerful, nor pungent, nor original. But his style is free and easy. Brant is not a ponderous poet. He writes in short chapters, and mixes his fools in such a manner that we always meet with a variety of new faces. It is true that all this would hardly be sufficient to secure a decided success for a work like his at the present day. But then we must remember the time in which he wrote.... There was room at that time for a work like the 'Ship of Fools.' It was the first printed book that treated of contemporaneous events and living persons, instead of old German battles and French knights. People are always fond of reading the history of their own times. If the good qualities of their age are brought out, they think of themselves or their friends; if the dark features of their contemporaries are exhibited, they think of their neighbours and enemies. Now the 'Ship of Fools' is just such a satire which ordinary people would read, and read with pleasure. They might feel a slight twinge now and then, but they would put down the book at the end, and thank God that they were not like other men. There is a chapter on Misers—and who would not gladly give a penny to a beggar? There is a chapter on Gluttony—and who was ever more than a little exhilarated after dinner?

There is a chapter on Church-goers—and who ever went to church for respectability's sake, or to show off a gaudy dress, or a fine dog, or a new hawk? There is a chapter on Dancing—and who ever danced except for the sake of exercise? There is a chapter on Adultery—and who ever did more than flirt with his neighbour's wife? We sometimes wish that Brant's satire had been a little more searching, and that, instead of his many allusions to classical fools (for his book is full of scholarship), he had given us a little more of the chronique scandaleuse of his own time. But he was too good a man to do this, and his contemporaries were no doubt grateful to him for his forbearance."

Brandt's satire is a satire for all time. Embodied in the language of the fifteenth century, coloured with the habits and fashions of the times, executed after the manner of working of the period, and motived by the eager questioning spirit and the discontent with "abusions" and "folyes" which resulted in the Reformation, this satire in its morals or lessons is almost as applicable to the year of grace 1873 as to the year of gracelessness 1497. It never can grow old; in the mirror in which the men of his time saw themselves reflected, the men of all times can recognise themselves; a crew of "able-bodied" is never wanting to man this old, weather-beaten, but ever seaworthy vessel. The thoughtful, penetrating, conscious spirit of the Basle professor passing by, for the most part, local, temporary or indifferent points, seized upon the never-dying follies of human nature and impaled them on the printed page for the amusement, the edification, and the warning of contemporaries and posterity alike. No petty writer of laborious vers de societe to raise a laugh for a week, a month, or a year, and to be buried in utter oblivion for ever after, was he, but a divine seer who saw the weakness and wickedness of the hearts of men, and warned them to amend their ways and flee from the wrath to come. Though but a retired student, and teacher of the canon law, a humble-minded man of letters, and a diffident imperial Counsellor, yet is he to be numbered among the greatest Evangelists and Reformers of mediæval Europe whose trumpet-toned tongue penetrated into regions where the names of Luther or Erasmus were but an empty sound, if even that. And yet, though helping much the cause of the Reformation by the freedom of his social and clerical criticism, by his unsparing exposure of every form of corruption and injustice, and, not least, by his use of the vernacular for political and religious purposes, he can scarcely be classed in the great army of the Protestant Reformers. He was a reformer from within, a biting, unsparing exposer of every priestly abuse, but a loyal son of the Church, who rebuked the faults of his brethren, but visited with the pains of Hell those of "fals herytikes," and wept over the "ruyne, inclynacion, and decay of the holy fayth Catholyke, and dymynucion of the Empyre."

So while he was yet a reformer in the true sense of the word, he was too much of the scholar to be anything but a true conservative. To his scholarly habit of working, as well as to the manner of the time which hardly trusted in the value of its own ideas but loved to lean them upon classical authority, is no doubt owing the classical mould in which his satire is cast. The description of every folly is strengthened by notice of its classical or biblical prototypes, and in the margin of the Latin edition of Locher, Brandt himself supplied the citations of the books and passages which formed the basis of his text, which greatly added to the popularity of the work. Brandt, indeed, with the modesty of genius, professes that it is really no more than a collection and translation of quotations from biblical and classical authors, "Gesamlet durch Sebastianu Brant." But even admitting the work to be a Mosaic, to adopt the reply of its latest German editor to the assertion that it is but a compilation testifying to the most painstaking industry and the consumption of midnight oil, "even so one learns that a Mosaic is a work of art when executed with artistic skill." That he caused the classical and biblical passages flitting before his eyes to be cited in the margin proves chiefly only the excellence of his memory. They are also before our eyes and yet we are not always able to answer the question: where, e.g., does this occur? ... Where, e.g., occur the following appropriate words of Goethe: "Who can think anything foolish, who can think anything wise, that antiquity has not already thought of."

Of the Greek authors, Plutarch only is used, and he evidently by means of a Latin translation. But from the Latin large draughts of inspiration are taken, direct from the fountainhead. Ovid, Juvenal, Persius, Catullus, and Seneca, are largely drawn from, while, strangely enough, Cicero, Boethius, and Virgil are quoted but seldom, the latter, indeed, only twice, though his commentators, especially Servetus, are frequently employed. The Bible, of course, is a never-failing source of illustration, and, as was to be expected, the Old Testament much more frequently than the New, most use being made of the Proverbs of Solomon, while Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, and the Sapientia follow at no great distance.

The quotations are made apparently direct from the Vulgate, in only a few cases there being a qualification of the idea by the interpretation of the Corpus Juris Canonici. But through this medium only, as was to be expected of the professor of canon law, is the light of the fathers of the Church allowed to shine upon us, and according to Zarncke (Introduction to his edition of the Narrenschiff, 1854), use of it has certainly been made far oftener than the commentary shows, the sources of information of which are of the most unsatisfactory character. On such solid and tried foundations did Brandt construct his great work, and the judgment of contemporaries and posterity alike has declared the superstructure to be worthy of its supports.

The following admirable notice from Ersch and Grüber (Encyclopädie) sums up so skilfully the history, nature, and qualities of the book that we quote at length:—"The Ship of Fools was received with almost unexampled applause by high and low, learned and unlearned, in Germany, Switzerland, and France, and was made the common property of the greatest part of literary Europe, through Latin, French, English, and Dutch translations. For upwards of a century it was in Germany a book of the people in the noblest and widest sense of the word, alike appreciated by an Erasmus and a Reuchlin, and by the mechanics of Strassburg, Basel, and Augsburg; and it was assumed to be so familiar to all classes, that even during Brandt's lifetime, the German preacher Gailer von Kaiserberg went so far as to deliver public lectures from the pulpit on his friend's poem as if it had been a scriptural text. As to the poetical and humorous character of Brandt's poem, its whole conception does not display any extraordinary power of imagination, nor does it present in its details any very striking sallies of wit and humour, even when compared with older German works of a similar kind, such as that of Renner. The fundamental idea of the poem consists in the shipping off of several shiploads of fools of all kinds for their native country, which, however, is visible at a distance only; and one would have expected the poet to have given poetical consistency to his work by fully carrying out this idea of a ship's crew, and sailing to the 'Land of Fools.' It is, however, at intervals only that Brandt reminds us of the allegory; the fools who are carefully divided into classes and introduced to us in succession, instead of being ridiculed or derided, are reproved in a liberal spirit, with noble earnestness, true moral feeling, and practical common sense. It was the straightforward, the bold and liberal spirit of the poet which so powerfully addressed his contemporaries from the Ship of the Fools; and to us it is valuable as a product of the piety and morality of the century which paved the way for the Reformation. Brandt's fools are represented as contemptible and loathsome rather than foolish, and what he calls follies might be more correctly described as sins and vices.

"The 'Ship of Fools' is written in the dialect of Swabia, and consists of vigorous, resonant, and rhyming iambic quadrameters. It is divided into 113 sections, each of which, with the exception of a short introduction and two concluding pieces, treats independently of a certain class of fools or vicious persons; and we are only occasionally reminded of the fundamental idea by an allusion to the ship. No folly of the century is left uncensured. The poet attacks with noble zeal the failings and extravagances of his age, and applies his lash unsparingly even to the dreaded Hydra of popery and monasticism, to combat which the Hercules of Wittenberg had not yet kindled his firebrands. But the poet's object was not merely to reprove and to animadvert; he instructs also, and shows the fools the way to the land of wisdom; and so far is he from assuming the arrogant air of the commonplace moralist, that he reckons himself among the number of fools. The style of the poem is lively, bold, and simple, and often remarkably terse, especially in his moral sayings, and renders it apparent that the author was a classical scholar, without however losing anything of his German character."

Brandt's humour, which either his earnestness or his manner banished from the text, took refuge in the illustrations and there disported itself with a wild zest and vigour. Indeed to their popularity several critics have ascribed the success of the book, but for this there is no sufficient authority or probability. Clever as they are, it is more probable that they ran, in popularity, but an equal race with the text. The precise amount of Brandt's workmanship in them has not been ascertained, but it is agreed that "most of them, if not actually drawn, were at least suggested by him." Zarncke remarks regarding their artistic worth, "not all of the cuts are of equal value. One can easily distinguish five different workers, and more practised eyes would probably be able to increase the number. In some one can see how the outlines, heads, hands, and other principal parts are cut with the fine stroke of the master, and the details and shading left to the scholars. The woodcuts of the most superior master, which can be recognized at once, and are about a third of the whole, belong to the finest, if they are not, indeed, the finest, which were executed in the fifteenth century, a worthy school of Holbein. According to the opinion of Herr Rudolph Weigel, they might possibly be the work of Martin Schön of Colmar.... The composition in the better ones is genuinely Hogarth-like, and the longer one looks at these little pictures, the more is one astonished at the fulness of the humour, the fineness of the characterisation and the almost dramatic talent of the grouping." Green, in his recent work on emblems, characterizes them as marking an epoch in that kind of literature. And Dibdin, the Macaulay of bibliography, loses his head in admiration of the "entertaining volume," extolling the figures without stint for "merit in conception and execution," "bold and free pencilling," "spirit and point," "delicacy, truth, and force," "spirit of drollery," &c., &c.; summarising thus, "few books are more pleasing to the eye, and more gratifying to the fancy than the early editions of the 'Stultifera Navis.' It presents a combination of entertainment to which the curious can never be indifferent."

Whether it were the racy cleverness of the pictures or the unprecedented boldness of the text, the book stirred Europe of the fifteenth century in a way and with a rapidity it had never been stirred before. In the German actual acquaintance with it could then be but limited, though it ran through seventeen editions within a century; the Latin version brought it to the knowledge of the educated class throughout Europe; but, expressing, as it did mainly, the feelings of the common people, to have it in the learned language was not enough. Translations into various vernaculars were immediately called for, and the Latin edition having lightened the translator's labours, they were speedily supplied. England, however, was all but last in the field but when she did appear, it was in force, with a version in each hand, the one in prose and the other in verse.

Fifteen years elapsed from the appearance of the first German edition, before the English metrical version "translated out of Laten, French, and Doche ... in the colege of Saynt Mary Otery, by me, Alexander Barclay," was issued from the press of Pynson in 1509. A translation, however, it is not. Properly speaking, it is an adaptation, an English ship, formed and fashioned after the Ship of Fools of the World. "But concernynge the translacion of this boke; I exhort ye reders to take no displesour for yt, it is nat translated word by worde acordinge to ye verses of my actour. For I haue but only drawen into our moder tunge, in rude langage the sentences of the verses as nere as the parcyte of my wyt wyl suffer me, some tyme addynge, somtyme detractinge and takinge away suche thinges as semeth me necessary and superflue. Wherfore I desyre of you reders pardon of my presumptuous audacite, trustynge that ye shall holde me excused if ye consyder ye scarsnes of my wyt and my vnexpert youthe. I haue in many places ouerpassed dyuers poetical digressions and obscurenes of fables and haue concluded my worke in rude langage as shal apere in my translacion."

"Wylling to redres the errours and vyces of this oure royalme of England ... I haue taken upon me ... the translacion of this present boke ... onely for the holsome instruccion commodyte and doctryne of wysdome, and to clense the vanyte and madness of folysshe people of whom ouer great nombre is in the Royalme of Englonde."

Actuated by these patriotic motives, Barclay has, while preserving all the valuable characteristics of his original, painted for posterity perhaps the most graphic and comprehensive picture now preserved of the folly, injustice, and iniquity which demoralized England, city and country alike, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and rendered it ripe for any change political or religious.

"Knowledge of trouth, prudence, and iust symplicite

Hath vs clene left; For we set of them no store.

Our Fayth is defyled loue, goodnes, and Pyte:

Honest maners nowe ar reputed of: no more.

Lawyers ar lordes; but Justice is rent and tore.

Or closed lyke a Monster within dores thre.

For without mede: or money no man can hyr se.

Al is disordered: Vertue hath no rewarde.

Alas, compassion; and mercy bothe ar slayne.

Alas, the stony hartys of pepyl ar so harde

That nought can constrayne theyr folyes to refrayne."

His ships are full laden but carry not all who should be on board.

"We are full lade and yet forsoth I thynke

A thousand are behynde, whom we may not receyue

For if we do, our nauy clene shall synke

He oft all lesys that coueytes all to haue

From London Rockes Almyghty God vs saue

For if we there anker, outher bote or barge

There be so many that they vs wyll ouercharge."

The national tone and aim of the English "Ship" are maintained throughout with the greatest emphasis, exhibiting an independence of spirit which few ecclesiastics of the time would have dared to own. Barclay seems to have been first an Englishman, then an ecclesiastic. Everywhere throughout his great work the voice of the people is heard to rise and ring through the long exposure of abuse and injustice, and had the authorship been unknown it would most certainly have been ascribed to a Langlande of the period. Everywhere he takes what we would call the popular side, the side of the people as against those in office. Everywhere he stands up boldly in behalf of the oppressed, and spares not the oppressor, even if he be of his own class. He applies the cudgel as vigorously to the priest's pate as to the Lolardes back. But he disliked modern innovation as much as ancient abuse, in this also faithfully reflecting the mind of the people, and he is as emphatic in his censure of the one as in his condemnation of the other.

Barclay's "Ship of Fools," however, is not only important as a picture of the English life and popular feeling of his time, it is, both in style and vocabulary, a most valuable and remarkable monument of the English language. Written midway between Chaucer and Spenser, it is infinitely more easy to read than either. Page after page, even in the antique spelling of Pynson's edition, may be read by the ordinary reader of to-day without reference to a dictionary, and when reference is required it will be found in nine cases out of ten that the archaism is Saxon, not Latin. This is all the more remarkable, that it occurs in the case of a priest translating mainly from the Latin and French, and can only be explained with reference to his standpoint as a social reformer of the broadest type, and to his evident intention that his book should be an appeal to all classes, but especially to the mass of the people, for amendment of their follies. In evidence of this it may be noticed that in the didactic passages, and especially in the L'envois, which are additions of his own, wherever, in fact, he appears in his own character of "preacher," his language is most simple, and his vocabulary of the most Saxon description.

In his prologue "excusynge the rudenes of his translacion," he professes to have purposely used the most "comon speche":—

"My speche is rude my termes comon and rural

And I for rude peple moche more conuenient

Than for estates, lerned men, or eloquent."

He afterwards humorously supplements this in "the prologe," by:—

"But if I halt in meter or erre in eloquence

Or be to large in langage I pray you blame not me

For my mater is so bad it wyll none other be."

So much the better for all who are interested in studying the development of our language and literature. For thus we have a volume, confessedly written in the commonest language of the common people, from which the philologist may at once see the stage at which they had arrived in the development of a simple English speech, and how far, in this respect, the spoken language had advanced a-head of the written; and from which also he can judge to what extent the popularity of a book depends, when the language is in a state of transition, upon the unusual simplicity of its style both in structure and vocabulary, and how far it may, by reason of its popularity, be influential in modifying and improving the language in both these respects. In the long barren tract between Chaucer and Spenser, the Ship of Fools stands all but alone as a popular poem, and the continuance of this popularity for a century and more is no doubt to be attributed as much to the use of the language of the "coming time" as to the popularity of the subject.

In more recent times however, Barclay has, probably in part, from accidental circumstances, come to be relegated to a position among the English classics, those authors whom every one speaks of but few read. That modern editions of at least his principal performance have not appeared, can only be accounted for by the great expense attendant upon the reproduction of so uniquely illustrated a work, an interesting proof of which, given in the evidence before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Copyright act in 1818, is worth quoting. Amongst new editions of standard but costly works, of which the tax then imposed by the act upon publishers of giving eleven copies of all their publications free to certain libraries prevented the publication, is mentioned, Barclay's "Ship of Fools;" regarding which Harding, the well known bookseller, is reported to have said, "We have declined republishing the 'Ship of Fools,' a folio volume of great rarity and high price. Our probable demand would not have been more than for a hundred copies, at the price of 12 guineas each. The delivery of eleven copies to the public libraries decided us against entering into the speculation."

A wider and more eager interest is now being manifested in our early literature, and especially in our early popular poetry, to the satisfaction of which, it is believed, a new edition of this book will be regarded as a most valuable contribution. Indeed, as a graphic and comprehensive picture of the social condition of pre-Reformation England; as an important influence in the formation of our modern English tongue; and as a rich and unique exhibition of early art, to all of which subjects special attention is being at present directed, this mediæval picture-poem is of unrivalled interest.



Life and Writings of Alexander Barclay,

the translator of brandt's ship of fools.


Whether this distinguished poet was an Englishman or a Scotchman has long been a quæstio vexata affording the literary antiquary a suitable field for the display of his characteristic amenity. Bale, the oldest authority, simply says that some contend he was a Scot, others an Englishman, (Script. Illust. Majoris Britt. Catalogus, 1559). Pits (De Illust. Angliæ Script.,) asserts that though to some he appears to have been a Scot, he was really an Englishman, and probably a native of Devonshire, ("nam ibi ad S. Mariam de Otery, Presbyter primum fuit"). Wood again, (Athen. Oxon.), by the reasoning which finds a likeness between Macedon and Monmouth, because there is a river in each, arrives at "Alexander de Barklay, seems to have been born at or near a town so called in Somersetshire;" upon which Ritson pertinently observes, "there is no such place in Somersetshire, the onely Berkeley known is in Gloucestershire." Warton, coming to the question double-shotted, observes that "he was most probably of Devonshire or Gloucestershire," in the one case following Pits, and in the other anticipating Ritson's observation.

On the other hand Bale, in an earlier work than the Catalogus, the Summarium Ill. Maj. Britt. Script., published in 1548, during Barclay's life time, adorns him with the epithets "Scotus, rhetor ac poeta insignis." Dempster (Hist. ecclesiastica), styles him "Scotus, ut retulit ipse Joannes Pitsæus." Holinshed also styles him "Scot"! Sibbald gives him a place in his (MS.) Catalogues of Scottish poets, as does also Wodrow in his Catalogues of Scots writers. Mackenzie (Lives of the Scots writers) begins, "The Barklies, from whom this gentleman is descended, are of a very ancient standing in Scotland." Ritson (Bib. Poetica), after a caustic review of the controversy, observes "both his name of baptism and the orthography of his surname seem to prove that he was of Scottish extraction." Bliss (Additions to Wood) is of opinion that he "undoubtedly was not a native of England," and Dr Irving (Hist. of Scot. Poetry) adheres to the opinion of Ritson.

Such contention, whatever may be the weight of the evidence on either side, is at any rate a sufficient proof of the eminence of the individual who is the subject of it; to be his birthplace being considered an honour of so much value to the country able to prove its claim to the distinction as to occasion a literary warfare of several centuries' duration.

We cannot profess to have brought such reinforcements to either side as to obtain for it a complete and decisive victory, but their number and character are such as will probably induce one of the combatants quietly to retire from the field. In the first place, a more explicit and unimpeachable piece of evidence than any contained in the authors mentioned above has been found, strangely enough, in a medical treatise, published about twenty years after Barclay's death, by a physician and botanist of great eminence in the middle of the sixteenth century, who was a native of the isle of Ely, at the Monastery of which Barclay was for some time a monk.

It is entitled "A dialogue both pleasaunt and pietifull, wherein is a godlie regiment against the Fever Pestilence, with a consolation and comforte against death.—Newlie corrected by William Bullein, the author thereof.—Imprinted at London by Ihon Kingston. Julij, 1573." [8vo., B.L., 111 leaves.] "There was an earlier impression of this work in 1564, but the edition of 1573 was 'corrected by the author,' the last work on which he probably was engaged, as he died in 1576. It is of no value at this time of day as a medical treatise, though the author was very eminent; but we advert to it because Bullein, for the sake of variety and amusement, introduces notices of Chaucer, Gower, Lidgate, Skelton, and Barclay, which, coming from a man who was contemporary with two of them, may be accepted as generally accurate representations.... Alexander Barclay, Dr Bullein calls Bartlet, in the irregular spelling of those times; and, asserting that he was 'born beyond the cold river of Tweed,' we see no sufficient reason for disbelieving that he was a native of Scotland. Barclay, after writing his pastorals, &c., did not die until 1552, so that Bullein was his contemporary, and most likely knew him and the fact. He observes:—'Then Bartlet, with an hoopyng russet long coate, with a pretie hoode in his necke, and five knottes upon his girdle, after Francis tricks. He was borne beyonde the cold river of Twede. He lodged upon a swete bed of chamomill, under the sinamum tree; about hym many shepherdes and shepe, with pleasaunte pipes; greatly abhorring the life of Courtiers, Citizens, Usurers, and Banckruptes, &c., whose olde daies are miserable. And the estate of shepherdes and countrie people he accoumpted moste happie and sure." (Collier's "Bibliographical Account of Early English Literature," Vol. 1., P. 97).

"The certainty with which Bulleyn here speaks of Barclay, as born beyond the Tweed, is not a little strengthened by the accuracy with which even in allegory he delineates his peculiar characteristics. 'He lodged upon a bed of sweet camomile.' What figure could have been more descriptive of that agreeable bitterness, that pleasant irony, which distinguishes the author of the 'Ship of Fools?' 'About him many shepherds and sheep with pleasant pipes, greatly abhorring the life of courtiers.' What could have been a plainer paraphrase of the title of Barclay's 'Eclogues,' or 'Miseries of Courtiers and Courtes, and of all Princes in General.' As a minor feature, 'the five knots upon his girdle after Francis's tricks' may also be noticed. Hitherto, the fact of Barclay having been a member of the Franciscan order has been always repeated as a matter of some doubt; 'he was a monk of the order of St Benedict, and afterwards, as some say, a Franciscan. Bulleyn knows, and mentions, with certainty, what others only speak of as the merest conjecture. In short, everything tends to shew a degree of familiar acquaintance with the man, his habits, and his productions, which entitles the testimony of Bulleyn to the highest credit.'" (Lives of the Scottish Poets, Vol. I., pt. ii., p. 77).

But there are other proofs pointing as decidedly to the determination of this long-continued controversy in favour of Scotland, as the soil from which this vagrant child of the muses sprung. No evidence seems to have been hitherto sought from the most obvious source, his writings. The writer of the memoir in the Biographia Brittanica, (who certainly dealt a well-aimed, though by no means decisive, blow, in observing, "It is pretty extraordinary that Barclay himself, in his several addresses to his patrons should never take notice of his being a stranger, which would have made their kindness to him the more remarkable [it was very customary for the writers of that age to make mention in their works of the countries to which they belonged, especially if they wrote out of their own];[1] whereas the reader will quickly see, that in his address to the young gentlemen of England in the 'Mirror of Good Manners,' he treats them as his countrymen,") has remarked, "It seems a little strange that in those days a Scot should obtain so great reputation in England, especially if it be considered from whence our author's rose, viz., from his enriching and improving the English tongue. Had he written in Latin or on the sciences, the thing had been probable enough, but in the light in which it now stands, I think it very far from likely." From which it is evident that the biographer understood not the versatile nature of the Scot and his ability, especially when caught young, in "doing in Rome as the Romans do." Barclay's English education and foreign travel, together extending over the most impressionable years of his youth, could not have failed to rub off any obvious national peculiarities of speech acquired in early boyhood, had the difference between the English and Scottish speech then been wider than it was. But the language of Barbour and Chaucer was really one and the same. It will then not be wondered at that but few Scotch words are found in Barclay's writings. Still, these few are not without their importance in strengthening the argument as to nationality. The following from "The Ship of Fools," indicate at once the clime to which they are native, "gree," "kest," "rawky," "ryue," "yate," "bokest," "bydeth," "thekt," and "or," in its peculiar Scottish use.[2] That any Englishman, especially a South or West of England Englishman, should use words such as those, particularly at a time of hostility and of little intercourse between the nations, will surely be admitted to be a far more unlikely thing than that a Scotchman born, though not bred, should become, after the effects of an English education and residence had efficiently done their work upon him, a great improver and enricher of the English tongue.

But perhaps the strongest and most decisive argument of all in this much-vexed controversy is to be found in the panegyric of James the Fourth contained in the "Ship of Fools," an eulogy so highly pitched and extravagant that no Englishman of that time would ever have dreamed of it or dared to pen it. Nothing could well be more conclusive. Barclay precedes it by a long and high-flown tribute to Henry, but when he comes to "Jamys of Scotlonde," he, so to speak, out-Herods Herod. Ordinary verse suffices not for the greatness of his subject, which he must needs honour with an acrostic,—

" I n prudence pereles is this moste comely kynge

A nd as for his strength and magnanymyte

C oncernynge his noble dedes in euery thynge

O ne founde or grounde lyke to hym can not be

B y byrth borne to boldnes and audacyte

V nder the bolde planet of Mars the champyon

S urely to subdue his ennemyes echone."

There, we are convinced, speaks not the prejudiced, Scot-hating English critic, but the heart beating true to its fatherland and loyal to its native Sovereign.

That "he was born beyonde the cold river of Twede," about the year 1476, as shall be shown anon, is however all the length we can go. His training was without doubt mainly, if not entirely English. He must have crossed the border very early in life, probably for the purpose of pursuing his education at one of the Universities, or, even earlier than the period of his University career, with parents or guardians to reside in the neighbourhood of Croydon, to which he frequently refers. Croydon is mentioned in the following passages in Eclogue I.:

"While I in youth in Croidon towne did dwell."

"He hath no felowe betwene this and Croidon,

Save the proude plowman Gnatho of Chorlington."

"And as in Croidon I heard the Collier preache"

"Such maner riches the Collier tell thee can"

"As the riche Shepheard that woned in Mortlake."

It seems to have become a second home to him, for there, we find, in 1552, he died and was buried.

At which University he studied, whether Oxford or Cambridge, is also a matter of doubt and controversy. Wood claims him for Oxford and Oriel, apparently on no other ground than that he dedicates the "Ship of Fools" to Thomas Cornish, the Suffragan bishop of Tyne, in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, who was provost of Oriel College from 1493 to 1507. That the Bishop was the first to give him an appointment in the Church is certainly a circumstance of considerable weight in favour of the claim of Oxford to be his alma mater, and of Cornish to be his intellectual father; and if the appointment proceeded from the Provost's good opinion of the young Scotchman, then it says much for the ability and talents displayed by him during his College career. Oxford however appears to be nowhere mentioned in his various writings, while Cambridge is introduced thus in Eclogue I.:—

"And once in Cambridge I heard a scoller say."

From which it seems equally, if not more, probable that he was a student at that university. "There is reason to believe that both the universities were frequented by Scotish students; many particular names are to be traced in their annals; nor is it altogether irrelevant to mention that Chaucer's young clerks of Cambridge who played such tricks to the miller of Trompington, are described as coming from the north, and as speaking the Scotish language:—

'John highte that on, and Alein highte that other,

Of o toun were they born that highte Strother,

Fer in the North, I cannot tellen where.'

"It may be considered as highly probable that Barclay completed his studies in one of those universities, and that the connections which he thus had an opportunity of forming, induced him to fix his residence in the South; and when we suppose him to have enjoyed the benefit of an English education it need not appear peculiarly 'strange, that in those days, a Scot should obtain so great reputation in England.'" (Irving, Hist. of Scot. Poetry).

In the "Ship" there is a chapter "Of unprofytable Stody" in which he makes allusion to his student life in such a way as to imply that it had not been a model of regularity and propriety:

"The great foly, the pryde, and the enormyte

Of our studentis, and theyr obstynate errour

Causeth me to wryte two sentences or thre

More than I fynde wrytyn in myne actoure

The tyme hath ben whan I was conductoure

Of moche foly, whiche nowe my mynde doth greue

Wherfor of this shyp syns I am gouernoure

I dare be bolde myne owne vyce to repreue."

If these lines are meant to be accepted literally, which such confessions seldom are, it may be that he was advised to put a year or two's foreign travel between his University career, and his entrance into the Church. At any rate, for whatever reason, on leaving the University, where, as is indicated by the title of "Syr" prefixed to his name in his translation of Sallust, he had obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts, he travelled abroad, whether at his own charges, or in the company of a son of one of his patrons is not recorded, principally in Germany, Italy, and France, where he applied himself, with an unusual assiduity and success, to the acquirement of the languages spoken in those countries and to the study of their best authors. In the chapter "Of unprofytable Stody," above mentioned, which contains proof how well he at least had profited by study, he cites certain continental seats of university learning at each of which, there is indeed no improbability in supposing he may have remained for some time, as was the custom in those days:

"One rennyth to Almayne another vnto France

To Parys, Padway, Lumbardy or Spayne

Another to Bonony, Rome, or Orleanse

To Cayne, to Tolows, Athenys, or Colayne."

Another reference to his travels and mode of travelling is found in the Eclogues. Whether he made himself acquainted with the English towns he enumerates before or after his continental travels it is impossible to determine:


"As if diuers wayes laye vnto Islington,

To Stow on the Wold, Quaueneth or Trompington,

To Douer, Durham, to Barwike or Exeter,

To Grantham, Totnes, Bristow or good Manchester,

To Roan, Paris, to Lions or Floraunce.


(What ho man abide, what already in Fraunce,

Lo, a fayre iourney and shortly ended to,

With all these townes what thing haue we to do?


By Gad man knowe thou that I haue had to do

In all these townes and yet in many mo,

To see the worlde in youth me thought was best,

And after in age to geue my selfe to rest.


Thou might haue brought one and set by our village.


What man I might not for lacke of cariage.

To cary mine owne selfe was all that euer I might,

And sometime for ease my sachell made I light."


Returning to England, after some years of residence abroad, with his mind broadened and strengthened by foreign travel, and by the study of the best authors, modern as well as ancient, Barclay entered the church, the only career then open to a man of his training. With intellect, accomplishments, and energy possessed by few, his progress to distinction and power ought to have been easy and rapid, but it turned out quite otherwise. The road to eminence lay by the "backstairs," the atmosphere of which he could not endure. The ways of courtiers—falsehood, flattery, and fawning—he detested, and worse, he said so, wherefore his learning, wit and eloquence found but small reward. To his freedom of speech, his unsparing exposure and denunciation of corruption and vice in the Court and the Church, as well as among the people generally, must undoubtedly be attributed the failure to obtain that high promotion his talents deserved, and would otherwise have met with. The policy, not always a successful one in the end, of ignoring an inconvenient display of talent, appears to have been fully carried out in the instance of Barclay.

His first preferment appears to have been in the shape of a chaplainship in the sanctuary for piety and learning founded at Saint Mary Otery in the County of Devon, by Grandison, Bishop of Exeter; and to have come from Thomas Cornish, Suffragan Bishop of Bath and Wells under the title of the Bishop of Tyne, "meorum primitias laborum qui in lucem eruperunt," to whom, doubtless out of gratitude for his first appointment, he dedicated "The Ship of Fools." Cornish, amongst the many other good things he enjoyed, held, according to Dugdale, from 1490 to 1511, the post of warden of the College of S. Mary Otery, where Barclay no doubt had formed that regard and respect for him which is so strongly expressed in the dedication.

A very eulogistic notice of "My Mayster Kyrkham," in the chapter "Of the extorcion of Knyghtis," (Ship of Fools,) has misled biographers, who were ignorant of Cornish's connection with S. Mary Otery, to imagine that Barclay's use of "Capellanus humilimus" in his dedication was merely a polite expression, and that Kyrkham, of whom he styles himself, "His true seruytour his chaplayne and bedeman" was his actual ecclesiastical superior. The following is the whole passage:—

"Good offycers ar good and commendable

And manly knyghtes that lyue in rightwysenes

But they that do nat ar worthy of a bable

Syns by theyr pryde pore people they oppres

My mayster Kyrkhan for his perfyte mekenes

And supportacion of men in pouertye

Out of my shyp shall worthely be fre

I flater nat I am his true seruytour

His chaplayne and his bede man whyle my lyfe shall endure

Requyrynge God to exalt hym to honour

And of his Prynces fauour to be sure

For as I haue sayd I knowe no creature

More manly rightwyse wyse discrete and sad

But thoughe he be good, yet other ar als bad."

That this Kyrkham was a knight and not an ecclesiastic is so plainly apparent as to need no argument. An investigation into Devonshire history affords the interesting information that among the ancient families of that county there was one of this name, of great antiquity and repute, now no longer existent, of which the most eminent member was a certain Sir John Kirkham, whose popularity is evinced by his having been twice created High Sheriff of the County, in the years 1507 and 1523. (Prince, Worthies of Devon; Izacke, Antiquities of Exeter.)

That this was the Kirkham above alluded to, there can be no reasonable doubt, and in view of the expression "My mayster Kyrkham," it may be surmised that Barclay had the honour of being appointed by this worthy gentleman to the office of Sheriff's or private Chaplain or to some similar position of confidence, by which he gained the poet's respect and gratitude. The whole allusion, however, might, without straining be regarded as a merely complimentary one. The tone of the passage affords at any rate a very pleasing glimpse of the mutual regard entertained by the poet and his Devonshire neighbours.

After the eulogy of Kyrkham ending with "Yet other ar als bad," the poet goes on immediately to give the picture of a character of the opposite description, making the only severe personal reference in his whole writings, for with all his unsparing exposure of wrong-doing, he carefully, wisely, honourably avoided personality. A certain Mansell of Otery is gibbeted as a terror to evil doers in a way which would form a sufficient ground for an action for libel in these degenerate days.—Ship, II. 82.

"Mansell of Otery for powlynge of the pore

Were nat his great wombe, here sholde haue an ore

But for his body is so great and corporate

And so many burdens his brode backe doth charge

If his great burthen cause hym to come to late

Yet shall the knaue be Captayne of a barge

Where as ar bawdes and so sayle out at large

About our shyp to spye about for prayes

For therupon hath he lyued all his dayes."

It ought however to be mentioned that no such name as Mansell appears in the Devonshire histories, and it may therefore be fictitious.

The ignorance and reckless living of the clergy, one of the chief objects of his animadversion, receive also local illustration:

"For if one can flater, and beare a Hauke on his fist,

He shalbe made parson of Honington or Clist."

A good humoured reference to the Secondaries of the College is the only other streak of local colouring we have detected in the Ship, except the passage in praise of his friend and colleague Bishop, quoted at p. liii.

"Softe, fooles, softe, a little slacke your pace,

Till I haue space you to order by degree,

I haue eyght neyghbours, that first shall haue a place

Within this my ship, for they most worthy be,

They may their learning receyue costles and free,

Their walles abutting and ioyning to the scholes;

Nothing they can, yet nought will they learne nor see,

Therfore shall they guide this our ship of fooles."

In the comfort, quiet, and seclusion of the pleasant Devonshire retreat, the "Ship" was translated in the year 1508, when he would be about thirty-two, "by Alexander Barclay Preste; and at that tyme chaplen in the sayde College," whence it may be inferred that he left Devon, either in that year or the year following, when the "Ship" was published, probably proceeding to London for the purpose of seeing it through the press. Whether he returned to Devonshire we do not know; probably not, for his patron and friend Cornish resigned the wardenship of St Mary Otery in 1511, and in two years after died, so that Barclay's ties and hopes in the West were at an end. At any rate we next hear of him in monastic orders, a monk of the order of S. Benedict, in the famous monastery of Ely, where, as is evident from internal proof, the Eclogues were written and where likewise, as appears from the title, was translated "The mirrour of good maners," at the desire of Syr Giles Alington, Knight.

It is about this period of his life, probably the period of the full bloom of his popularity, that the quiet life of the poet and priest was interrupted by the recognition of his eminence in the highest quarters, and by a request for his aid in maintaining the honour of the country on an occasion to which the eyes of all Europe were then directed. In a letter of Sir Nicholas Vaux, busied with the preparations for the meeting of Henry VIII., and Francis I., called the Field of the Cloth of Gold, to Wolsey, of date 10th April 1520, he begs the cardinal to "send to them ... Maistre Barkleye, the Black Monke and Poete, to devise histoires and convenient raisons to florisshe the buildings and banquet house withal" (Rolls Calendars of Letters and Papers, Henry VIII., iii. pt. 1.). No doubt it was also thought that this would be an excellent opportunity for the eulogist of the Defender of the Faith to again take up the lyre to sing the glories of his royal master, but no effort of his muse on the subject of this great chivalric pageant has descended to us if any were ever penned.

Probably after this employment he did not return to Ely; with his position or surroundings there he does not seem to have been altogether satisfied ("there many a thing is wrong," see p. lxix.); and afterwards, though in the matter of date we are somewhat puzzled by the allusion of Bulleyn, an Ely man, to his Franciscan habit, he assumed the habit of the Franciscans at Canterbury, ('Bale MS. Sloan, f. 68,') to which change we may owe, if it be really Barclay's, "The life of St Thomas of Canterbury."

Autumn had now come to the poet, but fruit had failed him. The advance of age and his failure to obtain a suitable position in the Church began gradually to weigh upon his spirits. The bright hopes with which he had started in the flush of youth, the position he was to obtain, the influence he was to wield, and the work he was to do personally, and by his writings, in the field of moral and social reformation were all in sad contrast with the actualities around. He had never risen from the ranks, the army was in a state of disorganisation, almost of mutiny, and the enemy was more bold, unscrupulous, and numerous than ever. It is scarcely to be wondered at that, though not past fifty, he felt prematurely aged, that his youthful enthusiasm which had carried him on bravely in many an attempt to instruct and benefit his fellows at length forsook him and left him a prey to that weakness of body, and that hopelessness of spirit to which he so pathetically alludes in the Prologue to the Mirror of good Manners. All his best work, all the work which has survived to our day, was executed before this date. But the pen was too familiar to his hand to be allowed to drop. His biographers tell us "that when years came on he spent his time mostly in pious matters, and in reading and writing histories of the Saints." A goodly picture of a well-spent old age. The harness of youth he had no longer the spirit and strength to don, the garments of age he gathered resignedly and gracefully about him.

On the violent dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, when their inmates, the good and bad, the men of wisdom and the "fools," were alike cast adrift upon a rock-bound and stormy coast, the value of the patronage which his literary and personal popularity had brought him, was put to the test, and in the end successfully, though after considerable, but perhaps not to be wondered at, delay. His great patrons, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Kent, Bishop Cornish, and probably also Sir Giles Alington, were all dead, and he had to rely on newer and necessarily weaker ties. But after waiting, till probably somewhat dispirited, fortune smiled at last. Two handsome livings were presented to him in the same year, both of which he apparently held at the same time, the vicarage of Much Badew in Essex, by the presentation of Mr John Pascal, to which he was instituted on February 7th, 1546, holding it (according to the Lansdowne MS. (980 f. 101), in the British Museum) till his death; and the vicarage of S. Mathew at Wokey, in Somerset, on March 30th of the same year. Wood dignifies him with the degree of doctor of divinity at the time of his presentation to these preferments.

That he seems to have accepted quietly the gradual progress of the reformed religion during the reign of Edward VI., has been a cause of wonder to some. It would certainly have been astonishing had one who was so unsparing in his exposure of the flagrant abuses of the Romish Church done otherwise. Though personally disinclined to radical changes his writings amply show his deep dissatisfaction with things as they were. This renders the more improbable the honours assigned him by Wadding (Scriptores Ordinis Minorum, 1806, p. 5), who promotes him to be Suffragan Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Bale, who, in a slanderous anecdote, the locale of which is also Wells, speaks of him as a chaplain of Queen Mary's, though Mary did not ascend the throne till the year after his death. As these statements are nowhere confirmed, it is not improbable that their authors have fallen into error by confounding the poet Barclay, with a Gilbert Berkeley, who became Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1559. One more undoubted, but tardy, piece of preferment was awarded him which may be regarded as an honour of some significance. On the 30th April 1552, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, London, presented him to the Rectory of All Hallows, Lombard Street, but the well-deserved promotion came too late to be enjoyed. A few weeks after, and before the 10th June, at which date his will was proved, he died, as his biographers say, "at a very advanced age;" at the good old age of seventy-six, as shall be shown presently, at Croydon where he had passed his youth, and there in the Church he was buried. "June 10th 1552, Alexander Barkley sepult," (Extract from the Parish Register, in Lyson's Environs of London).

A copy of his will, an extremely interesting and instructive document, has been obtained from Doctors' Commons, and will be found appended. It bears in all its details those traits of character which, from all that we otherwise know, we are led to associate with him. In it we see the earnest, conscientious minister whose first thought is of the poor, the loyal churchman liberal in his support of the house of God, the kind relative in his numerous and considerate bequests to his kith and kin, the amiable, much loved man in the gifts of remembrance to his many friends, and the pious Christian in his wishes for the prayers of his survivors "to Almightie God for remission of my synnes, and mercy upon my soule."

Barclay's career and character, both as a churchman and a man of letters, deserve attention and respect from every student of our early history and literature. In the former capacity he showed himself diligent, honest, and anxious, at a time when these qualities seemed to have been so entirely lost to the church as to form only a subject for clerical ridicule. In the latter, the same qualities are also prominent, diligence, honesty, bold outspokenness, an ardent desire for the pure, the true, and the natural, and an undisguised enmity to everything false, self-seeking, and vile. Everything he did was done in a pure way, and to a worthy end.

Bale stands alone in casting aspersions upon his moral character, asserting, as Ritson puts it, "in his bigoted and foul-mouthed way," that "he continued a hater of truth, and under the disguise of celibacy a filthy adulterer to the last;" and in his Declaration of Bonner's articles (1561, fol. 81), he condescends to an instance to the effect that "Doctoure Barkleye hadde greate harme ones of suche a visitacion, at Wellys, before he was Quene Maryes Chaplayne. For the woman whome he so religiouslye visited did light him of all that he had, sauinge his workinge tolas. For the whiche acte he had her in prison, and yet coulde nothing recouer againe." Whether this story be true of any one is perhaps doubtful, and, if true of a Barclay, we are convinced that he is not our author. It may have arisen as we have seen from a mistake as to identity. But apart from the question of identity, we have nothing in support of the slander but Bale's "foul-mouthed" assertion, while against it we have the whole tenor and aim of Barclay's published writings. Everywhere he inculcates the highest and purest morality, and where even for that purpose he might be led into descriptions of vice, his disgust carries him past what most others would have felt themselves justified in dealing with. For example, in the chapter of "Disgysyd folys" he expressly passes over as lightly as possible what might to others have proved a tempting subject:

"They disceyue myndes chaste and innocent

With dyuers wayes whiche I wyll nat expres

Lyst that whyle I labour this cursyd gyse to stynt

I myght to them mynyster example of lewdnes

And therfore in this part I shall say les

Than doth my actour."

Elsewhere he declares:

"for my boke certaynly

I haue compyled: for vertue and goodnes

And to reuyle foule synne and vyciousnes"

But citation is needless; there is not a page of his writings which will not supply similar evidence, and our great early moralist may, we think, be dismissed from Court without a stain on his character.

Indeed to his high pitched morality, he doubtless owed in some degree the great and extended popularity of his poetical writings in former times and their neglect in later. Sermons and "good" books were not yet in the sixteenth century an extensive branch of literature, and "good" people could without remorse of conscience vary their limited theological reading by frowning over the improprieties and sins of their neighbours as depicted in the "Ship," and joining, with a serious headshaking heartiness, in the admonitions of the translator to amendment, or they might feel "strengthened" by a glance into the "Mirrour of good Maners," or edified by hearing of the "Miseryes of Courtiers and Courtes of all princes in generall," as told in the "Eclogues."

Certain it is that these writings owed little of their acceptance to touches of humour or satire, to the gifts of a poetical imagination, or the grace of a polished diction. The indignation of the honest man and the earnestness of the moralist waited not for gifts and graces. Everything went down, hard, rough, even uncouth as it stood, of course gaining in truth and in graphic power what it wants in elegance. Still, with no refinement, polish or elaboration, there are many picturesque passages scattered throughout these works which no amount of polishing could have improved. How could a man in a rage be better touched off than thus ("Ship" I. 182, 15).

"This man malycious whiche troubled is with wrath

Nought els soundeth but the hoorse letter R."

The passion of love is so graphically described that it is difficult to imagine our priestly moralist a total stranger to its power, (I. 81).

"For he that loueth is voyde of all reason

Wandrynge in the worlde without lawe or mesure

In thought and fere sore vexed eche season

And greuous dolours in loue he must endure

No creature hym selfe, may well assure

From loues soft dartis: I say none on the grounde

But mad and folysshe bydes he whiche hath the wounde

Aye rennynge as franatyke no reason in his mynde

He hath no constaunce nor ease within his herte

His iyen ar blynde, his wyll alwaye inclyned

To louys preceptes yet can nat he departe

The Net is stronge, the sole caught can nat starte

The darte is sharpe, who euer is in the chayne

Can nat his sorowe in vysage hyde nor fayne"

For expressive, happy simile, the two following examples are capital:—

"Yet sometimes riches is geuen by some chance

To such as of good haue greatest aboundaunce.

Likewise as streames unto the sea do glide.

But on bare hills no water will abide.

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

So smallest persons haue small rewarde alway

But men of worship set in authoritie

Must haue rewardes great after their degree."—Eclogue I.

"And so such thinges which princes to thee geue

To thee be as sure as water in a siue

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

So princes are wont with riches some to fede

As we do our swine when we of larde haue nede

We fede our hogges them after to deuour

When they be fatted by costes and labour."—Eclogue I.

The everlasting conceit of musical humanity is very truthfully hit off.

"This is of singers the very propertie

Alway they coueyt desired for to be

And when their frendes would heare of their cunning

Then are they neuer disposed for to sing,

But if they begin desired of no man

Then shewe they all and more then they can

And neuer leaue they till men of them be wery,

So in their conceyt their cunning they set by."—Eclogue II.

Pithy sayings are numerous. Comparing citizens with countrymen, the countryman says:—

"Fortune to them is like a mother dere

As a stepmother she doth to us appeare."

Of money:

"Coyne more than cunning exalteth every man."

Of clothing:

"It is not clothing can make a man be good

Better is in ragges pure liuing innocent

Than a soule defiled in sumptuous garment."

It is as the graphic delineator of the life and condition of the country in his period that the chief interest of Barclay's writings, and especially of the "Ship of Fools," now lies. Nowhere so accessibly, so fully, and so truthfully will be found the state of Henry the Eighth's England set forth. Every line bears the character of truthfulness, written as it evidently is, in all the soberness of sadness, by one who had no occasion to exaggerate, whose only object and desire was, by massing together and describing faithfully the follies and abuses which were evident to all, to shame every class into some degree of moral reformation, and, in particular, to effect some amelioration of circumstances to the suffering poor.

And a sad picture it is which we thus obtain of merrie England in the good old times of bluff King Hal, wanting altogether in the couleur de rose with which it is tinted by its latest historian Mr Froude, who is ably taken to task on this subject by a recent writer in the Westminster Review, whose conclusions, formed upon other evidence than Barclay's, express so fairly the impression left by a perusal of the "Ship of Fools," and the Eclogues, that we quote them here. "Mr Froude remarks: 'Looking therefore, at the state of England as a whole, I cannot doubt that under Henry the body of the people were prosperous, well-fed, loyal, and contented. In all points of material comfort, they were as well off as ever they had been before; better off than they have ever been in later times.' In this estimate we cannot agree. Rather we should say that during, and for long after, this reign, the people were in the most deplorable condition of poverty and misery of every kind. That they were ill-fed, that loyalty was at its lowest ebb, that discontent was rife throughout the land. 'In all points of material comfort,' we think they were worse off than they had ever been before, and infinitely worse off than they have ever been since the close of the sixteenth century,—a century in which the cup of England's woes was surely fuller than it has ever been since, or will, we trust, ever be again. It was the century in which this country and its people passed through a baptism of blood as well as 'a baptism of fire,' and out of which they came holier and better. The epitaph which should be inscribed over the century is contained in a sentence written by the famous Acham in 1547:—'Nam vita, quæ nunc vivitur a plurimis, non vita sed miseria est.'" So, Bradford (Sermon on Repentance, 1533) sums up contemporary opinion in a single weighty sentence: "All men may see if they will that the whoredom pride, unmercifulness, and tyranny of England far surpasses any age that ever was before." Every page of Barclay corroborates these accounts of tyranny, injustice, immorality, wretchedness, poverty, and general discontent.

Not only in fact and feeling are Barclay's Ship of Fools and Eclogues thoroughly expressive of the unhappy, discontented, poverty-stricken, priest-ridden, and court-ridden condition and life, the bitter sorrows and the humble wishes of the people, their very texture, as Barclay himself tells us, consists of the commonest language of the day, and in it are interwoven many of the current popular proverbs and expressions. Almost all of these are still "household words" though few ever imagine the garb of their "daily wisdom" to be of such venerable antiquity. Every page of the "Eclogues" abounds with them; in the "Ship" they are less common, but still by no means infrequent. We have for instance:—

"Better is a frende in courte than a peny in purse"—(I. 70.)

"Whan the stede is stolyn to shyt the stable dore"—(I. 76.)

"It goeth through as water through a syue."—(I. 245.)

"And he that alway thretenyth for to fyght

Oft at the prose is skantly worth a hen

For greattest crakers ar nat ay boldest men."—(I. 198.)

"I fynde foure thynges whiche by no meanes can

Be kept close, in secrete, or longe in preuetee

The firste is the counsell of a wytles man

The seconde is a cyte whiche byldyd is a hye

Upon a montayne the thyrde we often se

That to hyde his dedes a louer hath no skyll

The fourth is strawe or fethers on a wyndy hyll."—(I. 199.)

"A crowe to pull."—(II. 8.)

"For it is a prouerbe, and an olde sayd sawe

That in euery place lyke to lyke wyll drawe."—(II. 35.)

"Better haue one birde sure within thy wall

Or fast in a cage than twenty score without"—(II. 74)

"Gapynge as it were dogges for a bone."—(II. 93.)

"Pryde sholde haue a fall."—(II. 161).

"For wyse men sayth ...

One myshap fortuneth neuer alone."

"Clawe where it itchyth."—(II. 256.) [The use of this, it occurs again in the Eclogues, might be regarded by some of our Southern friends, as itself a sufficient proof of the author's Northern origin.]

The following are selected from the Eclogues as the most remarkable:

"Each man for himself, and the fende for us all."

"They robbe Saint Peter therwith to clothe Saint Powle."

"For might of water will not our leasure bide."

"Once out of sight and shortly out of minde."

"For children brent still after drede the fire."

"Together they cleave more fast than do burres."

"Tho' thy teeth water."

"I aske of the foxe no farther than the skin."

"To touche soft pitche and not his fingers file."

"From post unto piller tost shall thou be."

"Over head and eares."

"Go to the ant."

"A man may contende, God geueth victory."

"Of two evils chose the least."

These are but the more striking specimens. An examination of the "Ship," and especially of the "Eclogues," for the purpose of extracting their whole proverbial lore, would be well worth the while, if it be not the duty, of the next collector in this branch of popular literature. These writings introduce many of our common sayings for the first time to English literature, no writer prior to Barclay having thought it dignified or worth while to profit by the popular wisdom to any perceptible extent. The first collection of proverbs, Heywood's, did not appear until 1546, so that in Barclay we possess the earliest known English form of such proverbs as he introduces. It need scarcely be said that that form is, in the majority of instances, more full of meaning and point than its modern representatives.

Barclay's adoption of the language of the people naturally elevated him in popular estimation to a position far above that of his contemporaries in the matter of style, so much so that he has been traditionally recorded as one of the greatest improvers of the language, that is, one of those who helped greatly to bring the written language to be more nearly in accordance with the spoken. Both a scholar and a man of the world, his phraseology bears token of the greater cultivation and wider knowledge he possessed over his contemporaries. He certainly aimed at clearness of expression, and simplicity of vocabulary, and in these respects was so far in advance of his time that his works can even now be read with ease, without the help of dictionary or glossary. In spite of his church training and his residence abroad, his works are surprisingly free from Latin or French forms of speech; on the contrary, they are, in the main, characterised by a strong Saxon directness of expression which must have tended greatly to the continuance of their popularity, and have exercised a strong and advantageous influence both in regulating the use of the common spoken language, and in leading the way which it was necessary for the literary language to follow. Philologists and dictionary makers appear, however, to have hitherto overlooked Barclay's works, doubtless owing to their rarity, but their intrinsic value as well as their position in relation to the history of the language demand specific recognition at their hands.

Barclay evidently delighted in his pen. From the time of his return from the Continent, it was seldom out of his hand. Idleness was distasteful to him. He petitions his critics if they be "wyse men and cunnynge," that:—

"They shall my youth pardone, and vnchraftynes

Whiche onely translate, to eschewe ydelnes."

Assuredly a much more laudable way of employing leisure then than now, unless the translator prudently stop short of print. The modesty and singleness of aim of the man are strikingly illustrated by his thus devoting his time and talents, not to original work as he was well able to have done had he been desirous only of glorifying his own name, but to the translation and adaptation or, better, "Englishing" of such foreign authors as he deemed would exercise a wholesome and profitable influence upon his countrymen. Such work, however, moulded in his skilful hands, became all but original, little being left of his author but the idea. Neither the Ship of Fools, nor the Eclogues retain perceptible traces of a foreign source, and were it not that they honestly bear their authorship on their fore-front, they might be regarded as thoroughly, even characteristically, English productions.

The first known work from Barclay's pen[3] appeared from the press of De Worde, so early as 1506, probably immediately on his return from abroad, and was no doubt the fruit of continental leisure. It is a translation, in seven line stanzas, of the popular French poet Pierre Gringore's Le Chateau de labour (1499)—the most ancient work of Gringore with date, and perhaps his best—under the title of "The Castell of laboure wherein is richesse, vertu, and honour;" in which in a fanciful allegory of some length, a somewhat wearisome Lady Reason overcomes despair, poverty and other such evils attendant upon the fortunes of a poor man lately married, the moral being to show:—

"That idleness, mother of all adversity,

Her subjects bringeth to extreme poverty."

The general appreciation of this first essay is evidenced by the issue of a second edition from the press of Pynson a few years after the appearance of the first.

Encouraged by the favourable reception accorded to the first effort of his muse, Barclay, on his retirement to the ease and leisure of the College of St Mary Otery, set to work on the "Ship of Fools," acquaintance with which Europe-famous satire he must have made when abroad. This, his magnum opus, has been described at some length in the Introduction, but two interesting personal notices relative to the composition of the work may here be added. In the execution of the great task, he expresses himself, (II. 278), as under the greatest obligations to his colleague, friend, and literary adviser, Bishop:—

"Whiche was the first ouersear of this warke

And vnto his frende gaue his aduysement

It nat to suffer to slepe styll in the darke

But to be publysshyd abrode: and put to prent

To thy monycion my bysshop I assent

Besechynge god that I that day may se

That thy honour may prospere and augment

So that thy name and offyce may agre

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

In this short balade I can nat comprehende

All my full purpose that I wolde to the wryte

But fayne I wolde that thou sholde sone assende

To heuenly worshyp and celestyall delyte

Than shoulde I after my pore wyt and respyt,

Display thy name, and great kyndnes to me

But at this tyme no farther I indyte

But pray that thy name and worshyp may agre."

Pynson, in his capacity of judicious publisher, fearing lest the book should exceed suitable dimensions, also receives due notice at p. 108 of Vol. I., where he speaks of

"the charge Pynson hathe on me layde

With many folys our Nauy not to charge."

The concluding stanza, or colophon, is also devoted to immortalising the great bibliopole in terms, it must be admitted, not dissimilar to those of a modern draper's poet laureate:—

Our Shyp here leuyth the sees brode

By helpe of God almyght and quyetly

At Anker we lye within the rode

But who that lysteth of them to bye

In Flete strete shall them fynde truly

At the George: in Richarde Pynsonnes place

Prynter vnto the Kynges noble grace.

Deo gratias.

Contemporary allusions to the Ship of Fools there could not fail to be, but the only one we have met with occurs in Bulleyn's Dialogue quoted above, p. xxvii. It runs as follows:—Uxor.—What ship is that with so many owers, and straunge tacle; it is a greate vessell. Ciuis.—This is the ship of fooles, wherin saileth bothe spirituall and temporall, of euery callyng some: there are kynges, queenes, popes, archbishoppes, prelates, lordes, ladies, knightes, gentlemen, phisicions, lawiers, marchauntes, housbandemen, beggers, theeues, hores, knaues, &c. This ship wanteth a good pilot: the storme, the rocke, and the wrecke at hande, all will come to naught in this hulke for want of good gouernement.

The Eclogues, as appears from their Prologue, had originally been the work of our author's youth, "the essays of a prentice in the art of poesie," but they were wisely laid past to be adorned by the wisdom of a wider experience, and were, strangely enough, lost for years until, at the age of thirty-eight, the author again lighted, unexpectedly, upon his lost treasures, and straightway finished them off for the public eye.

The following autobiographical passage reminds one forcibly of Scott's throwing aside Waverley, stumbling across it after the lapse of years, and thereupon deciding at once to finish and publish it. After enumerating the most famous eclogue writers, he proceeds:—

"Nowe to my purpose, their workes worthy fame,

Did in my yonge age my heart greatly inflame,

Dull slouth eschewing my selfe to exercise,

In such small matters, or I durst enterprise,

To hyer matter, like as these children do,

Which first vse to creepe, and afterwarde to go.

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

So where I in youth a certayne worke began,

And not concluded, as oft doth many a man:

Yet thought I after to make the same perfite,

But long I missed that which I first did write.

But here a wonder, I fortie yere saue twayne,

Proceeded in age, founde my first youth agayne.

To finde youth in age is a probleme diffuse,

But nowe heare the truth, and then no longer muse.

As I late turned olde bookes to and fro,

One litle treatise I founde among the mo

Because that in youth I did compile the same,

Egloges of youth I did call it by name.

And seing some men haue in the same delite,

At their great instance I made the same perfite,

Adding and bating where I perceyued neede,

All them desiring which shall this treatise rede,

Not to be grieued with any playne sentence,

Rudely conuayed for lacke of eloquence."

The most important revelation in the whole of this interesting passage, that relating to the author's age, seems to have been studiously overlooked by all his biographers. If we can fix with probability the date at which these Eclogues were published, then this, one of the most regretted of the lacunæ in his biography, will be supplied. We shall feel henceforth treading on firmer ground in dealing with the scanty materials of his life.

From the length and favour with which the praises of the Ely Cathedral and of Alcock its pious and munificent bishop, then but recently dead, are sung in these poems (see p. lxviii.), it is evident that the poet must have donned the black hood in the monastery of Ely for at least a few years.

Warton fixes the date at 1514, because of the praises of the "noble Henry which now departed late," and the after panegyric of his successor Henry VIII. (Eclogue I.), whose virtues are also duly recorded in the Ship of Fools (I. 39 and II. 205-8), but not otherwise of course than in a complimentary manner. Our later lights make this picture of the noble pair appear both out of drawing and over-coloured:—

"Beside noble Henry which nowe departed late,

Spectacle of vertue to euery hye estate,

The patrone of peace and primate of prudence,

Which on Gods Church hath done so great expence.

Of all these princes the mercy and pitie,

The loue of concorde, iustice and equitie,

The purenes of life and giftes liberall,

Not lesse vertuous then the said princes all.

And Henry the eyght moste hye and triumphant,

No gifte of vertue nor manlines doth want,

Mine humble spech and language pastorall

If it were able should write his actes all:

But while I ought speake of courtly misery,

Him with all suche I except vtterly.

But what other princes commonly frequent,

As true as I can to shewe is mine intent,

But if I should say that all the misery,

Which I shall after rehearse and specify

Were in the court of our moste noble kinge,

I should fayle truth, and playnly make leasing."—Eclogue I.

This eulogy of Henry plainly implies some short experience of his reign. But other allusions contribute more definitely to fix the precise date, such as the following historical passage, which evidently refers to the career of the notorious extortioners, Empson and Dudley, who were executed for conspiracy and treason in the first year of the new king's reign.

"Such as for honour unto the court resort,

Looke seldome times upon the lower sort;

To the hyer sort for moste part they intende,

For still their desire is hyer to ascende

And when none can make with them comparison,

Against their princes conspire they by treason,

Then when their purpose can nat come well to frame,

Agayne they descende and that with utter shame,

Coridon thou knowest right well what I meane,

We lately of this experience haue seene

When men would ascende to rowmes honorable

Euer is their minde and lust insaciable."

The most definite proof of the date of publication, however, is found in the fourth Eclogue. It contains a long poem called The towre of vertue and honour, which is really a highly-wrought elegy on the premature and glorious death, not of "the Duke of Norfolk, Lord High admiral, and one of Barclay's patrons," as has been repeated parrot-like, from Warton downwards, but of his chivalrous son, Sir Edward Howard, Lord High Admiral for the short space of a few months, who perished in his gallant, if reckless, attack upon the French fleet in the harbour of Brest in the year 1513. It is incomprehensible that the date of the publication of the Eclogues should be fixed at 1514, and this blunder still perpetuated. No Duke of Norfolk died between Barclay's boyhood and 1524, ten years after the agreed upon date of the Elegy; and the Duke (Thomas), who was Barclay's patron, never held the position of Lord High Admiral (though his son Lord Thomas, created Earl of Surrey in 1514, and who afterwards succeeded him, also succeeded his brother Sir Edward in the Admiralship), but worthily enjoyed the dignified offices of Lord High Steward, Lord Treasurer, and Earl Marshal, and died one of Henry's most respected and most popular Ministers, at his country seat, at a good old age, in the year above mentioned, 1524. The other allusions to contemporary events, and especially to the poet's age, preclude the idea of carrying forward the publication to the latter date, did the clearly defined points of the Elegy allow of it, as they do not.

Minalcas, one of the interlocutors, thus introduces the subject:—

"But it is lamentable

To heare a Captayne so good and honorable,

So soone withdrawen by deathes crueltie,

Before his vertue was at moste hye degree.

If death for a season had shewed him fauour,

To all his nation he should haue bene honour."

"'The Towre of Vertue and Honor,' introduced as a song of one of the shepherds into these pastorals, exhibits no very masterly strokes of a sublime and inventive fancy. It has much of the trite imagery usually applied in the fabrication of these ideal edifices. It, however, shows our author in a new walk of poetry. This magnificent tower, or castle is built on inaccessible cliffs of flint: the walls are of gold, bright as the sun, and decorated with 'olde historyes and pictures manyfolde:' the turrets are beautifully shaped. Among its heroic inhabitants are Henry VIII., ['in his maiestie moste hye enhaunsed as ought a conquerour,' no doubt an allusion to the battle of the Spurs and his other exploits in France in 1513], Howard Duke of Norfolk, ['the floure of chiualry'], and the Earl of Shrewsbury, ['manfull and hardy, with other princes and men of dignitie']. Labour is the porter at the gate, and Virtue governs the house. Labour is thus pictured, with some degree of spirit:—

'Fearefull is labour without fauour at all,

Dreadfull of visage, a monster intreatable,

Like Cerberus lying at gates infernall;

To some men his looke is halfe intollerable,

His shoulders large, for burthen strong and able,

His body bristled, his necke mightie and stiffe;

By sturdy senewes, his ioyntes stronge and stable,

Like marble stones his handes be as stiffe.

Here must man vanquishe the dragon of Cadmus,

Against the Chimer here stoutly must he fight,

Here must he vanquish the fearefull Pegasus,

For the golden flece here must he shewe his might:

If labour gaynsay, he can nothing be right,

This monster labour oft chaungeth his figure,

Sometime an oxe, a bore, or lion wight,

Playnely he seemeth, thus chaungeth his nature,

Like as Protheus ofte chaunged his stature.

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

Under his browes he dreadfully doth loure,

With glistering eyen, and side dependaunt beard,

For thirst and hunger alway his chere is soure.

His horned forehead doth make faynt heartes feard.

Alway he drinketh, and yet alway is drye,

The sweat distilling with droppes aboundaunt,'

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

"The poet adds, 'that when the noble Howard had long boldly contended with this hideous monster, had broken the bars and doors of the castle, had bound the porter, and was now preparing to ascend the tower of Virtue and Honour, Fortune and Death appeared, and interrupted his progress.'" (Warton, Eng. Poetry, III.)

The hero's descent and knightly qualities are duly set forth:—

"Though he were borne to glory and honour,

Of auncient stocke and noble progenie,

Yet thought his courage to be of more valour,

By his owne actes and noble chiualry.

Like as becommeth a knight to fortifye

His princes quarell with right and equitie,

So did this Hawarde with courage valiauntly,

Till death abated his bolde audacitie."

The poet, gives "cursed fortune" a severe rating, and at such length that the old lady no doubt repented herself, for cutting off so promising a hero at so early an age:—

"Tell me, frayle fortune, why did thou breuiate

The liuing season of suche a captayne,

That when his actes ought to be laureate

Thy fauour turned him suffring to be slayne?"

And then he addresses the Duke himself in a consolatory strain, endeavouring to reconcile him to the loss of so promising a son, by recalling to his memory those heroes of antiquity whose careers of glory were cut short by sudden and violent deaths:—

"But moste worthy duke hye and victorious,

Respire to comfort, see the vncertentie

Of other princes, whose fortune prosperous

Oftetime haue ended in hard aduersitie:

Read of Pompeius," [&c.]

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

"This shall be, this is, and this hath euer bene,

That boldest heartes be nearest ieopardie,

To dye in battayle is honour as men wene

To suche as haue ioy in haunting chiualry.

"Suche famous ending the name doth magnifie,

Note worthy duke, no cause is to complayne,

His life not ended foule nor dishonestly,

In bed nor tauerne his lustes to maynteyne,

But like as besemed a noble captayne,

In sturdie harnes he died for the right,

From deathes daunger no man may flee certayne,

But suche death is metest vnto so noble a knight.

"But death it to call me thinke it vnright,

Sith his worthy name shall laste perpetuall," [&c.]

This detail and these long quotations have been rendered necessary by the strange blunder which has been made and perpetuated as to the identity of the young hero whose death is so feelingly lamented in this elegy. With that now clearly ascertained, we can not only fix with confidence the date of the publication of the Eclogues, but by aid of the hint conveyed in the Prologue, quoted above (p. lv.), as to the author's age, "fortie saue twayne," decide, for the first time, the duration of his life, and the dates, approximately at least, of its incidents, and of the appearance of his undated works. Lord Edward Howard, perhaps the bravest and rashest of England's admirals, perished in a madly daring attack upon the harbour of Brest, on the 25th of April, 1514. As the eclogues could not therefore have been published prior to that date, so, bearing in mind the other allusions referred to above, they could scarcely have appeared later. Indeed, the loss which the elegy commemorates is spoken of as quite recent, while the elegy itself bears every appearance of having been introduced into the eclogue at the last moment. We feel quite satisfied therefore that Warton hit quite correctly upon the year 1514 as that in which these poems first saw the light, though the ground (the allusion to the Henries) upon which he went was insufficient, and his identification of the hero of the elegy contradicted his supposition. Had he been aware of the importance of fixing the date correctly, he would probably have taken more care than to fall into the blunder of confounding the father with the son, and adorning the former with the dearly earned laurels of the latter.

It may be added that, fixing 1514 as the date at which Barclay had arrived at the age of 38, agrees perfectly with all else we know of his years, with the assumed date of his academical education, and of his travels abroad, with the suppositions formed as to his age from his various published works having dates attached to them, and finally, with the traditional "great age" at which he died, which would thus be six years beyond the allotted span.

After the Ship of Fools the Eclogues rank second in importance in a consideration of Barclay's writings. Not only as the first of their kind in English, do they crown their author with the honour of introducing this kind of poetry to English literature, but they are in themselves most interesting and valuable as faithful and graphic pictures of the court, citizen, and country life of the period. Nowhere else in so accessible a form do there exist descriptions at once so full and so accurate of the whole condition of the people. Their daily life and habits, customs, manners, sports, and pastimes, are all placed on the canvas before us with a ready, vigorous, unflinching hand. Witness for instance the following sketch, which might be entitled, "Life, temp. 1514":—

"Some men deliteth beholding men to fight,

Or goodly knightes in pleasaunt apparayle,

Or sturdie souldiers in bright harnes and male.

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

Some glad is to see these Ladies beauteous,

Goodly appoynted in clothing sumpteous:

A number of people appoynted in like wise:

In costly clothing after the newest gise,

Sportes, disgising, fayre coursers mount and praunce,

Or goodly ladies and knightes sing and daunce:

To see fayre houses and curious picture(s),

Or pleasaunt hanging, or sumpteous vesture

Of silke, of purpure, or golde moste orient,

And other clothing diuers and excellent:

Hye curious buildinges or palaces royall,

Or chapels, temples fayre and substanciall,

Images grauen or vaultes curious;

Gardeyns and medowes, or place delicious,

Forestes and parkes well furnished with dere,

Colde pleasaunt streames or welles fayre and clere,

Curious cundites or shadowie mountaynes,

Swete pleasaunt valleys, laundes or playnes

Houndes, and suche other thinges manyfolde

Some men take pleasour and solace to beholde."

The following selections illustrative of the customs and manners of the times will serve as a sample of the overflowing cask from which they are taken. The condition of the country people is clearly enough indicated in a description of the village Sunday, the manner of its celebration being depicted in language calculated to make a modern sabbatarian's hair stand on end:—

"What man is faultlesse, remember the village,

Howe men vplondish on holy dayes rage.

Nought can them tame, they be a beastly sort,

In sweate and labour hauing most chiefe comfort,

On the holy day assoone as morne is past,

When all men resteth while all the day doth last,

They drinke, they banket, they reuell and they iest

They leape, they daunce, despising ease and rest.

If they once heare a bagpipe or a drone,

Anone to the elme or oke they be gone.

There vse they to daunce, to gambolde and to rage

Such is the custome and vse of the village.

When the ground resteth from rake, plough and wheles,

Then moste they it trouble with burthen of their heles:


To Bacchus they banket, no feast is festiuall,

They chide and they chat, they vary and they brall,

They rayle and they route, they reuell and they crye,

Laughing and leaping, and making cuppes drye.

What, stint thou thy chat, these wordes I defye,

It is to a vilayne rebuke and vilany.

Such rurall solace so plainly for to blame,

Thy wordes sound to thy rebuke and shame."

Football is described in a lively picture:—

"They get the bladder and blowe it great and thin,

With many beanes or peason put within,

It ratleth, soundeth, and shineth clere and fayre,

While it is throwen and caste vp in the ayre,

Eche one contendeth and hath a great delite,

With foote and with hande the bladder for to smite,

If it fall to grounde they lifte it vp agayne,

This wise to labour they count it for no payne,

Renning and leaping they driue away the colde,

The sturdie plowmen lustie, stronge and bolde,

Ouercommeth the winter with driuing the foote ball,

Forgetting labour and many a greuous fall."

A shepherd, after mentioning his skill in shooting birds with a bow, says:—

"No shepheard throweth the axeltrie so farre."

A gallant is thus described:—

"For women vse to loue them moste of all,

Which boldly bosteth, or that can sing and iet,

Which are well decked with large bushes set,

Which hath the mastery ofte time in tournament,

Or that can gambauld, or daunce feat and gent."

The following sorts of wine are mentioned:—

"As Muscadell, Caprike, Romney, and Maluesy,

From Gene brought, from Grece or Hungary."

As are the dainties of the table. A shepherd at court must not think to eat,

"Swanne, nor heron,

Curlewe, nor crane, but course beefe and mutton."


"What fishe is of sauor swete and delicious,—

Rosted or sodden in swete hearbes or wine;

Or fried in oyle, most saporous and fine.—

The pasties of a hart.—

The crane, the fesant, the pecocke and curlewe,

The partriche, plouer, bittor, and heronsewe—

Seasoned so well in licour redolent,

That the hall is full of pleasaunt smell and sent."

At a feast at court:—

"Slowe be the seruers in seruing in alway,

But swift be they after, taking thy meate away;

A speciall custome is vsed them among,

No good dish to suffer on borde to be longe:

If the dishe be pleasaunt, eyther fleshe or fishe,

Ten handes at once swarme in the dishe:

And if it be flesh ten kniues shalt thou see

Mangling the flesh, and in the platter flee:

To put there thy handes is perill without fayle,

Without a gauntlet or els a gloue of mayle."

"The two last lines remind us of a saying of Quin, who declared it was not safe to sit down to a turtle-feast in one of the city-halls, without a basket-hilted knife and fork. Not that I suppose Quin borrowed his bon-mots from black letter books." (Warton.)

The following lines point out some of the festive tales of our ancestors:—

"Yet would I gladly heare some mery fit

Of mayde Marion, or els of Robin hood;

Or Bentleyes ale which chafeth well the bloud,

Of perre of Norwich, or sauce of Wilberton,

Or buckishe Joly well-stuffed as a ton."

He again mentions "Bentley's Ale" which "maketh me to winke;" and some of our ancient domestic pastimes and amusements are recorded:—

"Then is it pleasure the yonge maydens amonge

To watche by the fire the winters nightes long:

At their fonde tales to laugh, or when they brall

Great fire and candell spending for laboure small,

And in the ashes some playes for to marke,

To couer wardens [pears] for fault of other warke:

To toste white sheuers, and to make prophitroles;

And after talking oft time to fill the bowles."

He mentions some musical instruments:

"   .   .   .   .   Methinkes no mirth is scant,

Where no reioysing of minstrelcie doth want:

The bagpipe or fidle to vs is delectable."

And the mercantile commodities of different countries and cities:—

"Englande hath cloth, Burdeus hath store of wine,

Cornewall hath tinne, and Lymster wools fine.

London hath scarlet, and Bristowe pleasaunt red,

Fen lands hath fishes, in other place is lead."

Of songs at feasts:—

"When your fat dishes smoke hote vpon your table,

Then layde ye songes and balades magnifie,

If they be mery, or written craftely,

Ye clappe your handes and to the making harke,

And one say to other, lo here a proper warke."

He says that minstrels and singers are highly favoured at court, especially those of the French gise. Also jugglers and pipers.

The personal references throughout the Eclogues, in addition to those already mentioned, though not numerous, are of considerable interest. The learned Alcock, Bishop of Ely (1486-1500), and the munificent founder of Jesus College, Cambridge, stands deservedly high in the esteem of a poet and priest, so zealous of good works as Barclay. The poet's humour thus disguises him.—(Eclogue I., A iii., recto.):—

"Yes since his dayes a cocke was in the fen,

I knowe his voyce among a thousande men:

He taught, he preached, he mended euery wrong;

But, Coridon alas no good thing bideth long.

He all was a cocke, he wakened vs from slepe,

And while we slumbred, he did our foldes hepe.

No cur, no foxes, nor butchers dogges wood,

Coulde hurte our fouldes, his watching was so good.

The hungry wolues, which that time did abounde,

What time he crowed, abashed at the sounde.

This cocke was no more abashed of the foxe,

Than is a lion abashed of an oxe.

When he went, faded the floure of all the fen;

I boldly dare sweare this cocke neuer trode hen!

This was a father of thinges pastorall,

And that well sheweth his Church cathedrall,

There was I lately about the middest of May,

Coridon his Church is twenty sith more gay

Then all the Churches betwene the same and Kent,

There sawe I his tome and Chapell excellent.

I thought fiue houres but euen a little while,

Saint John the virgin me thought did on me smile,

Our parishe Church is but a dongeon,

To that gay Churche in comparison.

If the people were as pleasaunt as the place

Then were it paradice of pleasour and solace,

Then might I truely right well finde in my heart.

There still to abide and neuer to departe,

But since that this cocke by death hath left his song,

Trust me Coridon there many a thing is wrong,

When I sawe his figure lye in the Chapell-side,

Like death for weping I might no longer bide.

Lo all good thinges so sone away doth glide,

That no man liketh to long doth rest and abide.

When the good is gone (my mate this is the case)

Seldome the better reentreth in the place."

The excellence of his subject carries the poet quite beyond himself in describing the general lamentation at the death of this worthy prelate; with an unusual power of imagination he thus pictures the sympathy of the towers, arches, vaults and images of Ely monastery:

"My harte sore mourneth when I must specify

Of the gentle cocke whiche sange so mirily,

He and his flocke wer like an union

Conioyned in one without discention,

All the fayre cockes which in his dayes crewe

When death him touched did his departing rewe.

The pretie palace by him made in the fen,

The maides, widowes, the wiues, and the men,

With deadly dolour were pearsed to the heart,

When death constrayned this shepheard to departe.

Corne, grasse, and fieldes, mourned for wo and payne,

For oft his prayer for them obtayned rayne.

The pleasaunt floures for wo faded eche one,

When they perceyued this shepheard dead and gone,

The okes, elmes, and euery sorte of dere

Shronke vnder shadowes, abating all their chere.

The mightie walles of Ely Monastery,

The stones, rockes, and towres semblably,

The marble pillers and images echeone,

Swet all for sorowe, when this good cocke was gone,

Though he of stature were humble, weake and leane,

His minde was hye, his liuing pure and cleane,

Where other feedeth by beastly appetite,

On heauenly foode was all his whole delite."

Morton, Alcock's predecessor and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury (1486-1500), is also singled out for compliment, in which allusion is made to his troubles, his servants' faithfulness, and his restoration to favour under Richard III. and Henry VII. (Eclogue III.):—

"And shepheard Morton, when he durst not appeare,

Howe his olde seruauntes were carefull of his chere;

In payne and pleasour they kept fidelitie

Till grace agayne gaue him aucthoritie

Then his olde fauour did them agayne restore

To greater pleasour then they had payne before.

Though for a season this shepheard bode a blast,

The greatest winde yet slaketh at the last,

And at conclusion he and his flocke certayne

Eche true to other did quietly remayne."

And again in Eclogue IV.:—

"Micene and Morton be dead and gone certayne."

The "Dean of Powles" (Colet), with whom Barclay seems to have been personally acquainted, and to whom the reference alludes as to one still living (his death occurred in 1519), is celebrated as a preacher in the same Eclogue:—

"For this I learned of the Dean of Powles

I tell thee, Codrus this man hath won some soules."

as is "the olde friar that wonned in Greenwich" in Eclogue V.

The first three Eclogues are paraphrases or adaptations from the Miseriæ Curialium, the most popular of the works of one of the most successful literary adventurers of the middle ages, Æneas Sylvius (Pope Pius II., who died in 1464). It appears to have been written with the view of relieving his feelings of disappointment and disgust at his reception at the court of the Emperor, whither he had repaired, in the hope of political advancement. The tone and nature of the work may be gathered from this candid exposure of the adventurer's morale: "Many things there are which compel us to persevere, but nothing more powerfully than ambition which, rivalling charity, truly beareth all things however grievous, that it may attain to the honours of this world and the praise of men. If we were humble and laboured to gain our own souls rather than hunt after vain glory, few of us, indeed, would endure such annoyances." He details, with querulous humour, all the grievances of his position, from the ingratitude of the prince to the sordour of the table-cloths, and the hardness of the black bread. But hardest of all to bear is the contempt shown towards literature. "In the courts of princes literary knowledge is held a crime; and great is the grief of men of letters when they find themselves universally despised, and see the most important matters managed, not to say mismanaged, by blockheads, who cannot tell the number of their fingers and toes."

Barclay's adaptation is so thoroughly Englished, and contains such large additions from the stores of his own bitter experience, as to make it even more truly his own than any other of his translations.

The fourth and fifth eclogues are imitations,—though no notice that they are so is conveyed in the title, as in the case of the first three,—of the fifth and sixth of the popular eclogue writer of the time, Jo. Baptist Mantuan, which may have helped to give rise to the generally received statement noticed below, that all the eclogues are imitations of that author. The fourth is entitled "Codrus and Minalcas, treating of the behauour of Riche men agaynst Poetes," and it may be judged how far it is Barclay's from the fact that it numbers about twelve hundred lines, including the elegy of the Noble Howard, while the original, entitled, "De consuetudine Divitum erga Poetas," contains only about two hundred. The fifth is entitled "Amintas and Faustus, of the disputation of citizens and men of the countrey." It contains over a thousand lines, and the original, "De disceptatione rusticorum et civium," like the fifth, extends to little more than two hundred.

In the Prologue before mentioned we are told (Cawood's edition):—

"That fiue Egloges this whole treatise doth holde

To imitation of other Poetes olde,"

Which appears to be a correction of the printer's upon the original, as in Powell's edition:—

"That X. egloges this hole treatyse dothe holde."

Whether other five were ever published there is no record to show; it appears, however, highly improbable, that, if they had, they could have been entirely lost,—especially considering the popularity and repeated issue of the first five,—during the few years that would have elapsed between their original publication and the appearance of Cawood's edition. Possibly the original reading may be a typographical blunder, for Cawood is extremely sparing of correction, and appears to have made none which he did not consider absolutely necessary. This is one of the literary puzzles which remain for bibliography to solve. (See below, p. lxxix.)

The next of Barclay's works in point of date, and perhaps the only one actually entitled to the merit of originality, is his Introductory to write and pronounce French, compiled at the request of his great patron, Thomas Duke of Norfolk, and printed by Copland in 1521. It is thus alluded to in the first important authority on French grammar, "Lesclarissement de la langue Francoyse compose par maistre Jehan Palsgraue, Angloys, natyf de Londres," 1530: "The right vertuous and excellent prince Thomas, late Duke of Northfolke, hath commanded the studious clerke, Alexandre Barkelay, to embusy hymselfe about this exercyse." Further on he is not so complimentary as he remarks:—"Where as there is a boke, that goeth about in this realme, intitled The introductory to writte and pronounce frenche, compiled by Alexander Barcley, in which k is moche vsed, and many other thynges also by hym affirmed, contrary to my sayenges in this boke, and specially in my seconde, where I shall assaye to expresse the declinations and coniugatynges with the other congruites obserued in the frenche tonge, I suppose it sufficient to warne the lernar, that I haue red ouer that boke at length: and what myn opinion is therin, it shall well inough apere in my bokes selfe, though I make therof no ferther expresse mencion: saue that I haue sene an olde boke written in parchement, in maner in all thynkes like to his sayd Introductory: whiche, by coniecture, was not vnwritten this hundred yeres. I wot nat if he happened to fortune upon suche an other: for whan it was commaunded that the grammar maisters shulde teche the youth of Englande ioyntly latin with frenche, there were diuerse suche bokes diuysed: wherupon, as I suppose, began one great occasyon why we of England sounde the latyn tong so corruptly, whiche haue as good a tonge to sounde all maner speches parfitely as any other nacyon in Europa."—Book I. ch. xxxv. "According to this," Mr Ellis (Early English Pronunciation, 804) pertinently notes: "1º, there ought to be many old MS. treatises on French grammar; and 2º, the English pronunciation of Latin was moulded on the French."

To Barclay, as nine years before Palsgrave, belongs at least the credit, hitherto generally unrecognised, of the first published attempt at a French grammar, by either Frenchman or foreigner.

"The mirror of good manners, containing the four cardinal vertues," appeared from the press of Pynson, without date, "which boke," says the typographer, "I haue prynted at the instance and request of the ryght noble Rychard Yerle of Kent." This earl of Kent died in 1523, and as Barclay speaks of himself in the preface as advanced in age, the date of publication may be assigned to close upon that year. It is a translation, in the ballad stanza, of the Latin elegiac poem of Dominicus Mancinus, De quatuor virtutibus, first published in 1516, and, as appears from the title, was executed while Barclay was a monk of Ely, at "the desire of the righte worshipfull Syr Giles Alington, Knight." From the address to his patron it would seem that the Knight had requested the poet to abridge or modernise Gower's Confessio amantis. For declining this task he pleads, that he is too old to undertake such a light subject, and also the sacred nature of his profession. He then intimates his choice of the present more grave and serious work instead—

Which a priest may write, not hurting his estate,

Nor of honest name obumbring at all his light.

"But the poet," says Warton, "declined this undertaking as unsuitable to his age, infirmities, and profession, and chose rather to oblige his patron with a grave system of ethics. It is certain that he made a prudent choice. The performance shows how little qualified he was to correct Gower." Instead of a carping criticism like this, it would have been much more to the point to praise the modesty and sensibility of an author, who had the courage to decline a task unsuited to his tastes or powers.

He professes little:—

This playne litle treatise in stile compendious,

Much briefly conteyneth four vertues cardinall,

In right pleasaunt processe, plaine and commodious,

With light foote of metre, and stile heroicall,

Rude people to infourme in language maternall,

To whose vnderstanding maydens of tender age,

And rude litle children shall finde easy passage.

Two editions of the work are sufficient evidence that this humble and praiseworthy purpose was, in the eyes of his contemporaries, successfully carried out.

The only remaining authentic production of Barclay which has come down to us, is a translation of the Jugurthine War of Sallust, undertaken at the request of, and dedicated to, his great patron, Thomas Duke of Norfolk, and printed also at Pynson's press without date. The Latin and English are printed side by side on the same page, the former being dedicated, with the date "Ex cellula Hatfelden regii (i.e., King's Hatfield, Hertfordshire) in Idus Novembris" to Vesey, the centenarian Bishop of Exeter, with this superscription:—"Reueredissimo in Christo patri ac dno: dno Joanni Veysy exonien episcopo Alexander Barclay presbyter debita cum obseruantia. S." The dedication begins, "Memini me superioribus annis cu adhuc sacelli regij presul esses: pastor vigilantissime: tuis suasionibus incitatu: vt Crispi Salustij hystoria—e romana lingua: in anglicam compendiose transferrem," &c. Vesey was probably one of Barclay's oldest west country friends; for he is recorded to have been connected with the diocese of Exeter from 1503 to 1551, in the various capacities of archdeacon, precentor, dean, and bishop successively. Conjecture has placed the date of this publication at 1511, but as Veysey did not succeed to the Bishopric of Exeter till August 1519, this is untenable. We cannot say more than that it must have been published between 1519 and 1524, the date of the Duke of Norfolk's death, probably in the former year, since, from its being dated from "Hatfield," the ancient palace of the bishops of Ely, (sold to the Crown in the 30th of Henry VIII.; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, II.) Barclay at the time of its completion was evidently still a monk of Ely.

By his translation of Sallust (so popular an author at that period, that the learned virgin queen is reported to have amused her leisure with an English version), Barclay obtained the distinction of being the first to introduce that classic to English readers. His version bears the reputation of being executed not only with accuracy, but with considerable freedom and elegance, and its popularity was evinced by its appearance in three additions.

Two other works of our author are spoken of as having been in print, but they have apparently passed entirely out of sight: "The figure of our holy mother Church, oppressed by the Frenche King," (Pynson, 4to), known only from Maunsell's Catalogue; and "The lyfe of the glorious martyr, saynt George translated (from Mantuan) by Alexander Barclay, while he was a monk of Ely, and dedicated to N. West, Bishop of Ely," (Pynson, 4to), (Herbert, Typ. Antiquities.) West was Bishop of Ely from 1515 to 1533, and consequently Barclay's superior during probably his whole stay there. Whether these two works were in verse or prose is unknown.

There are two other books ascribed to Barclay, but nothing satisfactory can be stated regarding their parentage except that, considering their subject, and the press they issued from, it is not at all unlikely that they may have been the fruit of his prolific pen. The first is "The lyfe of the blessed martyr, Saynte Thomas," in prose, printed by Pynson, (Herbert, Typ. Ant. 292), regarding which Ant. Wood says, "I should feel little difficulty in ascribing this to Barclay." The other is the English translation of the Histoire merveilleuse du Grand Khan (in Latin, De Tartaris siue Liber historiarum partium Orientis) of the eastern soldier, and western monk, Haytho, prince of Georgia at the end of the 13th, and beginning of the 14th centuries. The History which gives an account of Genghis Khan, and his successors, with a short description of the different kingdoms of Asia, was very popular in the 15th and 16th centuries, as one of the earliest accounts of the East, and the conjecture of the Grenville Catalogue is not improbable, though there is no sufficient evidence, that Barclay was the author of the English version which appeared from the press of Pynson.

Bale further enumerates in his list of Barclay's works "Contra Skeltonum, Lib. I.; Quinq: eglogas ex Mantuano, Lib. I; Vitam D. Catherinæ, Lib. I., [Libros tres, Pits]; Vitam D. Margaritæ, Lib. I.; Vitam Etheldredæ, Lib. I.; Aliaq: plura fecit." Tanner adds: "Orationes varias, Lib. I.; De fide orthodoxa, Lib. I."

Of these various fruits of Barclay's fertility and industry no fragment has survived to our day, nor has even any positive information regarding their nature been transmitted to us.

The "Orationes varias," probably a collection of sermons with especial reference to the sins of the day would have been historically, if not otherwise, interesting, and their loss is matter for regret. On the other hand the want of the treatise, "De fide orthodoxa," is doubtless a relief to literature. There are too many of the kind already to encumber our shelves and our catalogues.

The Lives of the Saints, the work, it is stated, of the author's old age, were, according to Tanner, and he is no doubt right, translations from the Latin. Barclay's reputation probably does not suffer from their loss.

"Quinque eglogas ex Mantuano," though Bale mentions also "De miserijs aulicorum; Bucolicam Codri; Eglogam quartam," apparently the five, but really the first four of the eclogues known to us, are, I am strongly inclined to believe, nothing else than these same five eclogues, under, to use a bibliographical phrase, "a made up" title. That he mentions first, five from Mantuan, and afterwards adds "Bucolicam Codri" and "Eglogam quartam," as two distinct eclogues, apparently not from Mantuan, while both titles must refer to the same poem, an imitation of Mantuan's fifth eclogue, is proof enough that he was not speaking with the authority of personal knowledge of these works.

Johannes Baptista Spagnuoli, commonly called from his native city, Mantuan, was the most popular and prolific eclogue writer of the fifteenth century, to which Barclay himself testifies:—

"As the moste famous Baptist Mantuan

The best of that sort since Poetes first began."

Barclay's Eclogues being the first attempts of the kind in English, Bale's "Ex Mantuano," therefore probably means nothing more than "on the model of Mantuan;" otherwise, if it be assumed that five were the whole number that ever appeared, it could not apply to the first three, which are expressly stated in the title to be from Æneas Sylvius, while if ten be assumed, his statement would account for nine, the "quinque eglogas" being the five now wanting, but if so, then he has omitted to mention the most popular of all the eclogues, the fifth, and has failed to attribute to Mantuan two which are undoubtedly due to him.

The loss of the "Contra Skeltonum," is a matter for regret. That there was no love lost between these two contemporaries and chief poets of their time is evident enough. Skelton's scathing sarcasm against the priesthood no doubt woke his brother satirist's ire, and the latter lets no opportunity slip of launching forth his contempt for the laureate of Oxford.

The moralist in announcing the position he assumes in opposition to the writer of popular tales, takes care to have a fling at the author of "The boke of Phyllyp Sparowe":—

"I wryte no Ieste ne tale of Robyn Hode,

Nor sawe no sparcles, ne sede of vyciousnes;

Wyse men loue vertue, wylde people wantones,

It longeth nat to my scyence nor cunnynge,

For Phylyp the sparowe the (Dirige) to synge."

A sneer to which Skelton most probably alludes when, enumerating his own productions in the Garlande of Laurell, he mentions,

"Of Phillip Sparow the lamentable fate,

The dolefull desteny, and the carefull chaunce,

Dyuysed by Skelton after the funerall rate;

Yet sum there be therewith that take greuaunce,

And grudge thereat with frownyng countenaunce;

But what of that? harde it is to please all men;

Who list amende it, let hym set to his penne."

The following onslaught in Barclay's Fourth Eclogue, is evidently levelled at the abominable Skelton:

"Another thing yet is greatly more damnable:

Of rascolde poetes yet is a shamfull rable,

Which voyde of wisedome presumeth to indite,

Though they haue scantly the cunning of a snite;

And to what vices that princes moste intende,

Those dare these fooles solemnize and commende

Then is he decked as Poete laureate,

When stinking Thais made him her graduate;

When Muses rested, she did her season note,

And she with Bacchus her camous did promote.

Such rascolde drames, promoted by Thais,

Bacchus, Licoris, or yet by Testalis,

Or by suche other newe forged Muses nine,

Thinke in their mindes for to haue wit diuine;

They laude their verses, they boast, they vaunt and iet,

Though all their cunning be scantly worth a pet:

If they haue smelled the artes triuiall,

They count them Poetes hye and heroicall.

Such is their foly, so foolishly they dote,

Thinking that none can their playne errour note;

Yet be they foolishe, auoyde of honestie,

Nothing seasoned with spice of grauitie,

Auoyde of pleasure, auoyde of eloquence,

With many wordes, and fruitlesse of sentence;

Unapt to learne, disdayning to be taught,

Their priuate pleasure in snare hath them so caught;

And worst yet of all, they count them excellent,

Though they be fruitlesse, rashe and improuident.

To such ambages who doth their minde incline,

They count all other as priuate of doctrine,

And that the faultes which be in them alone,

And be common in other men eche one.

Thus bide good poetes oft time rebuke and blame,

Because of other which haue despised name.

And thus for the bad the good be cleane abject.

Their art and poeme counted of none effect,

Who wanteth reason good to discerne from ill

Doth worthy writers interprete at his will:

So both the laudes of good and not laudable

For lacke of knowledge become vituperable."

It has not hitherto been pointed out that Skelton did not disdain to borrow a leaf from the enemy's book and try his hand at paraphrasing the Ship of Fools also. "The Boke of three fooles, M. Skelton, poete laureate, gaue to my lord Cardynall," is a paraphrase in prose, with introductory verses, of three chapters of Brandt, corresponding to Barclay's chapters headed, Of yonge folys that take olde wyme to theyr wyues nat for loue but for ryches (I. 247); Of enuyous folys (I. 252); Of bodely lust or corporall voluptuosyte (I. 239). Skelton's three fools, are, "The man that doth wed a wyfe for her goodes and her rychesse;" "Of Enuye, the seconde foole"; and, "Of the Voluptuousnes corporall, the third foole;" and his versions are dashed off with his usual racy vigour. He probably, however, did not think it worth while to compete with the established favourite. If he had we would certainly have got a very different book from Barclay's.

Notwithstanding his popularity and industry, Barclay's name appears to be but seldom mentioned by contemporary or later authors. As early as 1521 however, we find him placed in the most honourable company by Henry Bradshaw, "Lyfe of Saynt Werburghe," (1521, Pynson, 4to). But the compliment would probably lose half its sweetness from his being bracketed with the detested Skelton:—

To all auncient poetes, litell boke, submytte the,

Whilom flouryng in eloquence facundious,

And to all other whiche present nowe be;

Fyrst to maister Chaucer and Ludgate sentencious,

Also to preignaunt Barkley nowe beying religious,

To inuentiue Skelton and poet laureate;

Praye them all of pardon both erly and late.

Bulleyn's repeated allusions to Barclay (see above, pp. xxvii., liv.), apart from the probability that, as contemporaries resident in the same provincial town, Ely, they were well acquainted with each other, leave little doubt that the two were personal friends. Bulleyn's figurative description of the poet, quoted at p. xxvii., is scarcely complete without the following verses, which are appended to it by way of summary of his teachings (similar verses are appended to the descriptions of Chaucer, Gower, &c.):—[Barclay appears] saying

"Who entreth the court in yong and teder age

Are lightly blinded with foly and outrage:

But suche as enter with witte and grauitie,

Bow not so sone to such enormitie,

But ere thei enter if thei haue lerned nought

Afterwardes Vertue the least of theyr thought."

Dialogue against the Fever Pestilence.

In another passage of the same Dialogue[4] the picture of the honourable and deserving but neglected churchman is touched with so much strength and feeling that, though no indication is given, one cannot but believe that the painter was drawing from the life, the life of his friend. The likeness, whether intentional or not, is a most faithful one: "The third [picture] is, one whiche sheweth the state of learned men, labouring long time in studie and diuine vertue, whiche are wrapped in pouertie, wantyng the golden rake or gapyng mouth. This man hath verie fewe to preferre hym to that promotion, he smiteth himselfe upo the breast, he wepeth and lamenteth, that vice should thus be exalted, ignoraunce rewarded with glorie, coueteous men spoilyng the Churche, by the names of patrones and geuers, whiche extorcioners and tellers, they care not to whom, so that it be raked with the golden racke. Wel, wel, God of his mercie, amed this euill market."

In one of the many humorous sallies which lighten up this old-fashioned antidote to the pestilence, Barclay again appears, dressed in the metaphorical colour of the poet or minstrel—green, which has probably here a double significance, referring no doubt to his popularity as the English eclogue writer as well as to his fame as a poet and satirist. In introducing "Bartlet, grene breche" as the antithesis to "Boner wepyng," allusion was also probably intended to the honourable position occupied by Barclay amongst the promoters of the Reformation, compared with the reapostacy, the career of brutal cruelty, and the deserved fate of the Jefferies of the Episcopal bench.

Thus discourse Civis et Uxor.—

"Uxor. What are all these two and two in a table. Oh it is trim. Civis. These are old frendes, it is well handled and workemanly. Willyam Boswell in Pater noster rowe, painted them. Here is Christ, and Sathan, Sainct Peter, and Symon Magus, Paule, and Alexader the Coppersmith, Trace, and Becket, Martin Luther, and the Pope ... bishop Cramer, and bishop Gardiner. Boner wepyng, Bartlet, grene breche ... Salomon, and Will Sommer. The cocke and the lyon, the wolfe and the lambe." This passage also necessarily implies that Barclay's fame at that time was second to none in England. Alas! for fame:

"What is the end of fame? 'Tis but to fill

A certain portion of uncertain paper."

In the seventeenth century Barclay still held a place in the first rank of satirists, if we accept the evidence of the learned Catholic poet of that time, Sir Aston Cokaine. He thus alludes to him in an address "To my learned friend, Mr Thomas Bancroft, upon his Book of Satires. By Sir Aston Cokayne."

"After a many works of divers kinds

Your muse to tread th' Aruncan path designs:

'Tis hard to write but Satires in these days,

And yet to write good Satires merits praise:

      ·       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

So old Petronius Arbiter appli'd

Corsives unto the age he did deride:

So Horace, Persius, Juvenal, (among

Those ancient Romans) scourg'd the impious throng;

So Ariosto (in these later times)

Reprov'd his Italy for many crimes;

So learned Barclay let his lashes fall

Heavy on some to bring a cure to all."

In concluding this imperfect notice of one of the most remarkable of our early writers, we cannot but echo the regret expressed by one of his biographers, that "What ought most to be lamented is, that we are able to say so very little of one in his own time so famous, and whose works ought to have transmitted him to posterity with much greater honour."



In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

In the Name of God. Amen.—The xxvth day of July in the yere of our Lorde God a thousande fyve hundreth fyftie and one.... I Alexander Barqueley Doctor of Divinitie Vicar of myche badowe in the countie of Essex do make dispose and declare this my pute testament conteyning my last Will in forme and order as hereafter followethe That ys to saye First I bequeathe my soule unto Almightie God my maker and Redemer and my bodye to be buried where it shall please God to dispose after depting my soule from the bodye Also I bequeathe to the poore people of the said pish of Badowe fyftie shillings to be disposed where as yt shall appere to be most nede by the discrescon of myne Executours And also I bequeathe towardes the repacons of the same Churche vjs viijd Item I bequeathe to the poore people of the Pish of Owkley in the Countie of Somersett fiftie shillings likewise to be distributed And towardes the repacons of the same Churche vjs viijd Item I bequeathe to Mr Horsey of Tawnton in the saide Countie of Somersett one fether bed and a bolster which I had of hym or els twentie shillings in redye money Item I bequeathe to Edword Capper otherwise called Edwarde Mathewe of Tawnton aforesaid xxxiijs iiijd of currant money of England Item I bequeathe to Johane Atkynson the daughter of Thomas Atkynson of London Scryvener one fetherbed wheruppon I use to lye having a newe tyke with the bolster blanketts and coverlett tester pillowe and two payer of my best shetes Item I bequeth to the same Johane Atkynson eight pounds current money of England to be receyved of the money due unto me by Cutbeard Crokk of Wynchester to be paide in two yeres (that is to saye foure poundes in the first yere and foure poundes in the secounde yere) Item I bequeathe to the saide Johane a flocke bed a quylte and all my pewter and brasse and other stuf of my kechen Item I give and bequeathe to Jeronymy Atkynson the daughter of the saide Thomas Atkynson vjli xiijs iiijd currant money of England to be receyved of the said Cutbeard Crok in two yeres that is to saye every yere fyve markes Item I bequeathe to Tymothy and Elizabeth Atkynson the daughters of the said Thomas Atkynson to everye of theym five pounds currant money of England to be receyved of the said Cutbeard Croke so that the eldest of thes two daughters be paide the first two yeres and the other to be paide in other two yeres then next following Item The rest of the money whiche the saide Cutbeard Croke oweth to me amounting in the hole to the some of four score poundes I bequeathe to be devyded amonge poore and nedye psones after the discretion of myn Executours and manely to such as be bedred blynde lame ympotent wydowes and fatherless children.... Item I bequeathe to Syr John Gate Knight Sr Henry Gate Knight and to Mr Clerke to everye of theym fouer angell nobles to make every of theym a ringe of golde to be worne by theym in remembraunce of me Item I give and bequeathe to Hugh Rooke of London Scryvener to Henry bosoll of London Gold Smythe to Thomas Wytton of London Screvener and to the wief of Humfrey Stevens of London Goldsmythe to Humfrey Edwards Clerke to John Owhan of the Pish of Badowe aforesaid to every of them one angell noble of gold or ells ye valew therof in sylver Item I bequeathe to Mr Thomas Clerk of Owkey aforesaid to Thomas Edey Gentelman and to the said Thomas Atkynson to every of them foure angell nobles to make therof for every of them a ringe to were in remembraunce of oure olde acquayntaunce and famyliarytie Item my will is that my Executours shall distribute at the daye of my buriall among poore and nedy people sixe pounds fyftene shillings Item I bequeathe to Parnell Atkynson the wief of the said Thomas Atkynson my cosyn thirtenne pounds thirtene shillings and foure pence of currant money of England Item I bequeathe to John Watson of London Clotheworker three angell nobles to make a ring therof to be worne in remembraunce of oure olde famyliaritie Also I desire all suche as have or shall hereafter have eny benyfytt by thes my legacies and all other good chrestian people to praye to Almightie God for remission of my synnes and mercy upon my soule Item I bequeath to Johan Bowyer the syster of the said Pnell my cosen fourtie shillings Item I bequeathe to the said Thomas Atkynson Tenne pounds currant money of England whome with the said Thomas Eden I constitute the executours of this my last Will to whome I bequeathe the rest and residue of all my goodes chattells and debts to be distributed at their discrescion in works of mercy to poore people not peny mele but by larger porcon after theyr discrecon namely to psons bedred maydens widowes and other ympotent psons Item I ordeyne and desire the said Mr Rochester to be the Overseer of this my last Will to be well and truely pformed and fulfilled to whome for his labor and paynes I bequeathe fyve marks currant money of England In wytnes of whiche this my last Will I the said Alexander Barqueley hereunto have set my seale and subscribed the same with my owne hands the day and yere fyrst above written p me. Alexandru Barqueley.

Probatum fuit Testm coram dno cant Archiepo apud London decimo die mensis Junij Anno dno millemo quingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo Juramento Thome Atkynson Ex in hmoi testamento noiat Ac Approbatu et insumatu et comissa fuit admotraco omn bonoru &c dci deft de bene et &c ac de pleno Invro &c exhibend Ad sancta dei Evangelia Jurat Resrvata ptate Thome Eden alteri ex &c cum venerit.


[1] Barclay's Nationality

The objection raised to claiming Barclay as a Scotsman, founded on the ground that he nowhere mentions his nationality, though it was a common practice of authors in his time to do so, especially when they wrote out of their own country, appeared to me, though ingenious and pertinent, to be of so little real weight, as to be dismissed in a parenthesis. Its importance, however, may easily be overrated, and it may therefore be well to point out that, apart from the possibility that this omission on his part was the result of accident or indifference, there is also the probability that it was dictated by a wise discretion. To be a Scotsman was not in the days of Henry VIII., as it has been in later and more auspicious times, a passport to confidence and popularity, either at the court or among the people of England. Barclay's fate having led him, and probably his nearest relatives also, across that Border which no Scotsman ever recrosses, to live and labour among a people by no means friendly to his country, it would have been a folly which so sensible a man as he was not likely to commit to have displayed the red rag of his nationality before his easily excited neighbours, upon whose friendliness his comfort and success depended. The farther argument of the Biographia Brittannica, that "it is pretty extraordinary that Barclay himself, in his several addresses to his patrons, should never take notice of his being a stranger, which would have made their kindness to him the more remarkable," is sufficiently disposed of by the succeeding statement, that the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Kent, Barclay's principal patrons, "are known to have been the fiercest enemies of the Scots." Surely a man who was English in everything but his birth could not be expected to openly blazon his Scottish nativity, without adequate occasion for so doing, in the very face of his country's chiefest enemies, who were at the same time his own best friends. His caution in this respect, indeed, may be regarded as an additional proof of his Scottish origin.

[2] Barclay's Vocabulary

Some of the words, stated in popular fashion to be Scotch—they are of course of Saxon origin—the usage of which by Barclay is adduced as an evidence of his nationality, are also to be found in Chaucer, but that does not invalidate the argument as stated. The employment of so many words of northern usage must form at least a strong corroborative argument in favour of northern origin.

[3] The Castle of Labour

It ought to be stated that the modesty of the young author prevented him from affixing his name to his first production, The Castle of Labour. Both editions are anonymous. Bale, Pits, Wood, &c., all include it in the list of his works without remark.

[4] Bulleyn's Dialogue

A notice of the history of this once popular Dialogue, its ever recurring disappearance, and ever recurring "discovery" by some fortunate antiquary, would form an interesting chapter in a new "History of the transmission of ancient books to modern times." Its chances of preservation and record were unusually favourable. It must have been disseminated over the length and breadth of the land in its day, having run through four editions in little more than a dozen years. Maunsell's Catalogue (1595) records the edition of 1578. Antony Wood (1721), and Bishop Tanner (1748) both duly give it a place in their notices of the productions of its author, without any special remark. But the Biographia Brittanica (1748) in a long article upon Bulleyn, in which his various works are noticed in great detail, introduces the Dialogue as "this long neglected and unknown treatise," and gives an elaborate account of it extending to about five columns of small print. The now famous passage, descriptive of the early poets, is quoted at length, and special notice of its bearing on Barclay's nationality taken, the writer (Oldys) announcing that the dispute must now be settled in favour of Scotland, "Seeing our author (Bulleyn), a contemporary who lived in, and long upon the borders of Scotland, says, as above, he was born in that kingdom: and as much indeed might have been in great measure gathered from an attentive perusal of this poet himself."

The next biographer of Bulleyn, Aikin (Biog. Memoirs of Medicine, 1780), makes no discovery, but contents himself with giving a brief account of the Dialogue (in 1½ pages), in which the description of Chaucer, &c., is duly noticed. Three years later, in spite of this, and the appearance of a second edition of the Biographia Brittanica (1778), another really learned and able antiquary, Waldron, in his edition of Jonson's Sad Shepherd (1783), comes forth triumphantly announcing his discovery of the Dialogue as that of a hitherto totally unknown treasure; and in an appendix favours the curious with a series of extracts from it, extending to more than thirty pages, prefacing them thus: "Having, among the various Mysteries and Moralities, whether original impressions, reprinted, or described only by those writers who have given any account of these Embrios of the English Drama, never met with or read of any other copy of the Dialogue, or Morality, by Bulleyn, than the one, [which I have used], an account of and some extracts from it may not be unpleasing." The passage regarding the poets is of course given ad longum.

The next notice of the Dialogue occurs in Herbert's Ames (1786), where two editions, 1564 and 1578, are entered. Dibdin (1819), in addition, notices the edition of 1573. In the biographical accounts of Bulleyn in Hutchinson's Biographia Medica (1799), Aikin's General Biog. Dict. (1801), and its successor, Chalmers's Biog. Dict. (1812), due mention is preserved of the Dialogue in enumerating the works of its author. Sir Walter Scott alludes to it in the Introduction to the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802) as a "mystery," but his only knowledge of it is evidently derived from Waldron. Chalmers's Life of Lindsay (Poetical Works, 1806) has also kept it prominently before a considerable class of inquirers, as he gives that part of the description of the poets relating to Lindsay a conspicuous place, with the following note: "Owing to the very obliging temper of Mr Waldron I have been permitted to see that rare book of Dr Bulleyn, with the second edition of 1569, which is remarkably different from the first in 1564." To this use of it by Chalmers we owe the references to it in Lord Lindsay's Lives of the Lindsays, i. 261 (1849), Seton's Scottish Heraldry, 480 (1863), and Notes and Queries, 3rd s., iv. 164 (1863). It was also probably Chalmers that drew the attention of the writer of the Memoir of Barclay in the Lives of the Scottish Poets (1822), to the possibility of there being also in the Dialogue notice of that poet. At any rate, he quotes the description of the early poets, showing in his preliminary remarks considerable familiarity with Bulleyn's history, pointing out the probability of his having known Barclay at Ely, and arguing that whether or not, "from living in the same neighbourhood he had an opportunity of knowing better than any contemporary whose evidence on the subject is extant, to what country Barclay was, by all about him, reputed to belong." He precedes his quotations thus: "As the whole passage possesses considerable elegance, and has been so universally overlooked by the critics, the transcription of it here will not probably be deemed out of place." No mention is made of the title of the book from which the "Allegorical Description of the Early English Poets" is taken; hence it is impossible to say whether the quoter made use of a copy of the Dialogue, or of Waldron's Notes. The spelling is modernised.

In various well-known bibliographical publications the existence of this fugitive Dialogue is carefully registered, and its title, at least, made known to all inquirers,—in Watt's Bibliotheca Britt. (1824), in Lowndes' Bibliog. Manual (1834), and in Atkinson's Medical Bibliog. (1834); and by the published Catalogues of the British Museum (1813), the Douce Collection (1840), and the Bodleian Library (1843), it is made known that there are copies of it preserved in these great collections. In Warton's Hist. of Eng. Poetry (ed. 1840), it is also recorded by Park, in his notes to the chapter on Gower, in which he refers to Bulleyn's visionary description of that poet. Cooper's Athenæ Cantabrigienses, art. Bulleyn (1858), also carefully notes the Dialogue and its editions. And in 1865 Collier's well-known Bibliographical Account of Early English Literature again gives an account (two pages long) of the much neglected production, in which the passage relating to the poets is once more extracted in full, with the preliminary remarks as quoted at p. xxvii. supra, but without the usual announcement that the work has hitherto been unknown.

But in 1873, by the very last man from whom we might have expected it (F. J. Furnivall, the Atlas on whose shoulders all our projects for the preservation of our early literature rest, in Notes and Queries, 4th s., xii. 161), we are again introduced to this ever disappearing, ever reappearing Dialogue as a fresh find in early English literature: "Few things are pleasanter in reading old books than to come on a passage of praise of our old poets, showing that in Tudor days men cared for the 'makers' of former days as we do still. To Mr David Laing's kindness I owe the introduction to the following quotation from a rare tract, where one wouldn't have expected to find such a passage," and then follows once more the whole passage so often quoted for the first time. Dr Rimbault, in an interesting note in a succeeding number of Notes and Queries (p. 234), is the first one acquainted with the Dialogue to state that "this amusing old work is perfectly well known, and has often been quoted from." So henceforth we may presume that this interesting and long-fertile field of discovery may be regarded as finally worked out.

Barclay presents a book to his patron.






I. The Castell of Laboure.

II. The Shyp of Folys.

III. The Egloges.

IV. The Introductory.

V. The Myrrour of Good Maners.

VI. Cronycle complyed by Salust.

VII. Figure of our Mother Holy Church.

VIII. The Lyfe of Saynt George.

IX. The Lyfe of Saynte Thomas.

X. Haython's Cronycle.

I. The Castell of Laboure.—Wynkyn de Worde. 1506. Small Quarto. Black letter.

The title, "The castell of laboure," is within a scroll above a woodcut of men over a tub: on the verso, a cut of a man sitting at a desk. At sign. a ii. (recto) "Here begynneth the prologue of this present treatyse." [The Brit. Mus. copy has this on the verso of the title instead of the cut, a peculiarity which may entitle it to be called a separate edition, though it appears to agree otherwise with the copy described.] There are many curious woodcuts. Colophon on the reverse of sign. i iii. (51b): "Thus endeth the castell of labour, wherin is rychesse, vertue, and honour. Enprynted at London in Fletestrete in the sygne of the sonne. by Wynkyn de worde. Anno dni" There is no indication of authorship. Signatures: a b c d e f g h, alternately 8s and 4s, i 4; 52 leaves, not numbered. The British Museum and Cambridge University Library copies of this book have been collated, but as the former ends with H 3 and the latter wants the last leaf, that leaf must remain undescribed. Mr Bradshaw, however, says, "it almost certainly contained a woodcut on the recto, and one of the devices on the verso."

A copy of this very scarce book was sold among Mr. West's books in 1773 for £2.

I.a. The Castell of Laboure.—Pynson. No date. Small Quarto. Black letter.

The title, "Here begynneth the castell of laboure," is over a woodcut; and on the reverse is a woodcut; both the same as those in the previous edition. In the body of the work there are 30 woodcuts, which differ from those of the first edition, one of these (at G 6) is a repetition of that on the title page. Colophon: "Thus endeth the castell of labour wherin is rychesse, vertue and honoure. Enprynted be me Richarde Pynson." After the colophon comes another leaf (I 6), on the recto of which is the printer's device, and on the verso a woodcut representing a city on the banks of a river. Without indication of authorship. Signatures: A, 8 leaves; B—I, in sixes.

"Neither Ames nor Herbert appear to have seen this rare volume; which is probably a reprint of Wynkyn de Worde's impression of 1506." (Dibdin's Typ. Antiq., II. 557.) There is a copy in the Library of H. Huth, Esq.

II. The Ship of Folys of the Worlde.—Pynson. 1509. Folio.

On the recto of the first leaf there is a large woodcut of Pynson's arms, or device No. VII., similar to that which is on the reverse of the last leaf of each of the volumes of his edition of Lord Berners' translation of Froissart's Chronicles; on the back of the first leaf is the translator's dedication to "Thomas Cornisshe, bishop of Tine, and suffragan bishop of Bath;" on the next leaf begins "The regyster or table of this present boke in Englyshe," (all as on pp. cxiii.—cxx.), succeeded by a Latin table. Then on sign. a i. and fol. i. a large woodcut, the same as is used for the title page of Cawood's edition (and on p. 313, Vol. II.), with a Latin description in the margin. Beneath is the title in Latin. On the back, "Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudeness of his translacion," followed with "An exhortacion of Alexander Barclay." Then on fol. ii., etc., follow in Latin, "Epigramma," "Epistola" in prose, and various "Carmina." On the back of fol. v. "The exhortacion of Brant to the fools" in Latin verse, followed by Barclay's version with the heading "Barclay the Translatour tho the Foles." On fol. iiii. the "Prologus Jacobi Locher ... incipit," followed by its translation into English. On fol. ix., etc., "Hecatastichon in proludium auctoris et Libelli Narragonici" and the English translation, "Here begynneth the prologe." On xii. "The Argument" in Latin and English, and then on xiii. commences the first chapter, "De inutilibus libris," in Latin, and then in English, which is the order throughout, with the cuts at the beginning of either the one or other as the page suited. The book concludes with a ballad in honour of the virgin Mary, consisting of twelve octave stanzas: at the end of which is the colophon in a stanza of seven lines. On the verso of the last leaf is the printer's device, No. v.

The Latin is uniformly printed in the Roman type, and the English in the Gothic. Herbert supposes the diphthongs to be "the first perhaps used in this kingdom."

The cuts are rude, coarse, English imitations of those in the original editions. They are, including the preliminary one, 118 in number. The cut illustrating the chapter, "Of them that correct other," etc., fol. liii. has been exchanged with the cut of the succeeding chapter. The cut illustrating "The unyuersall shyp and generall Barke," fol. cclxii., is repeated at the succeeding chapter. The one illustrating Barclay's new chapter "Of folys that ar ouer worldly" is an imitation of the illustration of "De singularitate quorundam novorum fatuorum" in the Latin edition of March 1497. The cut illustrating the ballad of the Virgin appears in the original at the head of "Excusatio Jacobi Locher Philomusi," and illustrates, according to the margin, "Derisio boni operis."

The word "Folium" is on the left hand page, and the number, in Roman capitals, on the right throughout the book; the last is cclxxiiii. Including the dedication and table (4 folios) there are 283 folios. The numbering is a model of irregularity: iiii. is repeated for vi., xx. stands for xv., xviii. is repeated, xx. is wanting, xxii. is repeated, xxiv. is wanting, xxx. is repeated, xxxvi. is wanting, xxxix. is repeated in place of xliv., xlviii. is wanting, xlix. is repeated, lvii is repeated after lxi., lviii follows twice, lix., lx., lxi. being repeated in succession after lviii., lxvii., lxviii. are repeated after lxviii., lxxxii. is wanting, lxxxiii. is repeated, lxxxii. stands for lxxxvii., lxxxiii. succeeds for lxxxviiii, cclxv. succeeds for lxxxix., lxxxxii. is repeated for lxxxxvii., [in the Grenville copy this leaf is correctly numbered], cxxxii is wanting, cxl. stands for cxxxviii., cxlxi. stands for cxlvi., clxxiv. is wanting, clxxxxxi. stands for cci., ccxii. is repeated for ccxvii., ccxxxviii. is wanting, cclx. stands for ccl., cclviii. is repeated for cclx.

The numeration by signatures is as follows: + iiij; a, 8; b—p, 6 s; q, 7; r, s, t, v, x, y, z, &, 6 s; A—Y, 6 s.

The book is extremely rare. There is a fine copy in the Bodleian Library among Selden's books, another in the British Museum, Grenville Collection, and another in the Library of St. John's College, Oxford.

The following are the more notable prices: Farmer, 1798, £2. 4s.; Sotheby's, 1821, £28; Dent, £30. 9s.; Bib. Anglo-Poetica, £105; Perkins, 1873, £130.

The following amusing note on prices is taken from Renouard's "Catalogue d'un Amateur." "Les premières éditions latines de ce singulier livre, celles des traductions françoises, toutes également remplies de figures en bois, ne déplaisent pas aux amateurs, mais jamais ils ne les ont payées un haut prix. La traduction angloise faite en 1509, sur le francois, et avec des figures en bois, plus mauvaises encore que leurs modèles, se paye en Angleterre 25, 30 et mème 60 guinées; c'est là, si l'on veut, du zèle patriotique, de l'esprit national."

II.a. Stultifera Nauis.... The Ship of Fooles..... With diuers other workes.... very profitable and fruitfull for all men.... Cawood. 1570. Folio.

A large cut of vessels filled with fools (the same as on p. 313, Vol. II.) is inserted between the Latin and English titles. This edition omits the ballad to the Virgin at the end. The English is in black letter, and the Latin in Roman, in the same order as in the preceding edition. On the recto of leaf 259: Thus endeth the Ship of Fooles, translated ... by Alexander Barclay Priest, at that time Chaplen in the Colledge of S. Mary Otery in the Countie of Deuon. Anno Domini 1508. On the back "Excusatio Iacobi Locher Philomusi," in Sapphic verse. On the next page five stanzas by Barclay "excusing the rudenes of his Translation." Lastly, an Index in Latin, and then in English. Then, follow the "diuers other workes," the Mirrour of good maners, and the Egloges. Colophon: Imprinted at London in Paules Church-yarde by Iohn Cawood Printer to the Queenes Maiestie. Cum Priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.

The woodcuts, including the one on the title-page, number 117. They are the same as those of Pynson's edition, but show occasional traces of the blocks having been chipped in the course of their preservation in a printer's office for 60 years or so. The borders only differ, being of a uniform type, while those of the previous edition are woodcuts of several patterns.

The numbering is a little irregular; the preliminary leaves (12) are unnumbered. The folios are numbered in figures on the left hand page, 'folio' being prefixed to the first six, 16 is repeated for 17, 13 stands for 31, [in one of the Adv. Lib. copies the latter irregularity is found, though not the former; in the other, 17 and 31 are numbered correctly], 96 is repeated for 99, 188 for 191, 100 for 200, and 205 for 201. The last number is 259, and there are three extra leaves, thus making 274 for the Ship. The supplementary works are not numbered. The signatures are as follows: The Ship, ¶ six leaves; ¶¶ six leaves; A to U u, in sixes; X x, four leaves; Mirrour of good manners, A—G, in sixes; Egloges, A to D, in sixes; in all 680 pp.

This book was licensed to Cawood in 1567-8, and is said to be the only book he had license for. It is now very rare.

Prices: Digby, 1680, 4s. 4d. Bernard, 1698, 1s. 10d. Gulston, 1783, £1, 16s. White Knights, £8, 12s. Roxburghe, £9, 19s. 6d. Fonthill, £13, 13s. Bib. Anglo-Poet, £12, 12s. Heber, £8, 12s. Sotheby's, 1873, £48, 10s.

A complete bibliography of the various editions and versions of the Ship of Fools will be found in Zarocke's edition of the original, or in Graesse's Trésor de livres rares et précieux. A notice is subjoined of the two editions of the English prose translation, and of the two other publications bearing the title.

The abridged prose translation, by Henry Watson, from the French prose version of Jehan Droyn, appeared from the press of De Worde in the same year in which Barclay's fuller poetical version was issued. In both text and illustrations it is a much inferior production to the latter. As the existence of the first edition has been, and still is, denied, it being frequently confounded with Barclay's book, we transcribe the following description of the only known copy from Van Praet's "Catalogue des livres imprimés sur vélin de la Bibliotheque du Roi."

The Shyppe of Fooles, translated out of frenche, by Henry Watson. London, Wynkyn de Worde, 1509, petit in—4.

Edition en lettres de forme, sans chiffres ni réclames, avec signatures, figures et initiales en bois; à longues lignes, au nombre de 32 sur les pages entierès; cont. 169 f.; les 7 premiers renferment 1. le titre suivant, gravé audessus d'une figure qui représente le navire des fous:

¶ The shyppe of fooles.

2. Le prologue du traducteur; 3. la préface; 4. la table des chapitres.

Au recto du dernier f. est cette souscription:

¶ Thus endeth the shyppe of fooles of this worde. Enprynted at London in Flete strete by Wynky de worde prynter vnto the excellent pryncesse Marguerete, Countesse of Rychemonde and Derbye, and grandame vnto our moost naturall souereyne lorde kynge Henry y viii. The yere of our lorde. m.ccccc. ix. ¶ The fyrste yere of the reygne of our fouerayne lorde kynge Henry the viii. The. vi. daye of Julii. On aperçoit au verso le monogramme et la marque de William Caxton, au bas desquels on lit ces mots: Wynken de Worde."

This beautiful copy upon vellum is the only example of this edition known.

The grete Shyppe of Fooles of this worlde. Wykyn de Worde. 1517. Quarto.

This is the second edition of Watson's translation. Colophon: "Thus endeth the shyppe of fooles of this worlde. Jmprynted at Londod in flete strete by Wykyn de Worde. ye yere of our lorde m.ccccc. & xvii.

¶ The nynthe yere of ye reygne of our souerayne lorde kynge Henry ye VIII. The xx. daye of June." It contains G G 6, fours and eights alternately (the signatures ending on G G iij.), besides 6 leaves, with the prologue, prolude and table, before signature A.

Extremely rare. Roxburghe, £64.

The Ship of Fools Fully Fraught and Richly Laden with Asses, Fools, Jack-daws, Ninnihammers, Coxcombs, Slenderwits, Shallowbrains, Paper-Skuls, Simpletons, Nickumpoops, Wiseakers, Dunces, and Blockheads, Declaring their several Natures, Manners and Constitutions; the occasion why this Ship was built, with the places of their intended Voyage, and a list of the Officers that bear Command therein.

If for this Voyage any have a mind,

They with Jack Adams may acceptance find,

Who will strain hard ere they shall stay behind.

Licensed, Roger L'Estrange.

[A large woodcut of the Ship.]

London, Printed by J. W. for J. Clark, at the Bible and Harp in West-Smithfield. n. d. [Circa 1650.] 4to. 4 leaves.

"This book, or rather tract, has nothing in common with Barclay's Ship of Fools, except the general idea. It is entirely in prose. My copy has nothing to show to whom it formerly belonged."—(Letter of H. Huth, Esq.) The last sentence was elicited by the inquiry whether Mr Huth's copy were the one formerly belonging to Mr Heber.—See Bibliotheca Heberiana, Part IV., No. 752.

Stultifera Navis ... The modern Ship of fools. Lond. 1807, 80. Pp. xxiv., 295.

A wretched production in verse, in imitation of Barclay's Ship of Fools, published anonymously by W. H. Ireland, the Shakesperian forger.

III. The Egloges of Alexader Barclay, Prest.—The first three, without printer's name or device. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alexader Barclay, prest, wherof the fyrst thre conteyneth the myseryes of courters and courtes of all prynces in generall, the matter wherof was translated into Englyshe by the sayd Alexander in fourme of Dialogues, out of a boke named in latyn Miserie Curialiu, compyled by Eneas Siluius, Poete and oratour, whiche after was Pope of Rome, & named Pius." This title is over a cut of two shepherds, Coridon and Cornix, the interlocutors in these three eclogues. On the back is a cut of David and Bathsheba. At the end of the third egloge: "Thus endyth the thyrde and last egloge of the mysery of court and courters, composed by Alexander Barclay, preste, in his youthe." A cut of the two shepherds and a courtier fills up the page. Without date, printer's name, or device. Contains P 6, in fours, the last leaf blank.

III.a. The Fourthe Egloge of Alexander Barclay.—Pynson. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

It is entitled, "The Boke of Codrus and Mynaclus," over the cut of a priest, with a shaven crown, writing at a plutus. It concludes with "The discrypcion of the towre of Vertue & Honour, into whiche the noble Hawarde contended to entre, by worthy acts of chiualry," related by Menalcas, in stanzas of eight verses. At the end, "Thus endeth the fourthe Eglogge of Alexandre Barcley, coteyning the maner of the riche men anenst poets and other clerkes. Emprinted by Richarde Pynson priter to the kynges noble grace." On the last leaf is his device, No. V. Contains 22 leaves, with cuts.

III.b. The Fyfte Egloge of Alexander Barclay. —Wynkyn de Worde. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"The fyfte Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the Cytezen and vplondyshman." This title is over a large woodcut of a priest, sitting in his study. Beneath, "Here after foloweth the Prologe." On the verso of A ii. are two cuts of two shepherds, whole lengths, with this head-title, "Interlocutoures be Amyntas and Faustus." There are no other cuts. Colophon: "Here endeth the v. Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the Cytezyn and vplondysshman. Imprynted at London in flete strete, at the sygne of [the] Sonne, by Wynkyn de worde." Beneath, device No. v. Contains A 8, B 4, C 6; 18 leaves. There is a copy in the British Museum.

With the first four Eclogues as above, Woodhouse, 1803, (Herbert's copy), £25.; resold, Dent, 1827, £36.; resold, Heber, 1834, £24. 10s. At Heber's sale this unique set, containing the only known copy of the first edition of the first four Eclogues, was bought by Thorpe; further I have not been able to trace it.

III.c. The Egloges.—John Herforde. No date. Quarto.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alex. Barclay, Priest, whereof the first three conteineth the Miseries of Courters and Courtes." "Probably a reprint of Pynson's impression," Dibdin. Contains only Eclogues I.-III. Herbert conjectures the date to be 1548; Corser, 1546; Hazlitt, 1545.

III.d. The Egloges.—Humfrey Powell. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"Here begynneth the Egloges of Alexander Barclay, priest, whereof the first thre conteineth the miseries of courters and courtes, of all Princes in general ... In the whiche the interloquutors be, Cornix, and Coridon." Concludes: "Thus endeth the thyrde and last Eglogue of the Misery of Courte and Courters, Composed by Alexander Barclay preest, in his youth. Imprinted at London by Humfrey Powell." Contains only Eclogues I.-III. Collation: Title, A 1; sig. A to P2, in fours; 58 leaves not numbered.

This is an edition of extreme rarity. It is very well printed, and the title is surrounded with a woodcut border with ornamented pillars at the sides. Herbert conjectures the date to be 1549, the Bib. Anglo-Poetica, Lowndes, and Corser, 1548. There is a copy in the Cambridge University Library, and another in the possession of David Laing, Esq.

Prices: Inglis, £6. 2s. 6d.; Bright, 1845. £10. 10s.; Bib. Anglo-Poetica, £15.

III.e. Certayne Egloges of Alexander Barclay Priest.—Cawood. 1570. Folio. Black letter.

Appended to Cawood's edition of the Ship of Fools. No title-page, cuts, or pagination. The above heading on A i.

Colophon: Thus endeth the fifth and last Egloge of Alexander Barclay, of the Citizen and the man of the countrey. Imprinted at London in Paules Church-yarde by Iohn Cawood, Printer to the Queenes Maiestie. Cum Priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.

Contains A—D, in sixes.

III.f. The Cytezen and Uplondyshman: an Eclogue [the fifth] by Alexander Barclay.

Printed from the original edition by Wynkyn de Worde. Edited, with an Introductory Notice of Barclay and his other Eclogues, by F.W. Fairholt, F.S.A. London; printed for the Percy Society [vol. XXII.], 1847. 8vo. Pp. + 6, lxxiv., 47.

IV. The Introductory To Write and To Pronounce Frenche. Coplande. 1521. Folio. Black letter.

'Here begynneth the introductory to wryte, and to pronounce Frenche compyled by Alexander Barcley compendiously at the commaudemet of the ryght hye excellent and myghty prynce Thomas duke of Northfolke.' This title is over a large woodcut of a lion rampant, supporting a shield, containing a white lion in a border, (the same as that on the title of the Sallust, VI.), then follows a French ballad of 16 lines in two columns, the first headed, "R. Coplande to the whyte lyone, and the second, "¶ Ballade." On the recto of the last leaf, 'Here foloweth the maner of dauncynge of bace dauces after the vse of fraunce & other places translated out of frenche in englysshe by Robert coplande.' Col.: Jmprynted at London in the Fletestrete at the sygne of the rose Garlande by Robert coplande, the yere of our lorde. m.ccccc.xxi. ye xxii. day of Marche.' Neither folioed nor paged. Contains C 4, in sixes, 16 leaves.

In the edition of Palsgrave (see above, p. lxxiii.), published among the "Documents inédits sur l'histoire de France," the editor says of this work of Barclay's: "Tous mes efforts pour découvrir un exemplaire de ce curieux ouvrage ont été inutiles." There is a copy, probably unique, in the Bodleian; it was formerly Herbert's, afterwards Douce's.

All the parts of this treatise relating to French pronunciation have been carefully reprinted by Mr A. J. Ellis, in his treatise "On Early English Pronunciation" (published by the Philological Society), Part III., p. 804.

V. The Myrrour Of Good Maners.——Pynson. No date. Folio. Black letter.

'Here begynneth a ryght frutefull treatyse, intituled the myrrour of good maners, coteynyng the iiii. vertues, callyd cardynall, compyled in latyn by Domynike Mancyn: And translate into englysshe: at the desyre of syr Gyles Alyngton, knyght: by Alexander Bercley prest: and monke of Ely. This title is over a cut, the same as at the head of Barclay's preface to his translation of Sallust, a representation of the author in a monkish habit on his knees, presenting a book to a nobleman. The text begins on back of title. The original is printed in Roman letter in the margins.——Colophon in a square woodcut border: Thus endeth the ryght frutefull matter of the foure vertues cardynall: Jmprynted by Rychard Pynson: prynter vnto the kynges noble grace: with his gracyous pryuylege the whiche boke I haue prynted, at the instance & request, of the ryght noble Rychard yerle of Kent. On the back, Pynson's device, No. v. It has neither running titles, catch-words, nor the leaves numbered. Signatures; A to G, in sixes, and H, in eights; 100 pp.

In the British Museum, Grenville collection, from Heber's collection. "This edition differs materially from that used by Herbert, which has led Dr Dibdin to the conclusion that there were two impressions." So says a MS. note on the copy, (quoted in the Bib. Grenv.), but Dibdin does not commit himself to the conclusion, his words being these: "This description is given from a copy in the possession of Mr Heber; which, from its varying with the account of Herbert, Mr H. supposes, with justice, must be a different one from Herbert's." I have failed to discover the difference.

Prices: Perry, £9.; Roxburghe (last leaf wanting), £10. 10s.; Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica, £12. 12s.; Sykes, £16. 16s.

To the above edition must belong the fragment entered in Bohn's Lowndes under "Four," thus: "Four Vertues Cardinal. Lond. R. Pynson, n.d. folio. Only a fragment of this Poem is known; it was printed at the request of Rychard Erle of Kent."

V.a.. The Mirrour of Good Maners.——Cawood. 1570. Folio. Black letter.

Appended to Cawood's edition of the Ship of Fools. No title page, pagination, or cuts. The above heading on A 1. The Latin original printed in Roman by the side of the English. Contains A-G, in sixes.

It may be useful to give here the bibliography of the other English translations of Mancyn.

Mancinus de quattuor Virtutibus. [The englysshe of Mancyne apon the foure cardynale vertues.] No place, printer's name, or date, but with the types of Wynkyn de Worde, circa 1518. 4to, a-d, in eights. Bodleian.

Following the title occurs: Petri Carmeliani exasticon in Dominici Mancini de quattuor cardineis virtutibus libellum. The Latin portion is in verse, printed in Roman letter, with marginal notes in black letter, of a very small size, and the English in prose.

The English part, in black letter, is entitled: The englysshe of Mancyne apon the foure cardynale vertues. n.p. or d. This portion has a separate title and signatures; the title is on A 1. On sign. F ii. occurs, "The correccion of the englysshe," and on the verso of the same leaf is printed, "The correction of the texte." A, B, C, and D, 8 leaves each; E, 6 leaves; and F, 4 leaves; 42 leaves altogether. A copy of this is in the British Museum. Only two perfect copies are known.

A Plaine Path to Perfect Vertue: Deuised and found out by Mancinus, a Latine Poet, and translated into English by G. Turberuile, Gentleman.

Ardua ad virtutem via.

Imprinted at London in Knightrider-strete, by Henry Bynneman, for Leonard Maylard. Anno. 1568. 8vo., 72 leaves. Black letter, in verse. Dedicated "To the right Honorable and hys singular good Lady, Lady Anne, Coutesse Warvvicke." There is also a metrical address to the reader, and 8 4-line stanzas by James Sanford in praise of the translator.

Freeling, 1836, No. 911, £7., bought for Mr Corser: now in the British Museum. Supposed to be unique.

VI. Cronycle compyled in Latyn, by the renowned Sallust.——Pynson. No date. Folio.

"Here begynneth the famous cronycle of the warre, which the romayns had agaynst Jugurth, vsurper of the kyngdome of Numidy. which cronycle is compyled in latyn by the renowmed romayne Salust. And translated into englysshe by syr Alexander Barclay preest, at comaundement of the right hye and mighty prince: Thomas duke of Northfolke." There are two editions by Pynson of this book.

I. In this edition the lower half of the title page has a square enclosed by double lines containing the Norfolk arms, a lion rampant, holding a shield in his paws, on which is another lion, a cut which also appears on the title of The Introductory. There is a full page cut of the royal arms with portcullis, &c., on the back, followed by five pages of Table. The preface to his patron, in English,——together with a Latin dedication to Bishop Veysy, in parallel columns,——begins on the verso of signature a iiii, under a cut of the author presenting his book to him, the same as that which appears on the title of The myrrour of good maners. [See the cut prefixed to the Notice of Barclay's life, which is confined however to a reproduction of the two principal figures only, two other figures, evidently of servants, and some additional ornamentation of the room being omitted.] At the end of this preface is another cut of the author, writing at a desk; also on the back of the leaf is a cut of the disembarking of an army. There are no other cuts, but the volume is adorned throughout with very fine woodcut initials. Catchwords are given irregularly at the beginning, but regularly towards the end, at the bottom of the left hand page only, but the preface has them to every column. Colophon:——"Thus endeth the famous cronycle of the war ... imprented at London by Rycharde Pynson printer vnto the kynges noble grace: with priuylege vnto hym grauted by our sayd souerayne lorde the kynge." On the back of the last leaf is Pynson's device, No. v. The date is erroneously conjectured in Moss's Classical Bib. to be 1511. It was probably 1519, certainly between 1519 and 1524. Contains 92 numbered leaves, and one leaf unnumbered, besides eight leaves of preliminary matter: numbering quite regular: signatures; a 8, A—O, 6 s, P, Q, 4 s. In the British Museum, Grenville Collection, the Bodleian, and the Public Library at Cambridge.

Prices: Roxburghe, £23, 12s.; Sykes, £8, 12s.; Heber, £5, 15s. 6d.; Sotheby's, 1857, £10.

II. In this edition, the title page is the same as in the other with the exception of a semicolon for a full point after Numidy, the succeeding which having an e added, and romayne being without the e, but on the back instead of a cut of the royal arms The table commences; the preface begins on the recto of sign. a 4, under the cut of the author presenting his book to the Duke of Norfolk, and ends without the leaf of woodcuts which is appended to the preface of the first edition. Pynson's device at the end of the book is also wanting in this edition. It contains only fol. lxxxvi., with six leaves of preliminary matter; the pagination is a little irregular, xxi. and xxii. are wanting but xxiii. is given three times, and lxxvii. is repeated for lxxviii.; the British Museum copy is deficient in folios lxii. and lxv.: signatures; a 6, A—N, 6 s, and O, P, 4 s. The initials are the same as those in the first edition in the great majority of cases, but appear much more worn. There are catch-words only at the end of every signature throughout the book, except to the preface, which has them to every column. In the British Museum, and the Public Library, Cambridge.

Both editions have the Latin in Roman letter in the margins, and running-titles. Ames mentions an edition with cuts, which must be the same as the first of these.

VI.a. Cronicle of Warre. Compiled in Laten by Saluste. Corrected by Thomas Paynell. Waley, 1557. Quarto.

"Here begynneth the famous Cronicle of warre, whyche the Romaynes hadde agaynst Jugurth vsurper of the kyngedome of Numidie: whiche Cronicle is compiled in Laten by the renowmed Romayne Saluste: and translated into englyshe by syr alexander Barklaye prieste. And nowe perused and corrected by Thomas Paynell. Newely Jmprinted in the yere of oure Lorde God M.D.L vij." On the verso of the title begins Paynell's dedication—"To the ryghte honorable Lorde Antonye Vycounte Mountegue, Knyghte of the ryghte honorable order of the garter, and one of the Kynge and Queenes Magesties pryuie counsayle." "The prologue" begins on a 1. Barclay's preface and dedication are omitted, as well as the Latin of Sallust. Col.: "Thus endeth the famouse Cronicle of the warre ... against Jugurth ... translated... by syr Alexander Barkeley, prieste, at commaundemente of ... Thomas, duke of Northfolke, And imprinted at London in Foster lane by Jhon Waley." Signatures; H h, 4 s, besides title and dedication, two leaves: the pagination commences on a 4, at "The fyrste chapter," the last folio being cxx.; xxi. is repeated for xxii., xxiii. for xxiv., xix., stands for xxix., lvii. is repeated, and lxxiv. is repeated for lxxv.

This edition forms the second part of a volume having the following general title page: The Conspiracie of Catiline, written by Constancius Felicius Durantinus, and translated bi Thomas Paynell: with the historye of Jugurth, writen by the famous Romaine Salust, and translated into Englyshe by Alexander Barcklaye.

VII. Alex. Barclay his figure of our Mother holy church oppressed by the Frenche King. Pynson. Quarto.

This is given by Herbert on the authority of Maunsell's Catalogue, p. 7.

VIII. The lyfe of the glorious Martyr saynt George. Translated by Alexander Barclay, while he was a monk of Ely, and dedicated to N. West, Bp. of Ely. Pinson [Circa 1530.] Quarto. [Herbert, 289].

IX. The lyfe of saynte Thomas. Pynson. No date. Quarto. Black letter.

"¶ Here begynneth the lyfe of the blessed martyr saynte Thomas." This title is the headline of this little treatise; at the beginning of which is indented a small woodcut of a man in armour, striking at the bishop, with his cross-bearer before him. It begins "The martir saynte Thomas was son to Gylberde Bequet a burgeys of the Cite of London. And was borne in ye place, whereas now standeth the churche called saynte Thomas of Akers." It concludes, "¶ Thus endeth the lyfe of the blessed martyr saynt Thomas of Caunturbury. Jmprynted by me Rycharde Pynson, prynter vnto the kynges noble grace." Contains eight leaves. There is a copy in the British Museum. Assigned to Barclay on tne authority of Wood.

X. Haython's Cronycle. Pynson. No date. Folio. Black letter.

"Here begynneth a lytell Cronycle, translated & imprinted at the cost & charge of Rycharde Pynson, by the comaundement of the ryght high and mighty prince, Edwarde duke of Buckingham, yerle of Gloucestre, Staffarde, and of Northamton," over a large woodcut. Colophon: "Here endeth, [&c.] Imprinted by the sayd Richarde Pynson, printer unto the Kinges noble grace." Date conjectured to be between 1520 and 1530. Pynson's device, No. 5, at the end. Collation: A—E, and H, in sixes; F and G, and I, in fours; forty-eight leaves.

On the verso of fol. 35, "Here endeth ye boke of thistoris of thoriet partes copyled by a relygious man frere Hayton frere of Premostre order, sotyme lorde of court & cosyn german to the kyng of Armeny vpon ye passage of the holy lande. By the comaudement of ye holy fader ye apostle of Rome Clemet the V. in ye cite of Potiers which boke I Nicholas Falcon, writ first in French ... I haue traslated it in Latyn for our holy father ye pope. In the yere of our lorde god m.ccc.vii. in ye moneth of August. Deo gras."

"The travels of Hayton into the Holy Land and Armenia, and his history of Asia, is one of the most valuable of the early accounts of the east. The present is the only translation into English, and from the circumstances of its being printed by Pynson and having been (when in Mr Heber's collection) bound with two other works (Mirrour of good Maners and Sallust) both translated by Barclay, was probably also translated by him. It is a book of extraordinaiy rarity, no perfect copy that can be traced having previously occured for sale." (Bibliotheca Grenvilliana, vol. I.)

Heber's copy (the one above mentioned), £40. 9s. 6d.


Coat of Arms of the printer, Richard Pynson.

Venerandissimo in Christo Patri ac Domino: domino Thome Cornisshe Tenenensis pontifici ac diocesis Badonensis Suffraganio vigilantissimo, sue paternitatis Capellanus humilimus Alexander Barclay suiipsius recommendacionem cum omni summissione, et reuerentia.

Tametsi crebris negocijs: varioque impedimentorum genere fatigatus paulo diutiùs quàm volueram a studio reuulsus eram. Attamen obseruandissime presul: Stultiferam classem (vt sum tue paternati pollicitus) iam tandem absolui et impressam ad te destinaui. Neque tamen certum laborem pro incerto premio (humano. s.) meis impossuissem humeris: nisi Seruianum illud dictum (longe anteaqam inceperam) admonuisset. Satius esse non incipere quàm inceptum minus perfectum relinquere. Completo tamen opere: nec quemquam magis dignum quàm tua sit paternitas existimaui cui id dedicarem: tum quia saluberrima tua prudentia, morum grauitas, vite sanctitas doctrineque assiduitas: errantes fatuos mumdanis ab illecebris ad virtutis tramites: difficiles licet: possint reducere: tum vero: quia sacros ad ordines per te sublimatus et promotus, multisque aliis tuis beneficiis ditatus non potui tibi meum obsequium non coartare. Opus igitur tue paternitati dedicaui: meorum primicias laborum qui in lucem eruperunt Atque vt tua consuluerit paternatis: autoris carmina cum meis vulgaribus rithmicis vná alternatim coniunixi: et quantum a vero carminum sensu errauerim, tue autoritatis iudicium erit. Fateor equidem multo plura adiecisse quam ademisse: partim ad vicia que hac nostra in regione abundantius pullulant mordacius carpenda: partimque ob Rithmi difficultatem. Adieci etiam quasdam Biblie aliorumque autorum concordancias in margine notatas quo singula magis lectoribus illucescant: Simul ad inuidorum caninos latratus pacandos: et rabida ora obstruenda: qui vbi quid facinorum: quo ipsi scatent: reprehensum audierint. continuo patulo gutture liuida euomunt dicta, scripta dilacerant. digna scombris ac thus carmina recensent: sed hi si pergant maledicere: vt stultiuagi comites classem insiliant. At tu venerande Presul Discipuli tui exiguum munusculum: hilari fronte accipito, Classemque nostram (si quid vagum, si quid erronium: si quid denique superfluum emineat: optimam in partem interpretando: ab inuidorum faucibus: tue autoritatis clipeo tucaris. Vale. Ex Impressoria officina Richardi Pynson. iij. Idus Decembris.

¶ This present Boke named the Shyp of folys of the worlde was translated in the College of saynt mary Otery in the counte of Deuonshyre: out of Laten, French, and Doche into Englysshe tonge by Alexander Barclay Preste: and at that tyme Chaplen in the sayde College. translated the yere of our Lorde god. M.ccccc.viii. Imprentyd in the Cyte of London in Fletestre at the signe of Saynt George. By Rycharde Pynson to hys Coste and charge: Ended the yere of our Sauiour. M. d. ix. The. xiiii. day of December.




Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudenes of his translacion, ye first lefe Barclay ye translatour to ye folys.

A prologe in prose shewynge to what intent this Boke was firste made, & who were the first Auctours of it.

Another Prologe: in Balade concernyng the same.

In what place this Boke was translate and to what purpose it was translatyd.

Here begynneth the Folys and firste of inprofytable bokys.

Of euyll Counsellours Juges & men of lawe.

Of couetyse and prodigalyte.

Of newe disgysynges in apparayle.

A lawde of the nobles and grauyte of Kynge Henry the eyght.

Of olde Folys encresynge foly with age.

Of negligent Fathers ayenst their Children.

Of taleberers: & mouers of debate.

Of nat folowers of good counsel.

Of vngoodly maners, and dysordred.

Of the hurtynge of frendshyp.

Of dispysers of holy scripture.

Of folys inprouydent.

Of disordred & venerious loue.

Of them that synne trustynge vpon the mercy of almyghty god.

Of folys yt begyn great byldynge without sufficient prouysion.

Of glotons, and droncardes.

Of ryches vnprofytable.

Of folys that wyl serue two lordes both togyther.

Of superflue speche.

Of them that correct other, them self culpable in the same faut.

Of folys that fynde others good, nat restorynge the same to the owner.

The sermon or doctryne of wysdom.

Of Folys bostyng them in fortune.

Of the superflue curyosyte of men.

Of great borowers, & slacke payers.

Of vnprofitable vowers & peticions.

Of negligent stodyers.

Of them that folvsshly speke ayenst the workes of god.

Of lewde Juges of others dedes.

Of pluralytees of benefyces.

Of synners that prolonge from daye to day to amende theyr myslyuyng.

Of men that ar Jelous.

Of auoutry, and specially of suche as ar bawdes to theyr wyues.

Of suche as nedys wyll contynue in theyr foly nat withstandynge holsom erudicion.

An addicion of the secundaries of Otery saynt Mary, in Deuynshyre.

Of wrathfull folys.

Of the mutabylyte of fortune.

Of seke men inobedient.

Of to open councellers.

Of folys that can nat be ware by ye mysfortune nor take example of others damage.

Of folys that force or care for the bacbytynge of lewde people.

Of mockers and fals accusers.

Of them that despyse euerlastynge blys for worldly thynges & transitory.

Of talkers and makers of noyse in the Chirche of god.

Of folys that put them self in wylful ieopardy and peryll.

Of the way of felycyte, and godnes and the payne to come to synners.

Of olde folys yt gyue example of vyce to youth negligent & vnexpert.

Of bodely lust or corporall voluptuosyte.

Of folys that can nat kepe secrete theyr owne counsell.

Of yonge folys that take olde wymen to theyr wyues nat for loue but for ryches.

Of enuyous Folys.

Of impacient folys disdaynynge to abyde and suffer correccion, for theyr profyte.

Of folysshe Fesicians vsynge theyr practyke without speculacyon.

Of the ende of worldly honour & power and of folys yt trust in them.

An addicion of Alexander barclay.

Of predestinacyon.

Of folys that aply other mennys besynes leuynge theyr owne vndone.

Of the vyce of ingratytude or vnkyndnes and folys that vse it.

Of Folys that stande to moche in theyr owne conceyte.

Of folys that delyte them in daunsynge.

Of nyght watchers.

Of the vanyte of beggers.

The ship of fools.

Alexander Barclay excusynge the rudenes of his translacion.

Go Boke: abasshe the thy rudenes to present.

To men auaunced to worshyp, and honour.

By byrthe or fortune: or to men eloquent.

By thy submyssion excuse thy Translatour.

But whan I remember the comon behauour

Of men: I thynke thou ought to quake for fere

Of tunges enuyous whose venym may the dere

Tremble, fere, and quake, thou ought I say agayne.

For to the Redar thou shewest by euydence

Thy selfe of Rethoryke pryuate and barayne

In speche superflue: and fruteles of sentence.

Thou playnly blamest without al difference

Bothe hye and lowe sparinge eche mannes name.

Therfore no maruayle thoughe many do the blame.

But if thou fortune to lye before a State

As Kynge or Prince or Lordes great or smal.

Or doctour diuyne or other Graduate

Be this thy Excuse to content theyr mynde withal

My speche is rude my termes comon and rural

And I for rude peple moche more conuenient.

Than for Estates, lerned men, or eloquent.

But of this one poynt thou nedest not to fere

That any goode man: vertuous and Just.

Wyth his yl speche shal the hurt or dere.

But the defende. As I suppose and trust.

But suche Unthriftes as sue theyr carnal lust

Whome thou for vyce dost sharply rebuke and blame

Shal the dysprayse: emperisshinge thy name.

An exhortacion of Alexander Barclay.

But ye that shal rede this boke: I you exhorte.

And you that ar herars therof also I pray

Where as ye knowe that ye be of this sorte:

Amende your lyfe and expelle that vyce away.

Slomber nat in syn. Amende you whyle ye may.

And yf ye so do and ensue Vertue and grace.

Wythin my Shyp ye get no rowme ne place.

Barclay the translatour tho the Foles.

To Shyp galantes the se is at the ful.

The wynde vs calleth our sayles ar displayed.

Where may we best aryue? at Lyn or els at Hulle?

To vs may no hauen in Englonde be denayd.

Why tary we? the Ankers ar vp wayed.

If any corde or Cabyl vs hurt, let outher hynder.

Let slyp the ende, or els hewe it in sonder.

Retourne your syght beholde vnto the shore.

There is great nomber that fayne wold be aborde.

They get no rowme our Shyp can holde no more.

Haws in the Cocke gyue them none other worde.

God gyde vs from Rockes, quicsonde tempest and forde

If any man of warre, wether, or wynde apere.

My selfe shal trye the wynde and kepe the Stere.

But I pray you reders haue ye no dysdayne.

Thoughe Barclay haue presumed of audacite

This Shyp to rule as chefe mayster and Captayne.

Though some thynke them selfe moche worthyer than he.

It were great maruayle forsoth syth he hath be.

A scoler longe: and that in dyuers scoles

But he myght be Captayne of a Shyp of Foles

But if that any one be in suche maner case.

That he wyl chalange the maystershyp fro me

Yet in my Shyp can I nat want a place.

For in euery place my selfe I oft may se.

But this I leue besechynge eche degre:

To pardon my youthe and to bolde interprise.

For harde is it duely to speke of euery vyce.

For yf I had tunges an hundreth: and wyt to fele

Al thinges natural and supernaturall

A thousand mouthes: and voyce as harde as stele.

And sene all the seuen Sciences lyberal.

Yet cowde I neuer touche the vyces all.

And syn of the worlde: ne theyr braunches comprehende:

Nat thoughe I lyued vnto the worldes ende.

But if these vyces whiche mankynde doth incomber.

Were clene expellyd and vertue in theyr place.

I cowde nat haue gathered of fowles so great a nomber.

Whose foly from them out chaseth goddys grace.

But euery man that knowes hym in that case

To this rude Boke let hym gladly intende.

And lerne the way his lewdnes to amende.

[The Prologe of James Locher.]

After that I haue longe mused by my self of the sore confounded and vncertayne cours of mannys lyfe, and thinges therto belonginge: at the last I haue by my vigilant meditacion found and noted many degrees of errours: wherby mankynd wandreth from the way of trouth I haue also noted that many wyse men and wel lettred haue writen right fruteful doctrines: wherby they haue heled these dyseses and intollerable perturbacions of the mynde: and the goostly woundes therof, moche better than Esculapius which was fyrst Inuentour of Phesyke and amonge the Gentyles worshypped as a God. In the contrey of Grece were stodyes fyrst founded and ordeyned in the which began and sprange holsom medicyne which gaue vnto infect myndes frutful doctryne and norisshinge. Amonge whome Socrates that great begynner and honourer of wysdom began to dispute of ye maners of men. But for that he coude nat fynde certayne ende of goodnes and hyest felicite in naturall thinges: nor induce men to the same, he gaue the hye contemplacions of his mynde to moral vertues. And in so moche passed he al other in Philosophy moral that it was sayde that he called Philosophy down from the Imperial heuen. whan this Socrates perceyued the mindes of men to be prone, and extremely inclyned to viciousnes he had gret affeccion to subdue suche maners. Wherfore in comon places of the Cyte of Athenes he instruct and infourmed the peple in such doctrynes as compasith the clere and immaculate welles of the moste excellent and souerayne gode. After the disces of Socrates succeded ye godly Plato whiche in moral Philosophy ouerpassed also a great part of his tyme And certaynly nat without a cause was he called godly. For by what stody myght be more holely or better socour mankynde than by suche doctrynes as he gaue. He wrote and ordeyned lawes moste egal and iust He edityed vnto the Grekes a comon welthe stable, quyet and commendable. And ordeyned the societe and company of them most iocund and amyable. He prepared a brydel to refrayne the lust and sensualyte of the body. And fynally he changed the yl ignorance feblenes and negligence of youth vnto dylygence, strength and vertue. In tyme also of these Phylosophers sprange the florisshynge age of Poetes: whiche amonge lettred men had nat smal rowme and place. And that for theyr eloquent Retoryke and also for theyr mery ficcions and inuencions. Of the whiche Poetes some wrote in moste ornate termes in ditees heroycal wherin the noble actes and lyues both of dyuyne and humayne creatures ar wont to be noted and writem. Some wrote of tylling of the grounde. Some of the Planetes, of the courses of ye sterres: and of the mouynge of the heuyn and fyrmament. Some of the Empyre and shameful subieccion of disordred loue. And many other of the myserable ruyne and fal of Kynges and princes for vice: as Tragedies. And some other wrote Comedyes with great libertye of speche: which Comedies we cal Interludes. Amonge whome Aristophanes Eupolis and Cratinus mooste laudable Poetes passed al other. For whan they sawe the youth of Athenes and of al the remanent of Grece inclyned to al ylles they toke occasion to note suche myslyuinge. And so in playne wordes they repreued without fauour the vyces of the sayd yl disposyd peple of what condicion or order they were: Of this auncient wrytinge of Comedyes our laten Poetes deuysed a maner of wrytinge nat inelegant. And fyrst Lucilius composed one Satyre in the whiche he wrote by name the vices of certayne princes and Citezyns of Rome And that with many bourdes so yt with his mery speche myxt with rebukes he correct al them of the cyte that disordredly lyued. But this mery speche vsed he nat in his writing to the intent to excercyse wanton wordes or vnrefrayned lascyuyte, or to put his pleasour in suche dissolute langage: but to ye intent to quenche vyces and to prouoke the commons to wysdome and vertue, and to be asshamed of theyr foly and excessyfe lyuynge. of hym all the Latyn poetes haue takyn example, and begynnynge to wryte Satyrs whiche the grekes named Comedyes: As Fabius specifyeth in his X boke of institucions. After Lucilius succeded Horacius, moche more eloquent in wrytynge whiche in the same deseruyd great laude: Persius also left to vs onely one boke by the whiche he commyttyd his name and laude to perpetuall memory. The last and prynce of all was Juuenall whiche in his iocunde poemys comprehendyd al that was wryten most eloquent and pleasaunt of all the poetis of that sorte afore his tyme: O noble men, and diligent hertes and myndes, o laudable maners and tymes, these worthy men exyled ydelnes, wherby they haue obtayned nat small worshyp and great commodyte example and doctryne lefte to vs theyr posteryours why begyn we nat to vnderstonde and perceyue. Why worshyp nat the people of our tyme these poetis why do nat they reuerence to ye interpretours of them do they nat vnderstonde: that no poetes wryte, but outher theyr mynde is to do pleasure or els profyte to the reder, or ellys they togyther wyll doo bothe profyte and pleasoure why are they dyspysed of many rude carters of nowe a dayes which vnderstonde nat them, And for lacke of them haue nat latyn to vtter and expresse ye wyl of their mynde. Se whether poetes ar to be dispised. they laude vertue and hym that vseth it rebukyng vices with the vsers therof, They teche what is good and what is euyll: to what ende vyce, and what ende vertue bringeth vs, and do nat Poetis reuyle and sharply byte in their poemys all suche as ar vnmeke, Prowde, Couetous, Lecherous, Wanton, delycyous, Wrathfull glotons, wasters, Enuyours, Enchauntours, faythebrakers, rasshe, vnauysed, malapert, drunken, vntaught foles, and suche lyke. Shulde theyr writyng that suche thinges disprayse and reuyle be dyspised of many blynde Dotardes yt nowe lyue whiche enuy that any man shulde haue or vnderstonde ye thyng whiche they knowe nat. The Poetes also wyth great lawdes commende and exalt the noble folowers of vertue ascribyng to euery man rewardes after his merytes. And shortly to say, the intencion of al Poetes hath euer ben to repreue vyce: and to commende vertue. But syns it is so that nowe in our dayes ar so many neglygent and folysshe peple that they ar almost innumerable whiche despisynge the loue of vertue: folowe the blyndenes and vanyte of this worlde: it was expedient that of newe some lettred man, wyse, and subtil of wyt shulde awake and touche ye open vices of foles that now lyue: and blame theyr abhomynable lyfe. This fourme and lybertye of writinge, and charge hathe taken vpon hym the Right excellent and worthy Mayster Sebastian Brant Doctour of both the Lawes and noble Oratour and Poete to the comon welthe of al people in playne and comon speche of Doche in the contrey of Almayne: to the ymytacion of Dant Florentyne: and Francis Petrarche Poetes heroycal which in their maternal langage haue composed maruelous Poemes and ficcions. But amonge diuers inuencions composed of the sayde Sebastian brant I haue noted one named ye Shyp of Foles moche expedient and necessary to the redar which the sayd Sebastian composed in doche langage. And after hym one called James Locher his Disciple translated the same into Laten to the vnderstondinge of al Christen nacions where Laten is spoken. Than another (whose name to me is vnknowen) translated the same into Frenche. I haue ouersene the fyrst Inuencion in Doche and after that the two translations in Laten and Frenche whiche in blaminge the disordred lyfe of men of our tyme agreeth in sentence: threfolde in langage wherfore wylling to redres the errours and vyces of this oure Royalme of Englonde: as the foresayde composer and translatours hath done in theyr Contrees I haue taken vpon me: howbeit vnworthy to drawe into our Englysshe tunge the sayd boke named ye shyp of folys as nere to ye sayd thre Langages as the parcyte of my wyt wyll suffer me. But ye reders gyue ye pardon vnto Alexander de Barklay If ignoraunce negligence or lacke of wyt cause hym to erre in this translacion his purpose and synguler desyre is to content youre myndes. And sothely he hathe taken vpon hym the translacion of this present Boke neyther for hope of rewarde nor lawde of man: but onely for the holsome instruccion commodyte and Doctryne of wysdome, and to clense the vanyte and madnes of folysshe people of whom ouer great nombre is in the Royalme of Englonde. Therfore let euery man beholde and ouerrede this boke: And than I doute nat but he shal se the errours of his lyfe of what condycyon that he be. in lyke wyse as he shal se in a Myrrour the fourme of his countenaunce and vysage: And if he amende suche fautes as he redeth here wherein he knoweth hymself gylty, and passe forth the resydue of his lyfe in the order of good maners than shall he haue the fruyte and auauntage wherto I haue translatyd this boke.

Here begynneth the prologe.

Amonge the people of euery regyon

And ouer the worlde, south north eest and west

Soundeth godly doctryne in plenty and foyson

Wherin the grounde of vertue and wysdome doth rest

Rede gode and bad, and kepe the to the best

Was neuer more plenty of holsome doctryne

Nor fewer people that doth therto enclyne

We haue the Bybyll whiche godly doth expresse

Of the olde testament the lawes mysticall

And also of the newe our erour to redresse

Of phylosophy and other artes liberall

With other bokes of vertues morall

But thoughe suche bokes vs godly wayes shewe

We all ar blynde no man wyll them ensue

Banysshed is doctryne, we wander in derknes

Throughe all the worlde: our selfe we wyll not knowe

Wysdome is exyled, alas blynde folysshenes

Mysgydeth the myndes of people hye and lowe

Grace is decayed, yll governaunce doth growe

Both prudent Pallas and Minerua are slayne

Or els to heuyn retourned are they agayne

Knowledge of trouth, Prudence, and iust Symplicite

Hath vs clene left: For we set of them no store.

Our Fayth is defyled loue, goodnes, and Pyte:

Honest maners nowe ar reputed of: no more.

Lawyers ar lordes: but Justice is rent and tore.

Or closed lyke a Monster within dores thre.

For without mede: or money no man can hyr se.

Al is disordred: Vertue hathe no rewarde.

Alas, Compassion: and Mercy bothe ar slayne.

Alas, the stony hartys of pepyl ar so harde

That nought can constrayne theyr folyes to refrayne

But styl they procede: and eche other meyntayne.

So wander these foles: incresinge without nomber.

That al the worlde they vtterly encomber.

Blasphemers of Chryst; Hostlers; and Tauerners:

Crakars and bosters with Courters auenterous,

Bawdes and Pollers with comon extorcioners

Ar taken nowe adayes in the worlde moste glorious.

But the gyftes of grace and al wayes gracious

We haue excluded. Thus lyue we carnally:

Utterly subdued to al lewdnes and Foly.

Thus is of Foles a sorte almost innumerable.

Defilynge the worlde with syn and Vylany.

Some thynkinge them self moche wyse and commendable

Thoughe al theyr dayes they lyue vnthryftely.

No goodnes they perceyue nor to no goode aplye.

But if he haue a great wombe, and his Cofers ful

Than is none holde wyser bytwene London and Hul.

But to assemble these Foles in one bonde.

And theyr demerites worthely to note.

Fayne shal I Shyppes of euery maner londe.

None shalbe left: Barke, Galay, Shyp, nor Bote.

One vessel can nat brynge them al aflote.

For yf al these Foles were brought into one Barge

The bote shulde synke so sore shulde be the charge.

The sayles ar hawsed, a pleasant cole dothe blowe.

The Foles assembleth as fast as they may dryue.

Some swymmeth after: other as thycke doth rowe

In theyr small botes, as Bees about a hyue

The nomber is great, and eche one doth stryue

For to be chefe as Purser and Capytayne

Quarter mayster, Lodesman or els Boteswayne.

They ron to our shyp, eche one doth greatly fere

Lyst his slacke paas, sholde cause hym byde behynde

The wynde ryseth, and is lyke the sayle to tere

Eche one enforseth the anker vp to wynde

The se swellyth by planettes well I fynde

These obscure clowdes threteneth vs tempest

All are nat in bed whiche shall haue yll rest

We are full lade and yet forsoth I thynke

A thousand are behynde, whom we may not receyue

For if we do, our nauy clene shall synke

He oft all lesys that coueytes all to haue

From London Rockes almyghty god vs saue

For if we there anker, outher bote or barge

There be so many that they vs wyll ouercharge

Ye London Galantes, arere, ye shall nat enter

We kepe the streme, and touche nat the shore

In Cyte nor in Court we dare nat well auenter

Lyst perchaunce we sholde displeasure haue therfore

But if ye wyll nedes some shall haue an ore

And all the remenaunt shall stande afar at large

And rede theyr fautes paynted aboute our barge.

Lyke as a myrrour doth represent agayne

The fourme and fygure of mannes countenaunce

So in our shyp shall he se wrytyn playne

The fourme and fygure of his mysgouernaunce

What man is fautles, but outher ignoraunce

Or els wylfulnes causeth hym offende:

Than let hym nat disdayne this shyp, tyll he amende.

And certaynly I thynke that no creature

Lyuynge in this lyfe mortall in transytory

Can hym self kepe and stedfastly endure

Without all spot, as worthy eternall glory

But if he call to his mynde and memory

Fully the dedys both of his youthe and age

He wyll graunt in this shyp to kepe some stage

But who so euer wyll knowlege his owne foly

And it repent, lyuynge after in sympylnesse

Shall haue no place nor rowme more in our nauy

But become felawe to pallas the goddesse

But he that fyxed is in suche a blyndnesse

That thoughe he be nought he thynketh al is well

Suche shall in this Barge bere a babyll and a bell

These with other lyke may eche man se and rede

Eche by themselfe in this small boke ouerall

The fautes shall he fynde if he take good hede

Of all estatis as degres temporall

With gyders of dignytees spirituall

Bothe pore and riche, Chorles and Cytezyns

For hast to lepe a borde many bruse theyr shynnys

Here is berdles youth, and here is crokyd age

Children with theyr faders that yll do them insygne

And doth nat intende theyr wantones to swage

Nouther by worde nor yet by discyplyne

Here be men of euery science and doctryne

Lerned and vnlerned man mayde chylde and wyfe

May here se and rede the lewdenes of theyr lyfe.

Here ar vyle wymen: whome loue Immoderate

And lust Venereall bryngeth to hurt and shame.

Here ar prodigal Galantes: wyth mouers of debate.

And thousandes mo: whome I nat wel dare name.

Here ar Bacbyters whiche goode lyuers dyffame.

Brakers of wedlocke, men proude: and couetous:

Pollers, and pykers with folke delicious.

It is but foly to rehers the names here

Of al suche Foles: as in one Shelde or targe.

Syns that theyr foly dystynctly shal apere

On euery lefe: in Pyctures fayre and large.

To Barclays stody: and Pynsones cost and charge

Wherfore ye redars pray that they both may be saued

Before God, syns they your folyes haue thus graued.

But to thentent that euery man may knowe

The cause of my wrytynge: certes I intende

To profyte and to please both hye and lowe

And blame theyr fautes wherby they may amende

But if that any his quarell wyll defende

Excusynge his fautes to my derysyon

Knowe he that noble poetes thus haue done.

Afore my dayes a thousande yere ago

Blamynge and reuylynge the inconuenyence

Of people, wyllynge them to withdrawe therfro

Them I ensue: nat lyke of intellygence

And though I am nat to them lyke in science

Yet this is my wyll mynde and intencion

To blame all vyce lykewyse as they haue done.

To tender youth my mynde is to auayle

That they eschewe may all lewdenes and offence

Whiche doth theyr myndes often sore assayle

Closynge the iyen of theyr intellygence

But if I halt in meter or erre in eloquence

Or be to large in langage I pray you blame nat me

For my mater is so bad it wyll none other be.

[The Argument.]

Here after foloweth the Boke named the Shyp of Foles of the world: translated out of Laten, French and Doche into Englysse in the Colege of saynt Mary Otery By me Alexander Barclay to the felicite and moste holsom instruccion of mankynde the whiche conteyneth al suche as wandre from the way of trouth and from the open Path of holsom vnderstondynge and wysdom: fallynge into dyuers blyndnesses of ye mynde, folysshe sensualytees, and vndlawful delectacions of the body. This present Boke myght haue ben callyd nat inconuenyently the Satyr (that is to say) the reprehencion of foulysshnes, but the neweltye of the name was more plesant vnto the fyrst actour to call it the Shyp of foles: For in lyke wyse as olde Poetes Satyriens in dyuers Poesyes conioyned repreued the synnes and ylnes of the peple at that tyme lyuynge: so and in lyke wyse this our Boke representeth vnto the iyen of the redars the states and condicions of men: so that euery man may behold within the same the cours of his lyfe and his mysgouerned maners, as he sholde beholde the shadowe of the fygure of his visage within a bright Myrrour. But concernynge the translacion of this Boke: I exhort ye reders to take no displesour for yt it is nat translated word by worde acordinge to ye verses of my actour. For I haue but only drawen into our moder tunge, in rude langage the sentences of the verses as nere as the parcyte of my wyt wyl suffer me, some tyme addynge, somtyme detractinge and takinge away suche thinges a semeth me necessary and superflue. wherfore I desyre of you reders pardon of my presumptuous audacite trustynge that ye shall holde me excused if ye consyder ye scarsnes of my wyt and my vnexpert youthe. I haue in many places ouerpassed dyuers poetical digressions and obscurenes of Fables and haue concluded my worke in rude langage as shal apere in my translacion. But the speciyl cawse that mouethe me to this besynes is to auoyde the execrable inconuenyences of ydilnes whyche (as saint Bernard sayth) is moder of al vices: and to the vtter derision of obstynat men delitynge them in folyes and mysgouernance. But bycause the name of this boke semeth to the redar to procede of derysion: and by that mean that the substance therof shulde nat be profitable: I wyl aduertise you that this Boke is named the Shyp of foles of the worlde: For this worlde is nought els but a tempestous se in the whiche we dayly wander and are caste in dyuers tribulacions paynes and aduersitees: some by ignoraunce and some by wilfulnes: wherfore suche doers ar worthy to be called foles. syns they gyde them nat by reason as creatures resonable ought to do. Therfore the fyrst actoure willynge to deuyde suche foles from wysemen and gode lyuers: hathe ordeyned vpon the se of this worlde this present Shyp to contayne these folys of ye worlde, whiche ar in great nomber. So that who redeth it perfytely consyderynge his secrete dedys, he shall not lyghtly excuse hym selfe out of it, what so euer good name yt he hath outwarde in the mouth of the comontye, And to the entent yt this my laboure may be the more pleasaunt vnto lettred men, I haue adioyned vnto the same ye verses of my Actour with dyuerse concordaunces of the Bybyll to fortyfy my wrytynge by the same, and also to stop the enuyous mouthes (If any suche shal be) of them that by malyce shall barke ayenst this my besynes.

Here begynneth the foles and first inprofytable bokes.

The first fool and his books.

I am the firste fole of all the hole nauy
To kepe the pompe, the helme and eke the sayle
For this is my mynde, this one pleasoure haue I
Of bokes to haue grete plenty and aparayle
I take no wysdome by them: nor yet auayle
Nor them preceyue nat: And then I them despyse
Thus am I a foole and all that sewe that guyse

That in this shyp the chefe place I gouerne

By this wyde see with folys wanderynge

The cause is playne, and easy to dyscerne

Styll am I besy bokes assemblynge

For to haue plenty it is a plesaunt thynge

In my conceyt and to haue them ay in honde

But what they mene do I nat vnderstonde

But yet I haue them in great reuerence

And honoure sauynge them from fylth and ordure

By often brusshynge, and moche dylygence

Full goodly bounde in pleasaunt couerture

Of domas, satyn, or els of veluet pure

I kepe them sure ferynge lyst they sholde be lost

For in them is the connynge wherin I me bost.

But if it fortune that any lernyd men

Within my house fall to disputacion

I drawe the curtyns to shewe my bokes then

That they of my cunnynge sholde make probacion

I kepe nat to fall in altercacion

And whyle they comon my bokes I turne and wynde

For all is in them, and no thynge in my mynde.

Tholomeus the riche causyd longe agone

Ouer all the worlde good bokes to be sought

Done was his commaundement anone

These bokes he had and in his stody brought

Whiche passyd all erthly treasoure as he thought

But neuertheles he dyd hym nat aply

Unto theyr doctryne, but lyued unhappely.

Lo in lyke wyse of bokys I haue store

But fewe I rede, and fewer understande

I folowe nat theyr doctryne nor theyr lore

It is ynoughe to bere a boke in hande

It were to moche to be it suche a bande

For to be bounde to loke within the boke

I am content on the fayre couerynge to loke

Why sholde I stody to hurt my wyt therby

Or trouble my mynde with stody excessyue

Sythe many ar whiche stody right besely

And yet therby shall they neuer thryue

The fruyt of wysdom can they nat contryue

And many to stody so moche are inclynde

That utterly they fall out of theyr mynde

Eche is nat lettred that nowe is made a lorde

Nor eche a clerke that hath a benefyce

They are nat all lawyers that plees doth recorde

All that are promotyd are nat fully wyse

On suche chaunce nowe fortune throwys hir dyce

That thoughe one knowe but the yresshe game

Yet wolde he haue a gentyllmannys name

So in lyke wyse I am in suche case

Thoughe I nought can I wolde be callyd wyse

Also I may set another in my place

Whiche may for me my bokes excercyse

Or else I shall ensue the comon gyse

And say concedo to euery argument

Lyst by moche speche my latyn sholde be spent

I am lyke other Clerkes whiche so frowardly them gyde.

That after they ar onys come vnto promocion

They gyue them to plesour theyr stody set asyde.

Theyr Auaryce couerynge with fayned deuocion.

Yet dayly they preche: and haue great derysyon

Against the rude Laymen: and al for Couetyse.

Though theyr owne Conscience be blynded wt that vyce.

But if I durst trouth playnely vtter and expresse.

This is the special cause of this Inconuenyence.

That greatest foles, and fullest of lewdnes

Hauynge least wyt: and symplest Science

Ar fyrst promoted: and haue greatest reuerence

For if one can flater, and bere a hawke on his Fyst

He shalbe made Person of Honyngton or of Clyst.

But he that is in Stody ay ferme and diligent.

And without al fauour prechyth Chrystys lore

Of al the Comontye nowe adayes is sore shent.

And by Estates thretened to Pryson oft therfore.

Thus what auayle is it, to vs to Stody more:

To knowe outher scripture, trouth, wysedom, or vertue

Syns fewe, or none without fauour dare them shewe.

But O noble Doctours, that worthy ar of name:

Consyder our olde faders: note wel theyr diligence:

Ensue ye theyr steppes: obtayne ye such fame,

As they dyd lyuynge: and that by true Prudence.

Within theyr hartys they planted theyr scyence

And nat in plesaunt bokes. But nowe to fewe suche be.

Therefore in this Shyp let them come rowe with me.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay Translatour exortynge the foles accloyed with this vice to amende theyr foly.

Say worthy doctours and Clerkes curious:

What moueth you of Bokes to haue such nomber.

Syns dyuers doctrines throughe way contrarious.

Doth mannys mynde distract and sore encomber.

Alas blynde men awake, out of your slomber

And if ye wyl nedys your bokes multyplye

With diligence endeuer you some to occupye.

Of euyl Counsellours, Juges and men of lawe.

The fools that would seeth a quick sow in a pan.

He that Office hath and hyghe autorite.
To rule a Royalme: as Juge or Counsellour
Which seynge Justice, playne ryght and equyte
Them falsly blyndeth by fauour or rigour
Condemnynge wretches gyltles. And to a Transgressour
For mede shewinge fauour. Suche is as wyse a man
As he that wolde seeth a quycke Sowe in a Pan.

Right many labours nowe, with hyghe diligence

For to be Lawyers the Comons to counsayle.

Therby to be in honour had and in reuerence

But onely they labour for theyr pryuate auayle.

The purs of the Clyent shal fynde hym apparayle.

And yet knowes he neyther lawe good counsel nor Justice.

But speketh at auenture: as men throwe the dyce.

Suche in the Senate ar taken oft to counsayle

With Statis of this and many a other region.

Whiche of theyr maners vnstable ar and frayle

Nought of Lawe Ciuyl knowinge nor Canon.

But wander in derknes clerenes they haue none.

O noble Rome thou gat nat thy honours

Nor general Empyre by suche Counsellours.

Whan noble Rome all the worlde dyd gouerne

Theyr councellers were olde men iust and prudent

Whiche egally dyd euery thynge descerne

Wherby theyr Empyre became so excellent

But nowe a dayes he shall haue his intent

That hath most golde, and so it is befall

That aungels worke wonders in westmynster hall.

There cursyd coyne makyth the wronge seme right

The cause of hym that lyueth in pouertye

Hath no defence, tuycion, strength nor myght

Suche is the olde custome of this faculte

That colours oft cloke Justyce and equyte

None can the mater fele nor vnderstonde

Without the aungell be weyghty in his honde

Thus for the hunger of syluer and of golde

Justyce and right is in captyuyte

And as we se nat gyuen fre, but solde

Nouther to estates, nor sympell comonte

And though that many lawyers rightwysnes be

Yet many other dysdayne to se the ryght

And they ar suche as blynde Justycis syght

There is one and other alleged at the barre

And namely suche as chrafty were in glose

Upon the lawe: the clyentis stande afarre

Full lytell knowynge howe the mater goose

And many other the lawes clene transpose

Folowynge the example, of lawyers dede and gone

Tyll the pore Clyentis be etyn to the bone

It is not ynough to conforme thy mynde

Unto the others faynyd opynyon

Thou sholde say trouthe, so Justyce doth the bynde

And also lawe gyueth the commyssyon

To knowe hir, and kepe hir without transgressyon

Lyst they whome thou hast Juged wrongfully

Unto the hye Juge for vengeaunce on the crye.

Perchaunce thou thynkest that god taketh no hede

To mannes dedys, nor workes of offence

Yes certaynly he knowes thy thought and dede

No thynge is secrete, nor hyd from his presence

Wherefore if thou wylt gyde the by prudence

Or thou gyue Jugement of mater lesse or more

Take wyse mennys reade and good counsayle before

Loke in what Balance, what weyght and what mesure

Thou seruest other. for thou shalt serued be

With the same after this lyfe I the ensure.

If thou ryghtwysly Juge by lawe and equyte

Thou shalt haue presence of goddes hyghe maiestye

But if thou Juge amys: than shall Eacus

(As Poetis sayth) hell Juge thy rewarde discusse

God is aboue and regneth sempiternally.

Whiche shall vs deme at his last Jugement,

And gyue rewardes to echone egally

After suche fourme as he his lyfe hath spent

Than shall we them se whome we as violent

Traytours: haue put to wronge in worde or dede

And after our deserte euen suche shall be our mede

There shall be no Bayle nor treatynge of maynpryse

Ne worldly wysdome there shall no thynge preuayle

There shall be no delayes vntyll another Syse

But outher quyt, or to infernall Gayle.

Ill Juges so iuged, Lo here theyr trauayle

Worthely rewarded in wo withouten ende.

Than shall no grace be graunted ne space to amende.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay the translatour.

Therfore ye yonge Studentes of the Chauncery:

(I speke nat to the olde the Cure of them is past)

Remember that Justyce longe hath in bondage be

Reduce ye hir nowe vnto lybertye at the last.

Endeuer you hir bondes to louse or to brast

Hir raunsome is payde and more by a thousande pounde

And yet alas the lady Justyce lyeth bounde.

Thoughe your fore Faders haue take hir prysoner

And done hir in a Dongeon nat mete for hir degre

Lay to your handes and helpe hir from daungere

And hir restore vnto hir lybertye

That pore men and monyles may hir onys se

But certaynly I fere lyst she hath lost hir name

Or by longe prysonment shall after euer be lame.

Of Auaryce or Couetyse and prodygalyte.

Gathering riches.

Ye that ar gyuen ouer moche to Couetyse
Come nere, a place is here for you to dwel
Come nere ye wastfull people in lyke wyse
Youre rowme shall be hye in the Topcastell
Ye care for no shame, for heuen nor for hell
Golde is your god, ryches gotten wrongfully
Ye dame your soule, and yet lyue in penury.

He that is besy euery day and houre

Without mesure, maner, or moderacion

To gather riches and great store of treasoure

Therof no ioy takinge, confort nor consolacion.

He is a Fole: and of blynde and mad opynyon

For that which he getteth and kepeth wrongfully

His heyre often wasteth moche more vnthryftely.

While he here lyueth in this lyfe caduke and mortal.

Ful sore he laboureth: and oft hungry gothe to bed

Sparinge from hymselfe: for hym that neuer shal

After do hym goode. thoughe he were harde bested.

Thus is this Couetous wretche so blyndly led

By the fende that here he lyueth wretchydly

And after his deth damned eternally.

There wandreth he in dolour and derknes

Amonge infernall flodes tedyous and horryble

Let se what auayleth than all his ryches

Ungracyously gotyne, his paynes ar terryble

Than wolde he amende but it is inpossyble

In hell is no order nor hope of remedy

But sorowe vpon sorowe, and that euerlastyngly.

Yet fynde I another vyce as bad as this

Whiche is the vyce of prodygalyte

He spendyth all in ryot and amys

Without all order, pursuynge pouertye

He lyketh nat to lyue styll in prosperite

But all and more he wastyth out at large

(Beware the ende) is the leste poynt of his charge.

But of the couetous somwhat to say agayne

Thou art a fole thy soule to sell for riches

Or put thy body to labour or to payne

Thy mynde to fere, thy herte to heuynesse

Thou fole thou fleest no maner cruelnesse

So thou may get money, to make thy heyr a knyght

Thou sleest thy soule where as thou saue it myght

Thou hast no rest thy mynde is euer in fere

Of mysauenture, nor neuer art content

Deth is forgoten, thou carest nat a here

To saue thy soule from infernall punysshement

If thou be dampned, than art thou at thy stent

By thy ryches which thou here hast left behynde

To thy executours, thou shalt small comforte fynde

Theyr custome is to holde fast that they haue

Thy pore soule shall be farthest fro theyr thought

If that thy carkes be brought onys in the graue

And that they haue thy bagges in handes cought

What say they, than (by god the man had nought)

Whyle he here lyuyd he was to lyberall

Thus dampned is thy soule, thy ryches cause of all

Who wyll denay but it is necesary

Of riches for to haue plenty and store

To this opynyon I wyll nat say contrary

So it be ordred after holy lore

Whyle thy selfe leuest departe some to the pore

With thy owne hande trust nat thy executours

Gyue for god, and god shall sende at all houres

Rede Tullius warkes the worthy Oratour.

And writen shalt thou fynde in right fruteful sentence

That neuer wyseman loued ouer great honour.

Nor to haue great riches put ouer great diligence

But onely theyr mynde was set on Sapience

And quyetly to lyue in Just symplycite.

For in greatest honour is greatest ieoperdye.

He that is symple, and on the grounde doth lye

And that can be content with ynoughe or suffisaunce

Is surer by moche than he that lyeth on hye.

Nowe vp nowe downe vnsure as a Balaunce.

But sothly he that set wyll his plesance

Onely on wysdom and styl therfore labour.

Shal haue more goode than all erthly tresour.

Wysdom techeth to eschewe al offence.

Gydynge mankynde the ryght way to vertue.

But of couetyse Comys all Inconuenyence.

It cawseth man of worde to be vntrue.

Forswerynge and falshode doth it also ensue.

Brybery and Extorcion, murder and myschefe.

Shame is his ende: his lyuyinge is reprefe.

By couetyse Crassus brought was to his ende.

By it the worthy Romayns lost theyr name.

Of this one yl a thousand ylles doth descende.

Besyde enuy, Pryde, wretchydnes and Shame.

Crates the Philosopher dyd Couetyse so blame:

That to haue his mynde vnto his stody fre.

He threwe his Tresour all hole into the see.

But shortly to conclude. Both bodely bondage.

And gostly also: procedeth of this couetyse.

The soule is damned the body hath damage

As hunger, thyrst, and colde with other preiudice.

Bereft of the ioyes of heuenly Paradyse.

For golde was theyr god and that is left behynde

Theyr bodyes beryed the soule clene out of mynde

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay translatour.

Therefore thou couetouse thou wretch I speke to the.

Amende thy selfe ryse out of this blyndenes.

Content the wyth ynoughe for thy degre.

Dam nat thy soule by gatheringe frayle riches

Remembre this is a Uale of wretchednes.

Thou shalt no rest nor dwellynge place here fynde.

Depart thou shalt and leue it al behynde.

Of newe fassions and disgised Garmentes.

Their goods are wasted, lost, and spent.

Who that newe garmentes loues or deuyses.
Or weryth by his symple wyt, and vanyte
Gyuyth by his foly and vnthryfty gyses
Moche yl example to yonge Comontye.
Suche one is a Fole and skant shal euer thee
And comonly it is sene that nowe a dayes
One Fole gladly folowes anothers wayes.

Drawe nere ye Courters and Galants disgised

Ye counterfayt Caytifs, that ar nat content

As god hath you made: his warke is despysed

Ye thynke you more crafty than God onipotent.

Unstable is your mynde: that shewes by your garment.

A fole is knowen by his toyes and his Cote.

But by theyr clothinge nowe may we many note.

Aparayle is apayred. Al sadness is decayde

The garmentes ar gone that longed to honestye.

And in newe sortes newe Foles ar arayede

Despisynge the costom of good antiquyte.

Mannys fourme is disfigured with euery degre

As Knyght Squyer yeman Jentilman and knaue,

For al in theyr goynge vngoodely them behaue

The tyme hath ben, nat longe before our dayes

Whan men with honest ray coude holde them self content.

Without these disgised: and counterfayted wayes.

Wherby theyr goodes ar wasted, loste, and spent.

Socrates with many mo in wysdom excellent.

Bycause they wolde nought change that cam of nature

Let growe theyre here without cuttinge or scissure.

At that tyme was it reputed to lawde and great honour.

To haue longe here: the Beerde downe to the brest

For so they vsed that were of moste valour.

Stryuynge together who myht be godlyest

Saddest, moste clenely, discretest, and moste honest.

But nowe adayes together we contende and stryue.

Who may be gayest: and newest wayes contryue.

Fewe kepeth mesure, but excesse and great outrage

In theyr aparayle. And so therin they procede

That theyr goode is spent: theyr Londe layde to morgage.

Or solde out right: of Thryft they take no hede.

Hauinge no Peny them to socour at theyr nede.

So whan theyr goode by suche wastefulnes is loste.

They sel agayne theyr Clothes for half that they coste.

A fox furred Jentelman: of the fyrst yere or hede.

If he be made a Bailyf a Clerke or a Constable.

And can kepe a Parke or Court and rede a Dede

Than is Ueluet to his state mete and agreable.

Howbeit he were more mete to here a Babyl.

For his Foles Hode his iyen so sore doth blynde

That Pryde expelleth his lynage from his mynde.

Yet fynde I another sort almoste as bad as thay.

As yonge Jentylmen descended of worthy Auncetry.

Whiche go ful wantonly in dissolute aray.

Counterfayt, disgised, and moche vnmanerly

Blasinge and garded: to lowe or else to hye.

And wyde without mesure: theyr stuffe to wast thus gothe

But other some they suffer to dye for lacke of clothe.

Some theyr neckes charged with colers, and chaynes

As golden withtthes: theyr fyngers ful of rynges:

Theyr neckes naked: almoste vnto the raynes

Theyr sleues blasinge lyke to a Cranys wynges

Thus by this deuysinge suche counterfayted thinges

They dysfourme that figure that god hymselfe hath made

On pryde and abusion thus ar theyr myndes layde.

Than the Courters careles that on theyr mayster wayte

Seinge hym his Uesture in suche fourme abuse

Assayeth suche Fassion for them to counterfayte.

And so to sue Pryde contynually they muse.

Than stele they; or Rubbe they. Forsoth they can nat chuse.

For without Londe or Labour harde is it to mentayne.

But to thynke on the Galows that is a careful payne.

But be it payne or nat: there many suche ende.

At Newgate theyr garmentis ar offred to be solde.

Theyr bodyes to the Jebet solemly ascende.

Wauynge with the wether whyle theyr necke wyl holde.

But if I shulde wryte al the ylles manyfolde.

That procedeth of this counterfayt abusion

And mysshapen Fassions: I neuer shulde haue done.

For both States, comons, man, woman, and chylde

Ar vtterly inclyed to this inconuenyence.

But namely therwith these Courters are defyled.

Bytwen mayster and man I fynde no dyfference.

Therfore ye Courters knowledge your offence.

Do nat your errour mentayne, support nor excuse.

For Fowles ye ar your Rayment thus to abuse.

To Shyp Galauntes come nere I say agayne.

Wyth your set Busshes Curlynge as men of Inde.

Ye counterfayted Courters come with your fleinge brayne

Expressed by these variable Garmentes that ye fynde.

To tempt chast Damsels and turne them to your mynde

Your breste ye discouer and necke. Thus your abusion

Is the Fendes bate. And your soules confusion.

Come nere disgysed foles: receyue your Foles Hode.

And ye that in sondry colours ar arayde.

Ye garded galantes wastinge thus your goode

Come nere with your Shertes brodered and displayed.

In fourme of Surplys. Forsoth it may be sayde.

That of your Sort right fewe shal thryue this yere.

Or that your faders werith suche Habyte in the Quere.

And ye Jentyl wymen whome this lewde vice doth blynde

Lased on the backe: your peakes set a loft.

Come to my Shyp. forget ye nat behynde.

Your Sadel on the tayle: yf ye lyst to sit soft.

Do on your Decke Slut: if ye purpos to come oft.

I mean your Copyntanke: And if it wyl do no goode.

To kepe you from the rayne. ye shall haue a foles hode.

By the ale stake knowe we the ale hous

And euery Jnne is knowen by the sygne

So a lewde woman and a lechcrous

Is knowen by hir clothes, be they cours or fyne

Folowynge newe fassyons, not graunted by doctryne

The bocher sheweth his flesshe it to sell

So doth these women dampnyng theyr soule to hell

What shall I more wryte of our enormyte

Both man and woman as I before haue sayde

Ar rayde and clothyd nat after theyr degre

As nat content with the shape that god hath made

The clenlynes of Clergye is nere also decayed.

Our olde apparale (alas) is nowe layde downe

And many prestes asshamed of theyr Crowne.

Unto laymen we vs refourme agayne

As of chryste our mayster in maner halfe asshamed

My hert doth wepe: my tunge doth sore complayne

Seing howe our State is worthy to be blamed.

But if all the Foly of our Hole Royalme were named

Of mys apparayle of Olde, young, lowe, and hye,

The tyme shulde fayle: and space to me denye.

Alas thus al states of Chrysten men declynes.

And of wymen also disfourmynge theyr fygure.

Wors than the Turkes, Jewes, or Sarazyns.

A Englonde Englonde amende or be thou sure

Thy noble name and fame can nat endure

Amende lyst god do greuously chastyce.

Bothe the begynners and folowes of this vyce.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay ye translatour.

Reduce courters clerly vnto your rembrance

From whens this disgysyng was brought wherein ye go

As I remember it was brought out of France.

This is to your plesour. But payne ye had also.

As French Pockes hote ylles with other paynes mo.

Take ye in good worth the swetnes with the Sour.

For often plesour endeth with sorowe and dolour.

But ye proude Galaundes that thus yourselfe disgise

Be ye asshamed. beholde vnto your Prynce.

Consyder his sadnes: His honestye deuyse

His clothynge expresseth his inwarde prudence

Ye se no Example of suche Inconuenyence

In his hyghnes: but godly wyt and grauyte.

Ensue hym: and sorowe for your enormyte.

Away with this pryde, this statelynes let be

Rede of the Prophetis clothynge or vesture

And of Adam firste of your ancestrye

Of Johnn the Prophete, theyr clothynge was obscure

Uyle and homly, but nowe what creature

Wyll then eusue, sothly fewe by theyr wyll

Therfore suche folys my nauy shall fulfyll

Of old folys that is to say the longer they lyue the more they ar gyuen to foly.

The old fool.

Howe beit I stoup, and fast declyne
Dayly to my graue, and sepulture
And though my lyfe fast do enclyne
To pay the trybute of nature
Yet styll remayne I and endure
In my olde synnes, and them nat hate
Nought yonge, wors olde, suche is my state.

The madnes of my youthe rotyd in my age

And the blynde foly of my iniquite

Wyll me nat suffer to leue myne old vsage

Nor my fore lyuynge full of enormyte

Lame ar his lymmys, and also I can nat se

I am a childe and yet lyuyd haue I

An hundreth wynter, encresynge my foly.

But though I myght lerne my wyll is nat therto

But besy I am and fully set my thought

To gyue example to children to mysdo

By my lewde doctryne bryngynge them to nought

And whan they ar onys into my daunce brought

I teche them my foly wysdome set asyde

My selfe example, begynner, and theyr gyde.

My lewde lyfe, my foly and my selfwyllyd mynde

Whiche I haue styll kept hytherto in this lyfe

In my testament I leue wryten behynde

Bequethyng parte both to man childe and wyfe

I am the actour of myschefe and of stryfe

The foly of my youth and the inconuenyence

In age I practyse, techynge by experyence

I am a fole and glad am of that name

Desyrynge lawde for eche vngracious dede

And of my foly to spred abrode the same

To showe my vyce and synne, as voyde of drede

Of heuen or hell. therfore I take no hede

But as some stryue disputynge of theyr cunnynge

Right so do I in lewdnes and myslyuynge.

Somtyme I bost me of falshode and dysceyt

Somtyme of the sede that sawyn is by me

Of all myschefe, as murder flatery debate

Couetyse bacbytynge theft and lechery

My mynde is nat to mende my iniquyte

But rather I sorowe that my lyfe is wore

That I can nat do as I haue done before

But syns my lyfe so sodaynly dothe apeyre

That byde I can nat styll in this degre

I shall infourme and teche my sone and heyre

To folowe his fader, and lerne this way of me

The way is large, god wot glad shall he be

Lernynge my lore with affeccion and desyre

And folowe the steppys of his vnthryfty syre

I trust so crafty and wyse to make the lad

That me his father he shall pas and excell

O that my herte shall than be wonder glad

If I here of may knowe, se, or here tell

If he be false faynynge sotyll or cruell

And so styll endure I haue a speciall hope

To make hym scrybe to a Cardynall or Pope.

Or els if he can be a fals extorcyoner

Fasynge and bostynge to scratche and to kepe

He shall be made a comon costomer

As yche hope of Lyn Calays or of Depe

Than may he after to some great offyce crepe

So that if he can onys plede a case

He may be made Juge of the comon place.

Thus shall he lyue as I haue all his dayes

And in his age increas his folysshenes

His fader came to worshyp by suche ways

So shall the sone, if he hym selfe addres

To sue my steppes in falshode and lewdnes

And at leste if he can come to no degre

This shyp of folys shall he gouerne with me

Barklay To the Folys.

Awake age alas what thynkest thou be

Awake I say out of thy blynde derkenes

Remembrest thou nat that shortly thou shalt dye

Aryse from synne amende thy folysshenes

Though thy youth reted were in vyciousnes

Aryse in age is full tyme to leue it

Thy graue is open thy one fote in the pyt

Leue thy bostynge of that thou hast done amys

Bewayle thy synnes, sayeng with rufull mone

Delicta iuuentutis mee deus ne memineris

Amende the or thy youth be fully gone

That sore is harde to hele that bredes in the bone

He that is nought yonge, procedynge so in age

Shall skant euer his vyciousnes asswage

What thinge is more abhomynable in goddes syght.

Than vicious age: certaynly no thynge.

It is eke worldly shame, whan thy corage and mycht

Is nere dekayed, to kepe thy lewde lyuynge.

And by example of the, thy yonge children to brynge.

Into a vicious lyfe: and all goodnes to hate.

Alas age thus thou art the Fendes bate.

Of the erudicion of neglygent faders anenst theyr chyldren.

The fool that suffers his children to offend.

That fole that suffreth his Chylde for to offende
Wythout rebukynge, blame, and correccion.
And hym nat exhorteth, hymselfe to amende.
Of suche fawtes as by hym ar done.
Shal it sore repent: god wote howe sone
For oft the faders foly, fauour, and neglygence
Causeth the Chylde for to fall to great offence

A myserable Fole euermore shal he be.

A wretche vnauysed, and a Catyf blynde.

Whiche his chyldren fawtes forseth nat to see

Hauynge no care for to induce theyr mynde

To godly vertue: and vyce to leue behynde.

For whyle they ar yonge fereful and tender of age

Theyre vyce and foly is easy to asswage.

Two dyuers sortes of these foles may we fynde.

By whome theyr chyldren ar brought to confusion.

The one is neglygent. the other is starke blynde.

Nat wyllynge to beholde his childes yl condicion.

Whyle he is in youthe: But for a conclusion

He is a Fole that wyl nat se theyr vyce.

And he that seyth: and wyl it nat chastyce.

Alas thou art a cursed counselloure

To wanton youth that tender is of age

To let them wander without gouernoure

Or wyse mayster, in youthes furious rage

Get them a mayster theyr foly to asswage

For as a herdles flocke strayth in Jepardy

So children without gyde wandreth in foly.

To moche lyberty pleasoure and lycence

Gyuen vnto youth, whether it be or age

Right often causyth great inconuenyence

As ryot mysrule with other sore damage

Theyr londe and goodes solde or layde to gage

But thou folysshe father art redy to excuse

Thy yonge children of theyr synne and abuse

Thou sayst they ar ouer tender to eschewe

Theyr folysshe maners and they haue no skyll

To knowe the wayes of goodnes or vertue

Nor to discerne what is gode, what is yll

Thou blynde dodart these wordes holde thou styll

Theyr youth can nat excuse thy folysshenes

He that can yll as well myght lerne goodnes

A yonge hert is as apt to take wysdome

As is an olde, and if it rotyd be

It sawyth sede of holy lyfe to come

Also in children we often tymes se

Great aptness outwarde and syne of grauyte

But fyll an erthen pot first with yll lycoure

And euer after it shall smell somwhat soure

So youth brought vp in lewdnes and in sin

Shall skant it shrape so clene out of his mynde

But that styll after some spot wyll byde within

A lytell twygge plyant is by kynde

A bygger braunche is harde to bowe or wynde

But suffer the braunche to a byg tre to growe

And rather it shall brake than outher wynde or bowe

Correct thy childe whyle he is lyke a twygge

Soupyll and plyant, apt to correccion

It wyll be harde forsoth whan he is bygge

To brynge his stubron herte to subieccion

What hurtyth punysshement with moderacion

Unto yonge children, certaynely no thynge

It voydeth vyce, gettynge vertue and cunnynge

Say folysshe fader haddest thou leuer se

Thy sonnes necke vnwrested wyth a rope.

Than with a rod his skyn shulde brokyn be.

And oft thou trustest: and hast a stedfast hope

To se thy son promoted nere as hye as is the Pope

But yet perchaunce mourne thou shalt ful sore.

For his shameful ende: fortuned for lacke of lore.

Some folowe theyr chyldrens wyl and lewde plesour

So grauntinge them theyr mynde: that after it doth fal

To theyr great shame: they sorowe and dolour

As dyd to Priamus a Kynge Imperial

Whiche suffred his men: his son chefe of them al

By force from Grece to robbe the fayre Helayne.

Wherby both Fader and son were after slayne.

With noble Hector and many thousandes mo.

The Cyte of Troy vnto the ground clene brent.

I rede in the Cronycles of the Romayns also

Howe Tarquyne the proude had shame and punysshment

For rauysshynge chaste Lucres agaynst hyr assent.

Wherfore hyrselfe she slewe hyr seynge thus defiled.

For the which dede this Tarquyn was exiled,

From Rome: wandrynge in the Costes of Italy.

Dyd nat the traytour Catelyne also conspyre

And many mo sworne to his cruel tyranny

Agaynst the Romans to oppresse theyr Impyre,

But he and all his were murdred for theyr hyre,

And nat vnworthely. Beholde wherto they come

Which ar nat enfourmed in youth to ensue wysdom.

The son oft foloweth the faders behauour

And if the fader be discrete and vertuous.

The son shal suche wayes practyse both day and hour.

But if that the fader be lewde and vicious

By falshode lyuynge: and by wayes cautelous.

The son also the same wayes wyl ensue

And that moche rather than goodnes or vertue

Therfore it nedeth that better prouysion.

Were founde for youthe by sad and wyse counsayle

Far from theyr faders of this condicion.

And other lewde gydes which myght theyr myndes assayle

Greuously wyth syn. So were it theyr auayle

From theyr faders frawde and falshode to declyne

And them submyt to some lawdable mannys doctryne.

Peleus, somtyme a noble and worthy kynge

Subdued Achylles vnto the doctryne

Of phenix whiche was both worthy and cunnynge

Wherfore Achyllys right gladly dyd enclyne

With his hert and mynde vnto his disciplyne

Wherby his name so noble was at the last

That all Asy in worthynes he past

Ryght so Philippus a kynge worthy of name

Ouer all Grece made great iniquicion

To fynde one wyse, sad and laudable of fame

To Alexander his sonne for to gyue Instruccion

Founde was great Aristotyl at the conclusion

Disciple of Plato. whiche in euery Science.

Infourmed this chylde with parfyte diligence.

Whiche Alexander afterward had so great dignyte.

What by his strength, his cunnynge, and boldenes.

That he was lorde both of Londe and See.

And none durst rebel aganst his worthynes.

Lo here the lawde, the honour, and nobles.

Which dothe procede of vertue and doctryne

But few ar the faders that nowe hereto inclyne

Fewe ar that forceth nowe adayes to se

Theyr chyldren taught: or to do any cost

On som sad man, wyse, and of auctorite:

Al that is theron bestowed thynke they loste.

The folyssh Fader oft tymes maketh great boste.

That he his son to habundant riches shal auance

But no thynge he speketh of vertuous gouernance.

The feder made but smal shyft or prouysion.

To induce his Son by vertuous doctryne.

But whan he is dede and past: moche les shal the son

To stody of grace his mynde or hert inclyne.

But abuse his reason: and from al good declyne.

Alas folysshe faders gyue your aduertence

To Crates complaynt comprysed in this sentence.

If it were graunted to me to shewe my thought

Ye follysshe faders Caytifes I myght you cal

Whiche gather riches to brynge your chylde to nought.

Gyuynge him occasion forto be prodigal.

But goode nor cunnynge shewe ye hym none at all.

But whan ye drawe to age, ye than moste comonly.

Sorowe for your suffrance. But without remedy.

An olde sore to hele is oft halfe incurable

Ryght so ar these Chyldren roted in myschefe

Some after euer lyueth a lyfe abhomynable

To all theyr Kyn great sorowe and reprefe.

The one is a murderer the other a fereles thefe,

The one of god nor goode man hath no fors ne care.

Another so out wasteth that his frendes ar ful bare.

Some theyr londe and lyuelode in riot out wasteth,

At cardes, and, tenys, and other vnlawful gamys.

And some wyth the Dyce theyr thryft away casteth.

Some theyr soule damnes, and theyr body shames.

With flesshly lust: which many one dyffamys.

Spendynge the floures of youth moche vnthryftely.

On dyuers Braunches that longe to Lechery.

Another delyteth hymselfe in Glotony.

Etynge and drynkynge without maner, or mesure:

The more that some drynke: the more they wax drye.

He is moste Galant whyche lengest can endure.

Thus without mesure ouercharge they theyr nature.

So that theyr Soule is loste theyr body and goode is spent.

For lacke of doctryne, Norture and punysshment.

Se here playne prose, example and euydence

Howe youthe which is nat norysshed in doctryne.

In age is gyuen vnto al Inconuenyence.

But nought shall make youthe soner forto inclyne.

To noble maners: nor Godly dysciplyne:

Than shal the doctryne of a mayster wyse and sad:

For the rote of vertue and wysdome therby is had.

Without dout Noblenes is moche excellent

Whiche oft causeth youth to be had in great honour.

To haue the name, and lawde they ar content.

Thoughe it be nat gotten by theyr owne labour.

But what auayleth them this lewde obscure errour

Of suche hye byrthe them self to magnyfy.

Sythe they defyle it with vice and Uilany.

Why art thou proude thou foul of that nobles

Whyche is nat gotten by thyne owne vertue.

By thy goode maners, wyt nor worthynes:

But this forsothe oft tymes fynde I true

That of a goode beste, yl whelpes may weshewe.

In lyke wyse of a Moder that is bothe chast and goode.

Often is brought forth a ful vngracious Brode.

But though the childe be of lewde condicion

And of his nature frowarde and varyable

If the fader be slacke in the correccion

Of his childe, he onely is culpable

Whiche wyll nat teche hym maners commendable

Thus is the fader a fole for his suffraunce

And the sone also for his mysgouernaunce

The Enuoy.

Auoyd faders your fauour and suffraunce

Anenst your children in theyr faute and offence

Reduce ye clerely vnto your remembraunce

That many a thousande inconuenyence

Haue children done by theyr faders negligence

But to say trouth brefely in one clause

The fader's fauour onely is the cause

Of tale berers, fals reporters, and prometers of stryfes.

The reward of the talebearers.

Of folys yet fynde I another maner sorte
Whiche ar cause of brawlynge stryfe and deuysion
Suche ar dowble tongyd that lesyngys reporte
Therby trustynge to come to great promosion
But suche lewde caytyfes at the conclusion
Bytwene two mylstons theyr legges puttes to grynde
And for rewarde, theyr confusion shall they fynde.

Some ar that thynke the pleasoure and ioy of theyr lyfe

To brynge men in brawlynge to discorde and debate

Enioynge to moue them to chydynge and to stryfe

And where loue before was to cause mortall hate

With the comonty, and many great estate

Suche is moche wors than outher murderer or thefe

For ofte of his talys procedeth grete myschefe

Within his mouth is venym Jeperdous and vyle

His tonge styll laboryth lesynges to contryue

His mynde styll museth of falshode and on gyle

Therwith to trobyll suche as gladly wolde nat stryue

Somtyme his wordes as dartis he doth dryue

Agaynst good men: for onely his delyte.

Is set to sclaunder to diffame and bacbyte.

And namely them that fautles ar and innocent.

Of conscience clene, and maners commendable

These dryuyls sclaunder, beynge full dilygent.

To deuyde, louers that ar moste agreable

His tonge Infect his mynde abhomynable

Infectyth loue and ouertourneth charyte

Of them that longe tyme haue lyuyd in amyte

But he that accused is thus without all faute

And so sclaundred of this caytyf vnthryfty

Knowyth nought of this ieoperdous assaute

For he nought dowteth that is no thynge fauty

Thus whyle he nought feryth comyth sodaynly

This venemous doloure distaynynge his gode name

And so gyltles put to rebuke, and to shame.

Thus if one serche and seke the worlde ouerall

Than a backbyter nought is more peryllous

His mynde myscheuous, his wordys ar mortall

His damnable byt is foule and venemous

A thousande lyes of gyles odyous

He castyth out where he wolde haue debate

Engendrynge murder whan he his tyme can wayt

Where as any frendes lyueth in accorde

Faythfull and true: this cowarde and caytyf

With his fals talys them bryngeth to dyscorde

And with his venym kepeth them in stryfe

But howe beit that he thus pas forth his lyfe

Sawynge his sede of debate and myschefe

His darte oft retourneth to his own reprefe

But nat withstandynge, suche boldely wyl excuse

His fals dyffamynge: as fautles and innocent.

If any hym for his dedes worthely accuse

He couereth his venym: as symple of intent.

Other ar whiche flater: and to euery thynge assent.

Before face folowynge the way of adulacion,

Whiche afterwarde sore hurteth by detraccion.

The worlde is nowe alle set on dyffamacion.

Suche ar moste cherisshed that best can forge a tale.

Whych shulde be moste had in abhomynacion.

And so they ar of wyse men without fayle.

But suche as ar voyde of wysdom and counsayle

Inclyneth theyr erys to sclander and detraccion,

Moche rather than they wolde to a noble sermon.

But euery Sclanderer, and begynner of stryfe.

Lousers of loue, and infecters of Charite.

Unworthy ar to lyue here at large in this lyfe.

But in derke Dongeon they worthy ar to be.

And there to remayne in pryson tyl they dye.

For with there yl tunges they labour to destroy

Concorde: whiche cause is of loue and of ioy.

An olde quean that hath ben nought al hyr dayes.

Whiche oft hath for money hyr body let to hyre

Thynketh that al other doth folowe hyr olde wayes.

So she and hyr boul felawes syttinge by the fyre.

The Boule about walkynge with theyr tunges they conspyre

Agaynst goode peple, to sclander them wyth shame.

Than shal the noughty doughter lerne of the bawdy dame.

By his warkes knowen is euery creature

For if one good, louynge, meke and charitable be.

He labours no debates amonge men to procure.

But coueyteth to norysshe true loue and charite.

Where as the other ful of falshode and iniquyte

Theyr synguler plesour put to ingender variaunce.

But oft theyr folysshe stody retournes to theyr myschaunce

Therfore ye bacbyters that folke thus dyffame

Leue of your lewdnes and note wel this sentence.

Which Cryist hymself sayd: to great rebuke and shame

Unto them that sclandreth a man of Innocence.

Wo be to them whych by malyuolence

Slandreth or dyffameth any creature.

But wel is hym that wyth pacience can indure.

Of hym that wyll nat folowe nor ensue good counsell, and necessary.

Furrow begun whether it be good or ill.

Of folys yet another sorte doth come
Vnto our shyp rowynge with great trauayle
Whiche nought perceyue of doctryne nor wysdome
And yet dysdayne they to aske wyse counseyll
Nor it to folowe for theyr owne auayle
Let suche folys therat haue no dysdayne
If they alone endure theyr losse and payne

He is a fole that dothe coueyt and desyre

To haue the name of wysdome and prudence

And yet of one sought thorugh a cyte or a shyre

None coude be founde of lesse wysdome nor science

But whyle he thynketh hym full of sapience

Crafty and wyse, doutles he is more blynde

Than is that fole whiche is out of his mynde

But though he be wyse, and of myght meruaylous

Endued with retoryke and with eloquence

And of hym selfe both ware and cautelous

If he be tachyd with this inconuenyence

To dysdayne others counseyll and sentence

He is vnwyse, for oft a folys counsayle

Tourneth a wyse man to consort and auayle

But specially the read and auysement

Of wyse men, discrete, and full of grauyte

Helpeth thyne owne, be thou never so prudent

To thy purpose gyuynge strength and audacyte.

One man alone knowys nat all polycye

Thoughe thou haue wysdome cunnynge and scyence

Yet hath another moche more experience

Some cast out wordes in paynted eloquence

Thynkynge therby to be reputed wyse

Thoughe they haue neyther wysdome nor science

Suche maner folys them self do exercyse

A plughe and teame craftely to deuyse

To ere the path that folys erst hath made

The trouth vnder glose of suche is hyd and layde

For why, they trust alway to theyr owne mynde

And furour begon whether it be good or yll

As if any other, no wyser read coude fynde

Thus they ensue theyr pryuate folysshe wyll

Oft in suche maters wherin they haue no skyll

As did Pyrrus whiche began cruell Batayle

Agaynst Orestes refusynge wyse counsayle

But folowyd his owne rasshe mynde without auayle

As blynde and obstynat of his intencion

Wherfore he was disconfyted in Batayle

Hymselfe slayne, his men put to confusyon

If that the Troyans in theyr abusyon

With false Parys, had confourmed theyr intent

To Helenns counsayle Troy had nat ben brent.

For that Priamus his mynde wolde nat aply

To the counseyll of Cassandra Prophetes

The grekys distroyed a great parte of Asy

Hector also by his selfwyllydnes

Was slayne with Peyn for all his doughtynes

Of Achylles in open and playne Batayle

For nat folowynge of his faders counsayle

If Hector that day had byddyn within Troy

And vnto his fader bene obedient

Perchaunce he sholde haue lyuyd in welth and ioy

Longe tyme after and come to his intent

Whereas his body was with a spere through rent

Of the sayd Achyllys cruell and vnkynde

Alas for suynge his owne selfwyllyd mynde

I rede of Nero moche cursed and cruell

Whiche to wyse counsayle hymself wolde nat agre

But in all myschef all other dyd excell

Delytynge hym in synne and crueltye

But howe dyde he ende forsoth in myserye

And at the last as wery of his lyfe

Hymselfe he murdred with his owne hand and knyfe

The Bybyll wytnessyth howe the prophete Thoby

Gaue his dere sone in chefe commaundement

That if he wolde lyue sure without ieoperdy

He sholde sue the counsayle of men wyse and prudent

The story of Roboam is also euydent

Whiche for nat suynge of counseyll and wysdome

Lost his Empyre, his scepter and kyngdome

If that it were nat for cawse of breuyte

I coude shewe many of our predecessours

Whiche nat folowynge counceyll of men of grauyte

Soone haue decayed from theyr olde honours

I rede of Dukes, Kynges, and Emperours

Whiche dispysynge the counsayle of men of age

Haue after had great sorowe and damage.

For he suerly whiche is so obstynate

That onely he trusteth to his owne blyndnes

Thynkynge all wysdome within his dotynge pate

He often endyth in sorowe and dystres

Wherfore let suche theyr cours swyftly addres

To drawe our Plough, and depe to ere the ground

That by theyr laboure all folys may be founde.

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay the Translatour.

O man vnauysed, thy blyndnes set asyde

Knowledge thy owne foly thy statelynes expel

Let nat for thy eleuate mynde nor folysshe pryde,

To order thy dedes by goode and wyse counsel

Howbeit thou thynke thy reason doth excel

Al other mennys wyt. yet oft it doth befall.

Anothers is moche surer: and thyn the worst of all.

Of disordred and vngoodly maners.

Trailing your bauble in sign of your folly.

Drawe nere ye folys of lewde condicion
Of yll behauoure gest and countenaunce
Your proude lokys, disdayne and derysyon
Expresseth your inwarde folysshe ignoraunce
Nowe wyll I touche your mad mysgoueraunce
Whiche hast to foly, And folysshe company
Treylynge your Baybll in sygne of your foly

In this our tyme small is the company

That haue good maners worthy of reuerence

But many thousandes folowe vylany

Prone to all synne and inconuenyence

Stryuynge who sonest may come to all offence

Of lewde condicions and vnlefulnesse

Blyndnes of yll, and defylyd folysshenesse

All myserable men alas haue set theyr mynde

On lothsome maners clene destytute of grace

Theyr iyen dymmyd, theyr hertes are so blynde

That heuenly ioy none forceth to purchace

Both yonge and olde procedeth in one trace

With ryche and pore without all dyfference

As bonde men subdued to foly and offence

Some ar busshed theyr bonetes, set on syde.

Some waue theyr armys and hede to and fro

Some in no place can stedfastly abyde

More wylde and wanton than outher buk or do

Some ar so proude that on fote they can nat go

But get they must with countenaunce vnstable

Shewynge them folys, frayle and varyable

Some chyde that all men do them hate

Some gygyll and lawgh without grauyte

Some thynkes, hymselfe a gentylman or state

Though he a knaue caytyf and bonde churle be

These folys ar so blynde them self they can nat so

A yonge boy that is nat worth an onyon

With gentry or presthode is felowe and companyon.

Brybours and Baylyes that lyue upon towlynge

Are in the world moche set by nowe a dayes

Sergeauntis and Catchpollys that lyue upon powlynge

Courters and caytyfs begynners of frayes

Lyue styll encreasynge theyr vnhappy wayes

And a thousande mo of dyuers facultyes

Lyue auauntynge them of theyr enormytees.

Within the chirche and euery other place

These folys use theyr lewde condicions

Some starynge some cryeng some haue great solace

In rybawde wordes, some in deuysyons

Some them delyte in scornes and derysons

Some pryde ensueth and some glotony.

Without all norture gyuen to vylany

Theyr lyfe is folysshe lothsome and vnstable

Lyght brayned, theyr herte and mynde is inconstant

Theyr gate and loke proude and abhomynable

They haue nor order as folys ignorant

Chaungyng theyr myndes thryse in one instant

Alas this lewdnes and great enormyte

Wyll them nat suffer theyr wretchydnes to se

Thus ar these wretchyd caytyfes fully blynde

All men and wymen that good ar doth them hate

But he that with good maners endueth his mynde

Auoydeth this wrath hatered and debate

His dedes pleaseth both comonty and estate

And namely suche as ar good and laudable

Thynketh his dedes right and commendable

As wyse men sayth: both vertue and cunnynge

Honoure and worshyp grace and godlynes

Of worthy maners take theyr begynnynge

And fere also asswagyth wantones.

Subduynge the furour of youthes wylfulnes

But shamefastnes trouth constance and probyte

Both yonge and olde bryngeth to great dignyte.

These foresayde vertues with charite and peas.

Together assembled stedfast in mannys mynde.

Cawseth his honour and worthynes to encreas.

And his godly lyfe a godly ende shal fynde

But these lewde caytyfs which doth theyr myndes blynde

With corrupt maners lyuynge vnhappely.

In shame they lyue and wretchedly they dye.

Of brekynge and hurtynge of amyte and frendshyp.

The breakers of friendship.

He that iniustyce vseth and greuance
Agaynst all reason lawe and equyte
By vyolent force puttynge to vtteraunce
A symple man full of humylyte
Suche by his lewdnes and iniquyte.
Makyth a graue wherin hym selfe shall lye.
And lewdly he dyeth that lyueth crudlye.

A Fole frowarde cruell and vntrewe

Is he whiche by his power wrongfully

His frendes and subiectes laboures to subdewe

Without all lawe, but clene by tyranny

Therfore thou Juge thy erys se thou aply

To right Justyce and set nat thyne intent

By wrath or malyce to be to vyolent.

It is nat lawfull to any excellent

Or myghty man, outher lawyer or estate

By cruelnes to oppresse an innocent

Ne by pryde and malyce Justyce to violate

The law transposynge after a frowarde rate

With proude wordes defendynge his offence

God wot oft suche haue symple conscience

O that he cursed is and reprouable

Whiche day and nyght stodyeth besely

To fynde some meanes false and detestable

To put his frende to losse or hurte therby

Our hertes ar fully set on vylany

There ar right fewe of hye or lowe degre

That luste to norysshe trewe loue and amyte

Alas exyled is godly charyte

Out of our Royalme we all ar so vnkynde

Our folys settyth gretter felycyte

On golde and goodes than on a faythfull frynde

Awake blynde folys and call vnto your mynde

That though honest ryches be moche commendable

Yet to a true frende it is nat comparable

Of all thynges loue is moste profytable

For the right order of lowe and amyte

Is of theyr maners to be agreable

And one of other haue mercy and pyte

Eche doynge for other after theyr degre

And without falshode this frendeshyp to mayntayne

And nat departe for pleasour nor for payne

But alas nowe all people haue dysdayne

On suche frendshyp for to set theyr delyte

Amyte we haue exyled out certayne

We lowe oppressyon to sclaunder and bacbyte

Extorcyon hath strength, pyte gone is quyte

Nowe in the worlde suche frendes ar there none

As were in Grece many yeres agone.

Who lyst thystory of Patroclus to rede

There shall he se playne wryten without fayle

Howe whan Achyllys gaue no force nor hede

Agaynst the Troyans to execute batayle

The sayd Patroclus dyd on the aparayle

Of Achylles, and went forth in his steade

Agaynst Hector: but lyghtly he was dede.

But than Achylles seynge this myschaunce.

Befallen his frende whiche was to hym so true.

He hym addressyd shortly to take vengeaunce.

And so in Batayle the noble Hector slewe

And his dede cors after his charot drewe.

Upon the grounde traylynge ruthfully behynde

Se howe he auengyd Patroclus his frende.

The hystory also of Orestes dothe expresse

Whiche whan agamenon his fader was slayne

By egystus whiche agaynst rightwysnes

The sayde Orestis moder dyd meyntayne

The childe was yonge wherfore it was but vayne

In youth to stryue, but whan he came to age

His naturall moder slewe he in a rage

And also Egystus whiche had his fader slayne

Thus toke he vengeaunce of both theyr cruelnes

But yet it grewe to his great care and payne

For sodaynly he fell in a madnesse

And euer thought that in his furiousnes

His moder hym sued flamynge full of fyre

And euer his deth was redy to conspyre

Orestes troubled with this fereful vysyon

As franatyke and mad wandred many a day

Ouer many a countrey londe and regyon

His frende Pylades folowynge hym alway

In payne nor wo he wolde hym nat denay

Tyll he restoryd agayne was to his mynde

Alas what frynde may we fynde nowe so kynde.

Of dymades what shall I lawde or wryte.

And Pythias his felawe amyable

Whiche in eche other suche loue had and delyte

That whan Denys a tyrant detestable

And of his men some to hym agreable

Wolde one of them haue mordred cruelly

Echone for other offred for to dye

Ualerius wrytyth a story longe and ample

Of Lelius and of worthy Cipio.

Whiche of trewe loue hath left vs great example

For they neuer left in doloure wele nor wo

I rede in thystory of Theseus also:

Howe he (as the Poetes fables doth tell)

Folowyd his felawe perothus in to hell.

And serchynge hym dyd wander and compas

Those lothsome flodys and wayes tenebrous

Ferynge no paynes of that dysordred place

Nor obscure mystes or ayres odyous

Tyll at the laste by his wayes cautelous

And Hercules valyaunt dedes of boldnesse

He gat Perothus out of that wretchydnesse.

Alas where ar suche frendes nowe a dayes

Suerly in the worlde none suche can be founde

All folowe theyr owne profyte and lewde wayes

None vnto other coueytys to be bounde

Brekers of frendshyp ynough ar on the grounde

Whiche set nought by frendshyp so they may haue good

All suche in my shyp shall haue a folys hode

The Enuoy of Barklay To the Folys.

Ye cruell folys full of ingratitude.

Aryse be asshamyd of your iniquyte

Mollyfy your hertes vnkynde stuberne and rude

Graffynge in them true loue and amyte

Consyder this prouerbe of antyquyte

And your vnkyndnes weray ban and curse

For whether thou be of hy or lowe degre

Better is a frende in courte than a peny in purse

Of contempt, or dispisynge of holy scripture.

The fool who despises holy scripture.

He that gyueth his erys or credence
To euery folys talys or talkynge
Thynkynge more wysdome and fruytfull sentence
In theyr vayne talys than is in the redynge
Of bokes whiche shewe vs the way of godly lyuynge
And soulys helth: forsoth suche one is blynde
And in this shyp the anker shall vp wynde.

Suche as dispyseth auncyent scripture

Whiche prouyd is of great auctoryte

And hath no pleasoure felycyte or cure

Of godly Prophetis whiche wrote of veryte

A fole he is for his moste felycyte

Is to byleue the tales of an olde wyfe

Rather than the doctryne of eternall lyfe

The holy Bybyll grounde of trouth and of lawe

Is nowe of many abiect and nought set by

Nor godly scripture is nat worth an hawe

But talys ar louyd grounde of rybawdry

And many blynddyd ar so with theyr foly

That no scripture thynke they so true nor gode

As is a folysshe yest of Robyn hode.

He that to scripture wyll not gyue credence

Wherin ar the armys of our tuycion

And of our fayth foundacion and defence

Suche one ensueth nat the condycion

Of man resonable, but by abusyon

Lyuyth as a best of conscyence cruell

As saue this worlde were neyther heuen nor hell.

He thynketh that there is no god aboue

Nor nobler place than is this wretchyd grounde

Nor goddes power suche neyther fere nor loue

With whom all grace and mercy doth abounde

Whiche whan hym lyst vs wretches may confounde

Alas what auayleth to gyue instruction

To suche lewde folys of this condycion.

It nought auayleth vnto them to complayne

Of theyr blyndnes, nor enfourme them with vertue

Theyr cursed lyfe wyll by no mean refrayne

Their viciousnes, nor their erroure eschewe

But rather stody theyr foly to renewe

Alas what profytis to suche to expresse.

The heuenly ioy, rewarde of holynesse.

Alas what auayleth to suche to declare

The paynes of hell, wo dissolate and derke

No wo nor care can cause suche to beware

From their lewde lyfe corrupt and synfull warke

What profyteth sermons of any noble clarke

Or godly lawes taught at any Scolys

For to reherse to these myscheuous folys.

What helpeth the Prophetis scripture or doctryne

Unto these folys obstynate and blynde

Their hertis ar harde, nat wyllynge to enclyne

To theyr preceptis nor rote them in theyr mynde

Nor them byleue as Cristen men vnkynde

For if that they consydred heuen or hell

They wolde nat be so cursed and cruell

And certaynly the trouth apereth playne

That these folys thynke in theyr intent

That within hell is neyther car nor payne

Hete nor colde, woo, nor other punysshement

Nor that for synners is ordeyned no turment

Thus these mad folys wandreth euery houre

Without amendement styll in theyr blynde erroure

Before thy fete thou mayst beholde and se

Of our holy fayth the bokys euydent

The olde lawes and newe layde ar before the

Expressynge christes tryumphe right excellent

But for all this set is nat thyne intent

Theyr holy doctryne to plant within thy brest

Wherof shold procede ioy and eternall rest

Trowest thou that thy selfe wyllyd ignoraunce

Of godly lawes and mystycall doctryne

May clense or excuse thy blynde mysgouernaunce

Or lewde erroure, whiche scorne hast to inclyne

To theyr preceptis: and from thy synne declyne

Nay nay thy cursed ignoraunce sothly shall

Drowne thy soule in the depe flodes infernall

Therfore let none his cursydnes defende

Nor holy doctryne, nor godly bokes dispyse

But rather stody his fawtes to amende

For god is aboue all our dedes to deuyse

Whiche shall rewarde them in a ferefull wyse

With mortall wo that euer shall endure

Whiche haue dyspysyd his doctryne and scripture

Barclay To the Folys.

Out of your slomber folys I rede you ryse.

Scripture dyuyne, to folowe and inbrace

Be nat so bolde it to leue nor dispyse

But you enforce it to get and purchase

Remember mannys consort and solace.

Is holy closyd within the boke of lyfe

Who that it foloweth hath a speciall grace

But he that doth nat a wretche is and caytyfe

Of folys without prouysyon.

The fool who does not gird his horse.

He is a fole forsoth and worse
That to his saddyll wolde lepe on hye
Before or he haue gyrt his horse
For downe he comys with an euyll thee
But as great a fole forsoth is he
And to be lawghed to derysyon.
That ought begynneth without prouysyon

Of other folys yet is a moche nomber

Whom I wolde gladly brynge to intellygence

To auoyde their blyndnes which sore doth incomber

Theyr mynde and herte for lackynge of science

Suche ar vnware and gyuen to neglygence

Mad and mysmyndyd pryuate of wysdome

Makynge no prouysyon for the tyme to come.

If any mysfortune aduersyte or wo

As often hapnyth, to suche a fole doth fall

Than sayth he I thought it wolde nat haue be so

But than ouer late is it agayne to call

It is nat ynough thou fole to say I shall

For this one daye prouyde me by wysdome

A wyse man seyth peryll longe before it come

He is vnwyse and of prouysyon pore

That nought can se before he haue damage

Whan the stede is stolyn to shyt the stable dore

Comys small pleasoure profyte or vauntage

But he that can suche folysshenes asswage

Begynnynge by counsayll, and fore prouydence

Is sure to escape all inconuenyence

Whan Adam tastyd the appyll in Paradyse.

To hym prohybyte by dyuyne commaundement

If he had noted the ende of his interpryse

To Eue he wolde nat haue ben obedyent

Thus he endured right bytter punysshement

For his blynde erroure and improuydence

That all his lynage rue sore for his offence.

Hymselfe dryuyn out from Paradyce all bare

With Eue, into this vale of wretchydnes

To get theyr lyuynge with laboure payne and care

And also if Jonathas by errour and blyndnes

Had nat receyued the gyftis of falsnes

Unto hym gyuen of Tryphon by abusyon

He sholde haue escapyd great confusyon

If that he before had notyd craftely

His ennemyes gyftis of frawde full and of treason

He myght haue sauyd hymselfe from ieoperdy

And all his people by prouydence and reason

Where as he blynde was as at that season

And to a cyte broughte in by a trayne

Where he was murdred and all his people slayne

Julius Cesar the chefe of conquerours

Was euer warre and prudent of counsayle

But whan he had obteyned great honours

And drewe to rest as wery of Batayle

Than his vnwarnes causyd hym to wayle

For if he had red with good aduysement

The letter whiche to the counselhous was sent

He had nat gyuen his owne iugement

As he dyd by his foly and neglygence

For whiche he murdred was incontynent

Without respect had vnto his excellence

Alas se here what inconuenyence

Came to this Emperour hye and excellent

For nat beyng wyse dyscrete and prouydent

If Nichanor before had noted well

The ende of his dedes he had nat be slayne

By Judas and the children of Israell

His hande and tunge cut of to his great payne

And than his hede, as the bybyll sheweth playne

Thus may all knowe that wyll therto entende

Wherto they come that caryth nat the ende

But he that begynneth by counsayll and wysdome

Alway procedynge with good prouysyon

Notynge what is past and what is for to come

Suche folowys godly scripture and monycion

In happy wayes without transgressyon

Of goddes lawes, and his commaundement

And often tymes comys to his intent.

Thus it appereth playne and euydent

That wyse prouysyon, prose and good counsayle

Are moche laudable, and also excellent

And to mankynde great profyte and auayle.

Where as those folys haue often cause to wayle

For theyr mysfortune, in sorowe vexed sore

Whiche ought begyn nat prouydyd before

The Enuoy of Alexander Barclay.

O man remember thou canste nat abyde

Styll in this lyfe therfore moste specially

For thy last ende thou oughtest to prouyde.

For that prouysion forsoth is most godly

And than next after thy mynde thou ought aply

To fle offence, and bewayle thyne olde synne

And in all workes and besynes worldly

What may be the ende marke well or thou begynne

Of disordred loue and veneryous.

Fools in the snares of Venus.

Here drawe we folys mad togyther bounde
Whom Uenus caught hath in hyr net a snare
Whose blynde hertes this forour doth confounde
Theyr lyfe consumynge in sorowe shame and care
Many one she blyndeth alas fewe can beware
Of hyr dartes hedyd with shame and vylany
But he that is wondyd can skant ynde remedy

O cruel Uenus forsoth who doth insue

Thy flaterynge gylys and proude commaundement

And hastyth nat the dartis to eschewe

Of blynde Cupido but folowys his intent

Suche folys endure moche sorowe and turment

Wastynge theyr goodes dishonestynge their name

As past fere of god and sekynge after shame

Howe many yllys, what inconuenyence

Howe great vengeaunce, and howe bytter punysshement

Hath god oft takyn for this synne and offence

Howe many Cytees hye and excellent

Hath Uenus lost, destroyed, and alto brent

What lordes and howe many a great estate

Hath loue lost, murdred, or els brought in debate

The noble Troyans murdred ar and slayne

Theyr cyte brent, decayde is theyr kyngdome

Theyr kynge pryant by pyrrus dede and slayne

And all this by Parys vnhappy loue is come

Whiche voyde of grace and blynde without wysdome

To fyll his lust, from Grece rubbyd Helayne,

But this one pleasour was grounde of moche payne

Also Marcus a Prynce of the Romayns

Called Antonius by another name

After that he had ouercome the persyans

To Rome retournyd with tryumphe lawde and fame

And there (whiche after was to his great shame)

With cleopatra in loue was take so in blyndnes

That he promysyd to make hir empresse

So this blynde louer to fyll his interpryse

Caused his men two hondred shyppes ordayne

And toke the see wenynge in suche fourme and wyse

His lewde desyre: to perfourme and obteyne

But shortly after was he ouercome and slayne

Of Cesar: and whan he this purpose vnderstode

He bathed his Corse within his lemmans blode

For two serpentis that venemus were and fell

Were set to the brestis of fayre Cleopatray

So this cruell purpose had punysshement cruell

For theyr intendynge theyr countrey to betray

And worthy they were, what man can it denay

Thus it apereth playne by euydence

That of false loue cometh great inconuenyence

For he that loueth is voyde of all reason

Wandrynge in the worlde without lawe or mesure

In thought and fere sore vexed eche season

And greuous dolours in loue he must endure

No creature hym selfe may well assure

From loues soft dartis: I say none on the grounde

But mad and folysshe bydes he whiche hath the wounde

Aye rennynge as franatyke no reason in his mynde

He hath no constaunce nor ease within his herte

His iyen ar blynde, his wyll alwaye inclyned

To louys preceptes yet can nat he departe

The Net is stronge, the fole caught can nat starte

The darte is sharpe, who euer is in the chayne

Can nat his sorowe in vysage hyde nor fayne

Rede howe Phedra hir loue fixed so feruent

On ypolitus in prohybyte auowtry.

That whan he wolde nat vnto hir consent

To hir husbonde she accused hym falsly

As if he wolde hir tane by force to vylany

Ipolitus was murdred for this accusement

But Phedra for wo hanged hyrself incontynent

The lewde loue of Phasyphe abhomynable

As poetis sayth) brought hir to hir confusyon

Nero the cruell Tyrant detestable.

His naturall mother knewe by abusyon

Uenus and Cupido with their collusyon.

Enflamyd Messalina in suche wyse

That euery nyght hir selfe she wolde disgyse

And secretly go to the brothelhous

For to fulfyll hir hote concupyssence

What shall I wryte the dedes vicious

Of Julia or, hir cruell offence.

What shall I wryte the inconuenyence

Whiche came by Danythys cursed auowtry

Syth that the bybyll it shewyth openly

What shall I wryte the greuous forfayture

Of Sodom and Gomor syns the Bybyll doth tell

Of their synnes agaynst god and nature

For whiche they sanke alyue downe into hell.

Thus it aperith what punysshement cruell.

Our lorde hath taken both in the olde lawe and newe

For this synne: whiche sholde vs moue it to eschewe

Alexander Barklay To the Folys.

Ye folys inflamyd with loue inordynate.

Note these examples, drawe from this vyce your mynde

Remember that there is none so great estate

But that false loue hym causeth to be blynde

Our folysshe wymen may nat be left behynde

For many of them so folowys in this way

That they sell theyr soules and bodyes to go gay

The graceles galantes, and the aprentyce pore

Though they nought haue, themselfe they set nought by

Without they be acquaynted with some hore

Of westmynster or some other place of rybawdry

Than fall they to murder theft and robery.

For were nat proude clothynge, and also flesshely lust

All the feters and gyues of Englonde shulde rust.

Therfore folys awake, and be no longer blynde

Consyder that shame, seknes, and pouertye

Of loue procedeth: and drawe from it your mynde

Suffre not your soules damned and lost to be

By vayne lust and carnall sensualyte

For thoughe the small pleasure do make the fayne

The ende oft is worldly wo and myserye

Or amonge the fendes eternall payne

Of them yt synne trustynge vpon the mercy of god.

Neither for goose nor crane, nor yet for other beasts unresonable.

Who that styll synneth without contricion
Trustynge goddes mercy and benygnyte
Bycause he sparyth our transgressyon
And he that thynketh iustice and equyte
Is nat in god as well as is petye
Suche is forsoth without discressyon
Syns he thus synneth upon presumpcion

The wynde is up our Nauy is aflote

A bande of Folys a borde is come yet more

Theyr cursed maners and mad I shall nowe note

Whose herte for synne is neyther contryte ne sore

Nat mornynge (as they ought to do) therfore

Without fere styll lyuynge in theyr vyciousnes

No thynge inclyned to godly holynes

They thynke no thynge on goddes rightwysnes

But grounde them all, on his mercy and pyte

For that he redyer is vnto forgeuenesse

Unto all people, than them punysshed to se

Trouth it is that the great enormyte

Of the worlde hathe nat aye worthy punysshement

Nor he nat damnyd that doth his synne repent

Put case he gyuyth nat aye lyke iugement

On mannys mysdede, nor yet mundayne offence

And though he be gode meke and pacyent

Nor shortly punyssheth our inconuenyence

Put case also he gyue nat aduertence

To all mundayne fawtes synne and fragylyte

Yet none sholde synne in hope of his mercy

But these folys assembled in a companye

Sayth eche to other that oft it is laufull

To perseuerant synners lyuynge in iniquyte

Yo trust in god syns he is mercyfull

What nedeth vs our wyttis for to dull

Labourynge our synne and foly to refrayne

Syns synne is a thynge naturall and humayne

Than sayth another forsoth thou sayst playne

And also our fore Faders and progenitours

Before our dayes offendyd haue certayne.

As well as we, in many blynde errours

But syns they haue escapyd all paynes and dolours

Of hell; and nowe in heuyn ar certayne

What nede haue we to fere infernall payne.

Than comys in an other with his dotysshe brayne

By god sayth he I knowe it without fable

That heuyn was made neyther for gose nor crane

Nor yet for other bestes vnresonable

Than of the Scripture doth he Chat and bable

Alleggynge our forefaders whiche haue mysdone

Saynge that no synne is newe in our season

A myserable men destytute of reason.

That thus on hope do synne vnhappely

Remember the synne of our forefaders done

Haue neuer ben left vnpunysshed fynally

And that somtyme, full sharpe and bytterly

For euer more all synne hath had a fall

With sorowe here, or els wo infernall

The synne of Sodom foule and nat natural

The Pryde of rome, whiche was so excellent

The offence of Dauyd Prophete and kynge royal

The furour of Pharao fyers and violent

Haue nat escaped the rightwyse punysshment

Of God aboue, the celestial and highe Justice

Which fyrst, or last punyssheth euery vyce.

Remember Richarde lately kynge of price

In Englonde raynynge vnrightwisely a whyle.

Howe he ambycion, and gyleful Couetyse

With innocent blode his handes dyd defyle

But howbeit that fortune on hym dyd smyle

Two yere or thre: yet god sende hym punysshment

By his true seruant the rede Rose redolent.

Therfore remember that god omnypotent

Oft suffreth synners in theyr iniquyte

Grauntynge them space and tyme of amendement

And nat to procede in their enormyte

But those synners that byde in one degre

And in this lyfe their synne wyll nat refrayne

God after punyssheth with infernall payne

As I haue sayde (therfore) I say agayne

Though god be of infynyte pety and mercy

His fauour and grace passynge all synne mundayne

Yet iustice is with hym eternally.

Wherfore I aduyse the to note intentifly

Though pyte wolde spare, iustyce wyll nat so

But the here rewarde, els with infernal we.

Alexander Barklay to the Folys.

Syghe synners, syghe, for your mysgouernance.

Lament, mourne, and sorowe for your enormyte.

Away with these Clowdes of mysty ignorance

Syn nat in hope of goddys hyghe petye

And remember howe ye daily punysshed be

With dyuers dyseases both vncouthe and cruel

And all for your synne, but suche as escapeth fre

And styl lyue in syn, may fere the peynes of helle

Of the folisshe begynnynge of great bildynges without sufficient prouision.

The fool who builds without counting the cost.

Come nere folys and rede your ignorance
And great losse procedynge of your owne foly
Whiche without gode and discrete purueaunce
Any great werke wyll bylde or edefye.
All suche ar folys what man wyll it deny
For he that wyll bylde before he count his cost
Shall seldome well ende, so that is made is lost.

Who euer begynneth any worke or dede

Of byldynge or of other thynge chargeable

And to his costes before taketh no hede

Nor tyme nat countyth to his worke agreable

Suche is a fole and well worthy a babyll

For he that is wyse wyll no thynge assay

Without he knowe howe he well ende it may.

The wyse man counteth his cost before alway

Or he begyn, and nought wyll take in honde

Wherto his myght or power myght denay

His costes confourmynge to the stynt of his londe

Where as the fole that nought doth vnderstonde

Begynneth a byldynge without aduysement

But or halfe be done his money clene is spent.

Many haue begon with purpose dilygent

To bylde great houses and pleasaunt mansyons

Them thynkynge to finysshe after theyr intent

But nede disceyuyd hath theyr opynyons

Their purpose nat worth a cowpyll of onyons

But whan they se that they it ende nat can

They curse the tyme that euer they it began

Of Nabugodosor that worthy man.

What shall I wryte or the story to the tell

Syth that the Bybyll to the expresse it can

In the fourth chapter of the prophete Danyell

Was he nat punysshed in paynes cruell

For his great pryde and his presumpcion

Whiche he toke it in the byldynge of Babylon

His golde and treasoure he spendyd hole theron

Enioynge hym in his Cyte excellent

Right so Nemroth by his inuencion

The towre of Babylon began for this intent

To saue hym, if the worlde agayne were drent

But the hye god consyderynge his blynde rage

His purpose let by confusyon of langage

His towre vnperfyte to his losse and domage

His people punysshed, hymselfe specyally

Thus it apereth what great disauauntage

On theyr hede falleth that byldeth in foly

Thus he is folysshe that wolde edefy

Any great worke without ryches in excesse

For great byldynges requyreth great rychesse

But many folys ar in suche a blyndnesse

That hereon nought they set their mynde ne thought

Wherfore to them oft commyth great distresse

And to great pouerty often ar they brought

Laughed to scorne, their purpose cometh to nought

And truely I fynde in bokes wryten playne

That our olde faders haue neuer set theyr brayne

On great byldynge, ne yet of them ben fayne:

It longeth to a lorde a Prynce or a Kynge

That lacke no treasoure theyr werkes to mayntayne

To set theyr myndes on excellent buyldynge

Therfore who so euer wyll meddle with this thynge

Or any other, before let hym be wyse

That his myght and ryches therto may suffyse.

Lyst all men do mocke and scorne his interpryse

For if he ought begyn without prouysyon

And haue nat wherby his byldynge may up ryse

All that is lost that is made and begon

And better it is sothly in myn intencion

Nought to begyn, and spare laboure and payne

Than to begyn and than, leue of agayne

Who euer he be that so doth certayne

He shall haue mockis mengled with his damage

Therfore let suche folys sharpe theyr brayne

And better intende to theyr owne auauntage

Consyderynge that processe of tyme and age

Theyr curyous byldynges shall at the lest confounde

And Roufe and wallys make egall with the grounde.

Barklay to the Folys.

Ye folys blyndyd with curyosyte

Whiche on great byldynge set so sore your mynde

Remember ye nat that doutles ye shall dye

And your gay byldynges and howses leue behynde

Thynke ye your conforte alway in them to fynde

Or whan ye dye, them hens with you to haue

Nay nay the laste hous gyuen to mankynde

Is the course grounde and walles of his graue.

Of glotons and dronkardes.

Gluttons and drunkards.

That gloton or dronkarde, vyle in goddes sight
Shall hardly escape the weyght of pouertye.
Whiche drynketh and deuoureth both day and nyght
Therin onely settynge all his felycyte
His lothsome lust and his bestyalyte
Shall brynge vnto destruccion fynally
His soule, his godes and his wretchyd body.

Within our nauy he nedes shall haue a place.

Whiche without mesure on lothsome glotony

Setteth his pleasure and singuler solace

His stomacke ouerchargynge, vyle and vngodely

And to none other thynge his mynde doth he aply

Saue depest to drynke, suche force nat of theyr soules

But labore in rynsynge pecis cuppis and bowles

The madnes of dronkennes is so immoderate

That greuous sores it ingendreth and sykenes

It causeth often great foly and debate

With soden deth and carefull heuynes

In thynges no difference putteth dronkennes.

It febleth the ioyntis and the body within

Wastynge the brayne makynge the wyt full thyn

It engendreth in the hede infirmyte

Blyndynge the herte wyt and discression

The mynde it demynyssheth, coloure and beaute.

Causynge all myschef, shame and abusyon

It maketh men mad, and in conclusyon

Causeth them lyue without lawe or measure

Suynge after syn defylynge theyr nature

The people that are acloyed with this synne.

On no thynge els theyr myndes wyll aply:

Saue to the wyne and ale stakes to renne

And there as bestes to stryue and drynke auy

Than ar they outher gyuyn to rybawdry

Or els to brawle and fight at euery worde

Thus dronkennes is the chefe cause of discorde

But namely dronkennes and wretchyd glotony

By their excesse and superfluyte

Engendreth the rote of cursed Lechery

With murder, thefte and great enormyte

So bryngeth it many to great aduersyte

And with his furour the worlde so doth it blynde

That many it bryngeth to a shamfull ende

This vyce (alas) good maners doth confounde

And maketh man ouer besy of langage

And hym that in all ryches doth abounde

It ofte in pryson bryngeth and in bondage

It causeth man to his great sorowe and domage

Disclose his secrete and his preuey counsayle

Whiche causeth hym after sore to mourne and wayle

Nought is more lothsome, more vycyous nor vyle

Than he that is subdued to this vyce

His lyfe shortynge his body he doth defyle

Bereuynge his soule the ioy of Paradyse

Howe many Cytees and lordes of great pryce

Hath ben destroyed by dronken glotony

And by his felawe, false loue, or lechery.

The sone of Thomyr had nat ben ouercome

Nor slayne by Cyrus for all his worthynes.

If he hym selfe had gydyd by wysdome

And the vyce auoydyd of blynde dronkennes

The great Alexander taken with this madnes

With his swerde, whan he was dronken slewe

Suche of his frendes as were to hym most trewe

I rede also howe this conquerour myghty

Upon a season played at the Chesse

With one of his knyghtes which wan ynally

Of hym great golde treasoure and rychesse

And hym ouercame, but in a furyousnes

And lade with wyne, this conquerour vp brayde

And to his knyght in wrath these wordes sayde

I haue subdued by strength and by wysdome

All the hole worlde, whiche obeyeth to me

And howe hast thou alone me thus ouercome

And anone commaundyd his knyght hanged to be

Than sayde the knyght by right and equyte

I may apele. syns ye ar thus cruell

Quod Alexander to whome wylt thou apell

Knowest thou any that is gretter than I

Thou shalt be hanged thou spekest treason playne

The knyght sayd sauynge your honour certaynly

I am no traytoure, apele I woll certayne

From dronken Alexander tyll he be sober agayne

His lorde than herynge his desyre sounde to reason

Differryd the iustyce as for that tyme and season

And than after whan this furour was gone

His knyght he pardoned repentynge his blyndenes.

And well consydered that he shulde haue mysdone

If he to deth had hym done in that madnesse

Thus it apereth what great unhappynes

And blyndnes cometh to many a creature

By wyne or ale taken without measure.

Se here the inconuenyence manyfolde

Comynge of dronkennes as I wrytyn fynde.

Some ar so starynge mad that none can them holde

Rorynge and cryeng as men out of their mynde

Some fyghtynge some chydynge, some to other kynde

Nought lyuynge to them selfe: and some dotynge Johnn

Beynge dronke thynketh hym as wyse as Salomon

Some sowe dronke, swaloynge mete without mesure

Some mawdelayne dronke, mournynge lowdly and hye

Some beynge dronke no lenger can endure

Without they gyue them to bawdy rybawdry

Some swereth armys nayles herte and body.

Terynge our lord worse, than the Jowes hym arayed

Some nought can speke, but harkenyth what is sayd.

Some spende all that they haue and more at wast

With reuell and reuell dasshe fyll the cup Joohnn

Some their thryft lesyth with dyce at one cast

Some slepe as slogardes tyll their thryft be gone

Some shewe theyr owne counsell for kepe can they none

Some are Ape dronke full of lawghter and of toyes

Some mery dronke syngynge with wynches and boyes

Some spue, some stacker some vtterly ar lame

Lyeng on the grounde without power to ryse

Some bost them of bawdry ferynge of no shame

Some dumme, and some speketh. ix. wordes at thryse

Some charge theyr bely with wyne in suche wyse

That theyr legges skant can bere vp the body

Here is a sort to drowne a hole nauy.

Barklaye to the Folys.

Alas mad folys howe longe wyll ye procede

In this beestly lyuynge agayst humayne nature

Cease of your Foly: gyue aduertence and hede

That in eche thynge ought to be had measure

Wyne ne ale hurteth no maner creature

But sharpeth the wyt if it be take in kynde

But if it be nat, than I the ensure

It dulleth the brayne, blyndynge the wyt and mynde

Rede all bokes and thou shalt neuer fynde

That dronkennes and wysdome may togyther be

For where is dronkennes, there madnes is by kynde

Gydynge the hauer to all enormyte

And where as is madnes thou shalt neuer se

Reason ne wysdome take theyr abydynge

In one instant, wherfore lerne this of me

That dronkennes is mortell enmy to cunnynge.

Of ryches vnprofytable.

The rich fool and the poor man.

Yet fynde I folys of another sorte
Whiche gather and kepe excessyfe ryches
With it denyeng their neyghboures to conforte
Whiche for nede lyueth in payne and wretchydnes
Suche one by fortune may fall into distres
And in lyke wyse after come to mysery
And begge of other, whiche shall to hym deny.

It is great foly, and a desyre in vayne

To loue and worshyp ryches to feruently

And so great laboure to take in care and payne

Fals treasoure to encrease and multyply

But yet no wonder is it sertaynly

Syth he that is ryche hath gretter reuerence

Than he that hath sadnes wysdom and scyence

The ryche mannes rewardes stande in best degre

But godly maners we haue set clene asyde

Fewe loueth vertue, but fewer pouertye.

Fals couetyse his braunches spreddeth wyde

Ouer all the worlde, that pety can nat byde

Among vs wretches banysshed is kyndnes

Thus lyeth the pore in wo and wretchydnes

Without conforte and without auctoryte

But he only is nowe reputed wyse

Whiche hath ryches in great store and plente.

Suche shall be made a sergeant or Justyce

And in the Court reputed of moste pryse

He shall be callyd to counseyll in the lawe

Though that his brayne be skarsly worth a strawe

He shall be Mayre baylyfe or constable

And he onely promotyd to honoure

His maners onely reputed ar laudable

His dedys praysyd as grettest of valoure

Men laboure and seke to fall in his fauoure

He shall haue loue, echone to hym shall sue

For his ryches, but nought for his vertue

Se what rewardes ar gyuen to ryches

Without regarde had to mannys condycyon

A strawe for cunnynge wysdome and holynes

Of ryches is the first and chefe questyon

What rentes what londes howe great possessyon

What stuffe of housholde what store of grotz and pens

And after his gode his wordes hath credence.

His wordes ar trouth men gyue to them credence

Thoughe they be falsly fayned and sotell

But to the pore none wyll gyue aduertence

Though that his wordes be true as the gospell

Ye let hym swere by heuyn and by hell

By god and his sayntes and all that god made

Yet nought they beleue that of hym is sayde

They say that the pore men doth god dispyse

Thouhe they nought swere but trouth and veryte

And that god punyssheth them in suche wyse

For so dispysynge of his hye maiestye

Kepynge them for their synnes in pouerte

And theyr ryche exaltyth by his power and grace

To suche ryches, worldly pleasour and solace

The ryche ar rewarded with gyftis of dyuerse sorte

With Capons and Conyes delycious of sent

But the pore caytyf abydeth without confort

Though he moste nede haue: none doth hym present

The fat pygge is baast, the lene cony is brent

He that nought hathe, shall so alway byde pore

But he that ouer moche hath, yet shall haue more

The wolfe etis the shepe, the great fysshe the small

The hare with the houndes vexed ar and frayde

He that hath halfe nedes wyll haue all

The ryche mannes pleasour can nat be denayde

Be the pore wroth, or be he well apayde

Fere causeth hym sende vnto the ryches hous

His mete from his owne mouth, if it be delycious

And yet is this ryche caytyf nat content

Though he haue all yet wolde he haue more.

And though this gode can neuer of hym be spent

With nought he departyth to hym that is pore

Though he with nede harde vexed were and sore.

O cursyd hunger o mad mynde and delyte.

To laboure for that whiche neuer shall do profyte

Say couetous caytyfe what doth it the auayle

For to haue all and yet, nat to be content

Thou takest nat this sore laboure and trauayle

To thy pleasoure but to thy great turment

But loke therof what foloweth consequent

Whan thou art dede and past this wretchyd lyfe

Thou leuyst behynde brawlynge debate and stryfe

To many one ryches is moche necessary

Whiche can it order right as it ought to be

But vnto other is it vtterly contrary

Whiche therwith disdayneth to socoure pouerte.

Nor them relefe in theyr aduersyte

Suche shall our lorde sore punysshe fynally

And his petycion rightwysly deny

Barklay to the Folys.

Ye great estatis and men of dignyte

To whome god in this lyfe hath sent ryches

Haue ye compassion, on paynfull pouertye

And them conforte in theyr carefull wretchydnes

God hym loueth and shall rewarde doutles

Whiche to the nedy for hym is charitable

With heuenly ioy, whiche treasour is endeles

So shall thy riches to the be profytable.

Of hym that togyder wyll serue two maysters.

One hound to take two hares.

A fole he is and voyde of reason
Whiche with one hounde tendyth to take
Two harys in one instant and season
Rightso is he that wolde vndertake
Hym to two lordes a seruaunt to make
For whether, that he be lefe or lothe
The one he shall displease, or els bothe.

A fole also he is withouten doute

And in his porpose sothly blyndyd sore

Whiche doth entende labour or go aboute

To serue god, and also his wretchyd store

Of worldly ryches: for as I sayde before

He that togyder wyll two maysters serue

Shall one displease and nat his loue deserue

For he that with one hownde wol take also

Two harys togyther in one instant

For the moste parte doth the both two forgo

And if he one haue: harde it is and skant

And that blynde fole mad and ignorant

That draweth thre boltis atons in one bowe

At one marke shall shote to hye or to lowe

Or els to wyde, and shortly for to say

With one or none of them he strykis the marke:

And he that taketh vpon hym nyght or day

Laboures dyuers to chargeable of warke.

Or dyuerse offycis: suche wander in the darke

For it is harde to do well as he ought

To hym that on dyuerse thynges hath his thought

With great thoughtes he troubleth sore his brayne

His mynde vnstable, his wyt alway wandrynge:

Nowe here nowe there his body labours in payne

And in no place of stedfast abydynge.

Nowe workynge now musynge now renynge now rydynge

Now on see nowe on londe, than to se agayne

Somtyme to Fraunce, and nowe to Flaunders or Spayne

Thus is it paynfull and no thynge profytable

On many labours a man to set his mynde

For nouther his wyt nor body can be stable

Whiche wyll his body to dyuers chargis bynde

Whyle one goth forwarde the other bydes behynde

Therfore I the counseyll for thyne owne behoue

Let go this worlde and serue thy lorde aboue

He that his mynde settyth god truly to serue

And his sayntes: this worlde settynge at nought

Shall for rewarde euerlastynge ioy deserue

But in this worlde, he that settyth his thought

All men to please, and in fauour to be brought

Must lout and lurke, flater, lawde, and lye:

And cloke a knauys counseyll, though it fals be

If any do hym wronge or iniury

He must it suffer and pacyently endure

A dowble tunge with wordes lyke hony

And of his offycis if he wyll be sure

He must be sober and colde of his langage

More to a knaue, than to one of hye lynage

Oft must he stoupe his bonet in his honde

His maysters backe he must oft shrape and clawe

His breste anoyntynge, his mynde to vnderstonde

But be it gode or bad therafter must he drawe

Without he can Jest he is nat worth a strawe.

But in the meane tyme beware that he none checke

For than layth malyce a mylstone in his necke

He that in court wyll loue and fauour haue

A fole must hym fayne, if he were none afore

And be as felowe to euery boy and knaue

And to please his lorde he must styll laboure sore

His manyfolde charge maketh hym coueyt more

That he had leuer serue a man in myserye

Than serue his maker in tranquylyte

But yet whan he hath done his dylygence

His lorde to serue as I before haue sayde

For one small faute or neglygent offence

Suche a displeasoure agaynst hym may be layde

That out is he cast bare and vnpuruayde.

Whether he be gentyll, yeman grome or page

Thus worldly seruyce is no sure herytage

Wherfore I may proue by these examples playne

That it is better more godly and plesant

To leue this mondayne casualte and payne

And to thy maker one god to be seruaunt

Whiche whyle thou lyuest shall nat let the want

That thou desyrest iustly, for thy syruyce

And than after gyue the, the ioyes of Paradyse.

Barklay to the Folys.

Alas man aryse out of Idolatry.

Worshyp nat thy ryches nor thy vayne treasoure

Ne this wretchyd worlde full of mysery.

But lawde thy maker and thy sauyour

With fere, mekenes, fayth, glory, and honoure

Let thy treasoure onely in his seruyce be

And here be content with symple behauoure

Hauynge in this lorde trust and felycyte

Of to moche spekynge or bablynge.

The blabbering fool and the magpie.

He that his tunge can temper and refrayne
And asswage the foly of hasty langage
Shall kepe his mynde from trowble, sadnes and payne
And fynde therby great ease and auauntage
Where as a hasty speker falleth in great domage
Peryll and losse, in lyke wyse as the pye
Betrays hir byrdes by hir chatrynge and crye.

Ye blaberynge folys superflue of langage

Come to our shyp our ankers ar in wayde

By right and lawe ye may chalange a stage

To you of Barklay it shall nat be denayde

Howe be it the charge Pynson hathe on me layde

With many folys our Nauy not to charge.

Yet ye of dewty shall haue a sympyll barge

Of this sorte thousandes ar withouten fayle

That haue delyte in wordes voyde and vayne

On men nat fawty somtyme vsynge to rayle

On folysshe wordes settynge theyr herte and brayne

They often touche to theyr owne shame and payne

Suche thynges to whiche none wyll theyr mynde aply

(Saue suche folys) to theyr shame and enuy

Say besy fole art thou nat well worthy

To haue enuy, and that echone sholde the hate

Whan by thy wordes soundynge to great foly

Thou sore labrest to engender debate

Some renneth fast thynkynge to come to late

To gyue his counsell whan he seeth men in doute

And lyghtly his folysshe bolt shall be shot out

Is it nat better for one his tunge to kepe

Where as he myght (perchaunce) with honestee

Than wordes to speke whiche make hym after wepe

For great losse folowynge wo and aduersyte

A worde ones spokyn reuoked can nat be

Therfore thy fynger lay before thy lypes

For a wyse mannys tunge, without aduysement trypes

He that wyll answere of his owne folysshe brayne

Before that any requyreth his counsayle

Shewith hym selfe and his hasty foly playne

Wherby men knowe his wordes of none auayle

Some haue delyted in mad blaborynge and frayle

Whiche after haue suffred bytter punysshement

For their wordes, spoken without aduysement

Say what precedeth of this mad outrage

But great mysfortune, wo and vnhappynesse

But for all theyr chattynge and plenty of langage

Whan to the preste they come them to confesse

To shewe theyr lewde lyfe theyr synne and wretchydnes

Whan they sholde speke, and to this poynt ar come

Theyr tunges ar loste and there they syt as domme

Many haue ben whiche sholde haue be counted wyse

Sad and discrete, and right well sene in scyence

But all they haue defyled with this one vyse

Of moche spekynge: o cursyd synne and offence

Pyte it is that so great inconuenience

So great shame, contempt rebuke and vylany

Sholde by one small member came to the hole body

Let suche take example by the chatrynge pye.

Whiche doth hyr nest and byrdes also betraye

By hyr grete chatterynge, clamoure dyn and crye

Ryght so these folys theyr owne foly bewraye.

But touchynge wymen of them I wyll nought say

They can nat speke, but ar as coy and styll

As the horle wynde or clapper or a mylle

But that man or woman or any creature

That lytell speketh or els kepeth sylence

Ar euer of them selfe moste stedfast and sure

Without enuy, hatred or malyuolence.

Where as to suche comys moche inconuenyence

Sorowe vpon sorowe, malyce and dysdayne

Whiche wyll no tyme, his speche nor tunge refrayne

Fayre speche is pleasaunt if it be moderate

And spoken in season, conuenyente and dewe

To kepe scylence, to pore man or estate

Is a great grace, and synguler vertue

Langage is lawdable whan it is god and true

A wyse man or he speke wyll be wyse and ware

What (to whome) why (howe) whan and whare

Barklaye to the Folys.

Ye bablynge brybours, endeuer you to amende

Mytygat by mesure, your prowde hasty langage

Kepe well your tunges so, shall ye kepe your frende

For hasty speche ingendreth great damage

Whan a worde is nat sayd, the byrde is in the cage

Also the hous is surest whan the dorys be barryde

So whan thy worde is spokyn and out at large

Thou arte nat mayster, but he that hath it harde

If thou take hede and set therto thy brayne

In this world thou shalt fynde thynges thre

Whiche ones past, can nat be callyd agayne.

The firste is (tyme lost) by mannes symplycyte

The seconde (youth) reuoked can nat be

The thyrde (a worde spoken) it gooth out in the wynde

And yet is the fourth, that is (virginyte)

My forgetfull mynde, had lefte it nere behynde

Of them that correct other and yet them selfe do nought and synne worse than they whom they so correct.

The hand which men unto a cross do nail, sheweth the way.

He lacketh reason and vnderstandynge to
Whiche to a towne or Cyte knoweth the way
And shewyth other howe they may thether go
Hym selfe wandrynge aboute from day to day
In myre and fen, though his iourney thether lay
So he is mad whiche to other doth preche and tell
The wave to heuyn, and hym selfe goth to hell.

Nowe to our Nauy, a sorte maketh asaute

Of folys blynde, mad Jugys and Iniust

Whiche lyghtly noteth another mannes faute.

Chastynge that synne, whiche theyr owne mynde doth rust

By longe abydynge, and increas of carnall lust

They cloke their owne vyce synne and enormyte

Other blamynge and chastynge with moche cruelte

They mocke and mowe at anothers small offence

And redy ar a faute in them to fynde

But of theyr owne foly and inconuenyence

They se no thynge, for fully ar they blynde

Nat notynge the vyce rotyd in theyr owne mynde

Theyr greuous woundes and secrete malady

For theyr owne yll they seke no remedy

The hande whiche men vnto a Crosse do nayle

Shewyth the waye ofte to a man wandrynge

Whiche by the same his right way can nat fayle

But yet the hande is there styll abydynge

So do these folys lewde of theyr owne lyuynge

To other men shewe mean and way to wynne

Eternall ioy themselfe bydynge in synne

He sertaynly may well be callyd a sote

Moche vnauysed and his owne ennemy

Whiche in a nothers iye can spye a lytell mote

And in his owne can nat fele nor espye

A moche stycke, so is he certaynly.

Whiche noteth anothers small faute or offence

To his owne great synnes gyuynge none aduertence

Many them selfe fayne as chaste as was saynt Johnn

And many other fayne them meke and innocent

Some other as iust, and wyse as Salomon

As holy as Poule, as Job als pacyent

As sad as senecke, and as obedyent

As Abraham, and as martyn vertuous

But yet is theyr lyfe full lewde and vycious

Some lokyth with an aungels countenaunce

Wyse sad and sober lyke an heremyte

Thus hydynge theyr synne and theyr mysgouernaunce.

Under suche clokys lyke a fals ypocryte

Let suche folys rede what Cicero doth wryte

Whiche sayth that none sholde blame any creature

For his faut, without his owne lyuynge be sure

Without all spot of synne faut or offence

For in lyke fourme as a phesycyan.

By his practyse and cunnynge or scyence

The sekenes curyth of a nother man

But his owne yll nor dyseas he nat can

Relefe nor hele so doth he that doth blame

Anothers synne: he styll lyuynge in the same

Many ar whiche other can counseyll craftely

And shewe the peryll that may come by theyr synne

But them selfe they counseyll nat: ne remedy.

Nor take no waye whereby they heuyn may wynne

But lye in that vyce that they rotyd ar in

Leuynge the way that gydyth to ioy and rest

Their owne sensualyte ensuynge as a beest

Wherfore ye prestis that haue the charge and cure.

To teche and enfourme the rude comonte.

In goddys lawes groundyd in scripture

And blame all synnes sparynge no degre

Whyle ye rebuke thus theyr enormyte

Lyue so that none may cause haue you to blame

And if ye do nat: it is to your great shame

For without doute it is great vylany

A man to speke agaynst any offence

Wherin he well knowyth hym owne selfe gylty

Within his mynde and secrete conscience

Agaynst hymselfe suche one gyueth sentence

Howe god ryght iuge, by rightwyse iugement

Shulde hym rewarde with worthy punysshement

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Ye clerkes that on your shulders here the shelde

Unto you graunted by the vnyuersyte.

Howe dare ye auenture to fyght in cristes felde

Agaynst synne, without ye clere and gyltles be

Consyder the Cocke and in hym shall ye se:

A great example, for with his wynges thryse

He betyth hym selfe to wake his owne bodye

Before he crowe, to cause other wake or ryse.

Of hym that fyndeth ought of another mannys it nat restorynge to the owner.

The devil and the finder.

He that ought fyndyth outher by day or nyght
Usynge it as his owne, as thynge gottyn iustly
And thynketh that he so may do by lawe and right
Suche is disceyuyd, and thynketh wrongfully
For why the deuyll our goostly ennemy
Doth hym so counseyll and in his erys blowe
Disceyuynge in his bondes, as he doth many mo

The feruour of ryches and disordred loue

Whiche many haue, doth me bynde and constrayne.

Within my shyp them sharply to reproue

That pen nor hande, themselfe wyll not refrayne

Of couetyse nowe I wyll nat speke agayne

But of them that kepeth by force and by myght

That thynge wherto they haue nat come, by ryght

Some fyndeth treasours other mennys good

And in theyr owne vse suche good they occupy.

Whiche of theyr myndes ar so blynde and wode.

And so reted in theyr errour and foly

That oft they say (say) ye and dare byde by

That some saynt whome they worshypped haue

Haue sende, them the same theyr honestee to saue

They haue no force nor care, nor they none haue wyll

To whome the ryches so loste dyde apertayne

That fortune hath gyuen they holde fast and kepe styll

Neuer hauynge mynde it to restore agayne

Suche folys fere no thynge euerlastynge payne

Nor note nat, that without true restytucion

It small auayleth to haue made confessyon.

Here me fole with thy immoderate mynde

Here me and do thy herte therto aply

If thou by fortune any ryches fynde

Callynge it thyne: thou lyest therin falsly

If thou haue wyt thou canst nat well deny

But that gode nat gyuen, nor gottyn by laboure

Can nat be rightwyse: thus mende thy blynde erroure

If thou ought fynde that longeth nat to the

Than is it anothers, the case is clere and playne

Wherfor thou ought of lawe and of dewte

Unto the owner it soone to yelde agayne

But if he be dede, to whome it dyd attayne

Thou ought nat yet to kepe it nere the more.

But to his sectours or heyres it restore

Put case that they also be past and dede

Yet ought thou nat to keep it styll with the.

The lawe commaundyth, and also it is mede.

To gyue it to suche as haue necessyte.

With it releuynge theyr paynfull pouertee

And so shalt thou discharge thy conseyence.

Helpynge the pore, and auoyde great offence

But he that others godes tourneth to his owne vse

Spendynge and wastynge that thynge that neuer was his

Suche certaynly his reason doth abuse

And by this meane greuously doth amysse

Wherby he lesyth eternall ioy and blysse

His soule drownynge depe within hell flodes

For his myspendynge of other mennys goodes

But to be shorte, and brefe in my sentence

And sothe to saye playne as the mater is

Forsoth I se nat right great difference

Bytwene a thefe, and these folys couetys

Both wrongly kepeth that thynge that is nat his

Thynkynge that god doth nat therto aduerte

Whiche notyth thy dedys, thy mynde thought and herte

Wherfore if thou haue a rightwyse conscyence

Thou wylt nought kepe whiche longeth nat to the

The lawe so commaundeth in payne of great offence

For of gode that thou kepest agaynst equyte

Thou shalt make accompt after that thou shalt dye

To thy great payne in hell for euer more

If thou no restytucion make before.

Here myght I touche executours in this cryme.

Blamynge theyr dedys dysceyte and couetyse

If it were nat for wastynge of my tyme

For mende they wyll nat them in any wyse

Nor leue no poyntes of theyr disceytfull gyse

Let them take parte of that whiche I here note

And be partynge foles in this present bote.

The Enuoy of Barklay the translator to the Folys.

Ye false executours whome all the worlde repreuys

And ye that fynde mennes goodes or treasoures

I call you as bad as robbers or theuys

For ye by your falshode and manyfolde errours

Kepe falsly that thynge whiche is none of yours

And wast here the goodes of hym that is past

The soule lyeth in payne, ye take your pleasours.

With his ryches, damnynge your owne soule at the last

Of the sermon or erudicion of wysdome bothe to wyse men and folys.

Wisdom calling to the people.

He that delyteth in godly sapience
And it to obtayne puttyth his besynes
Aboue all folys shall haue preemynence
And in this worlde haue honour and rychesse
Or a worthy crowne in heuyns blessydnesse
Or els bothe welthe here, and after ioy and blysse
Where as a fole of bothe the two shall mysse

Wysdome with voyce replete with grauyte

Callyth to all people, and sayth o thou mankynde

Howe longe wylt thou lyue in this enormyte

Alas howe longe shalt thou thy wyt haue blynde

Here my preceptis and rote them in thy mynde

Nowe is full tyme and season to clere thy syght:

Harkyn to my wordes, grounde of goodnes and ryght

Lerne mortall men, stodyenge day and nyght

To knowe me wysdome, chefe rote of chastyte

My holy doctryne thy herte shall clere and lyght

My tunge shall shewe the ryght and equyte

Chase out thy foly, cause of aduersyte.

And seke me wysdome whiche shall endewe thy mynde

With helth and welth wherby thou lyfe shalt fynde

Aryse I say agayne to the mankynde

And seke me wysdome that am well of goodnes

Let nat this worlde thy conscyence farther blynde

Nor to synne subdue for loue of false rychesse

Blynde nat thy herte with mondayne wretchednes

I am worth golde and worth all good mundayne:

And to mankynde counselloure souerayne

No maner Jowell is to me lyke certayne

Ne so profytable to mortall creature

I passe all ryches and cause a man refrayne

His mynde from synne, and of his ende be sure

There is no treasoure nor precious stone so pure

Carbuncle Ruby ne adamond in londe nor see

Nor other lapydary comparable to me:

And shortly to speke wysdome is more laudable

Than all the worlde or other thynge mundayne

There is no treasoure: to wysdome comparable

But it alone is a vertue moste souerayne

Hauynge nought lyke in valoure nor worth certayne

No fole is so ryche, nor hye of dignyte

But that a wyse man pore is more worthy than he

Wysdome preserueth men in auctoryte

Prynces promotynge by counseyll prouydent

By it pore men somtyme, and of lowe degre

Hath had the hole worlde to them obedyent

It gydeth Cytees and countrees excellent

And gouerneth the counseyll of prynce lorde and kynge

Strengthynge the body the herte enlumynynge

It gydyth lordes and from bondage doth brynge

Them whome foly hath brought in to captyuyte

Hir gyftys to mankynde frely offrynge

Gydynge hir discyples from all aduersyte

Wysdome stondynge vpon a stage on hye

Cryeth to mankynde with lowde voyce in this wyse

I trouth exalte: and vycious men dispyse

Lerne of me wysdome cast out your couetyse

For by my myght craft and wyse prouysicion

Kynges vnto their dygnyte dothe ryse

Theyr septers gydynge by my monycion

I gaue them lawes to gyde eche regyon

In welthe defendynge and in prosperyte

Them and theyr royalmes whyle they gyde them by me

All maner nacyons that doth to me inclyne

I gyde and gouerne by lawe and equyte

In me is right, godly wyt and doctryne

What blynde foly, and howe great aduersyte

Do they auoyde that gyde them selfe by me

And he that me louyth with worshyp and honour

Shall knowe my loue my grace and my fauour

He that me folowyth shall auoyde all dolour

I shall hym folowe promotynge in suche case

That none shall be before hym in valour

I godly ryches in my power inbrace

Whiche man by me may esely purchase

And he that wyll his way by me addresse

I shall rewarde with heuenly ioy endles

The father of heuen of infynyte goodnesse.

Me comprehendyth within his deytee

Of hym my firste begynnynge is doutles.

And heuen and erth he create hath by me

And euery creature bothe on londe and se

The heuen imperyall all planetis and firmameut

God neuer thynge made without my true assent

Therfore mankynde set thy mynde and intent

To me wysdome to be subiect and seruaunt

To my preceptis be thou obedyent

And heuenly ioy thou shalt nat lacke nor want

For doutles they ar mad and ignoraunt

And folys blyndyd who so euer they be

That wyll nat gladly be seruauntes vnto me

The envoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Aryse folys of myndes darke and blynde.

Receyue the gyftes of godly sapyence

Here hir perceptis and plant them in your mynde

And rote out the gaffys of your olde offence.

Call to your myndes what inconuenyence

Howe sodayne fallys, what sorowe and turment

Hath come to many a myghty lorde and prynce

For nat folowynge of hir commaundement.

Of bostynge or hauynge confydence in fortune.

Sudden great misfortune.

He is a fole whiche settyth confydence
On frayle fortune vncertayne and mutable
His mynde exaltynge in pryde and insolence
Because that she somtyme is fauorable
As if she wolde so be perdurable
Suche folys oft whan they thynke them most sure
All sodaynly great mysfortune endure

Amonge our folys he ought to haue a place

And so he shall for it is resonable

Whiche thynketh hymselfe greatly in fortunes grace

Bostynge that she to hym is fauorable

As if hyr maner were nat to be mutable

In this vayne hope suche theyr lyfe doth lede

Tyll at the laste theyr hous borne oure theyr hede

He shakyth boost and oft doth hym auaunte

Of fortunes fauoure and his prosperyte

Whiche suffreth hym nought of his wyll to wante

So that he knoweth nought of aduersyte

Nor mysfortune nor what thynge is pouertee.

O lawles fole, o man blyndyd of mynde

Say what suretye in fortune canst thou fynde

To what ende or vnto what conclusyon

Shall fortune frayle vnrightwyse and vnsure

Lede the blynde fole by hyr abusyon.

Howe darest thou the in hir blyndnes assure.

Syns she vnstable is and can nat longe endure

Hir gyftis changith, she is blynde and sodayne

Thoughe she firste lawghe hir ende is vncertayne.

Thou shakest boste ofte of hir foly in vayne

For he is most happy whiche can auoyde hir snare

If she exalte some one vnto welth mundayne

She bryngeth another to payne sorowe and care

Whyle one is ladyd to the others backe is bare

Whyle she a begger maketh in good abounde

A lorde or state she throweth to the grounde

But nat withstandynge hir mutabylyte.

Thou bostest thy gode and to moche abundaunce

Thou bostest thy welth and thy prosperyte

Thy good auenturs, and plentyfull pleasaunce

Alas blynde fole amende thy ygnoraunce

And in thy welthe to this saynge intende

That fortune euer hath an incertayne ende

Fals fortune infect of countenaunce and of face

By hir iyen clowdy and varyable vysage

Hath many for a whyle taken to hir grace

Whiche after by hir whele vnstable and volage

Hath brought them to wo mysfortune and damage

She ruleth pore and riche without difference

Lewdnes exaltynge and damnynge innocence

Thus is that man voyde, of all intellygence

Whom fortune fedyth, with chaunche fortunable

If he therin haue ouer large confydence

And thynke that sure that euer is mutable

That fole is sonne, to the fende abhomynable

That foloweth ryches, and fortune that is blynde

His sauyour lefte, and clene out of mynde

Whan the foule fende, father of vnhappynes

Pore man purposyth by falshode to begyle

He sendeth hym welth worldly, and fals ryches

And causeth fortune, awhyle on hym to smyle

Whiche with hir blyndenes doth mankynde so defyle

That whyle they trust in hir fauour to sore.

They damme theyr soules in hell for euermore

By large examples thou eche day mayste se

The chaunge of fortune and the ende vncertayne

Wherfore to boste the of hyr commodyte

It is great foly and also thynge in vayne

From this lewdnes thy mynde therfore refrayne

And be content with fortune moderate

Nor boste the nat of thy welth or estate

This day thou art ryche and despysest the pore

Yet so may it fall, that for thy lewde lyuynge

To morowe thou beggest thy brede from dore to dore

Therfore remembre that blynde fortune wandrynge

Hath nat in hyr handes power, nor gydynge

The rewardes of welth, nor of felycyte

But god them gydeth by his great maieste

And all thynge chaungeth as is to hym plesaunt

His dedes to wysdome alwaye agreable

Wherfore blynde fole be nat so ignoraunt

To prayse fortune whiche is so varyable

And of rewardes vnsure and chaungeable

But thoughe she smyle trust nat to hir intent

For amonge swete herbes ofte lurkyth the serpent

Barklay to the Folys.

Ye folys that haue in fortune confydence:

And boste you of welth and of prosperyte

Leue of your foly, and note by euydence:

Hir cours vnsure: and hir mutabylyte

None in this lyfe can byde in one degre

But somtyme hye, than after pore and lowe.

Nowe nought set by, nowe in auctoryte

Nowe full nowe voyde as waters ebbe and flowe

I am remembred that I haue often sene

Great worldly ryches ende in pouertye

And many one that hath in fauour ben:

And hye promotyd in welth and dignyte.

Hath sodaynly fallyn into calamyte

Thus is it foly to trust in fortunes grace

For whyle the Se floweth and is at Burdews hye

It as fast ebbeth at some other place

Of the ouer great and chargeable curyosyte of men.

The fool with the world on his back.

Unto mo folys here ordayne I a barge
Whiche medlyth with euery mannys besynes
And nat intendeth to their owne losse and charge
Great payne and wo suche folys oft oppresse
And let them lerne with pacyent mekenes
To suffer sorowe for why they shall none lacke
Syns they alone, the hole worlde take on theyr backe

He that wyll coueyt to bere more than he may

And take on his sholders more than he can sustayne

Suche is a fole, his dedys wyll not deny

And with his owne wyll gooth to peryll and payne.

He is vnwyse whiche is ioyous and fayne

To offer his necke to bere that without fere

Whiche were ynoughe for dyuers men to bere

That man that taketh vpon his backe alone

The heuy weght of the large fyrmament

Or any burdeyne whiche maketh hym to grone

Whiche to sustayne his strength is ympotent

No meruayle is if he fall incontynent

And than whan he lowe on the grounde doth lye

He oft repentyth his purpose and foly

We haue in storyes many examples great

Shewynge the lewde ende of this curyosyte.

I rede of Alexander that dyd often sweate

In great peryls to augment his dignyte

He was nat content with europe and asye

Nor all the grounde under the fyrmament

At the last ende, cowde nat his mynde content

As if all the erth were nat suffycyent

For his small body by curyouse couetyse

But at the last he must holde hym content

With a small cheste, and graue nat of great pryce.

Thus deth vs shewyth what thynge sholde vs suffyce

And what is the ende of our curyosyte.

For dethe is lyke to hye and lowde degre

What shall a kynge at his last endynge haue

Of all his realme and infynyte treasoure

Saue onely his towmbe, and the grounde of his graue

But thoughe it be of great pryce and voloure

As is conuenyent to his hye honoure.

Yet lytell conforte to his soule shall it gyue

But cause of bostynge to them that after lyue

Thus whan man vnto his last ende is come

He nought with hym bereth of his dignytees

Wherfore cynicus a man of great wysdome

Lorde grettest of Grece in londes and Cytees

Hathe lefte great example vnto all degrees

For his great ryches his herte dyd neuer blynde

But worldly pompe set clene out of his mynde

He forced of no castels nor excellent byldynge

Dispysynge charges and besynes worldly

But gaue his mynde to vertue and cunnynge

And namely to the scyence of astronomy

Consyderynge that great rest of mynde and of body

With hym abydeth whiche with bolde herte is fayne

To folowe vertue, and leue charges mundayne

He that so doth no weght doth vndertake

Vpon his backe of so great a grauyte

That his small strength must it agayne forsake.

Where he that attempteth grettest thynges, and hye:

Great weyght of charges and moche dignite

Must lerne to suffer payne thought and vexacion

By his great charges of perturbacion.

What auayle is it the worlde to obtayne

In one mannys power, and all other to excell

To suffer trouble, and vayne charges sustayne

And at the last his pore soule gooth to hell

There toren and tourmented in paynes cruell

It were moche better to kepe a quyet mynde

And after our deth eternall rest to fynde

He that taketh thought for euery besynes:

And caryth for that whiche doth nat apertayne

Nor longe to his charge, he is full of blyndnes

And no houre shall rest, but styll in thought and payne

Care for thy owne charges, theron set thy brayne

For he a fole is that caryth or doth intende

For another mannys charge whiche he can nat amende

Therfore lyue in rest after thy degre.

Nor on suche thynges do nat thy mynde aply

Whiche ar no thynge apertaynynge vnto the

If thou so do thou shalt fynde rest therby

Auoyde thou the charge of worldly mysery

For godes take no thought great care ne trauayle.

Whiche after deth shall do the none auayle

Barklay to the Folys.

Fole clere thy iyen and of thy selfe beware

Care moste for thy owne besynes and charge

For other mennes take no great thought nor care

If thou thy conscience mayst therof discharge

A curyous man that of his tunge is large

Talkynge or carynge of other, his place is best

Hye in the fore top of our folysshe barge

For in that place is small quyet or rest

Of them that ar alway borowynge.

To the devouring wolf most like and semblable.

A man that is besy both euyn and morowe
With rauysshynge clawys and insaciable
Of his frendes and neyghbours to begge and to borow
To the deuourynge wolfe is most lyke or semblable
Suche in our shyp shall nat want a babyll
For he that styll borowes shall skant hym quyte or redde
And as a wretche the asse shall hym ouer tredde

That fole that hym selfe a dettour doth make

To dyuerse men, and is borowynge alway

Right ponderous charges on hym doth take

Borowynge of one another therwith to pay

Thoughe he be glad to haue longe terme and day

To hym assygned to make his payment

It nought auayleth, for soone the tyme is spent

But in the meane tyme deuourynge vsurye

Spoylyth makynge pore many a borewer

Where they two borewed they promys to pay thre

Their day of payment lenger to defarre.

Thus doth oft borowynge many thousandes marre

Yet some get malyce for that gode that they len

And where they lent twenty gladly taketh ten.

I wyll nat say but that it is mede certayne

To lene frely to one that is in nede

And wyll be glade it to content agayne.

But he that lenyth to haue rewarde or mede

Or more than he lent, may of hell payne haue drede

And he that so boroweth gayne can haue none

Therby in this lyfe, but hell whan he is gone

Therfore in this satyre suche wyll I repreue

And none that borowe nor lene on amyte

The vsurers: fals cristen men in theyr byleue

Folowe the waren way of theyr iniquyte

Prohybyte by lawe iustyce and equyte

Theyr vnclene hertes, and mynde, vnhappely

On lucre settynge, comynge by vsury

They hepe theyr synne in quantyte horryble

Labowrynge that lewde burthen gretter to make

And that sore weght tedyose and terryble

With a great rope vpon theyr shulders take

The weyght vp taken all theyr hole ioyntes quake

Thus these caytyfs with this rope and burthyn heuy

Them selfe hange damnynge theyr soule eternally

A wretchyd man, alas make clere thy reason

Remember thoughe god the suffer thus longe tyme

He graunteth that space to amende the in season.

And nat dayly to encreas thy synne and cryme

Somtyme he punyssheth with infernall abhyme

Shortly for synne, somtyme thoughe one mysdo

He suffreth longe: but yet truste nat therto

The longer vnpunysshed, the sorer is the payne

And if thou wylt nat gyue to me credence

Of sodome and Gomor the Bybyll sheweth playne

Howe God rightwysely ponysshed theyr offence

And also Solym, towne of great excellence

For vyciousnes god ponysshed bytterly

Whiche sholde vs cause for to lyue rightwysely.

The rightwyse god also dyd sore chastyce

Tthe Nilicolyans and them vtterly destroy

For theyr contynuynge in theyr syn and vyce

And theyr lynage longe kepte from welth and ioy

In great trouble whiche dyd theyr hertis noy:

Howe be it that they were good and innocent

For theyr fathers faute they suffred punysshement

But to our purpose to retourne agayne.

He that ought boroweth whiche he can nat pay

Of a wolfe rauysshynge foloweth the trayne

But though he all swolowe yet can he by no way

Deuoure the tyme nor the prefyxed day

Wherfore if he than disceyue his credytour

He oft hym chastyth with iustyce and rygour

Ryght in lyke wyse our lorde omnipotent

In this worlde to lyue grauntyth vs tyme and space

Nat styll to synne, but vnto this intent

To leue our vyce, and folowe the way of grace

But if we styll contynue in one case

And haue done no good to pay hym at our day

In hell pryson he iustly shall vs lay

Barklay to the Folys.

Thou fole mysmyndyd to large of sconscyence

To the I speke that art a lewde dettour

Borowe thou no thynge, noble grote ne pens.

More than thou mayst agayne pay thy credytour

Right so endeuer the to pay thy sauyour

His right and dewty, with a glad wyll and fayne

That is true seruyce, with glory and honour

Than shalt thou surely escape infernall payne.

Of inprofytable and vayne prayers vowes and peticyons.

Vain prayers.

That man whose herte vnhappy synne doth blynde
And prayth gasynge into the fyrmament
Or he that setteth nat his herte and mynde
Upon his wordes, theyr sentence or intent
And he that desyreth thynge nat conuenyent
Suche folys shall nat theyr peticion obtayne
For without the herte the tonge laboureth in vayne

Here we repreue (reperue) ye and reuyle.

A sorte of folys lewde of condicions

Whose herte and tunge theyr soules doth defyle

By theyr blynde prayers and yll peticions

Suche folowe no techynge nor gode monysyons

For often many of them with tunge doth pray

Theyr mynde, abstract nat knowynge what they say

Man oft desyreth with great affeccion

That thynge of god, whiche thynge if god wolde graunt.

Sholde be at last vnto thyer destruccyon

Examples hereof thou canst nat lacke nor want

The great Medas somtyme kynge tryumphant.

Of Phrygye By his owne folysshe desyre

With paynfull hunger, his lyfe breth dyd expyre

This kynge Mydas of whom I haue you tolde

Of god desyred with prayer dylygent.

That all that he touchyd tourne myght vnto golde

His prayer was harde, he obteynyd his intent

But nat to his welth, but mortall punysshement

For whan he brede or drynke tast or touche sholde

Incontynent was it tourned in to golde

Thus was his prayer to his owne damage

For at the laste he dyed in wo and payne

For no golde coude his sore hunger asswage

Nor his desyre coude he nat call agayne.

Thus his peticion desyred was in vayne:

And where he wenyd great welth to get therby

He dyed in shame hunger and mysery.

Some dayly pray with marueylous besynes

Cryeng and syghynge to god omnypotent

For to haue plenty of welth ioy and ryches

And to be made ryche myghty and excellent.

O cursyd lyuers, o blynde men of intent

On suche desyres they set theyr mynde and thought

Whiche thousandes vnto shamefull ende hath brought

What profyted the myghty edefyces:

Of Lycynus, or lyuelode of excesse:

What profyteth the money gotten in vyces

Of riche Crassus, or cresus, great ryches

They all ar dede by theyr vnhappynes

And that lewdely, nat by deth naturall

Theyr blynde desyres chefe rote and cause of all

Another whiche is in youthes prosperyte

For strength and myght often to god doth pray

Some of theyr lyfe to haue prolyxyte

Desyreth god, and here to byde alway

In riches welth, ioy and solempne aray

But yet they in glotony take suche custome

That they slea them selfe longe or theyr day be come

Alas mad fole why prayest thou for age

Syns it so greuous is and ymportable

Unstable and full of dolour and damage

Odyous to youth and intollerable

Say folysshe man whiche art of mynde vnstable

Is it nat great foly to any creature

To pray for that thynge, whiche he can nat endure

Peleus, and Nestor and many other mo

As Itackes and laertes, sore haue complayned

For to longe age, euer full of payne and wo

Wherwith theyr bodyes sore haue ben constrayned

And with great sorowes and dyuers often payned:

And to conclude brefly in one sentence

Oft to age falleth moche inconuenyence

Yet ar mo folys whiche ought repreued be

And they ar suche whiche styll on god doth call

For great rowmes, offyces and great dignyte

No thynge intendynge to theyr greuous fall

For this is dayly sene, and euer shall

That he that coueytys hye to clym aloft

If he hap to fall, his fall can nat be soft

Some other pray for bewty and fayrnes

And that to a cursyd purpose and intent

Wherby they lese the heuenly blyssydnes:

Theyr soule subduynge to infernall turment

O ye mad folys of myndes ympotent

Pray your Pater noster with deuoute herte and mynde

For therin is all that is nedefull to mankynde

Our sauyour criste whyle he was on this grounde

Amonge vs synners in this vale of mysery

Taught his disciples this prayer whiche doth sounde

Nere to this sentence, nor greatly doth nat vary

(Our father wiche art in heuen) eternally

Thy name be halowyd (graunt that to thy kyngdome)

All we thy seruauntis worthely may come

In heuen and erth thy wyll be done alway

And of thy great grace and thy benygnyte

Our dayly brede graunt vnto vs this day

Forgyuynge our synnes and our iniquyte:

As we forgyue them that to vs detters be

And to auoyde temptacion thy grace vnto vs len

And vs delyuer from euery yll amen.

Whan thou hast clensyd thy mynde from syn before

And sayd this prayer to thy maker deuoutly

Thou nedyst nat of hym to desyre more

Yet mayst thou pray and desyre rightwysly

For helthe of soule within thy hole body

For stedfast fayth and yll name to eschewe.

And chastely to lyue (by his help) in vertue

Thus sholde thou pray thou wretche both day and nyght

With herte and mynde vnto thy creatoure:

And nought by foly to asshe agaynst right

To hurte or losse to thy frende or neyghboure

Nor to thy fo by yll wyll or rygoure

But if god to thy prayers alway sholde enclyne

Oft sholde come great sorowe to the and to all thyne

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Man clere thy mynde or thou begyn to pray

Els though thy prayer be iust it is but vayne

And kepe togyther thy hurte and tonge alway

Or els doutles thou lesest all thy payne

From lewde peticions thy mynde thou ought refrayne

If thou desyre yll to thy fo by malyce

At thy peticion god shall haue dysdayne

For though thou be wrothe god is nat in lyke wyse

Of vnprofytable stody.

Vain study.

He that vayne stody doth haunt or exercyse
And lesyth his tyme, of fruyte voyde and barayne
Resortynge to ryot whiche cunnynge doth dispyse
And that of doctryne (in maner) hath disdayne
Suche shall in age of his madnes complayne
And seynge that he lesyth his tyme thus in foly
Let hym come to our folysshe company.

Nowe in this Nauy many them selfe present

Of this our roylame and from beyond the see

Whiche in theyr stody or lewde and neglygent

Lesynge theyr tyme at the vnyuersyte

Yet count they them selfe of great auctoryte

With theyr proude hodes on theyr neckes hangynge

They haue the lawde: but other haue the cunnynge

They thynke that they haue all scyence perfytely

Within theyr hertes bostynge them of the same

Though they therto theyr mynde dyd neuer aply

Without the thynge, they ioy them of the name

But suche mad folys to theyr great losse and shame

Whyle they sholde norysshe theyr myndes with science

They seke theyr pleasour, gyuen to neglygence

They wander in euery inconuenyence

From strete to strete, from tauerne to tauerne

But namely youth, foloweth all offence

No thynge intendynge the profyte to dyscerne

Nor fruyte of cunnynge wherby they myght gouerne

Them selfe by reason, but suche thynges they ensue

Wherby they neyther get good maners nor vertne

But he that intendeth to come to the science

And godly wysdome of our elders: certayne.

He must sore stody, for without dilygence

And besy laboure no man can it obtayne

None ought to cesse: though it firste be a payne.

In good perseueraunce getteth great ryches

Where no good cometh by sleuthfull ydelnes.

But moste I marueyll of other folys blynde

Whiche in dyuers scyencis ar fast laborynge

Both daye and nyght with all theyr herte and mynde

But of gramer knowe they lytyll or no thynge

Whiche is the grounde of all lyberall cunnynge

Yet many ar besy in Logyke and in lawe

Whan all theyr gramer is skarsly worth a strawe

If he haue onys red the olde dotrinall

With his diffuse and vnparfyte breuyte

He thynketh to haue sene the poyntis of grammer all.

And yet of one errour he maketh two or thre

Precyan or sulpice disdayneth he to se

Thus many whiche say that they theyr grammer can

Ar als great folys as whan they firste began

One with his speche rounde tournynge lyke a whyle

Of logyke the knottis doth lows and vndo

In hande with his sylogysimes, and yet doth he fele

No thynge what it menyth, nor what longeth therto

Nowe sortes currit: Nowe is in hande plato

Another comyth in with bocardo and pheryson

And out goeth agayne a fole in conclusyon

There is nought else but Est and non est

Blaberynge and chydynge, as it were beawlys wyse

They argue nought els but to proue man a beest

Homo est Asinus is cause of moche stryfe

Thus passe forth these folys the dayes of theyr lyfe

In two syllabis, not gyuynge aduertence

To other cunnynge doctryne, nor scyence.

I wyll nat say but that it is expedyent

The to knowe of Logyke the chrafte and connynge

For by argument it maketh euydent

Moche obscurenes, somtyme enlumynynge

The mynde: and sharpynge the wyt in many a thynge

But oft yet by it a thynge playne bryght and pure

Is made diffuse, vnknowen harde and obscure

It is ynoughe therof to knowe the grounde

And nat therin to wast all thy lyfe holly

Styll grutchynge lyke vnto the frogges sounde

Or lyke the chaterynge of the folysshe pye

If one afferme the other wyll deny

Sophestry nor Logyke with their art talcatyfe

Shewe nat the way vnto the boke of lyfe

With suche folyes tender youth is defylyd

And all theyr dayes on them they set delyte

But godly doctryne is from theyr myndes exylyd

Whiche sholde the body and soule also profyte

They take no layser, pleasur nor respyte

To other scyences, pleasaunt and profytable

But without ende in one thynge chat and bable

One rennyth to almayne another vnto fraunce

To parys padway Lumbardy or spayne

Another to Bonony, Rome or orleance

To cayne, to Tolows, Athenys or Colayne

And at the last retournyth home agayne

More ignorant, blynder and gretter folys

Than they were whan they firste went to the scolys

One bostynge the name of a lawer or deuyne

His proude hode hye vpon his stately necke:

Thus muste a gode clerke vnto a foule enclyne

Lowt with the body and with obedyence becke

And thoughe it tourne to theyr rebuke and checke

Yet nowe a dayes ouer many suche there be.

Whiche in stede of cunnynge vseth audacyte

The hode must answere for the follysshe student

Theyr tyme hath ben lost frutles and barayne.

Theyr frendes godes on suche folyes ar spent

To their damage thought hunger and payne:

Thus to conclude: me thynke it is but vayne

The frendes to labour the dayes of theyr lyue

To spare for suche scolers whiche shall neuer thryue

The great foly, the pryde, and the enormyte

Of our studentis, and theyr obstynate errour

Causeth me to wryte two sentences or thre

More than I fynde wrytyn in myne actoure

The tyme hath ben whan I was conductoure

Of moche foly, whiche nowe my mynde doth greue

Wherfor of this shyp syns I am gouernoure.

I dare be bolde myne owne vyce to repreue

Howe be it I knowe my wordes shall suche greue

As them selfe knoweth fawty and culpable

But if they be wroth: take they me by the sleue

For they shall bere the hode and I wyll the bable:

But firste ye studentis that ar of mynde vnstable

Ye wasters and getters by nyght in felde or towne

Within my Nauy wolde I set you to a cable

If I not fered lyst ye your selfe wolde drowne

Also I fere lyst my shyp sholde synke for syn

If that Cupido and Uenus seruytours

On the vnsure se my shyp entred within

Or all the folys promotyd to honours

I none receyue can of hye progenytours

My shyp is nat dressyd for them conuenyent

And to I fere lyst theyr cruell rygours:

Sholde rayse to my shyp some tempest or tourment

Thenuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Fy studentis clens your myndes of this cryme

Gyue ones your hertis to parfyte dylygence

Howe longe in Idelnes, wyll ye lese your tyme

In pryde and ryot, with all other offence

Alas what profyte get ye by neglygence

But spende your goodes in all iniquyte

And where your frendes thynke, ye labour for scyence:

Ye lese your tyme bryngynge them to pouertee

Leue of suche stody as is vnprofytable

Without fruyte outher godly discyplyne

And gyue your myndes to scyences lawdable

Where ye may your herte set and inclyne:

To Arystotyls or Platoys doctryne

And nat alway on logyke or Sophestry

I wyll nat say but it is a thynge dyuyne

And moche worth to knowe Phylosophy

Of them that folysshly speke agaynst the workes of god.

A fire to increase the light of the sun.

Here note we fowlys whiche can nat be content
With goddes worke, and ordynaunce dyuyne
Thynkynge theyr owne wyll moche more expedyent
Nat wyllynge theyr myndes to his wyll to enclyne
But suche folys often sholde come to ruyne
And wo with sorowe and losse sholde they fynde
If god sholde conforme his workes to theyr mynde

He is a fole and laboreth in vayne:

Whiche with small brondes of fyre flamynge bryght

Entendyth with laboure besynes and payne

Of the shynynge sonne for to encrease the lyght

Suche one assayeth a thynge passynge his myght

And is a fole to set thought or delyte

To mende that thynge whiche god hath made perfyte

But yet is he a moche gretter fole truely

Whiche wyll correct that thynge whiche god hath done

And doth nat his herte his wyll and mynde aply

To goddes workes and deuyne prouysyon

Of all other maddest is his condycion

And more frantyfe forsoth I may hym call

Than they that ar vext with furyes infernall:

(Thou fole) the myght of god omnipotent

In vertue and wysdome so largely doth extende

His maiesty, and power is so excellent

His glorious godhede his workes doth defende

So that no mortall man can them amende

Wenest thou mad fole that thou amende cannest ought

That he hath done: whiche made all thynge of nought

He that hath made the heuen and firmament

The londe, the se, and euery other thynge

Is so discrete, so wyse, and prouydent

Before his presence parfytely seynge

All thynge to come that neuer hath had beynge

His workes and dedys ar so perfyte and ryght

That none can increas nor yet decreas his myght

He doth all thynge dispose moderate and dispence

Knowynge our mynde, and what is to vs most mete

All thynge is open and playne in his presence

Our inwarde thought must he nedes knowe and wete

And euery fortune is playne before his fete

He hath all thynge by lawe and order drest

And doth no thynge but it is for the best

Therfore whether he gyue thunder snowe or rayne

Wynde or wether, tempest or tourment

Frost lyghtnynge, fayre wether, outher storme sodayne

Mystes or clowdes, yet man sholde be content

And nat with worde nouther inwarde intent

Agaynst god grutche, but euery day and houre

Magnyfye the dedys of god his creatoure

It were moche better thou fole that thou were dome

Than to cast lewde wordes agaynst thy lorde in vayne

Thou fole he worketh no thynge but by wysedome

And yet art thou nat content but dost complayne

Thou sekest vengeaunce (for thy synne) and payne

In hell for euer, thynkynge thy selfe so wyse

To teche thy god, and his warke to dispyse

It is nat lawfull for any, hye nor lowe

To be so bolde so blynde or so cruell

Grutchynge wordes agaynst his god to throwe

Thughe to theyr plaseour a thynge nat fortune well

Take example by the children of Israell

Whiche oft for this synne suffred great payne and wo

Slayne and distroyed, so haue ben many mo

Many a lewde body without wysdome or rede

Grutche in theyr myndes, and openly do blame

Almyghy god, whan theyr children ar dede

Where rather they ought to enioye of the same

For it myght fortune that great rebuke and shame

Myght to theyr frendes haue come by theyr synne and cryme

Soone after: if they had nat dyed at that tyme

Wherfore this one clause is my conclusyon

That god our maker is wyse and prouydent

Blame nat his workes by thyne abusyon

For all that he doth is for the best intent

But if that god sholde alwaye assent

To our desyres and euer perfourme our wyll

Our owne requestis sholde tourne vs to great yll

Alexander barklay to the Folys.

O ye mad myndes that no thynge vnderstonde

O man presumptuous and vnobedyent

Howe darest thou be so bolde to take on honde

To repreue the workes of god omnipotent

Wylt thou hym teche, as more wyse and prouydent

Than he is (whiche made all thynge of nought)

Leue of this thy foly, and holde thy selfe content

For thou art a fole to set theron thy thought

Of them that gyue jugement on other.

The fool who judges others.

Who that reputyth hym selfe iust and fawtles
Of maners gode, and of lyuynge commendable.
And iugeth other (parchaunce that ar gyltles)
To be of a condicion reprouable
Hymselfe nat notynge, thoughe that he were culpable
He is a fole, and onys shall haue a fall
Syns he wyll other iuge, hym selfe yet worst of all.

Many fallyth in great peryll and damage

And greuous deth by the vyce of folysshnes

Perseuerantly bydynge in theyr outrage

Theyr soule infect with synne and viciousnes

And though that deth hym alway to them addres

Yet hope they in longe lyfe and prosperyte

And neuer asswageth theyr blynde iniquyte

The tyme passeth as water in a ryuere

No mortall man can it reuoke agayne

Dethe with his dartis vnwarely doth apere

It is the ende of euery man certayne

The last of all ferys and ende of worldly payne

But thoughe we knowe that we all must haue an ende

We slepe in synne disdaynynge vs to amende

Some thynke them gode, iust and excellent

Myghty stronge and worthy of preemynence:

Charitable, chast, constant and innocent

Nat doutynge deth nor other inconuenyence

But yet ar they wrappyd sore in synne and offence

And in a vayne hope, contynue in suche wyse

That all the worlde (saue them selfe) they dispyse

They take on them the workes of god omnipotent

To iuge the secrete of mannys mynde and thought

And where no sygne is sene playne and euydent

They iuge a man saynge, his lyfe is nought

And if deth one hath vnto his last ende brought

(As mad) they mende nat theyr mysgouernaunce

Nat thynkynge that they ensue must the same daunce

Suche folys fayne causes and often tymes say:

That he that is dede vsed ryot and moche foly

Whiche causyd hym to dye before his day

And that he was feble, or full of malancoly

Ouer sad, or prowde, disceytfull and pope holy

Uiciously lyuynge in couetyse and gyle

Wherfore god suffred hym lyue the shorter whyle

Lo these blynde folys saciat with vyce

Jugeth hym that perchaunce dyd nat amys

Whyle he here lyuyd, and is in paradyce

Rewardyd for his workes in endles ioy and blys

Where as this lewde Juger, here in this worlde is

Styll lyuynge in synne, suffrynge great payne and wo

And though he thynke hym gode shall neuer come therto

He that in synne here lyeth fettered fast

And iugeth the deth of his frende or neyboure

Whiche from this lyfe is departed and past.

Let hym beware, for onys come shall the houre

That he must fele dethis dolorouse rygoure.

And after that endure infernall punysshement

For iugynge and mysdemynge of people innocent

The terme and day, of deth is moche vnsure

The deth is sure, the houre is vncertayne

Deth is generall to euery creature

Theder we must all, be it pleasour or payne

Wherfore wysdome wyll that we shulde refrayne

From folysshe demynge and nons deth discus

After deth god wot howe it shall be with vs

Alas full often a iust man gode and true

Of mynde innocent sad sober and sympyll

Passynge his tyme in goodnes and vertue

Is of these folys thought and demyd for yll

And he that is nought, frowarde of dede and wyll

Of these folys blynde frantyke and wode.

Without all reason is iugyd to be goode

Wherfore I proue that a blynde fole thou art

To iuge or deme a mannys thought or intent

For onely god knoweth our mynde and hart

Wherto we gree and to what thynge we assent

But who that is rightwyse iust, and innocent

And louyth god with honour and with reuerence

Than, may he boldely iuge anothers offence

Alexander barklay to the Folys.

Amende you folys: do way these folysshe wayes

Take ye no charge: nat mete for your degre.

And note these wordes: whiche criste our sauyour sayes

Juge nat another, and thou shalt nat iugyd be

It longeth onely to the hye dyuynyte

To iuge our mynde: for he is true iustyce

All thynge discernynge by right and equyte

No man sholde deme, whyle hym selfe is in vyce

Of pluralitees that is to say of them whiche charge them selfe with many benefycis.

The ass charged with many sacks.

That myller is a fole and here shall haue a barge
And as a mad man shall fast therin be bounde
Whiche his Asse wyll with so many sackes charge
That the pore beste for payne fallys to the grounde
Many in the chirche lyke hym may be founde.
Whiche so many benefycis labour to procure
That their small myght can nat the charge endure.

Amonge our folys delytynge them in vyces

Is yet another sorte of the speritualte

Whiche them ouerchargeth with dyuers benefyces

And namely suche that lowest ar in degre

Of byrth and cunnynge, of this condycion be

Defylynge goddes rentis and the chirches goode

Them selfe ouer ladynge, as men frantyke and wode

The weght is so great they can it nat endure

Theyr myght is small, theyr cunnynge is moche lesse

Thus this great charge wherof they haue the cure

To infernall Fenn doth this pore Asse oppresse

And to an Asse moste lyke he is doutles

Whiche takynge on his backe sackes nyne or tenne.

Destroyeth hymselfe them leuynge in the fenne

But though one prebende were to hym suffycient

Or one benefyce his lyuynge myght suffyse

Yet this blynde fole is nat therwith content

But labowreth for mo, and alway doth deuyse

Fals meanes to come therto by couetyse

He gapeth with his wyde throte insaciable

And neuer can content his wyll abhomynable

So for the loue of the peny and ryches.

He taketh this charge to lyue in welth and eas.

Howe be it that sole that hath suche besynes

And dyueres charges fyndeth great disseas

Neyther shall he god, nor yet the worlde pleas

And shall with his burthyns his mynde so vex and comber

That halfe his cures, can he nat count nor nomber

These carefull caytyfs, that ar of this same sort

With cures ar ouerchargyd so that of theyr mynde.

Rest haue they none, solace, pleasour nor conforte

Howe be it they thynke therby great welth to fynde

They gape yet euer, theyr maners lyke the wynde

Theyr lyfe without all terme or sertaynte

If they haue two lyuynges, yet loke they to haue thre

The folys whose hertis vnto this vyce ar bounde

Upon theyr sholders bereth aboute a sacke.

Insaciable without botome, outher grounde:

They thynke them nat lade though all be on theyr backe.

The more that they haue (the more they thynke they lacke)

What deuyll can stop theyr throte so large and wyde

Yet many all waste aboute Ryot and pryde

But yet is this moche more abhomynable

That asses vntaught without wysdome or scyence

Haue theyr proude myndes moste vnsaciable

Nat commynge to worshyp by vertue nor prudence

Yet counte they them worthy of this excellence

Courters become prestis nought knowynge but the dyce

They preste not for god, but for a benefyce

The clerke of the kechyn is a prest become

In full trust to come to promosyon hye

No thynge by vertue cunnynge nor wysdome

But by couetyse, practyse and flatery

The Stepyll and the chirche by this meane stand awry

For some become rather prestis for couetyse.

Than for the loue of god or his seruyce.

Alas oft goddes goodes and cristis herytage

Of suche folys is wastyd and spent in vayne

In great folyes mundaynes and outrage

Where it decreed, and ordeyned is certayne.

That prestis sholde helpe pore people that lyue in payne

And with suche goodes kepe hospytalyte

Whiche pryde ryot and Uenus suffreth nat to be

Thus is the grettest parte of the spiritualte

Pore preste, persone, vicayr, relygyon and prelate

With couetyse acloyde outher prodigalyte

And folys promotyd causyth good clerkis haue hate

Say lordes and bysshops with other of estate

What mouyth you so gladly, suche to promote

Whiche haue no cunnynge their wyt skant worth a grote

Wyll ye alway the folysshe asse ouercharge

With suche burthyns wherwith it can nat fare

And suffer other to walke and ren at large

And where they best myght bere theyr backes ar left bare

And that is worst of all, suche folys can nat be ware

But whan they ar promotyd after theyr owne entent.

Yet theyr insaciable mynde can neuer be content.

Some make exchanges and permutacions

Some take to ferme, and some let out agayne

Other folys for hope make resignacions

And some for one god scosyth gladly twayne

Some lyueth longe in hunger and in payne

And in the somer day skarsly drynketh twyse

Sparynge monay therwith to by a benefyce

Some for no wages in court doth attende

With lorde or knyght, and all for this polecy

To get of his lorde a benefyce at the ende

And in the meane tyme ensueth rybawdry

And somtyme laboureth by chraft of symony.

He playeth a fals cast, nat cessynge to coniure

Tyll of some benefyce he at the last be sure

Than if this lorde haue in hym fauoure, he hath hope

To haue another benefyce of gretter dignyte

And so maketh a fals suggestyon to the pope

For a Tot quot outher els a pluralyte

Than shall he nat be pleased with .ii. nouther thre

But dyuers wyll he haue ay choppynge and changynge

So oft a fole all and a gode clerke no thynge

These of nought force so that they may haue gayne

And golde ynough to spende on rybawdry and pryde

They haue the profyte, another hath the payne

The cure of the soulys of them is set asyde

And no meruayle, for howe sholde they abyde.

To teche their parysshynges vertue wysdome or grace

Syns no man can be atonys in euery place

Alas these folys our mayster criste betray

Of mannes soule wherof they haue the cure

And settynge in their stede syr Johnn of garnesey

They thynketh them selfe dischargyd quyte and sure

These folys note nat that euery creature.

Whiche here of soulys doth cure or charge take

At domys day a compt for them shall make

But if I sholde touche all the enormytees

The immoderat couetyse and desyre of dignyte

That nowe is vsed amonge all the degrees

Of benefycyd men ouer all the spiritualte

I fere displeasour, and also I often se

That trouth is blamed, and nat ay best to tell

But he that in this lyfe wyll alway besy be

To get dyuers prebendes shall haue the last in hell

Thenuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

What meane ye gyders of Christis herytage

Shall ye neuer leue this your deuowrynge mynde

Shall ye no tyme your couytyse asswage

Whiche in goddes seruyce your hartis sore doth blynde

Let this fals traytour no place amonge you fynde

Graunt hym no rowne in churche nor in quere.

For this is sure ye shall all leue behynde

We haue no Cyte, nor place abydynge here

Of them that prolonge from day to day to amende themselfe.

The fool who cries cras with the crow.

He that cras cras syngeth with the crowe
Deferrynge the tyme of his amendement
Amonge our folys, in this our shyp shall rowe
For his presumpcion, dull mynde and blynde intent
What knowe these folys whether god omnypotent
Wyll graunt them to lyue vntyll another day.
Wherfore we ought to mende vs whyle we may.

If vnto any almyghty god doth sende

From heuen aboue by inspyracion dyuyne

Wyll and gode mynde his synnes to amende

And with his grace his thoughtes enlumyne

If that synner wyll nat therto enclyne

But doth dyffer and dryue frome day to day

A fole he is, no wyse man wyll denay

Yet many folowe this inconuenience

And knowynge theyr owne vyce, and lyfe full of ordure

The payne therof, and howe euery offence

And synne is punysshed of eche creature

Also they knowe that theyr deth is vnsure

And dye they must knowynge no houre nor space

Yet synne they styll, nat receyuynge this grace

They folowe the crowes cry to theyr great sorowe

Cras cras cras to morowe we shall amende

And if we mende nat than, than shall we the next morowe

Outher shortly after, we shall no more offende

Amende mad fole whan god this grace doth sende

He is vnwyse whiche trustes the crowes songe

And that affermyth that he shall lyue so longe

Syns deth (as I haue sayde) is so vnstable

Wherfore we ought alway vs to prouyde

And mende our lyfe and synne abhomynable

For though that thou be hole at the euyn tyde

Thou knowest nat sure that thou shall here abyde

Untyll the morne but if thou dye in that space

It shall be to late for the to cry cras cras

Syns it is in thy power that thou may

Amende thy selfe whan god inspyreth the

Why shalt thou tary vnto another day

The longer tary the lesse apt shalt thou be.

In olde sores is grettest ieopardye

Whan costome and vse is tourned to nature

It is right harde to leue: I the ensure

Therfore if that thou lewdly fall in syn

By thy frayle flesshe, and the fals fendes trayne

Take nat the vse, contynue nat therin

But by confessyon shortly ryse agayne

Synne alway thretenyth vnto the doer, payne

And grutche of conscience with moche thought and wo

Yet alwaye ar we redy and prone therto

Mannys lyfe on erth is euyn a chyualry

Agaynst our flesshe fyghtyng whiche often doth vs shame

Also the deuyll our goostly ennemy

On his parte labours to get vs in his frame

Thus oft we fall, and than our foly blame

Repentynge sore, and wyllynge to refrayne

But within an houre we fall therto agayne

Thus euer to vyce ar we redy and prone

The gyftis of grace we clene from vs exclude

We haue great cause sore to complayne and mone

We leue that thynge (our myndes ar so rude)

That myght vs gyde to helth and beatytude

Thus our owne foly, and our owne blynde madnes

Us often ledyth vnto great wretchydnes

And if it fortune, that at any tyme

Within our myndes we purpose stedfastly

For to confesse our synne, excesse, or cryme

Agayne our thought is changyd by and by

Away than ren we with the crowys crye

With one cras, to morowe, perauenture twayne

Without regarde had, vnto infernall payne

But in the meane space if that deth vntretable

Arrest the with his mace, fyers and cruell

And for thy synne and lyfe abhomynable

By iustyce damme thy soule for euer to hell

Than woldest thou gladly (If thou myght) do well

But there is no grace but doloure payne and sorowe

Than is to late to crye cras cras to morowe

The Enuoy of the Actour.

Say what delyte, thou fole or what pleasoure

Takest thou in synne and voluptuosyte

It is small sothly, and passeth euery houre

Lyke to the water, and that in myserye

Therfore set nat in synne thy felycyte

This day begyn thy lewde lyfe to refuse

Perchaunce to morowe sholde be to late to the

So sholde cras the crwys songe the sore abuse

Of hym that is Jelous ouer his wyfe and watcheth hir wayes without cause, or euydent tokyn of hir myslyuynge.

Folly a woman to keep or close.

He that his wyfe wyll counterwayte and watche
And feryth of hir lyuynge by his Jelowse intent
Is as great fole, as is that wytles wratche
That wolde kepe flees vnder the son feruent
Or in the se cast water, thynkynge it to augment
For thoughe he hir watche lockynge with lockys twayne
But if she kepe hir selfe his kepynge is but vayne

Orestes was neuer so blynde and mad as is he

Whiche for his wyfe taketh thought and charge

Watchynge hir wayes, thoughe that she gyltles be

This fole styll fereth, if she be out at large

Lyst that some other his harnes sholde ouercharge

But for all his fere and carefull Jelowsy

If she be nought there is no remedy.

Thou fole I proue, thy watchynge helpeth nought

Thy labour lost is, thou takest this care in vayne

In vayne thou takest this Jelowsy and thought

In vayne thou sleest thy selfe with care and payne

And of one doute thou fole thou makest twayne

And neuer shalt fynde eas nor mery lyuynge

(Whyle thou thus lyuest) but hatered and chydynge

For locke hir fast and all hir lokes marke.

Note all hir steppys, and twynklynge of hir iye.

Ordeyne thy watchers and dogges for to barke

Bar fast thy dores and yet it wyll nat be

Close hir in a Toure with wallys stronge and hye

But yet thou fole thou lesist thy trauayle

For without she wyll no man can kepe hir tayle

And yet more ouer breche hir with plate and mayle

And for all that if she be nought of kynde

She shall disceyue the (If she lyst) without fayle

But if that she be chast of dede and mynde

Hir selfe shall she kepe, though thou hir neuer bynde

Thus they that ar chast of nature, wyll byde so

And nought wyll be nought what so euer thou do

Thus is it foly and causeth great debate

Bytwene man and wyfe, whan he by Jelowsy.

His wyfe suspectyth, and doth watche or counterwayt

Or hir mysdemyth and kepyth in stratly.

Wherfore me thynke it is best remedy

For hym that gladly wolde escape the hode

Nat to be Jelous: but honest lyuynge and gode

The toure of bras that callyd was darayne.

Coude nat the damsell (by name Danes) defende

But that Jupiter fonde a cautell and trayne

In a golden shoure into hir to discende

And to be short, at conclusyon and ende

This mayde for all this Toure was there defylyd.

And by this lorde was she there brought with childe

By this example it apereth euydent

That it is foly a woman to kepe or close

For if she be of lewde mynde or intent

Outher preuy or apert there about she goys

Deuysynge wayes with hir good man to glose

But specially if that he hir suspect

With a hode shall he vnwars be ouerdect

But in the worlde right many other be

Whiche neuer folowe this fals and lothly way

We haue example of one Penolope

Whiche though that she alone was many a day

Hir husbonde gone, and she vexed alway.

By other louers: yet was she euer trewe

Unto hir olde: and neuer changyd for newe

I fynde that often this folysshe Jelowsy

Of men; causyth some women to mysdo

Where as (were nat theyr husbondes blynde foly)

The pore wymen knowe nat what longyd therto

Wherfore suche men ar folys and mad also

And with theyr hodes whiche they them selfe purchace

Within my shyp shall haue a rowme and place

For where as perchaunce theyr wyfes ar chaste and goode

By mannys vnkyndnes they chaunge and turne theyr herte

So that the wyfe must nedes gyue them a hode

But to be playne some wymen ar esy to conuert

For if one take them where they can nat start.

What for theyr husbondes folysshe Jelowsy

And theyr owne pleasour: they scars can ought deny

The enuoy of the Actour.

Therfore ye wymen lyue wysly and eschewe

These wanton wowers and suche wylde company

Get you gode name by sadnes and vertue

Haunt no olde quenys that nourysshe rybawdry

Than fere ye nat your husbondes Jelowsy

If ye be fawtles, chaste and innocent

But wanton wowers ar ful of flatery

Euer whan they labour for their intent.

Be meke, demure, bocsome, and obedyent,

Gyue none occasyon to men by your foly

If one ought asshe, deny it incontynent

And euer after auoyde his company

Beware of cornes, do nat your erys aply

To pleasaunt wordes nor letters eloquent

If that Helena had so done certaynly

She had nat ven rauysshed by handes violent

Of auoutry, and specially of them yt ar bawdes to their wyues, knowynge and wyll nat knowe, but kepe counseyll, for couetyse, and gaynes or auauntage.

He layeth his hand before his eye.

A fole blynde, forsoth and wytles is that man
Whiche thoughe his wyfe openly defylyd be
Before his owne face, yet suche a chrafte he can
To fayne hym a slepe, nat wyllynge it to se
Or els he layeth his hande before his iye
And thoughe he here and se howe the mater gose
He snortynge slepyth, and wyll it nat disclose.

O what disorder, what shame and what domage

Is nowe brought in, and right lykely to abyde

In the sacrament of holy mariage

The fere of payne and lawe is set a syde

Faythe is clene lost, and fewe them selfe do gyde

After theyr othe, but for lacke of punysshement.

They brake and despyse this dyuyne sacrament

Alas the lawe that Julius dyd ordeyne

Agaynst auoutry: is nowe a slepe or dede

None feryth iustyce punysshement nor payne

Both man and woman ar past all fere and drede

Theyr promes brekynge, without respect or hede

Had to theyr othe, by mariage solemnysed

The bed defylyd. the sacrament despysed

Many ar whiche thynke it is a thynge laudable

Anothers sponse to pullute and dyffame

And howe beit the synne is moche abhomynable

They fere nat god, nor dout nat worldly shame

But rather boldly they bost them of the same

They note no thynge the mortall punysshement

Taken on auoutrers in the olde testament

Yet is another thynge more lothsome and vyle

That many husbondes knowynge theyr wyues syn

Absent themselfe and stop theyr iyen the whyle

Kepynge the dore whyle the auoutrer is within

They forse no thynge so they may money wyn

Lyuynge as bawdes, and that to theyr owne wyues

O cursyd money, this madnes thou contryuys

O cursyd husbonde thou ought to be asshamyd

To set so great fors for syluer or for golde

That thou for them thy wyfe wyll se diffamyd

And helpe therto: ye: and the dede beholde

Blame it blynde dryuyll: by the lawe so thou sholde

And nat therat to gyggyll laghe and Jest

It is a lewde byrde that fyleth his owne nest

The Hystory of Atreus expressyth playne

Howe he (by his owne brother) for auoutry

Was dryuen from his royalme and his childre slayne

For his mysdede: without: let or remedy

These children thus bought theyr faders mad foly

What shall I wryte the wo and heuynes

Whiche Tarquyn had for rauysshynge lucres

I rede in the hystory of one Virginius

Whiche to thyntent this foule synne to eschewe

Whan his doughter was desyred by Clodius

And that by force; the fader his dowghter slewe

Bytwene the handes of Clodius vntrue

The fader answered (whan men his dede dyd blame)

Better is to dye chast: than longe to lyue in shame

But of auoutry somwhat more to speke

In it is yre Enuy and paynfull pouertye.

And also he or she that mariage doth breke

May fere of deth eternall whan they dye

And here without welth ioy and rest shall they be

And well ar they worthy (forsoth) of sore tourment

In hell: for brekynge this holy sacrament

But in the meane tyme here shalt thou haue discorde

And neuer prosper in vertue nor ryches

And lothsome be before the almyghty lorde

Thy dedes shall purchace mysfortune and distres

Thou lyue shalt in shame and dye in wretchydnes

And if thou procede therin and nat amende

Some great shame shalt thou haue before thyne ende.

The enuoy of the Actour.

O creatures vnkynde leue ye this outrage

Breke nat your othe whiche ye made solemly

Eche one to other for to lyue in mariage

Defyle ye it nat by synne and vylany

On both partis if ye lyue faythfully

After your promes: in loue, fayth and concorde

Than shall ye in erth encreas and multyply

And after haue syght of the almyghty lorde

Let all spousys in theyr myndes comprehende

The lawys and decrees of the olde testament

Howe they that in auoutry dyd offende

Were outher stonyd or els openly brent

Wherfore syns goddes son omnypotent.

Confermed hath the olde testament with the newe

Auoutrers nowe deserue that same punysshement

But well is to them, that stedfast ar and trewe

Of hym that nought can and nought wyll lerne, and seyth moche, lytell berynge away, I mene nat theuys.

Looseth their feet, and suffreth them to flee.

He is a fole, and so shall he dye and lyue
That thynketh hym wyse, and yet can he no thynge
And though he myght he wyll nat set nor gyue
His mynde to good maners, vertue nor cunnynge.
So is he a fole that doth to market brynge
His Gese fast bounde, and game or sporte to se
Lowsyth theyr fete, and suffreth them to fle

Saynt George to borowe our Nauy is aflote

Forth shall we sayle, thoughe that it be a payne

And moche laboure to forge a pryuate bote

For euery faute: yet shall I nat refrayne

My hande nor penne: thoughe vnsure be my gayne

My laboure sure: my wyt and reason thynne

Than leue a thynge vnendyd better nat begynne

But in this place shall I a Shyp ordayne

For that fole: that heryth great doctryne

Wherby good maners and vertue aperyth playne

He seth all goodnes, stody, and disciplyne

And yet wyll nat his mynde therto enclyne

But though he knowe what thynge is godlyest

Ouer all the worlde, yet is he styll a beest.

Many of this sort wander and compase

All studies, the wonders of the worlde to se

With vnstabyll wynges fleynge from place to place

Some seyth lawe and some dyuynyte

But for all this byde they in one degre

And if they were Asses and folys blynde before

After all these syghtes yet ar they moche more

They se moche nought lernynge, and hauynge no delyte

In wysdome nor maners vertue nor goodnes

Theyr tyme is loste, without wysdome or profyte

Without grace, or other holynes

But whyle they labour thus with besynes

If they se ought newe, or any folysshe toy

That lyghtly they lerne, and set theron theyr ioy.

By this desyre folys may knowen be

For wytles men of fleynge mynde and brayne

Ar best pleasyd with thynges of neweltye

And them to haue, they spare no cost nor payne

To dyuers londes to ren but all in vayne

And so they labour alway from londe to londe

To se all wonders, but nought they vnderstonde

Some fle to se the wonders of englonde

Some to the court to se the maners there

Some to Wallys, Holonde, to Fraunce or Irlonde

To Lybye, afryke, and besyly enquere.

Of all marueyles, and skantly worth a here

Some vnto Fraunce and some to Flaunders ren

To so the wayes, and workes of cunnynge men

And to be shorte ouer all they range

Spendynge theyr goodes about vnthryftynes

In countrees knowen, vnknowen and strange

But whan theyr iourney they homwarde must addres

As folys vnware, and vagabundes thryftles

They haue nought lerned, kept, nor with them brought

Of maners, wysdome or other thynge that is ought

They that by the se sayle to londes strange

Oft chaunge the place and planete of the fyrmament

But theyr mynde nor maners they ne turne nor chaunge

And namely suche that ar lewde and neglygent

What euer they se styll one is theyr intent

Whan he departyd, If that he were a sote

Agayne anone he comyth in the same mynde and cote

Say mad folys blynde ouersene, and worthy scorne

Fayne wolde I knowe what necessyte ye haue

To go from the place where ye were bred and borne

Into another londe to lerne to play the knaue

Your mynde vnstable sheweth playne that ye raue

Laboure nat so sore, to lerne to be a fole

That cometh by it selfe without any other scole

He that is borne in walys or small brytayne

To lerne to pyke and stele nedys nat go to Rome.

What nede we sayle to Flaunders or Almayne

To lerne glotony, syns we may it lerne at home

Suche lewdnes soon may we lerne of our wombe

He that wyll lerne falshode gyle or sotelte

May lerne it here as well as beyonde the se.

To passe the se to lerne Uenus rybawdry

It is great foly, for thou mayst lerne thy fyll

In shoppis Innes and sellers, ye somtyme openly

At saynt Martyns Westmynster or at the tour hyll

So that I fere all London, in tyme it shall fyll

For it is there kept in lyght and in darke

That the pore Stuys decays for lacke of warke

But brefely to speke, and this to set a syde

He that on vyce, and synne wyll set his entent

May lerne it in Englonde, if he at home abyde

And that of all sortis: god sende amendement

But if thou alway wyll nede be dylygent

To labour in the worlde about from place to place

Do as dyd Plato, than shalt thou fynde great grace

This godly plato laboured with dilygence

To Egypt, and other londes sparynge for no payne

Where euer he came: augmentynge his scyence

And at the last retourned to Grece agayne

His countrey natyf: with laude and name souerayne

Thus he for all his wysdome laboured besyly

But that fowle that nought can nought settyth by

Wherfore that gose that styll about wyll wander

Moche seynge and herynge, and nought berynge away

Shall home come agayne as wyse as a gander

But more fole is he that may lerne euery day

Without cost or laboure out of his owne countrey

And whan the well of wysdome renneth by theyr dore

Yet looth they the water as if that it were soure

Alexander Barklay ad fatuos vt dent locum octo secundariis beate marie de Oterey qui quidem prima huius ratis transtra merentur.

Soft folys soft, a lytell slacke your pace

Tyll I haue space you to order by degre

I haue eyght neyghbours, that firste shall haue a place

Within this my shyp, for they most worthy be

They may theyr lernynge receyue costeles and fre.

Theyr wallys abuttynge and ioynynge to the scoles.

No thynge they can, yet nought wyll they lerne nor se

Therfore shall they gyde this one shyp of foles.

The enuoy of Barklay.

O vnauysyd, vnwyse and frowarde man

Great cause thou hast to morne sore and complayne

Whan no goodnes vertue nor wyt thou can

And yet to lerne thou hast scorne and dysdayne

Alas man mende, and spare no maner payne

To get wysdome, and it thou shalt nat want

Hym that nought wyll knowe, god wyll nat knowe certayne

Wo is hym that wylfully is ignorant.

Of great wrathe, procedynge of small occasyon.

Mount on an ass, slow of gait and pace.

Assys erys for our folys a lyuray is
And he that wyll be wroth for a thynge of nought
Of the same leuray is nat worthy to mys
For who that by wrathe to suche a wyll is brought
To sle his Asse for hir pas slowe and soft
Shall after his fury, repent his mad foly
For to a clere mynde, mad wrathe is ennemy

Come nere, ye wrathfull men, take your rowme and place

Within our shyp, and to slake our hastynes

Mount on an Asse slowe of hir gate and pace

Syns troublous wrath, in you, styreth this madnes

Often lacke of myght asswagyth cruelnes

To a wylde cowe god doth short hornys sende

Wrath is great foly, where myght may nat extende

O man yll myndyd what helpeth the this yre

None the commendyth whiche doth thy maners marke

What doste thou: but the waste with thyne owne fyre

Narrynge with thyselfe lyke as a dogge doth barke

Without meke worde and pleasyd with no warke

Art thou: but thoughe all men be dylygent

Mad wrathe to please, yet who can it content

This man malycious whiche troubled is with wrath

Nought els soundeth but the hoorse letter R

Thoughe all be well, yet he none answere hath

Saue the dogges letter, glowmynge with nar nar

Suche labour nat this mad rancour to defar

Nor yet his malyce to mytygate or asswage

But ioyeth to be drede of men for this outrage

His mouth fomyth his throte out gorgyth fyre

His ferefull furoure is, his hole felycyte

By his great yre, doth he coueyte and desyre

Dowtyd to be: of the pore comontye

His owne madnes and cruell furyosyte

Wyll he nat knowe as he were nat culpable

Of this mad fury and vyce abhomynable

Hym selfe is blynde, but other well note his dede

He shall be poynted whether he go or ryde

Saynge one to other take gode regarde and hede

Of yonder furyous fole whome reason doth nat gyde

Beware his wayes fle hym on euery syde

Who that hym sueth both hurte and shame shall fynde

Thus other hym notyth but he hymself is blynde

So his Asse crys to hym ar inuysyble

He thynkyth to haue pacyence though that he haue none

And vnto hym it is thynge incredyble

That suche ar folys whose pacyence is gone

Thus coueytyth he to kepe his erys alone

And to wrathfull men he wyll no thynge obiect

For that hym selfe is with the same infect

But somwhat to touche the inconuenyences

Whiche by this wrath procedyth to mankynde

It is chefe grounde of many great offences

Destroynge reason blyndynge the wyt and mynde

By malyce man is to all yll inclynde

Both symple man, and lordes excellent

Do that by wrath oft whiche they after repent

Reuoke thy mynde, somwhat thy herte enclyne

Unto Archytas a man of hye wysdome

Borne the the ryche Cyte namyd Tarentyne

Rede howe that he his malyce dyd ouercome

For thoughe his seruaunt was fals to hym become

And he sore mouyd to auenge the same offence

Yet he refraynyd his wrathe by pacyence

So socrates so Senyk and Plato

Suffred great wronge great iniury and payne

And of your fayth sayntis right many mo

For christ our mayster dyd great turment sustayne

What wo or payne cowde saynt Laurance refrayne

From pacience wherfore it is great shame

For christen men if they do not the same

They suffred deth, ye, and yet were pacyent

And many haue prayed, for suche that haue them slayne

Where thou mad fole takest greuous punysshement

For small occasyon, ye come by chaunce sodayne

Fole thou art blynde, and mad to set thy brayne

All thynge to venge (by wrath) that doth mysfall

For he that part hath lost: by wrath oft lesyth all

And forsoth no meruayle, if suche wyse actours

Hath wrathes madnes, expelled and set asyde

For where that wrath doth rayne with his furours

There can no reason nor wysedome longe abyde

The wyt it wastyth: so is it a lewde gyde

Therfore let mesure, this malyce holde agayne

But pacyence is brydyll his madnes to refrayne

It longeth nat to any man of hye prudence

For to be wrothe, yrous, or gyuys to malancoly

No suche passyon nor inconuenyence

Can fall to man, ay stedfast wyse and holy

But folys ar moste troublyd with this foly

Where as a wyse man for any aduersyte

Lyueth in quyete mynde and tranquylyte

A man well manerd, sad sober and dyscrete

If he be ware, wyse, chrafty and prouydent

Beholdeth all thynge before his syght and fete.

Gydynge hym by mesure a vertue excellent

Where as a fole doth all without aduysement

And in euery thynge shewyth his folysshnes

Wroth at eche worde, as mayster of madnes

Wherfore ye folys se ye no lenger tary

But on the dull Asse hastely assende

That a slowe beest may hasty folys cary

For your mad wrath dowtyth no thynge the ende

Your madnes can nat your blynde mysdede defende

For who that one sleyth, angry and feruent

Ought to be hangyd whan he is pacyent

The enuoy of the Actour.

Blynde myndyd man whiche wylt all thynge ouercome

Reputynge thy selfe, moste souerayne and royall

If thou be wyse or partener of wysdome

Labour to ouercome thyne owne selfe firste of all

Thy wrath asswage thou in especyall

Let neyther malyce, nor yre with the abyde

Thou art a fole the chefe or lorde to call

Of other: whan thou can nat thy selfe well gyde.

Of the mutabylyte of fortune.

The wheel of fortune.

That man whiche hopyth hye vp to ascende
On fortunes whele, and come to state royall
If the whele turne, may doute sore to descende
If he be hye the sorer is his fall
So he whiche trustyth nat therto at all
Shall in moste eas and suerty hymselfe gyde
For vnsure fortune can in no place abyde

We dayly proue by example and euydence

That many be made folys mad and ignorant

By the brode worlde, puttynge trust and confydence

In fortunes whele vnsure and inconstant

Some assay the whele thynkynge it pleasant

But whyle they to clym vp haue pleasour and desyre

Theyr fete them faylyth so fall they in the myre

Promote a yeman, make hym a gentyl man

And make a Baylyf of a Butchers son

Make of a Squyer knyght, yet wyll they if they can

Coueyt in theyr myndes hyer promosyon

And many in the worlde haue this condicion

In hope of honour by treason to conspyre

But ofte they slyde, and so fall in the myre

Suche lokys so hye that they forget theyr fete

On fortunes whele whiche turneth as a ball

They seke degrees for theyr small myght vnmete

Theyr folysshe hertis and blynde se nat theyr fall

Some folys purpose to haue a rowme Royall

Or clym by fortunes whele to an empyre

The whele than turneth lyuynge them in the myre

O blynde man say what is thyne intent

To worldly honoures so greatly to entende

Or here to make the hye ryche and excellent

Syns that so shortly thy lyfe must haue an ende

None is so worthy, nor can so hye ascende

Nor nought is so sure if thou the trouth enquyre

But that it may doute to fall downe to the myre

There is no lorde Duke kynge nor other estate

But dye they must, and from this wolde go

All worldly thynges whiche god hath here create

Shall nat ay byde, but haue an ende also

What mortall man hath ben promotyd so:

In worldly welthe or vncertayne dignyte

That euer of lyfe had houre of certaynte

In stormy wyndes lowest trees ar most sure

And howsys surest whiche ar nat byldyd hye

Where as hye byldynges may no tempest endure

Without they be foundyd sure and stedfastly

So gretest men haue moste fere and ieopardy

Better is pouertye though it be harde to bere

Than is a hye degre in ieopardy and fere,

The hyllys ar hye, the valeys ar but lowe

In valeys is come the hyllys ar barayne

On hyest places most gras doth nat ay growe

A mery thynge is mesure and easy to sustayne

The hyest in great fere, the lowest lyue in payne

Yet better ly on grounde, hauynge no name at all

Than hye on a Clyf ferynge alway to fall

Thus as me thynke it is no thynge lawdable

On fortunes whele, for one to clym to hye

Syns the swyft cours therof is so vnstable

And all must we leue whan we depart and dye

Of our short lyfe haue we no certayntye

For lachesys (whan that thou hast lefte drede)

Of thy lyue dayes shall shortly breke the threde.

Atropos is egall to pore man and estate

Defar wyll nat deth by prayer ne request

No mortall man may his furour mytygate.

Nor of hym haue one day longer here to rest:

Content the with measure (therfore) for it is best

Coueyt nat to moche in honour to excell

It is a fowle fall to fall from erth to hell

Unstable fortune exalteth some a loft

To this intent, them to brynge to an yll ende

For who that hye clymmeth his fall can nat be soft

If that mysfortune constrayne hym to dyscende

Though Julius Cesar his lordshyp dyd extende

Ouer all the worlde: yet fortune at the last.

From lyfe and lordshyp hym wretchydly dyd cast

This hath ben sene, is sene, and euer shall

That most peryll is in hyest dignyte

Howe many estatis, howe many men Royall.

Hath fortune dryuyn downe into aduersyte

Rede dyuers cronycles, and thou shall playnly se

That many thousandes hath endyd in doloure

By theyr immoderate mynde to honoure

Ouer rede Bochas and than shalt thou se playne

The fall of prynces wryten ryght compendeously

There shalt thou se what punysshement and payne

Haue to them fallen, somtyme by theyr foly

And oft is moche preuy hatered and enuy

Had agaynst lordes of the rude comonte

Where euer they go: they lyue in ieopardye

Ay dowtynge deth by cursed gyle and treason

Eche thynge mysdemynge, ferynge to be opprest

By some mysfortune, with venym or with poyson.

Thus in great honour is neyther ioy nor rest

But thought and fere, ye whyle the lyfe doth lest

Thus who that procuryth great honour to attayne

Procuryth with all, enuy, peryll, fere and payne

A lorde or state whom many men doth drede

With loueles fere, and fayned countenaunce

Unto hym selfe ought wysely to take hede

And them to fere, if he wyll voyde myschaunce

For why a comonty is of suche ignoraunce

And so enuyous, that both erly and late

They muse to destroy hym whom, they fere and hate

A man promotyd vnto hye dygnyte

Shall haue loue shewyd hym by adulacion

But no true loue nouther faythfull amyte.

Good fame nor name, ne commendacion

Ye though he be worthy great exaltacion

Pytefull louynge and full of equyte

Yet harde is to please a folysshe comonte

Therfore me thynke of all thynge it is best

Man to be pleased and content with his degre

For why in mesure, is suerty eas and rest

And ay moste peryll in hyest dignyte

Fortune is full of changes and mutabylyte

Trust nat therto, therby comyth do gode

But nowe hye nowe lowe, vnstable as a flode

Alexander barklay to the Folys.

Labour nat man with to moche besy cure

To clymme to hye lyst thou by fortune fall

For certaynly, that man slepyth nat sure

That lyeth lows vpon a narowe wall

Better somtyme to serue, than for to gouerne all

For whan the Net is throwen into the se

The great fysshe ar taken and the pryncipall

Where as the small escapyth quyte and fre

Of them that be diseasyd and seke and ar impacient and inobedyent to the Phesycyan.

He that is feeble with sickness.

If one be vexed with sore infirmyte
Within his body felynge dyseas and payne
And wyll nat gladly with perfyte mynde agre
To a wyse Phesycian that wolde hym hele agayne
He is a fole, and shall his foly sore complayne
And if that he by his selfe wyll do sterue
It is but well: syns he it doth deserue.

He that is feble with sekenes outher wounde

Wherwith he feleth hym selfe so kept in payne

That dye he muste but if remedy be founde

He is a fole, if that he haue dysdayne

Of wyse Phesycyans: and medecines souerayne

And wyll nat sue theyr counsell and aduysement

Wherby he myght haue helth and short amendement

Thoughe the Phesycyan (of his lyfe) hym assure

So he be ruled, and vnto his mynde agre

The pacyent yet kepyth no dyete nor mesure

In mete nor drynke, and wyll nat gouerned be

But foloweth Ryot and all superfluyte

Receyuynge colde water in stede of ale or wyne

Agaynst read and counsell of crafty medycyne

What mete or drynke that is most contagious

And most infectyf to his sekenes or dyseas

And to hym forbyden, as moste contrarious

Unto his sekenes. That namely doth hym pleas

But that thynge that myght hym helpe and greatly eas

He hatyth moste, and wyll none receyue at all.

Tyll this small sore, at the last become mortall

Suche wyll no counsell ensue, nor mesure haue

Nor temper theym selfe in lesse nor yet in more.

Tyll theyr yll gouernaunce brynge them to theyr graue

Retournynge into grounde lyke as they were before

But who that soone wolde, be helyd of his sore

Whan it is newe ought to fynde remedy.

For in olde sorys is greatest ieopardy

A small sparcle often tyme doth augment

It selfe: and groweth to flames peryllous

Right so small wellys whiche semeth to be spent

With lytell sprynges and Ryuers, ofte so growys

Unto great waters, depe and ieopadous.

So a small sore augmentyth, styll preuely

By lytell and lytell for lacke of remedy

A small diseas whiche is ynoughe durable

At the begynnynge, for lacke of medycyne

At longe contynuaunce becomyth incurable

The paynfull pacyent bryngynge vnto ruyne

Wherfore who wyll to his owne helth enclyne

And soone be helyd of yll without all tary

To the Phesician ought nat to be contrary

Obstynat frowarde or inobedyent

Ought he nat be, but with a pacyent mynde

Shewe all his soris truly playne and euydent

To the Phesician if he wyll socour fynde.

And thoughe his saluys in paynes hym sore bynde.

Let nat for that, but after his wyll the gyde

Better a shorte payne, than that doth longe abyde

No sore can be releuyd without payne.

Forsake nat the short, the longe payne to eschewe

To the Phesycian we ought in worde be playne

And shewe hym our sore, whether it be olde or newe

For in thy wordes if that thou be nat trewe

Or kepe ought close, thou dysceyuest be thou sure

Thy selfe. and nat hym that of the hath the cure.

In lyke fourme who comyth vnto confessyon

There to declare howe he his lyfe hath spent

And shewyth nat his synne lyke wyse as he hath done

Hymself he disceyuyth, as blynde of his entent.

Thus many one endureth infernall tourment

With wo contynuall and payne for euermore

For kepynge secrete there, of his goostly sore.

Thus who that is payned in any malady

Bodely or gostly, ought nat to be callyd wyse

To the Phesycian without that he aply.

And his preceptis hant kepe and exercyse

But now olde wytches dare boldly interpryse

To intromyt to hele all infyrmyte

And many them byleue, whiche sothly is pyte

Suche wytches of theyr byleue abhomynable

On brest or hede of the paynfull pacyent

With theyr wytchecraftis shall compasse chat and bable

Assurynge hym of helth, and short amendement

Than he that is seke fyxith his intent

Upon hir errour: to haue helpe of his sore

But she hym leuyth wors than he was before

Poule the apostyll doth boldly say and preue

That they whiche to suche wytches wyll assent

Ar heretykes, Lolardes and false of theyr byleue

Brekynge goddes lawes and commaundement

And oft also by profe it apereth euydent

That suche as to wytches craftis wyll intende

By theyr fals Phesyke come soner to theyr ende

Theyr body dede, theyr soule in ieopardy

By mysbyleue for euer in paynes infernall.

Whiche ar rewarde for wretchyd synne and heresy

But if thou to thy mynde and reason call

And of this wrytynge perceyue the sence morall

Whan thou art fallen seke and in dedely syn

Seke helpe betyme, and byde nat longe therein

The enuoy of Barklay to the folys.

Thou man or woman, that lyest seke in vyce

To goddes vycayrs confesse thy syn holly

So shalt thou from thy goostly yll aryse.

For thy soule fyndynge helpe and remedy

Without leasynge shewe hym thy synne playnly

Let nat for shame nor fall nat thereto agayne

Better shewe thy sore there to one secretely

Than after openly: and byde eternall payne

Ensewe the counsell of a wyse confessour

Take nat colde water in stede of vermayll wyne:

For moche swetnes, endure thou a lytell soure

Kepe well the dyet and threfolde medicyne

Ordayned for synne by spirituall doctryne

That is confessyon, the next contrycyon.

With satisfaccion these thre, with grace deuyne

Ar salues parfyte for all transgressyon

Of ouer open takynges of counsel.

Layeth before them plain and openly his net.

Who that to clerely layeth his net or snare
Before the byrdes whome he by gyle wolde take
Them playnly techyth of his gyle to be ware
And is a fole whether he slepe or wake
Right so is he (and doth a sauegarde make)
For his foes them (techynge remedy to fynde)
Whiche sheweth them by thretenynge the secret of his mynde

Who that intendyth by chraft and polycy

To take many byrdes, outher small or great

And layeth before them to playne and openly

His lynes snarys, his lyme twyggis or his net

He shall no profyte gayne nor auauntage get

For if that he his engynes can nat hyde

The byrdes shall be ware, and lyghtly fle asyde

So he that wyll openly manace and threte

With worde and hande, as he wolde sle adowne ryght

Is oft scant abyll a symple hounde to bete.

For in his worde is all his force and myght

And he that alway thretenyth for to fyght.

Oft at the profe is skantly worth a hen

For greattest crakers ar nat ay boldest men

Who that agaynst his ennemy wolde fyght

And gyueth hym before wepyn and armour.

Agaynst hym selfe to encreas his foes myght

Suche one hath reason and wyt of smal valour.

Ryght so that sole is led in lyke errour

Which nought can do, of mater les or more

Without he crake and boste therof before.

And also suche bosters and crakers comonly

Whiche doth theyr mynde in hasty wordes declare

Of other men ar lytell or nought set by

And by theyr wordes, full often yll they fare

A man also may ryght easely be ware

Of folys whiche thus theyr counsell out expres

Whose thretenyngs to theyr foes is armour and harnes

But hym call I wyse and crafty of counsell

Whiche kepeth close the secretis of his mynde

And to no man wyll them disclose nor tell

To man nor woman, ennemy nor yet frynde

But do his purpose whan he best tyme can fynde

Without worde spekynge, and so may his intent

Best come to ende, his foo, beynge inprouydent

And specially no man ought to be large

Of wordes nor shewe his counsell openly

In thynges weyghty, of peryll and great charge

Consernynge a royallue, or helth of his body

For many ar falsly disceyued fynally

By lewde tale berers whiche seke the way to fynde

To knowe the preuy counsell of theyr lordes mynde

They fawne and flater to knowe his pryuetee

But they forsoth, that wolde knowe thynges newe

For the moste part of this condicion be

No thynge to kepe, but lyghtly it to shewe.

Thus may the saynge of Salomon be fonde true.

Whiche sayth that he is wyse, and lyueth happely

Whiche to hym selfe kepyth his counsell secretely

I fynde foure thynges whiche by meanes can

Be kept close, in secrete, one longe in preuetee

The firste is the counsell of a wytles man

The seconde a Cyte, whiche byldyd is a bye

Upon a mountayne, the thyrde we often se

That to hyde his dedes a louer hath no skyll

The fourth is strawe or fethers on a wyndy hyll

A pore mannys dedys may soone be kept close

His name is hyd, and right so is his dede.

A ryche mannys dede may no man hyde nor glose

It fleeth farthest, all men of it take hede

So that yll fame whome all men ought to drede

In fleynge about hir myght doth multyply

Augmentynge to his lynage shame and vylany

Therfore who that intendyth to be wyse

Ware and crafty, auoydynge all inconuenyence

To shewe his counsell ought nat to interpryse

But do his mynde, kepynge alway sylence

In seruauntis is small trust or confydence

He that is nowe thy frende may after be thy fo

Warne nat thy ennemy of that that thou wylt do

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

O ye that ar put to wronge and Iniury

If ye intende for to yelde the same agayne

It is great foly to warne your ennemye

Or hym to threten with bostynge wordes vayne.

For oft is sayde, and true it is certayne

That they that wyll lyue in quyetnes and rest

Must here and se and hasty wordes refrayne

All styll with fewe wordes do that they thynke best

Of folys that can nat beware by the mysfortune and example of others damage.

Both stumble, not going even or right.

Here we expresse, the errour and blyndnes
Of them that se others aduersyte
Theyr wofull fall the ruyne and dystres.
Yet sue they the same, and ware they wyll nat be
Though they by example the payne of other se
Yet leue they nat: thus may they clayme a place
Within my Nauy, as folys voyde of grace

We dayly se the mysfortune and damage

And often fallys, to pouerte and payne

Whiche folys suffer for theyr synne and outrage

Some drowned, some maymed, some other wyse slayne

Yet this example can nat cause vs refrayne

Our wretchyd lyfe, and seke for remedy

We marke no thynge anothers ieopardy.

We se the mockynge scorne and derysyon

That folys hath ofte tyme whan they offende

We se theyr losse, theyr shame and theyr confusion

Howe be it all this can cause vs to amende

We can no thynge and to nought we intende

So many folys I fynde that playne I thynke

Theyr weyghty charge shall cause my shyp to synke

Suche ar despysyd of men discrete and wyse

Ye and more ouer these folys ar so blynde

That echone of them the other doth despyse

With sharp rebukes, wordes lewde and vnkynde

Yet in theyr lyfe no difference may we fynde

And though they haue sene a thousande brough to shame

For one sore vyce: yet lyue they in the same

The example of other can nat theyr myndes moue

Theyr wyttis ar blynde theyr foly is the cause

Alas mad folys why do ye vyce thus loue

Rennynge ay to deth without all rest or pause

Alas, at the last retourne to christis lawes

Be ware, whan ye other se taken in the snare

Let anothers peryll cause you to be ware

Ye do nat so, alas it is great shame

Your synne hath quenchyd your grace and gostly lyght

One blynde man another doth chyde and blame

And yet both stomble, nat goynge euyn or right

A blynde man hym ledyth that also hath no syght

So both in the dyche fallyth in suche a wyse

That one can nat helpe, the other agayne to ryse

One crab blamys another for hir bacwarde pace

And yet the blamer sothly can none other do

But both two ar in theyr goynge in lyke case

The one goeth bocwarde, the other doth also

Many of these folys after that maner go

But who that of his moders doctryne hath disdayne:

Shall by his stepdame endure wo care and payne

And perchaunce after abyde the correccyon

Of the sayde stepdame, in place of punysshement.

For his synne, sufferynge hir vniust subieccien

And who that nat foloweth the commaundement

Of his fader beynge to hym obedyent

May fortune after in hunger thyrst ond colde

Obey that stranger, whom he nat gladly wolde

We fynde Hystories wryten longe and ample

In dyuers bokes of great auctoryte

The hole Bybyll sheweth to vs example

Howe they were punysshed that lyuyd in cruelte

I fynde also wryten in bokes of Poetrye

Howe that Pheton was brent with the lyghtnynge

For his presumpcion, agaynst a myghty kynge

We haue example also by Icarus

Whiche contrary vnto the commaundement

Of his crafty father named Dedalus

By fleynge to hye his wynges and fethers brent

And so descendyd and in the se was drent

Thus these two endynge by theyr lewdnes in care

By theyr example sholde cause vs to beware

We dayly se before our syght and our presence

What mysauenture to many one doth fall

And that worthely for theyr synne and offence

Yet ar we blynde, and ar nat ware at all

But in our synnes lyue vnto them egall

And where by synne we se one come to shame

We wyllyngly (alas) ensue the same

Therfore who sethe a mad fole come to wo

Or fall in peryll for lacke of a good gyde

By another way ought craftely to go

And (by anothers yll) for his helthe to prouyde

The fox was ware, and peryll set asyde

And wolde nat enter into the caue, for playne

Of bestis that entred sawe he none come agayne

The enuoy of Barklay

Lerne man, lerne of bestes to be ware

Of others peryll, by theyr enormyte

For if one byrde be onys tane in a snare

The other auoyde as fast as they may flee

A fysshe byrde or beste that hath in peryll be

Of net hoke or snare, if that they may escape.

Wyll after euer beware, but blynde man wyll nat se

His owne destruccion, but after it doth gape

Of them that forceth or careth for the bacbytynge of lewde people.

In it do hang a fox's tail.

Whether that a bell be hangyd or lye on grounde
If vnto the same a clapper lacke or fayle
The bell shall make but sympyll noyse or sounde
Though thou in it do hange a Foxys tayle
Right so backbyters that vse on men to rayle
Can nat greatly hurt them that lyue rightwysly
Wherfore it is foly theyr babblynge to set by.

Who that within this worlde wolde rest and lyue

In eas of mynde, peas and tranquyllyte

Must nat his mynde set, nor his erys gyue

To the vayne talys, of the rude comonte

And though some people of suche condicion be

Oft to dyffame good people true and Just

Let them nought care, for byde it nede they must

Let no man care for the lewde hyssynges

And yll soundynges of this vnhappy rage

It is great foly to set by the lesynges

Of cursyde tunges syns none can them asswage

For who in this worlde wyll come to auautage

Hym selfe exaltynge to worshyp and honoure

Shall fynde the swetnes mengled with the sowre

And he that wyll of his dygnyte be sure

Or sympyll lyuynge what so euer it be

Right greuous chargis somtymes must endure

And with his iyen often beholde and se

Suche thynges wherwith his mynde can not agre

And he that wyll with the worlde haue to do

Must suffer suche trouble as belongeth therto

Yet some haue pytched theyr tentis stedfastly

Upon sure grounde, auoyde of all this payne

Despysynge the worldes wantonnes and foly

For in the same is nought sure nor certayne

Nought se we tranquyll in these wawes mundayne

We se no loue, lawe, fydelyte, nor trust

But nowe up hye, and nowe lowe in the dust

To auoyde the worlde with his foly and stryfe

Many hath left londes townes and ryches

And yll company lyuynge solytary lyfe

Alone in desert and in wyldernes

Ye and that: men of moste wyt and worthynes

Whiche by that meane dyd best of all eschewe

All worldly sclaunder and lyuyd in vertue

He that intendeth to lyue a rightwyse lyfe

And so procedeth in maners and good dede

Of worldly sclaunder, complaynt, hatered, and stryfe

And all yll wyll, he ought nat to take hede

For he that is iuste ought no thynge for to drede

A sclaundrynge tonge, ye, be it neuer so wode

For suche lewde tonges can none hurte that ar gode.

Lyue well and wysely, than let men chat theyr fyll

Wordes ar but wynde, and though it oft so fall

That of lewde wordes comyth great hurte and yll

Yet byde the ende, that onely prouyth all

If thou canst suffer truste well that thou shall

Ouercome thyne ennemyes better by pacience

Than by hye wordes rygour or vyolence

If poetis that somtyme vyce blamyd and discommendyd

And holy Prophetis whiche also dyd the same

To suche vayne and mortall wordes had intendyd

They sholde nat haue durst the peoples vyce to blame

So sholde they haue lost their honour and good name

Theyr fame and meryt, but nowe they haue nat so

But spred theyr fame, whiche neuer away shall go

Forsoth none lyueth within the worlde wyde

Suche meke so holy, so wyse or pacyent

Whiche can hym selfe at euery tyme so gyde

To please eche fole, for none can some content

Forsoth he myght be named excellent

Happy and blessyd and lyue in welth and eas

Whiche euery man cowde serue content and pleas

But suche is none, and he that wyll assay

For to content eche folysshe mannes mynde

Must brake his slepe and stody nyght and day

And yet alway some fole shall be behynde

Ye if one lyue well, yet wyll they somwhat fynde

Behynde his backe hym to sclaunder and diffame

For beggers and bawdes therin haue all theyr game

For whether thou dwell in Est west north or south

Of suche dryuels euer shalt thou fynde plente

One must haue moche mele, to stoppe eche mannys mouth

Sclander is the cunnynge of all the comonte

And in the same suche ay moste besy be

Whiche lyue them selfe in shame and vylany

Euen nowe they speke repentynge by and by

Thus all the cunnynge and stody dilygent.

Of people vnthryfty is alway to despyse

And diffame other whiche ar but innocent

Wherfore let suche as ar discrete and wyse

Nought set by them that lesyngys doth deuyse

Nor theyr vayne foly: for he that doth certayne

Is but, a fole. and euer shall lyue in payne.

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Trouble nat thy selfe (thou man) where is no nede

And arme thou thy selfe with goodly pacyence

Be sure it is great foly to take hede

Unto backbytynge syns that no resystence

May be founde to withstande his violence

And take thou this one thynge for thy comfort

That none wyse, or good, wyll commyt this offence

But all ar caytyffes, that ar of this lewde sort.

Of mockers, and scorners, and false accusers.

At their heads ungoodly stones cast.

Yet ar mo Folys whiche mocke and scorneth fast
Suche as them shewyth wysdome and doctryne
And at theyr hedes (vngoodly) stonys cast
In mynde disdaynynge to wysdome to enclyne
But gladly they ensue the discyplyne
Of folysshe mockers, let wyse men them eschewe
For no correccion can brynge them to vertue

O Hertles folys, haste here to our doctryne

Leue of the wayes of your enormyte

Enforce you to my preceptis to enclyne

For here shall I shewe you good and veryte

Enclyne, and ye fynde shall great prosperyte

Ensuynge the doctryne of our faders olde

And godly lawes in valour worth great golde

Who that wyll folowe the graces manyfolde

Whiche ar in vertue, shall fynde auauncement

Wherfore ye folys that in your syn ar bolde

Ensue ye wysedome and leue your lewde intent

Wysdome is the way of men most excellent

Therfore haue done, and shortly spede your pace

To quaynt your selfe and company with grace.

Lerne what is vertue, therin is great solace

Lerne what is trouth sadnes and prudence

Let grutche be gone, and grauyte purchace

Forsake your foly and inconuenyence

Cesse to be folys, and ay to sue offence

Folowe ye vertue, chefe rote of godlynes

For it and wysdome is grounde of clenlynes

Wysedome and vertue two thynges ar doutles

Whiche man endueth with honour specyall

But suche hertis as slepe in folysshnes

Knoweth no thynge, and wyll nought knowe at all

But in this lytell barge in pryncypall

All folysshe mockers I purpos to repreue

Clawe he his backe that felyth ytche or greue

Mockers and scorners that ar harde of byleue

With a rugh combe here wyll I clawe and grate

To proue if they wyll from theyr vyce remeue

And leue theyr foly whiche causeth great debate

Suche caytyfs spare neyther pore man nor estate

And where theyr selfe ar moste worthy of dyrysion

Other men to scorne is all theyr moste condicion

Yet ar mo folys of this abusion

Whiche of wyse men despyseth the doctryne

With mowes, mockes, scorne, and collusyon

Rewardynge rebukes, for theyr good disciplyne

Shewe to suche wysdome, yet shall they nat enclyne

Unto the same, but set no thynge therby

But mocke thy doctryne, styll or openly

So in the worlde it apereth comonly

That who that wyll a Fole rebuke or blame

A mocke or mowe shall he haue by and by

Thus in derysyon, haue folys theyr speciall game

Correct a wyse man, that wolde eschewe yll name

And fayne wolde lerne, and his lewde lyfe amende

And to thy wordes he gladly shall intende

If by mysfortune a rightwyse man offende

He gladly suffreth a iuste correccion

And hym that hym techyth taketh for his frende

Hym selfe puttynge mekely vnto subieccion

Folowynge his preceptis and good dyreccion

But if that one a Fole rebuke or blame

He shall his techer, hate, sclaunder, and dyffame

Howbeit his wordes, oft turne to his owne shame

And his owne dartis retourne to hym agayne

And so is he sore woundyd with the same

And in wo endyth, great mysery and payne

It also prouyd full often is certayne

That they that on mockes alway theyr myndes cast

Shall of all other be mocked at the last

He that goeth right, stedfast sure and fast

May hym well mocke that goth haltynge and lame

And he that is whyte may well his scornes cast

Agaynst a man of ynde, but no man ought to blame

Anothers vyce whyle he vsyth the same

But who that of synne is clene in dede and thought

May hym well scorne whose lyuynge is starke nought

The scornes of Naball full dere sholde haue ben bought

If Abigayll his wyfe discrete and sage

Had nat by kyndnes right crafty meanes sought

The wrath of Dauyd to temper and asswage

Hath nat two berys in theyr fury and rage

Two and fourty Children rent and torne

For they the Prophete Helyseus dyd scorne

So myght they curse the tyme that they were borne

For theyr mockynge of this Prophete dyuyne

So many other of this sorte often mowrne

For theyr lewde mockes, and fall in to ruyne

Thus is it foly for wyse men to enclyne

To this lewde flocke of Folys for se thou shall

Them moste scornynge that ar most bad of all

Thenuoy of Barcly to the Folys.

Ye mockynge Folys that in scorne set your ioy

Proudly dyspysynge goddes punycion

Take ye example by Cham the son of Noy

Whiche laughyd his Father vnto derysyon

Whiche hym, after, cursyd for his transgressyon

And made hym seruaunt to all his lyne and stocke

So shall ye Caytyfs at the conclusyon

Syns ye ar nought, and other scorne and mocke

Of them that dyspyse euerlastynge ioye, and settyth thynges transytory before thynges eternall and euerlastynge.

Weigheth the heaven and earth to know the heaviest.

He is a foule that weyeth in one balaunce
The heuen and erth to knowe the heuyest
And by his foly and cursed ignoraunce
He thynketh that this wretchyd erth is best
And thoughe that here be neyther ioy nor rest
Yet had some leuer here styll to remayne
Than to depart to heuen voyde of al payne

My hande is wery: fayne wolde I rest a space

But folys comyth to my shyp so besely

That to haue rest: they wyll graunt me no grace

That nede I must theyr lewdnes notefy

But to recorde this folysshe company

They ar suche that this worlde so greatly loue

That they despyse the heuenly Royalme aboue

They often thynke in theyr mynde preuely

And by them selfe in this wyse oft they say

O glorious lorde raynynge eternally

Graunt me thy grace that I may lyue alway

To se of this worlde the extreme ende and day

This is my wyll and synguler askynge

As for thy royalme, forsoth I set no thynge

But yet this fole doth nat desyre this tyme

Of so longe lyfe, and yeres alway newe

To clens his mynde from all synfull cryme

Nor for the loue of goodnes or vertue

But rather that he his pleasour may ensue

And with his maters and felawes suche as he

To folowe ryot, delytys and enormyte.

To lyue in wantonnes and blyndnes lascyuyte

In pryde in Lechery andin couetyse

Suche sytteth theyr myndes and theyr felycyte

Not ferynge hell whiche is rewarde of vyce.

Those dredefull dennys, in a right ferefull wyse

With fyres flamynge, and manyfolde tourment

Can nat suche folys, theyr synnes cause to stent

O sleuthfull fole say why doste nat thou call

Unto thy mynde that this worldes wretchydnes

Is full of sorowe moche more bytter than gall

Uoyde of all ioy, all pleasour and swetnes

Why settest thou so moche by frayle delyciousnes

On vayne pleasours, whiche shall sothly decay

Lyke as the sone meltyth the snowe away

Man note my wordes and gyue to them credence

I say that pleasours and also ioyes mundayne

As it apereth playne by good euydence

Ar fylled with sorowe bytternes and payne

Without all rest quyete or certayne

And yet alas the worlde so doth men blynde

That it they loue and caste heuen out of mynde

Wherfore it hapneth full often as I fynde

That suche as foloweth shamefull wantonnes

Ungoodly luste, and statelynes of mynde

Shall ofte perceyue great shame and wretchydnes

And them most suffer, with great mundayne distres.

And better charges, and after must nede endure

Cruell deth whiche ende is of euery creature

The worlde shall passe: ye and all ioy mundayne

Without all doute at last shall haue an ende

And euery thynge outher fruytfull or barayne

Shall to the grounde outher firste or last discende

We se also that none can hym defende

From dethes dartis. and for conclusyon.

We dayly se many mennys confusyon.

We dayly se the fallys innumerable

And greuous deth aswell of youth as age

Thus is this wretchyd worlde moche vnstable

Wherfore me thynke it is a great outrage

To trust therto, or for an vnsure stage

Or hye place of welth or worldly honour

The presence to despyse of our sauyoure

But without doute the tyme shall come and houre

Whan all mankynde shall se hym euydent

Some to theyr ioy, some to wo and doloure

None shall eskhape that rightwyse iugement.

But eche be rewardyd as he his tyme hath spent

So they that vertuously haue lyuyd here

Despysynge this worlde shall gladly there apere

But they that here haue led theyr lyfe in vyce

For to depart ar wo in herte and mynde

And ferefull to byde that sentence of iustyce

Syns of theyr synne excuse they can none fynde

But to conclude forsoth that fole is blynde

That for worldly welth, from god wolde hym deuyde

And for vayne clay, the hye heuyn set a syde

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

O blynde man whiche hast thy moste felycyte

On worldly thinges, alas make clere thy mynde

What fyndest thou here, but great aduersyte

Wylt thou for it leue yt heuenly ioy behynde

And where thou myght euerlastynge ryches fynde

Where as is helth, endles lyfe and all goodnes

Wylt thou forsake it for worldly wretchydnes

Wylt thou heuyn compare with his paynfull lyfe

There on to thynke thou art vnwyse certayne

There is concorde, here is no thynge but stryfe

There is all rest, and here is care and payne

There is true loue: here is scorne and disdayne

There is all goodnes, here all yll and offence

Nowe chuse the best: here is great difference

Of them that make noyses rehersynges of talys and do other thynges vnlaufull and dishonest in ye chirche of god.

His hounds him about, a hawk on his fist.

A fole is he, and hath no mynde deuoute
And gyueth occasyon to men on hym to rayle.
Whiche goth in the chirche, his houndes hym aboute
Some rennynge, some fast tyed to his tayle
A hawke on his fyst suche one withouten fayle
Better were to be thens, for by his dyn and cry
He troublyth them that wolde pray deuoutly:

Yet of mo folys fynde I a great nomber

Whiche thynke that it is no shame nor vylany

Within the chirche, the seruyce to encomber

With theyr lewde barkynge roundynge dyn and cry

And whyle good people ar praynge stedfastly

Theyr herte to good, with meke mynde and deuout

Suche folys them let, with theyr mad noyse and shout

And whyle the prestis also them exercyse.

In matyns masse sermon or prechynge dyuyne

Or other due thynges that longe to theyr seruyce.

Techynge the people to vertue to enclyne

Than these folys as it were rorynge swyne

With theyr gettynge and talys of vycyousnes

Trouble all suche seruyce, that is sayd, more and les

In to the churche than comys another sote

Without deuocyon gettynge vp and downe

Or to be sene, and to showe his gardyd cote

Another on his fyst a Sparhauke or fawcon

Or els a Cokow, and so wastynge his shone

Before the auters he to and fro doth wander

With euyn as great deuocyon as a gander

In comys another his houndes at his tayle

With lynes and leshes and other lyke baggage.

His dogges barkyth, so that withouten fayle

The hole churche is troubled by theyr outrage

So innocent youth lernyth the same of age

And theyr lewde sounde doth the churche fyll.

But in this noyse the good people kepe them styll.

One tyme the hawkys bellys Jenglyth hye

Another tyme they flutter with theyr wynges

And nowe the houndes barkynge strykes the skye

Nowe sounde theyr fete, and nowe the chaynes rynges

They clap with theyr handes, by suche maner thynges

They make of the churche, for theyr hawkes a mewe

And Canell to theyr dogges, whiche they shall after rewe

So with suche folys is neyther peas nor rest

Unto the holy churche they haue no reuerence

But wander about to see who get may best

In rybawde wordes pryde and insolence

As mad men they fere nat our sauyours presence

Hauynge no honour vnto that holy place

Wherin is gyuen to man euerlastynge grace

There ar handlyd pledynges and causes of the lawe

There ar made bargayns of dyuers maner thynges

Byenges and sellynges scant worth a hawe

And there ar for lucre contryued false lesynges

And whyle the prest his Masse or matyns synges

These folys whiche to the Churche do repayre

Ar chattynge and bablynge as it were in a fayre

Some gygyll and lawghe and some on maydens stare

And some on wyues with wanton countenaunce

As for the seruyce they haue small force or care

But full delyte them in theyr mysgouernaunce

Some with theyr slyppers to and fro doth prance

Clappynge with their helys in churche and in quere

So that good people can nat the seruyce here

What shall I wryte of maydens and of wyues

Of theyr roundynges and vngoodly comonynge

Howe one a sclaundre craftely contryues

And in the churche therof hath hyr talkynge

The other hath therto theyr erys lenynge

And than whan they all hath harde forth hir tale

With great deuocyon they get them to the ale.

Thus is the churche defylyd with vylany

And in stede of prayer and godly oryson

Ar vsyd shamefull bargayns and talys of rybawdry

Jettynges and mockynges and great derysyon

There fewe ar or none of perfyte deuocion

And whan our lorde is consecrate in fourme of brede

Therby walkes a knaue, his bonet on his hede

And whyle those wordes of consecracion

Ar sayde of the preste in goddes owne presence

Suche caytyfs kepe talys and communycacion

Fast by the auter, thynkynge it none offence

And where as the angels ar ther with reuerence

Laudynge and worshyppynge our holy sauyour

These vnkynde caytyfs wyll scantly hym honour

Alas wherto shall any man complayne

For this foly and accostomed furour

Syns none of them theyr fautes wyll refrayne

But ay procede in this theyr lewde errour

And nat withstandynge that Christ our sauyour

Hath left vs example, that none sholde mysdo

Within the chirche, yet inclyne we nat therto.

Jhonn the euangelyst doth openly expres.

Howe criste our sauyour dyd dryue out and expell

From the Temple, suche as vsed there falsnes

And all other that therin dyd bye and sell

Saynge as it after lyeth in the Gospell

Unto the Jues rebuke and great repreues

That of goddes house they made a den of theues.

Remember this man, for why thou dost the same

Defylynge goddes Chirche with synne and vanyte

Whiche sothly was ordeyned to halowe goddes name

And to lawde and worshyp the holy trynyte

With deuout harte, loue, and all benygnyte

And with all our myght our lorde to magnyfy

And than after all the heuenly company

For this cause hath god the holy chirche ordeyned

And nat for rybawde wordes and thynges vayne

But by vs chrysten men it is distayned.

Moche wors than euer, the Jewes dyd certayne

And if our lorde sholde nowe come downe agayne.

To dryue out of the churche suche as there do syn

Forsoth I thynke, right fewe sholde byde within

The Enuoy To the Reders.

O man that bostest thy selfe in cristes name

Callynge the christen, se thou thy synne refuse

Remember well it is both synne and shame

The house of god, thus to defyle and abuse

But this one thynge causeth me oft to muse

That the false paynyms within theyr Temples be

To theyr ydols moche more deuout than we

Of them that wyllynge and knowyngly put them self in ieopardy and peryll.

Leaping in a well, or in a flaming fire.

He is a fole that wyll purchace and desyre
His owne deth or putteth hym selfe in ieopardy
Lepynge in a well, or in a flamynge fyre
And where he myght lyue so dyeth wyllyngly
Suche suffer theyr destruccyon worthely
And if that they be drowned outher brent
It is to late them after to repent.

I fynde mo folys yet. whome I shall note

Suche ar they whiche pray both day and nyght

To god and his sayntes cryeng with open throte

O glorious god helpe me by thy great myght

That I may clens my herte and clere my syght

Wherby all foly and synne may fro me fall

But yet this fole it leuyth nat at all

Suche folys oft pray for theyr amendement

Unto our lorde with syghynges sore and depe

But yet to synne contynually they assent

And after the same often complayne and wepe

Than say they playne that god hath had no kepe

Unto theyr prayer and taken of it no hede

But theyr owne foly is cause of theyr lewde dede

They se the peryll before theyr faces playne

That god hath ordeyned, for foly and for synne

They pray for helpe, and yet ar they full fayne

After the folys hode alway to ren

And besely laboure the same alone to wyn

So vnto god for helpe they cry and call

But they them selfe wyll helpe no thynge at all

Than thynke they theyr prayers to god nat acceptable

Bycause (anone) they haue nat all theyr wyll

And for that god is nat sone agreable

To here theyr cry and it graunt and fulfyll

These folys in theyr vyce contynue styll

And put theyr selfe in wylfull ieopardy

And where they myght they fynde no remedy

But these folys vnstabyll as the wynde

Prayeth vnto god and to his sayntis aboue

Nat knowynge what may content theyr folysshe mynde

Nor whether theyr askynge be for theyr behoue

But sothly this dare I both say and proue

And it auowe after my sympyll skyll

That neuer man shall syn without his wyll

If that one with his owne wyll doth fall

Into a well to assay the ieopardy

Whan he is there. if he lowde crye and call

Bothe on god and man for helpe and remedy

He sekyth that peryll, and dyeth worthely

So were it foly to gyue hym corde or trayne

Or other engyne to helpe hym vp agayne

Whan suche folys ar sure vpon the grounde

Without all daunger, peryll hurt or fere

They lepe in the wel and yet fere to be drowned

Empedocles though he right myghty were

With suche lyke foly hym selfe so sore dyd dere

That knowyngly and with his owne consent

Hymself he lost and by fyers fyre was brent

He lept hedelynge into the flamynge fyre

Of a brennynge hyll whiche callyd is Ethnay

To knowe the trouth, and nature to enquyre

Whether that same flame were very fyre or nay

So with his deth the trouth he dyd assay

But who that wolde hym drawen out of that hyll

Had ben a fole, syns it was his owne wyll

For why his mynde was blyndyd so certayne

That thoughe a man had hym delyuered than

The same peryll wolde he haue proued agayne

As mad as he forsoth is euery man

That is at eas, and hym nat so holde can

And also he that putteth hymselfe in drede

Or fere and peryll, where as he hath no nede

So he that prayeth to god that he may get

The blysse of heuen, and scape infernall payne

He is a fole his herte or mynde to set

On frayle ryches, welth and ioy mundayne

On stedfast fortune, on lucre or on gayne

For certaynly these thynges of worldly welth

Oft man deuydeth away from heuenly helth

Thus he that prayeth for welth or for ryches

Or in this worlde hym selfe to magnyfy

Prayeth for his hurt and cause of viciousnes

For worldly welth doth vyce oft multyply

So seke men theyr owne peryll wyllyngly

But who that prayeth, and can nat as he ought

He bloweth in the wynde, and shall nat haue his thought

And who that to honour couetyse to ascende

Or to lyue in damnable voluptuosyte

He seketh his peryll for if that he descende

From welth and worshyp to payne and pouerte

It is but worthy, and let hym pacyent be

It to endure with mynde demure and meke

He is worthy sorowe that wyll it alway seke

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Ye that fayne wolde escape all ieopardy

Auoyde suche thynges the whiche myght cause the same

To proue a peryll, is foly certaynly

Whether it be done in ernest or in game

They that so doth may theyr owne madnes blame

For he that is sure, and to a fray wyll ren

May fortune come home agayne, nosles or lame

And so were it better for to haue byd within

Of the way of felycyte and godnes, and of the payne to come vnto synners.

Punishment doubled with carts of wheels four.

Many in this lyfe the cart of syn doth drawe
By payne and labour, alway right dylygent
Norysshynge theyr syn agaynst all right and lawe
And alway lyuynge after one lyke assent
But whan they ar dede than shall theyr punysshement
In hell be dowblyd with cartis of whelys foure
Where as they thought, deth shuld ende theyr laboure

God suffreth nat eche vicious fole to knowe

The wonders that he made hath on this grounde

And dayly worketh. wherfore theyr syn doth growe

So that theyr foly them selfe doth confounde

And here theyr bodyes to great labours ar bounde

Sparynge no peryll for pleasour and for gayne

Than after deth haue they euerlastynge payne

So he that here lyueth in vyce and synne

Shall extreme dolour after deth endure

Than what auantage is it for man to wyne

All orthly tresour, and of hell payne be sure

But without dowt that wretchyd creature

Whiche goddes lawes wyll nat here holde and kepe

Shall after deth haue cause to wayle and wepe

And suche as here wyll nat knowe theyr sauyour

Obseruynge his preceptis and commaundement

Whiche god hathe ordeyned to saue vs from erroure

And vs commaundyd to kepe with clene intent

Ouer all the worlde. as rule moste excellent

To lyue godly. and who so euer he be

That foloweth in this worlde voluptuosyte

Or carnall lust ryot or other offence

Wastynge his tyme in syn and viciousnes

All suche in this worlde, by theyr blynde negligence

Drawe styll the cart of greuous besynes.

With payne and charge and, whan this wretchydnes

Is past and gone, yet after this they shall

In hell endure great tourmentis eternall

There shalt (thou fole) the charet drawe alway

With dowble paynes both tedyous and cruell

Wherfore thou fole retourne the I the pray.

Seke nat the way whiche ledeth vnto hell

With his foule dennes, more darke than tunge can tell

And thoughe the way be esy streyght and playne

The ende is nought, I aduyse the tourne agayne

The way to hell is greatly occupyed

The path is playne, and easy to ouergo

The dore ay open no entre is denyed

To suche as purpose in mynde to come therto

But at the ende therof is care and wo

With syghtis odyous and abhomynable

Yet in the way ar folkes innumerable

Thus is no meruayle though this way be playne

And greatly worne syns it is hantyd so

By dyuers folys whiche haste them to that payne.

By way contynuall therto: but none therfro

The dredefull dore to them that wyll in go

Both day and nyght is open, it doth forsake

No folys that wyll theyr iourney thyther take

But that way that to hye heuen doth lye

Is way of grace plesour, and all felycyte

In it suche walke as here lyue vertuously

And blessyd men, but nat suche as vyciouse be

Yet is it narowe, and full of difficulte

There is many a harde flynt brere and thorne

And no meruayle for it is nat greatly worne

For why lewde people, whiche is the gretest sort

Forsake this way for the payne and hardnes

But godly men therin haue chefe consort

With all that lyue by grace in ryghtwysnes

Suche well consyder that heuyns blessydnes

Can nat be gotten by pleasour rest nor eas

Wherfore this way can nat suche synners pleas

God so hath ordeyned that who wyll haue vertue

Must it obtayne with payne and dilygence

And great labour, whiche many nowe eschewe

Without it be to seke synne and offence

Fewe seke the way to christis hye presence

Therby it hapneth that many a thousande

Fast rennyth leftwarde, but fewe on the right hande

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Alas man remembre heuens blyssednes

And though the way be harde that lyeth therto

Forsoke it nat for all that great sharpnes

For at the ende is lyfe and rest also

Euerlastynge glory with other ioyes mo

But who that taketh the other way certayne

Shall fynde at the ende eternall payne and wo

Thoughe the way thether be easy streyght and playne

Of the yll example of elders gyuyn vnto youth.

By anger or malice break pot.

If that the fader and mother before theyr son
By anger or malyce brake, platter pot, or pan
The son in hande shall take some cauderon
And lerne to breke it if his small power can
Thus oft tyme chyldren haue cause to curse or ban
Theyr frendes for suche example of lewdnes
For soner that they lerne than vertue or goodes

Ye aged men rotyd in folysshnes

And folysshe parentis lewde of your langage

Vnto our shyp swyftly your selfe addres

Syns ye be worthy therin to haue a stage

Nowe cast I repreues agaynst your outrage

Whiche boldly bost you of your vnthryfty lyues

Before your maydes, your doughters and your wyues

Alas the folys of this mad company

By theyr example cause great inconuenyence

Before theyr children recountynge rybaudry

Of suche as they haue had experyence.

So gyue they to them example of offence

And in that synne wheron they bost and vant

They make them perfyte whiche erst were ignorant

Theyr wordes ar voyde of shame and honestye

Theyr lyfe is without mesure and reuerence

But yet they thynke that they moste worthy be

That moste can tell of this greuous offence

Thus all the youth that is in theyr presence

Or that doth here theyr vyce and rybawdry

Vnto the same with theyr full mynde aply

Thus theyr yonge children maners lernyth none

The wyfe hath occasyon to breke hir chastyte

So is the lyfe defyled of them echone

And to be playne, we often tymes se

That of what maners the folysshe husbondes be

Such ar theyr wyues, children and housholde

The yonge Cok lerneth to crowe hye of the olde

A folysshe Father, full hardly shall ensyne

His sone to good lyfe or to good gouernaunce

For if the father to foly doth enclyne

The sone wyll folowe his father in that daunce

And if the father vse hasarde or the chaunce

Or any prohybyt and vnlawfull game

Most comonly the sone wyll do the same

If that the husbonde be vycious of his lyfe

Wastfull or dronken, or vyle in his langage

His sonnes doughters, his seruauntes and his wyfe

Wyll lerne of hym to passe the same passage

And if the husbonde breke his maryage

If the wyfe knowe, in mynde she wyll be wroth

Without he haue a hode of the same cloth

An olde prouerbe hath longe agone be sayde

That oft the sone in maners lyke wyll be

Vnto the Father, and in lyke wyse the mayde

Or doughter, vnto the mother wyll agre

So if the elders vse enormyte

And before theyr children bost them of the same

The sone and doughter shall folowe syre and dame

The monkes thynke it lawfull for to play

Whan that the Abbot bryngeth them the dyce

Right so the Father, can nought or lytell say

Agaynst the sone, nor hym blame or chastyce

If he hym selfe be taken in that same vyce

Thus lyues the Father in synne withouten shame

And after his deth the sone shall do the same

O wretchyd maners o tyme full of furour

And full of foly without all hope to stent

Howe longe shall god our lorde and sauyour

This synne suffer without greuous punysshement

Alas it nowe apereth euydent

That the fathers foly synne and great outrage

Is left to the sonne as it were herytage

And no meruayle, for it hath neuer ben seen

That of a wolfe a shepe hath be forth brought

Or that a calfe or lambe gendred hath been

Of a fell tygre: right so if it were sought

Ouer all the worlde. a Father that is nought

Sholde scant be founde, whiche coude brynge vp his childe

With his synne in no maner poynt defylyd

The yonge crab bacwarde doth crepe or go

As doth the olde, none can hir cours redres

These yonge children for the moste part also

Foloweth theyr fathers synne and his lewdnes

But they that lyue in maners of mekenes

In honest lyfe, goodnes grace and chastyte

May brynge forth children of maners as they be

I rede howe the Phylosopher Diogenes

Sayde by a childe whiche dronken was with wyne

That his Father was in that case doutles

Whan he it gate, so his hye wyt dyuyne

Knewe that the childes maners dyd inclyne

Vnto his Fathers, and so was it founde trewe

By them whiche well that childes fader knewe

But though the Father and mother also be nought

Without dout this one thynge apereth playne

That the childe is suche as it is vp brought

And nat lyghtly chaungyd without great charge or payne

Therfore let euery man hym selfe refrayne

Within his hous from all thynge worthy blame

Than shall his children and seruautes do the same

The enuoy of Barklay.

Ye that haue children or other great housholde

Subdued to your seruyce, and your obedyence

Kepe vertuous lyfe, for that is worth great golde

And great example to youth to auoyde offence

But if ye boost you of synne and neglygence

In rybawde wordes, gyue credence to this clause

If the herers fall into incouenyence

Your lewde example is the chefe grounde and cause

Of bodely pleasour or corporall voluptuosyte

As sheep, as bulls, as birds it tangleth in its snare.

Wanton wastfull and vayne voluptuosyte
Oft blyndeth attysynge vnto inconuenyence
Many that ar rude, for theyr symplycyte
And them as shepe sleeth for all theyr innocence
But other some it kepyth with myght and violence
As bulles bounde sure to endure great care
And other as byrdes it tangleth in hir snare

Drawe nere ye folys to you I crye and call

Whiche ar of grace clene destytute and bare

Folowynge your lust and pleasour corporall

But for your soule ye take no thought ne care

To whome may I this shamefull lust compare

Saue to a harlat faynynge, fals and couetous.

Of whome comyth shame and bytes venemous

She syttyth in the strete as past both shame and fere

Hir brestes bare to tempt them that passe by

Hir face anoyntyd blasynge abrode hir here

Or els on hir folysshe front enlaced hye

Hir smocke to garnysshyd so hir dysceytfull iye

To shamfull lust a thousande doth attyce

Of youth whiche erst perchuance knewe nought of vyce

Hir chamber full of flatery and disceyte

Anone is opened the blynde fole entreth in

The hoke of deth is hyd vnder the bayte

Of folysshe lust pleasour and mortall syn

Hir soule she sellyth ryches therby to wyne

And what riches: a rewarde sothly full vyle

The soules damneth and bodyes doth defyle

The one departyth, another comys in agayne

Without all shame dare she them boldly pray

To hir fals pleasours, Thus by hir gyle and trayne

This folysshe youth to hir wyll nat denay

But vnto hir some lepe both nyght and day

Without mesure, rennynge to lese theyr lyfe

As ox or shepe vnto the bochers knyfe

The symple lambe his necke doth out extende

Vnto the Bocher his mortall ennemy

So doth these folys, sekynge a shamefull ende

And theyr owne deth, though they myght fynde remedy

O blynde fole I requyre the to aply

Vnto my wordes and thou shalt here and se.

Howe moche thou oughtest this folysshe lust to fle

The soule it damneth, and drowneth depe in hell

The wyt it wastyth, and confoundeth the mynde

It causeth man his londe and good to sell

And if that he none other mene can fynde

To rob and stele he oft tyme is inclyned

Besyde all these this fowle lust is so vyle

That with fowle sauour it shall thy body fele

Thoughe of lewde lust the ioy be short and small

And thoughe the pleasour therof be soon ouer past

The payne that foloweth it, is eternall

With wofull dolour menglyd, that euer shall last

Therfore leue of: do nat thy pleasour cast

On worldly welth, delyte ioy and pleasour

For soon they pas and chaunge at euery hour

Who that in this wretchyd worlde wyll auoyde

Of voluptuousnes the ioyes frayle and vayne

And suffre nat hym with them to be acloyde

Infect or drownyd, shall for the same certayne

Euerlastynge lyfe, and endles ioy obtayne

And for his hye tryumphe and dyuyne prudence

Haue the fruycyon of goddes hye presence

But who that wyll his carnall lust ensue

Shall here haue shame, and after payne cruell

I coude hereof dyuers examples shewe

But of right many this one I shall you tell

One Sardanapalus all other dyd excell.

In carnall lust and so his mynde dyd cast

On loue prohybyte, that grace was fro hym past

The loue of vertue was full out of his mynde

So he concludyd to sue dilyciousnes

Thynkynge after deth no welth nor ioy to fynde

For this is the sentence of the prynce of derknes

But good almyghty seynge his vycyousnes

His body and soule deuydyd soon in twayne

From worldly pleasour vnto infernall payne

By this hystory to vs it apereth playne

That from worldly pleasour and voluptuosyte

With all our myght we ought vs to refrayne

For thoughe the first of them delycious be

Theyr ende is poyson, and of sournes plente

Sue wyse men vertue, and set suche lust asyde

For they ar folys that in it lyue and byde

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Amende mad men your blynde mysgouernaunce

Subdue nat your necke to the captyuyte

Of flysshely lust and corporall pleasaunce

Nor to blynde Venus with hir lasciuyte

(If ye it note) ye dayly here and se

The mysfortune of them that it ensue

And certaynly no man can saued be

By carnall lust, but by godly vertue

Of folys that can nat kepe secrete theyr owne counsell.

His hair by guile from his head off-shorn.

Of other Foles a nomber yet I fynde
Which by theyr bablynge wordes and langage
Can nat kepe close the secrete of theyr mynde.
But all theyr counsel out they shewe at large.
So that oft therof procedeth great damage.
As Murder, myschefe, hatered and debate.
That after they repent. But than it is to late

He is a naturall fole and vndiscrete

And to hym selfe ingendryth oft great stryfe

Whiche can nat hyde his counsell and secrete

But by his foly it sheweth to his wyfe

And all that he hath done in his hole lyfe

Or that to do here after he doth purpose

To euery man suche a fole wyll disclose

The noble Sampson moste excellent of myght

And strongest man that euer was get or borne

Were nat this foly: sholde nat haue lost his syght

Nor had his here, by gyle from his hede ofshorne

And of his ennemyes ben laughyd vnto scorne

And at the last with herte wrethfull and wo

His ennemyes murdred and hym selfe also

Where as he myght haue lyued in honour

If he had kept his secretes in his mynde

With his owne wyll he dyed in great dolour.

By the fals treason of his lemman vnkynde

We may in dyuers mo examples fynde

Howe many thousandes haue suffred paynes smart

And all for shewynge the secretes of theyr hart

Amphiaraus a Prynce moste excellent

Shortened the dayes of his pore doutfull lyfe

For shewynge the preuetees of his intent

By his owne foly to his disceytfull wyfe

And thoughe he longe escaped had the stryfe

And war of Thebes whiche he dyd longe defende

Yet at the leest his tunge was his owne ende

Thus olde storyes doth oft recorde and tell

By theyr examples whiche they vnto vs gyue

That wymen ar no kepars of councell

It goeth through them as water trough a syue

Wherfore let them that quyetly wolde lyue

No more of theyr counsell to any woman showe

Than that they wolde that euery man dyd knowe

Let euery man that is discrete and sage

Of suche folys with all wysdome be ware

Whiche shewe theyr counsell by theyr hasty langage.

To euery man without all thought and care

For they of wysdome and reason ar but bare

And who that his owne secrete wyll forth tell

Howe sholde he hyde another mannes counsell

Yet other be whiche by theyr flaterynge trayne

Labour to knowe euery mannys pryuete

And by and by to shewe it forth agayne

Of them be ware for they disceyfull be.

Some other bost them of theyr felycyte

Bablynge that they haue theyr wyll in euery thynge

As prosperous welth loue, ryches and cunnynge

And of great dedes done both on see and londe

Some by theyr falshode, some by strength and vertue

But if one laboured the trouth to vnderstonde

Suche folysshe wordes sholde all be founde vntrewe

Let neuer man to suche his counsell shewe

For of one worde these folys makyth twayne

Whiche tourneth many to losse rebuke and payne

Wherfore if thou wylt that thy pryuete

Be kept secrete and nat come out at large

Be nat so folysshe to showe it unto me

Or any other if it be thynge of charge

And if thou do thou shalt be in this barge

For howe wylt thou thynke that another man

Can kepe thy counsell syns thou thy selfe ne can

If the kynge Achab had nat vttred and tolde

Vnto his wyfe his wyll and mynde so playne

By hir fals treason, and dysceyt manyfolde

Vnrightwysly Nabot had nat ben slayne

But for the same, Achab suffred great payne

By deth in batayle, and for a punysshment

His wyfe with houndes was all to torne and rent

Thus it apereth that he is wyse and ware

Whiche can his counsell kepe within his hart

For by that mean may he escape great care

And suerly lyue without yll wyllys dart

The Prophete seynge what dyuers paynes smart

Comyth oft to them whiche doth theyr secret tell

Eche man exortyth to kepe close his counsell.

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Thou man that hast thy secret in thy brest

Holde it styll there suffer it nat out to go

Who that so doth, therby shall fynde great rest

Ne to thy frende shewe nat thy mynde also

For if that he after become thy fo

As often hapneth, than myght he the bewry

So sholde thy foly tourne vnto thy great wo

Howe be it suche thynges are prouyd comonly.

Of yonge folys that take olde wymen to theyr wyues, for theyr ryches.

A old wife taken in marriage for her riches.

Within our shyp that fole shall haue a hode
Whiche an olde wyfe taketh in maryage
Rather for hir ryches and hir worldly gode
Than for pure loue, or hope to haue lynage
But suche youth as mary them selfe with age
The profyte and pleasour of wedlocke lese certayne
And worthely lyue in brawlynge stryfe and payne.

Under the Asse tayle thoughe it be no thynge pure

Yet many seke and grope for the vyle fatnes

Gatherynge togyther the fowle dunge and ordure

Suche ar they that for treasour and ryches

Whyle they ar yonge in theyr chefe lustynes

An agyd woman taketh to theyr wyfe

Lesynge theyr youth, and shortynge so theyr lyfe

They that so do hath neyther rest nor peas

But besy brawlynge and stryfe contynuall

They have no pleasour, but thought and great dyseas

Rebuke out braydynge, and strypes whan they fall

But theyr owne foly is grounde and cause of all

For they be maryd unto the vyle treasour

And precious bagges, but nat for godly pleasour

They haue no hope of children nor lynage

Loue is there none, and durynge theyr wretchyd lyfe

Is nat one day in suche mad maryage

Auoyde of brawlynge, of hatered and of stryfe

But that pore man that weddeth a ryche wyfe

Cast in his nose shall styll hir bagges fynde

For whose cause he made was made and blynde

They that ar weddyd nat for loue but rychesse

Of moryage despysynge the pleasour and profyte

Suche seldome sauour fortunes happynes

But oft mysfortune them greuously doth byte

Thus gone is theyr pleasour theyr ioy and delyte

And for vayne treasoure suche ar so glad and fayne

That for the same they them subdue to payne

They wyllyngly to payne them selfe subdue

The whiche ar weddyd for wretchyd couetyse

They take no hede to maners and vertue

To honeste nor wysdome but lyue ay in malyce

For if a woman be fowle and full of vice

And lewde of maners, nought both to man and lad

Yet good shall hir mary be she neuer so bad

If that a man of hye or lowe degre

Wolde spouse his doughter vnto a strange man

He nought inquyreth of his honestye

Of his behauour, nor if he norture can

But if he be ryche in londes and good: than

He shall be prayed his doughter for to haue

Thoughe be but a bonde man or a knaue

The firste enquyrynge and speciall questyon

Is of the money, that thynge namely they moue

And last of all aske they the condicion

So whan they mete they neuer haue perfyte loue

Wherfore it were better to suche for theyr behoue

To byde alone in deserte and wyldernes

Than in wedloke in payne for frayle ryches

Forsoth it is an vnmete maryage

And disagreynge and moche agaynst the lawe

Bytwene fresshe youth, and lame vnlusty age

The loue bytwene them is scantly worth a strawe

So doth the one styll on the other gnawe

And oft the man in mynde doth sore complayne.

His sede to sowe vpon a grounde barayne

Than muste he haue another prymme or twayne

With them to slake his wanton yonge cowrage

But in that space must he endure great payne

With hir that he hath tane in maryage

Hir bablynge tunge whiche no man can asswage

With wrathfull wordes shall sle hym at the laste

His other prymes his good shall spende and waste

Thus who that selleth his youthes lustynes

For frayle ryches and this mundayne vanyte

He byeth stryfe, gyle and falshode endlesse

Suche force nat for fayth true loue nor honestye

And thoughe that he discende of hye degre

For hope of money he shall an olde fole wed

By whose foly he to euery yll is led.

And so these folys subdue them to bondage

And worthely endure suche payne and punysshement

They hope therby to come to auantage

But that they lese and lyue in sore tourment

They wast theyr good, and so whan that is spent

And nought remayneth theyr bodyes to relefe

Theyr disputacion is nought but hore and thefe

But if I sholde wryte all the vnhappynes

The wrath discorde and the great deuysyon

Wherin they lyue, that mary for ryches

And nat for loue. I neuer sholde haue done

Wherfore this say I for a conclusyon

That he shall neuer thryue ne come to his behoue

That weddyth a wyfe for gode and nat for loue

The enuoy of Barklay.

Alas man myndles what is thyne intent

To wed for ryches, that weddynge I defy

Maryage was ordeyned by god omnypotent

In goddes lawes the worlde to multyply

Wherfore that man that wyll therto aply

And wolde haue the profyte of faythfull maryage

This worldly ryches ought no thynge to set by

But wed for loue and hope to haue lynage

Remember ryches is no thynge comparable

To mekenes vertue and discrete gouernaunce

And other maners whiche ar more commendable

Than worldly treasour or suche vnsure substaunce

Wherfore consyder and call to thy remembraunce

That better is to haue some woman pore and bare

And lyue in eas: Than one with habundaunce

Of great ryches: and euer to lyue in care

Of enuyous Folys.

Of others damage rejoicing in their mind.

Yet ar mo folys whiche greatly them delyte
In others losse, and that by fals enuy
Wherby they suche vnrightwysly bacbyte
The dartis of suche ouer all the wordly flye
And euer in fleynge theyr fethers multyply
No state in erth therfro can kepe hym sure
His sede encreasyth as it wolde euer endure

Wastynge enuy oft styreth to malyce

Folys nat a fewe whiche ar therto enclynyd

Pryckynge theyr frowarde hertes vnto vyce

Of others damage reioysynge in theyr mynde

Enuyes darte doth his begynnynge fynde

In wrathfull hertes, it wastyth his owne nest

Nat suffrynge other to lyue in eas and rest

If one haue plenty of treasour and ryches

Or by his merytis obteyne great dignyte

These folys enuyous that of the same haue les

Enuy by malyce, the others hye degre

And if another of honour haue plente

They it enuy and wysshe that they myght sterue

Howe be it suche folys can nat the same deserue

These folys desyre agaynst both lawe and right

Anoters good if they may get the same

If they may nat by flaterynge nor by myght

Than by fals malyce they hym enuy and blame

Outher if one by his vertue hath good name

By fals enuy these foles hym reproue

Their wrath them blyndeth so that they none can loue

The wounde of this malycious, fals enuy

So dedely is, and of so great cruelte

That it is incurable and voyde of remedy

A man enuyous hath suche a properte

That if he purpose of one vengyd to be

Or do some mysche, whiche he reputyth best

Tyll it be done, he neuer hath eas nor rest

No slepe, no rest nor pleasour can they fynde

To them so swete, pleasaunt and delectable

That may expell this malyce from theyr mynde

So is enuy a vyce abhomynable

And vnto helth so frowarde and damnable

That if it onys be rotyd in a man

It maketh hym lene. his colour pale and wan.

Enuy is pale of loke and countenaunce

His body lene of colour pale and blewe

His loke frowarde, his face without pleasaunce

Pyllynge lyke scalys, his wordes ay vntrue

His iyen sparklynge with fyre ay fresshe and newe

It neuer lokyth on man with iyen full

But euer his herte by furious wrath is dull

Thou mayst example fynde of this enuy

By Joseph whome his bretherne dyd neuer beholde

With louynge loke, but sharpe and cruelly

So that they hym haue murdred gladly wolde

I myght recount examples manyfolde

Howe many by enuy lost hath theyr degre

But that I leue bycause of breuyte

Enuyous folys ar stuffed with yll wyll

In them no myrth nor solace can be founde

They neuer laughe but if it be for yll

As for gode lost or whan some shyp is drounde

Or whan some hous is brent vnto the grounde

But whyle these folys on other byte and gnawe

Theyr enuy wastyth theyr owne herte and theyr mawe

The mount of Ethnay though it brent euer styll

Yet (saue itselfe) it brenneth none other thynge

So these enuyous Folys by theyr yll wyll

Wast theyr owne herte, thoughe they be ay musynge

Another man to shame and losse or hurt to brynge

Upon them sellfe Thus tournyth this yll agayne

To theyr destruccion both shame great losse and payne

This fals enuy by his malycious yre

Doth often, bretherne so cursedly inflame

That by the same the one of them conspyre

Agaynst the other without all fere and shame

As Romulus and Remus excellent of fame

Whiche byldyd Rome, but after: enuy so grewe

Bytwene them that the one the other slewe

What shall I wryte of Cayme and of Abell

Howe Cayme for murder suffred great payne and wo

Atreus story and Theseus cruell.

Ar vnto vs example hereof also

Ethyocles with his brother: and many mo

Lyke as the storyes declareth openly

The one the other murdred by enuy

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Wherfore let hym that is discrete and wyse

This wrathfull vyce exyle out of his mynde

And yll on none by malyce to surmyse

Let charyte in perfyte loue the bynde

Sue hir preceptis than shalt thou consort fynde

Loue in this lyfe, and ioy whan thou art past

Where as enuy thy conscyence shall blynde

And both they blode and body mar and wast

Of impacient Folys that wyll nat abyde correccion.

In his bagpipe hath more game and sport.

Unto our Folys shyp let hym come hastely
Whiche in his Bagpype hath more game and sport
Than in a Harpe or Lute more swete of melody
I fynde vnnumerable Folys of this sort
Whiche in theyr Bable haue all they hole confort
For it is oft sayd of men both yonge and olde
A fole wyll nat gyue his Babyll for any golde

The grettest synners that man may se or fynde

In myserable Folys theyr foly to expres

Is whan they wyll by no mean gyue theyr mynde

To frendly wordes, to grace or to goodnes

Suche folys so set theyr mynde on frowardnes

That though one gyue them counsell sad and wyse

They it disdayne and vtterly despyse

But he that is discrete sad and prudent

Aplyeth his mynde right gladly to doctryne

He hereth wyse men, his wysdome to augment

He them doth folowe and to theyr wordes enclyne

But that fole whiche ay goeth to ruyne.

And mortall myschefe had leuer be dede or slayne

Than byde correccyon or for his profyte payne

Suche haue suche pleasour in theyr mad folysshe pype

That they dispyse all other melody.

They leuer wolde dye folys than: byde a strype

For theyr correccyon and specyall remedy

And without dout none other Armony

To suche folys is halfe so delectable

As is their folysshe bagpype and theyr babyll

These frantyke folys wyll byde no punysshement

Nor smale correccion, for theyr synne and offence

No frendly warnynge can chaunge theyr yll intent

For to abyde it, they haue no pacyence.

They here no wysdome but fle from hir presence

And so it hapnyth that in the worlde be

Mo folys than men of wyt and grauyte

O mortall fole remember well what thou art

Thou art a man of erth made and of clay

Thy dayes ar short and nede thou must depart

Out of this lyfe, that canst thou nat denay

Yet hast thou reason and wyt wherby thou may

Thy selfe here gyde by wysdome ferme and stable

Wherby thou passest all bestis vnreasonable

Thou art made lorde of euery creature

All thynge erthly vnto thyne obedyence

God hath the creat vnto his owne fygure

Lo is nat here a great preemynence

God hath also gyuyn vnto the intellygence

And reason and wyt all foly to refuse.

Than art thou a fole that reason to abuse

He that is fre outher in subieccion.

If by his foly he fall into offence

And than submyt hym vnto correccyon.

All men shall laude his great obedyence

But if that one by pryde and insolence

Supporte his faute and so bere out his vyce

The hell tourmentis hym after shall chastyce

Correccyon shall the vnto wysdome brynge

Whiche is more precious than all erthly ryches

Than londes rentis or any other thynge

Why dost thou bost the of byrth or noblenes

Of ryches, strength beauty or fayrnes

These often ar cause of inconuenyence.

Where as all good comyth by wysdome and prudence

A wyse man onely as we often fynde

Is to be named moste ryche and of most myght

Here thou his wordes and plant them in thy mynde

And folowe the same for they ar sure and right.

Better is to endure, thoughe it be nat lyght

To suffer a wyse man the sharply to repreue

Than a flaterynge fole to clawe the by the sleue

Thoughe sharpe correccyon at the first the greue

Thou shalt the ende therof fynde profytable

It oft apereth, therfore I it byleue

That man also forsoth is fortunable

Whiche here in fere lyueth sure and stable

And in this lyfe is clene of his intent

Ferynge the sharpe payne of hellys punysshement

He may hym selfe right happy call also

Whiche is correct in his first tender age

And so lernyth in goodes law to go

And in his yocke, whiche doth all yll asswage

But these folys bydynge in theyr outrage

Whiche of correccyon in this lyfe hath dysdayne

May fere to be correct in hell with endles payne

The enuoy of Barklay to the Folys.

Ye obstynate folys that often fall in vyce

Howe longe shall ye kepe this frowarde ignoraunce

Submyt your myndes, and so from synne aryse

Let mekenes slake your mad mysgouernaunce

Remember that worldly payne it greuaunce

To be compared to hell whiche hath no pere

There is styll payne, this is a short penaunce

Wherfore correct thy selfe whyle thou art here.

Of folysshe Fesycyans and vnlerned that onely folowe paractyke knowynge nought of the speculacyon of theyr faculte.

He hath no insight, cunning or doctrine.

Who that assayeth the craft of medycyne
Agaynst the seke and paynfull pacyent
And hath no insyght cunnynge nor doctryne
To gyue the seke, helth and amendement
Suche is a fole, and of a mad intent
To take on hym by Phesyke any cure
Nat knowynge of man, nor herbe the right nature

Yet be mo folys vpon the grounde and londe

Whiche in our Shyp may clayme a rowme and place

Suche be Phesycians that no thynge vnderstonde

Wandrynge about in euery towne and place

Uysytynge the seke whiche lyue in heuy case

But nought they relefe of those paynes harde

But gape alway after some great rewarde

Suche that haue practyse and nought of speculatyfe

Whan they go vysyte some paynfull pacyent

Whan they hym note sure to forgo his lyfe

Without all hope of any amendement

Yet say they other than is in theyr intent

That his diseas is no thynge incurable

So that the pacyent to hym be agreable

Sayth the Phesycyan whan he hath his rewarde

Abyde a whyle tyll I my bokes ouer se

Wherby I may relyue thy paynes harde

Than from the pacyent homewarde departyth he

To se his bokes but if the pacyent dye

In that meane space the medycyne is to late

So may he lay it to his owne folysshe pate

The speculacion sholde he before haue sene

For that in Phesyke is chefe and pryncypall,

Yet many ar that vse the craft I wene

Whiche of the cunnynge knowe lytell or nought at all

A herbe or wede that groweth vpon a wall

Beryth in it these folys medycyne.

None other bokes haue they nor doctryne

Nor none they rede to haue the true scyence

Or perfyte knowlege and grounde of medycyne

They rede no volumes of the experyence

Of Podalirius nor Mesues doctryne

Suche folys disdayne theyr myndes to enclyne

Unto the doctryne of bokes of Auycen

Of ypocras and parfyte galyen

But all the substance of theyr blynde faculte

They take in bokes that speke of herbes only

Without respect had to theyr properte

Or operacion so often they them aply

To fals doctrynes, but first and specyally

These olde wyues therwith wyll haue to do

Thoughe they nought knowe that doth belonge therto

They dare be bolde to take on them the cure

Of them diseasyd howe be it that they nat can

Suche thynge descerne as longyth to nature

What is for woman good, and what for man

So oft they ende moche wors than they began

That the pore pacyent is so brought to his graue

Yet dyuers suters suche folysshe wytches haue

Suche wytches boldly dare afferme and say

That with one herbe they hele can euery sore

Under euery syne plenete, houre and day

Yet besyde this they boldly dare say more

That it that helyth a man aged and hore

Shall helpe also a woman or a childe

Thus many thousandes oft ar by them begyled

They say also in this our charge or cure

What nedes it note the synes or fyrmament

The cause of thynges, or the strength of nature

Whether that the seke be stronge or impotent

They gyue one medesyn to euery pacyent

And if it fortune it be to colde or warme

The faythles wytche in hande goth with hir scharme

Say folysshe Surgyan by what experyence

Or whose Doctryne discyplyne or lore

Takest thou on the, nought knowynge of scyence

With one Salue or plaster, to heale euery sore

Yet so thou thynkest, I the compare therfore

Unto a lawyer that of his craft nought can

And yet presumeth to counsell euery man

A lawer and a Phesician ar both lyke

Of theyr condicion and both insue one trayne

The one begylyth the pacyent and seke

Takynge his god for to encreas his payne

The other labours and cauteles oft doth fayne

To clawe the coyne by craft from his clyent

Castynge hym of whan all his good is spent

Thus thryues the lawer by anothers good

Iniustly gotten, disceyuynge his clyent

Also some other ar callyd Phesicians good

Whiche vtterly disceyue the pacyent

If he haue money than hath he his intent

And if the seke haue store ynough to pay

Than shall the cure be dryuen from day to day

So if the lawer may any auauntage wyn

He shall the cause from terme to terme defarre

The playntyf for a player is holde in.

With the defendaunt kepynge open warre

So laweyers and Phesicians thousandes do marre

And whan they no more can of theyr suers haue

The playntyf beggyth, the seke is borne to graue

But of these lawyers bycause I spoke before

Of folysshe Phesicians here onely I intende.

Somwhat to say: And of lawers no more

On you Phesicians shall I conclude and ende

I say no man may hym so well defende

That he for murder may auoyde punysshement

Yet may Phesicians, sleynge the pacient

Thus thou that of Phesycian hast the name

If thou nought knowe of perfyte medycyne

It is forsoth to thy rebuke and shame

To boste the scyence: nat hauynge the doctryne

Therfore I counsell that thou thy mynde inclyne

To haue the cunnynge, els certaynly thou shall

Haue thy blynde craft and lyue a fole with all.

The enuoy of the traslatour.

Thou blynde Phesician that of thy craft nought can

Leue of thy lewdnes and bolde audacyte

To take on the: the cure of chylde or man

For by thy foly the wors myght they be

And ye that suerly perceyue your faculte

Be true therin, and auaryce from you cast

Shame is to brynge a man to pouertye

And than in paynes to leue hym at the last

Of the ende of worldly honour and power and of Folys that trust therein.

The wheel of fortune.

On erth was neuer degre so excellent
Nor man so myghty: in ryches nor scyence
But at the ende all hath ben gone and spent
Agaynst the same no man can make defence
Deth all thynge drawyth, ferefull is his presence,
It is last ende of euery thynge mundayne
Thus mannys fortune of cours is vncertayne

O creatures of myndes mad and blynde

I wonder of your hertis proude and eleuate

Whiche on vayne power set so sore your mynde

And trust so moche to your vnsure estate

As of your lyfe were neyther yere nor date

To worldly worshyp ye stedfastly intende

As if your lyfe sholde neuer more come to ende

Alway ye labour to come to dignyte

And oft by falshode your power to augment

Alas fewe ar content with theyr degre

But by extorcion spoyle the pore innocent

On worldly treasour so set is theyr intent

And styll to honour as besely to ascende

As if theyr lyfe sholde neuer more come to ende

Take thou example by Julius cesar

That of the worlde durynge a whyle was sure

And many kynges subduyd by myght of warre

And of the Empyre had lordshyp charge cure

But this his myght great space dyd nat endure

And whyle he trustyd yet hyer to ascende

By cruell deth he soon came to his ende

Right in lyke wyse the myghty Darius

Was kynge of Persy a realme moche excellent

Yet was his mynde so greatly couetus

That with the same helde he hym nat content

But warred on other Royalmes adiacent

So whan his myght coude nat therto extende

His owne Royalme he loste and so came to his ende

And also Xerxes in ryches abundant

Was longe in peas and great tranquyllyte

And in his Royalme was hye and tryumphant

As longe as he was content with his degre

Than had he pleasour and great felycyte.

To assay by warre his kyngdome to amende

But all he lost and so came to his ende

Whyle Nabugodonosor kynge of Babylone

In vnsure fortune set to great confydence

Commaundynge honour vnto hym to be done

As vnto god: with all humble reuerence,

God by his power and hye magnyfycence

Made hym a beste, for that he dyd offende

And so in proces of tyme came to his ende

Alexander the great and myghty conquerour

To whome all the worlde scantly myght suffyse

Of Grece was the origynall lorde and Emperour

And all the worlde subdued as I surmyse

Yet hath he done as is the comon gyse

Left all behynde, for nought coude hym defende

But as a symple man at the last came to his ende

The myghty Cresus with his kyngdomes and store

Of golde and ryches hym selfe coude nat content

But whyle he trustyd and laboured for more

Fortune hym fayled: So lost he his intent.

What shall I wryte of Cyrus excellent

Drynkynge his blode by deth whiche fortune sende

To here of states the comon deth and ende

All kyngdomes dekay and all estate mundayne

Example of Rome Cartago and Mycene

Of Solyme Tyre grace and Troy moste souerayne

None of these places ar nowe as they haue ben

Nor none other ouer the worlde as I wene

Thus shortly to speke and all to comprehende

All worldly thynges at last shall haue an ende.

The enouy of Barklay to the Folys.

O man that hast thy trust and confydence

Fyxed on these frayle fantasyes mundayne

Remember at the ende there is no difference

Bytwene that man that lyued hath in payne

And hym that hath in welth and ioy souerayne

They both must dye their payne is of one sort

Both ryche and pore, no man can deth refrayne

For dethes dart expellyth all confort

Say where is Adam the fyrst progenytour

Of all mankynde is he nat dede and gone

And where is Abell of innocence the flour

With adamys other sonnes euerychone

A: dredfull deth of them hath left nat one

Where is Mathusalem, and Tuball that was playne

The first that played on Harpe or on Orgone

Ilz sont tous mortz ce monde est choce vayne

Where is iust Noy and his ofsprynge become

Where is Abraham and all his progeny

As Isaac and Jacob, no strength nor wysdome

Coude them ensure to lyue contynually

Where is kynge Dauyd whome god dyd magnyfy

And Salomon his son of wysdome souerayne

Where ar his sonnes of wysdome and beauty

Ilz sont toutz mortz ce monde est choce vayne.

Where ar the prynces and kynges of Babylon

And also of Jude and kynges of Israell

Where is the myghty and valiant Sampson

He had no place in this lyfe ay to dwell

Where ar the Prynces myghty and cruell

That rayned before Christ delyuered vs from payne

And from the Dongeons of darke and ferefull hell

Ilz sont toutz mortz ce monde est choce vayne.

Of worldly worsyp no man can hym assure

In this our age whiche is the last of all

No creature can here alway endure

Yonge nor olde, pore man nor kynge royall

Unstable fortune tourneth as doth a ball

And they that ones pas can nat retourne agayne

Wherfore I boldly dare speke in generall

We all shall dye: ce monde est choce vayne.

Ryches nor wysdome can none therfro defende

Ne in his strength no man can hym assure

Say where is Tully is he nat come to ende

Seneke the sage with Cato and Arture

The hye Arystotyll of godly wyt and pure

The glorious Godfray, and myghty Charlemayne

Thoughe of theyr lyfe they thought that they were sure

Yet ar they all dede: ce monde est choce vayne.

Where ar the Phylosophers and Poetis lawreat

The great Grammaryens and pleasant oratours.

Ar they nat dede after the same fourme and rate

As ar all these other myghty conquerours

Where ar theyr Royalmes theyr ryches and treasours

Left to theyr heyres: and they be gone certayne

And here haue left theyr riches and honours

So haue they proued that this worlde is but vayne.

So I conclude bycause of breuyte

That if one sought the worlde large and wyde

Therin sholde be founde no maner of dere

That can alway in one case suerly byde

Strength, honour, riches cunnynge and beautye

All these decay, dayly: thoughe we complayne

Omnia fert etas, both helth and iolyte

We all shall dye: ce monde est choce vayne.

Of predestynacion.

Of the crayfish he still shall backward ride.

That man that lokyth for to haue a rewarde
Whiche he hath nat deseruyd to obtayne
And lenyth his body vpon a rede forwarde
Whiche for waykenes may hym nat well sustayne
Forsoth this fole may longe so loke in vayne
And on the Crauys he styll shall bacwarde ryde
Cryenge with the doue, whose flyght shall hym ay gyde

It is vnlawfull, man to be dilygent

Or serchynge goddes workes to set his thought

Howe he hath made the heuen and fyrmament

The erth the see and euery thynge of nought

Yet of some Folys the cause hereof is sought,

Whiche labour also with curyosyte

To knowe the begynnynge of his dyuynyte

These folys forgettynge their owne fragilyte

Wolde loke to knowe the ende of euery thynge

Boldly disputynge in goddys pryuete

And what rewarde is ordeynyd for men lyuynge

Of many folys this is the moste musynge

Whiche labour dayly with besy cure and payne.

To knowe what god doth discerne and or ordayne

Therfore in this part I shall dispyse and blame

Unchrafty folys whiche scantly haue ouer sene

Ought of scripture, if they knowe the bokes name

Or els a whyle hath at the Scoles bene

Than bende they the browys and stedfastly they wene

In theyr conceyt that they ar passynge wyse

For all scripture newe commentis to deuyse

They frowardly the sentence do transpose

And that whiche is wryten, both playne and holely

By theyr corruptynge and vnlawfull glose

Oft tyme they brynge to damnable heresy

Falsly expoundynge after theyr fantasy

They labour to transpose and turne the right sence

Thoughe the wordes stryue and make great resystence

Here what these folys with theyr audacyte

Dare besely say by theyr fals errour blynde

Presumynge on goddes secrete and pryuete

Here what lewde wordes they cast out in the wynde

They say what man can chaunge or turne his mynde

To lyue after any other fourme and rate

But lyke as he is therto predestynate

They say: if god that rayneth ouerall

Hath any ordeyned that in this worlde is

To come to the place and rowme celestyall

For to be partyner of euerlastynge blys

Ordeyned for suche as here doth nat amys

No man can chaunge, not other thynge mundayne

That thynge whiche god by his myght doth ordayne

But if that god prefyxed hath before

Any creature vnto infernall payne

In derknes to be damnyd for euer more

No erthly thynge may that sentence call agayne

Nor hym delyuer: o fole thou mayst complayne

For this thy foly and also it repent

Thynkest thou nat god alway omnypotent

Is god nat rightwyse and grounde of all iustyce

Rewardynge man after his gouernaunce

He that hath here nat lyen in synne and vyce

Hauynge in goddys seruyce his pleasaunce

Shall of his lorde be had in remembraunce

And of rewarde worthely be sure

Where it is worthy that synners payne endure

Trust well who seruyth his maker stedfastly

With pure herte kepynge sure his commaundement

And lawes shall be rewardyd fynally

With heuenly ioy and scape all punysshement

Therfore thou fole leue of this lewde intent

Lyue vertuously and trust in goddes grace

Than yll desteny in the shall haue no place

Vnto great ioy god hath vs all create

And to vs all ordeyned his kyngdome

And none hath vnto Hell predestynate

But often whan we folowe nat wysdome

By ouer owne foly we fall, and so become

Vnto our maker vnkind: and hym deny

Whiche them rewardyth that here lyue vertuously

Therfore thou Fole desyst thy wordes vayne

And let thy tunge no more suche wordes say

For god hath vs made all of one stuf certayne

As one potter makyth of one clay

Vessels dyuers, but whan he must them lay

Vpon the kyll with fyre them there to dry

They come nat all to good, moste comonly

Doth this erthyn pot his maker dispyse

Whether it be made of fassyon good or yll

Saynge why dost thou make me in this wyse

Wherfore mad man I reade the to be styll

Blame nat thy maker, for thy vnhappy wyll

For god hath neuer man nor childe create

But all he hath to heuen predestynate

And whyle we lyue here on this wretchyd grounde

We haue our reason and wyttes vs to gyde

With our fre wyll and if no faute be founde

In our demenour, in heuen we shall abyde

But if we goddes lawes set asyde

Howe may we hope of hym rewarde to wyn

So our owne foly is moste cause of our syn.

The enuoy of Barclay.

O creature vnkynde vnto thy creatour

What carest thou to knowe or to inuestygate

The pryuetye, of god, leue this thy errour

To thynke the by hym to be predestynate

To endles wo and from his blysse pryuate

For syns thou hast thy reason and frewyll

Gyuyn the by god, thou art in suche estate

To take the eleccion outher of good or yll

Of folys that forget them selfe and do another mannys besynes leuynge theyr owne vndone.

He that will suffer his own house to burn.

Who that wyll suffer his owne hous to bren
Tyll nought of it saue the bare wallys stonde
And with his water hastely doth ren
To quenche the fyre of anothers hous or londe
He is a fole and haue shall in his hande
A folysshe Pype or horne therwith to blowe
For other folys that in my Shyp wyll rowe.

Within my Shyp of rowme he shall be sure

Whiche for anothers auantage and profyte

Takyth great thought and doth moche payne endure

Vnto his owne charge takynge no respyte

But settyth it asyde and hath all his delyte

With all his stody hym to enforce and dres:

To care for euery mannys besynes.

Suche hertles folys to them self neglygent

In theyr owne charge slepe contynually

But with open iyen they ar full dylygent

The worke of other with all theyr myght to aply

And for others profyte prouyde they besely.

But whyle these Folys ar glad to take in hande

Anothers charge, theyr owne styll let they stande

Wherfore I am so bolde within my boke

Somwhat to touch these folys mad vsage

That if it fortune them on the same to loke

They may therby perceyue in theyr corage

That labour they ought for their owne auauntage

Most specyally. for that is the degre

And the true order of perfyte charite

For perfyte loue and also charite

Begynneth with hym selfe for to be charitable

And than to other after his degre

Thy owne auauntage is ay moost profytable

The great Phylosophers of maners ferme and stable

And also of wysdome godly and dyuyne

Hath left to vs suche techynge and doctryne

We haue by Therence the same commaundement

The same is wryten also as I fynde

In the holy lawe of the olde testament

And therfore he that oft wyll set his mynde

For others maters with care his thought to blynde

Let hym first se vnto his owne profyte

Lyst some mysfortune hym after sharply byte

Let hym turne his labour to his owne auauntage

And than do for other where as he seeth moste nede

For who that playeth for mony outher gage

And on his felawes cast takyth onely hede

And nat to his owne, suche one shall seldom spede

And is a Fole. So is he that doth ren

To quenche another hous, suffrynge his owne to bren

Suche one of his owne damage hath no fere

And worthy is his losse and hurte to byde

So is he that wyll anothers burthen bere

Or takyth anothers charge at any tyde

Despysynge his owne werke and settynge it asyde

If suche haue losse and after it forthynke

No man shall moche force whether he flete or synke

He is well worthy to haue a folys pype

That goth vnbyddyn to rype anothers corne

And suffreth his owne to stande though it be rype.

And generally all Folys ar worthy scorne

Of what maner byrth so euer they be borne

If they them self put, to losse or damage

Therby to do some other auauntage

Say curyous Fole: say what pleasour thou hast

In others maters thy self to intermyt

Or theyr great charges thus in thy mynde to cast

Thy selfe to socour set thou thy mynde and wyt

Let others maters therfore in quyete syt

On thy owne profyte of all firste set thy mynde

And than (if thou mayst) do somwhat for thy frende

For vtterly that man is moche vnwyse

That thus takyth thought for anothers charge

And doth his owne by neglygence despyse

For suche Folys I forgyd haue this barge

But of the same suche men I clene discharge

That first of his pryuate profyte can take hede

And than helpe a frende and felowe at a nede

Thenuoy of Barklay.

Ye that take charge, thought and besy cure

For others mysfortune, losse or aduersyte

First of your self I aduyse you to be sure

For this is the order of parfyte charyte

Eche to hym selfe moste louynge ay to be

And next to his frende, but who that doth dispyse.

His owne besynes whiche is in ieopardye

Seynge to anothers forsoth he is vnwyse

Of the vyce of vnkyndnes.

Always taking the service and rewards of his friend.

That Fole can neyther gode nor honeste
Whiche whan one doth to hym a frendly dede
It gladly takyth, thoughe it be two or thre
Lokynge for kyndnes, yet takyth he no hede
To shewe the same agayne in tyme of nede
Let suche Folys be no thing wroth therfore
Thoughe in this Shyp I set them to an ore.

He is a Fole that crauynge is alway

Takynge the seruyce and rewardes of his frende

And nat remembryth the same agayne to pay

But as a churle it castyth out of his mynde

For who that wolde haue one to hym be kynde

And lyberall, he ought the same to be

For kyndnes meyntayneth bothe loue and charyte

He that wyll charge another with cures harde

And great labours greuous to sustayne

Ought for his labour hym worthely rewarde

That the rewarde may be confort to his payne

It is disworshyp and also shame certayne

To take the labour of any ryche or pore

And nat iustly hym to content therfore

Wherfore the workman ought also to intende

Vnto his labour to saue his honestye

And workemanly to brynge it the ende

If he therby wolde well rewardyd be

And if the owner therof beholde and se.

His worke so done, he is a chorle vnkynde

If he do nat content the workmannys mynde.

He that wolde gladly that men sholde hym commende

Must fully purpose and fyx within his mynde

Lyberall to be and nat euer to intende

To false Auaryce, whiche many one doth blynde

And if he purpose hye honours for to fynde

Or hym auaunce to any great degre

He must haue mekenes and lyberalyte

He must of maners also be commendable

And of his speche als pleasaunt as he can

For an olde prouerbe true and verytable

Sayth that good lyfe and maners makyth man

But euery lawe doth dam and also ban

The churlysshe vyce and lewde of vnkyndnes

Whiche dryeth vp the well of bounte and goodnes

For vnkynde folys if one labour dylygent

And so brynge theyr worke vnto good conclusyon

They fynde yet fautis and so ar nat content

Withdrawynge the rewarde by theyr collusyon

Wherfore let suche thynke it no abusyon

Nor haue disdayne ne yet in mynde complayne

If the pore laborer gyue vp his worke agayne

These frowarde Folys, doth wronge and iniury

To suche as to them do profyte and honour

For kyndnes, they render shame and vylany

Rebukes sclander extorcion and rygour

But whyle they hope to come to great valoure

And by such rygour to honours to aryse

Theyr hope vanyssheth as doth the snowe or yce

Wherfore who that puttyth one to besynes

To charge or labour of body or of mynde

Ought hym rewarde agayne for his kyndnes

If he do nat forsoth he is unkynde

But specyally as I oft wryten fynde

It is a thynge whiche doth for vengeaunce cry

A pore laborer to put to Iniury

What man can wryte the inconuenyence

Whiche groweth of this lewde and cursyd vyce

Vnkyndnes causeth great myschefe and offence

And is repugnynge to reason and iustyce

Wherfore let suche that wyll be namyd wyse

Leue it: and folowe lyberalyte

Whiche is noryssher of loue and amyte

In dyuers bokes examples we may fynde

Howe many Cytees hygh and excellent

Agaynst all lawe and reason were vnkynde

To suche as dyd theyr dignyte augment

O vnkynde rome thou was of this intent

Whiche hast Camyllus exyled in great payne

Thoughe he euer laboured thy honour to mentayne

O cruell Athenes by thy ingratytude

Hast thou nat banysshyd Solon also fro the

Though he enfourmyd hath thy maners rude

And gyuyn the lawes of right and equyte

For his great meryte, loue and benygnyte

Thou hast hym gyuen exyle and paynes harde

His labour was nat worthy that rewarde

Thou vnkynde Sparta: of thy audacyte

What shall I wryte or thy lewde vnkyndnes

Hast thou nat banysshed by thy cruelte

Thy kynge Lycurgus, bycause he dyd redres

Thy wanton errours by lawe and rightwysnes

And Scipio whiche his country dyd defende

Fonde it to hym, vnkynde at the last ende

A thousande mo whome I can nat expresse

To suche as haue for them abyde great payne

Haue done displeasour, and shewed vnkyndnes

And them disceyued by some cautele or trayne

Yet none of them great goodnes cowde obtayne

By theyr vnkyndnes for who that so doth cast

Vnkyndly shall be seruyd at the last.

Thenuoy of Barklay.

O fals vnkyndnes out on the I cry

From all goodnes dost thou nat man withdrawe

Byndynge his herte to gyle and vylany

Agaynst nature, agaynst both right and lawe

Thou makest man his maker nat to knawe

Therfore thou man expell out from thy mynde

This vyce, for we fynde in an olde sayde sawe

Wo is hym that to his maker is vnkynde.

Remember man the great preemynence

Gyuen unto the by good omnypotent

Bytwene the and Angels is lytell difference

And all thynge erthly to the obedyent

Fysshe byrde and beste vnder the fyrmament

Say what excuse mayst thou nowe lay or fynde

Syns thou art made by god so excellent

But that thou oughtest agayne to hym be kynde.

God hath the made vnto his owne lykenes

No erthly creature vnto the comparable

Thy iyen vpwarde to consyder his hyghnes

Where other creatures that ar vnresonable

Goeth on all foure and ar nat other able.

Theyr loke alway vnto the grounde inclynyd

Therfore thou ought in vertue to be stable

And to thy maker neuer to be vnkynde

Whan man offendyd by disobedyence

Subduynge hym self to labour care and payne

And lost the consort of goodes hye presence

Hath nat christ Jhesu redemyd hym agayne

Besyde all this thou hast no thynge certayne

In erth but by hym. wherfore I call the blynde

And of thy maners vncurtayse and vylayne

If to thy sauyour thou be nat true and kynde

Thoughe god hath made the (man) thus excellent

To lyue (if thou lyst) in ioy eternally

A lytell thynge shall hym agayne content

He nought requyreth but thy herte onely

And that thou defy thy gostly ennemy

And in goddes seruyce thy herte and body bynde.

Than shall he rewarde the in heuen right gloriously

So mayst thou be callyd vnto thy maker kynde

Of folys that stande so well in their owne conceyt that they thinke none so wyse, stronge, fayre, nor eloquent, as they ar themself.

Look aye in a glass to see your countenance.

We haue ouercome the malyce and enuy
Of suche as agaynst our Nauy did conspyre
Wherfore I shall my folys call quyckly
That they my Shyp may aparayle and atyre
Drawe nere ye Folys whiche syttynge by the fyre
Loke ay in a glasse to se your countenaunce
And in your owne dedis haue all your hole pleasaunce

Vnto my shyp I call hym to be Coke

The mete to dresse to other Folys echone

Whiche in his myrrour doth alway gase and loke

Whan he may get hym vnto a place alone

And though of colour and beaute he haue none

Yet thynketh he hym self fayre and right plesant

And wyse: thoughe that he be mad and ignorant

In his owne dedys is onely his delyte

In his owne conceyte thynkynge hymself right wyse

And fayre, thoughe he be yelowe as kyte

Is of hir fete: yet doth he styll deuyse

His vayne myrrour: that onely is his gyse

And thoughe he beholde hym self of lothly shape

He wyll it nat byleue, but in his glasse doth gape.

Though for his foly all men myght hym repreue

And that he se it before hym openly

Within his glasse: he wyll it nat byleue

But strongly it defende and eke deny

He seyth nat his erys longe and hye

Whiche stande vpon his folysshe hode behynde

His lewde conceyt thus makyth hym starke blynde

Whan people comon of men of hye prudence

Or of hye beauty, and strength if men doth tell

If one suche fole were there in the presence

He swere durst boldly and that on the gospell

That he onely all other dyd excell

And that to gyue councell good and profytable

Were none in the worldly vnto hym comparable

These folys bost them selfe of theyr wysdome

And thynke them selfe to haue preemynence

Aboue all other that ar in christendome.

In gyftis of grace as beautye and scyence

Of strength, gode maners, vertue, and eloquence

But thoughe they stande in theyr owne conceytis

Nought is saue foly within theyr folysshe patis

And thoughe theyr face and vysage stande awry

And all to reuylde, theyr mouth standynge asyde

Within theyr myrrour the same can they nat spye

But in theyr foly contynually abyde

And whether that they ar styll outher go or ryde

Labour or be ydyll, they gase styll in theyr glasse

Yet wyll they nat byleue to haue erys lyke an Asse.

Oft whan these folys lye in theyr bed vpright

With tawny loke or els theyr botyll nose

They haue theyr myrrour alway in theyr syght

The vayne glasse (of theyr beautye) to apose

And whan suche a fole into the kechyn gose

To stere the pot, there whether he syt or stande

The glasse alway is in the other hande

Whan he a whyle his glas hath loken than

If one examynyd hym of his beautye

He boldly durst swere both by god and man

That nought were in hym whiche myght repreuyd be

But all goodnes, fayre shape, and loke of grauyte

And that his gere gayly vpon his backe doth syt

He hardly is wyse: if he had any wyt.

I wryten fynde that great inconuenyence

As losse, contempt and occasyon of pryde

Hath fallyn vnto many by this lewde complacence

Whiche haue nat knowen the way themself to gyde

The emperour Otho had ay borne by his syde

In warre and peas (a glasse) for his pleasaunce

To se his colour therin; and countenaunce

And to the entent to make his colour gay

With Assys mylke he noyntyd oft his skyn

And shauyd his berde onys euery day

But for that he offendyd god herein

After was he sharply punysshyd for this syn

And put vnto extreme rebuke and shame

To gyue other example to auoyde the same

It is forsoth a maner femynyne

And nat for man to be so elegant

To suche toyes wanton wymen may inclyne

A yonge mayde may at her forhede haue pendant

The vayne myrrour to se hir shape pleasant

Man sholde nought set by to norysshe his beautye

But onely manhode strength and audacyte

The wanton mayde may for hir self ordayne

Hir call hir coyfe, and suche conceytis newe

As broches fyletes and oyntmentis souerayne

And clothynge of dyuers colour and of hewe

But nowe yonge men the same fourme do ensue

And to content theyr mad and folysshe mynde

To wymen they compare themselfe agaynst kynde

Disorder rayneth as I before haue sayde

The yonge men takyth womans countenaunce

And hir aparayll, and wymen ar arayde

As men: agaynst all lawe and ordynaunce

Thus man and woman ensue mysgouernaunce

In theyr behauour is small dyuersyte

Theyr owne conceyt causeth great enormyte

The poet Ouyde shewyth in a fable

Howe that one callyd Pygmalyon by name

A fygure made vnto hymselfe semblable

Whiche he in marbyll right craftely dyd frame

And in so moche he worshypped the same

Tyll at the last his mynde was past and gone

And he transformed so was in to that stone

And if the Poetis fables be all sure

As by theyr subtyle wordes oft we here

The childe Narcissus was chaungyd of fygure

Whyle he behelde into the water clere

For whyle his shadowe vnto hym dyd apere

Vpon the same so sore he set his mynde

That he transformyd was to another kynde.

But to retorne agayne to our purpose

And of this sort of Folys to conclude

If god sholde them to other shape transpose

That thynke them fayre though they be foule and rude

Into foule fassyon he many sholde include

For whyle Folys theyr owne beauty magnyfy

So growyth the nomber and so they multyply

Thenuoy of Barklay the translatour.

Blynde man inclere thy wylfull ignoraunce

Stande nat so great in thy owne conceyte

Ne in thy lewde fassyon set nat thy pleasaunce

Whether thou be pore or man of great estate

Another man moche more shall in the wayte

Of gode and yll than thou thy self canst do

Therfore be nat cause to thy self of disceyte

If one the teche: aply thy mynde therto

Of lepynges and dauncis and Folys that pas theyr tyme in suche vanyte.

To their idols doing their service detestable.

That fole that settyth his felycyte
In wanton daunces and lepes immoderate
Hath in my Shyp a rowme for his degre
Bysyde the stere for troublynge of his pate
He god dyspleasyth, whiche doth suche foly hate
Suche lese theyr tyme in vayne and oft therin
Ar many hurtis: and cause of dedely syn.

Those folys a place may chalenge in my shyp

Whiche voyde of wysdome as men out of theyr mynde

Them selfe delyte to daunce to lepe and skyp

In compase rennynge lyke to the worlde wyde

In vnkynde labour, suche folys pleasour fynde

Rennynge about in this theyr furyous vyce

Lyke as it were in Bacchus sacryfyce

Or as the Druydans rennyth in vayne about

In theyr mad festes vpon the hylle of yde

Makynge theyr sacrafyce with furour noyse and shout

Whan theyr madnes settyth theyr wyt asyde

Or whan the prestis of mars all nyght abyde

Within theyr temple by vse abhomynable

To theyr ydollys doynge theyr seruyce detestable

Lyke as these paynyms hath to theyr ydols done

Theyr sacryfyce wandrynge in theyr madnes

Theyr bodyes weryenge, in vayne wastynge their shone

So do these fowlys them selfe to daunsynge dres

Sekynge occason of great vnhappynes

They take suche labour without all hope of gayne

Without rewarde sure, of werynes and payne

Say Folys that vse this fury and outrage

What causyth you to haue delyte therin

For your great labour say what is your wage

Forsoth ye can therby no profyte wyn

But seke occasyon (as I haue sayde) of syn

And for thy werynge thy fete thus in the dust

Thou gettest no gayne but cause of carnall lust

But whan I consyder of this folysshe game

The firste begynnynge and cause orygynall

I say the cause therof is worthy blame

For whan the deuyll to disceyue man mortall

And do contempt to the hye god eternall

Vpon a stage had set a Calfe of golde.

That euery man the same myght clere beholde

So than the Fende grounde of mysgouernaunce

Causyd the people this fygure to honour

As for theyr god and before the same to daunce.

Whan they were dronkon, thus fell they in errour

Of Idolatry, and forgate theyr creatour.

Before this ydoll daunsynge both wyfe and man

Dispysynge god: Thus daunsynge fyrst began

Suche blynde folyes and inconuenyence

Engendryth great hurte and incommodyte

And sawyth sede wherof groweth great offence

The grounde of vyce and of all enormyte

In it is pryde, fowle lust and lecherye

And whyle lewde lepys ar vysd in the daunce

Oft frowarde bargayns ar made by countenaunce

What els is daunsynge but euen a nurcery

Or els a bayte to purchase and meyntayne

In yonge hertis the vyle synne of rybawdry

Them fe*trynge therin, as in a dedely chayne

And to say trouth in wordes clere and playne

Venereous people haue all theyr hole pleasaunce

Theyr vyce to norysshe by this vnthryfty daunce

And wanton people disposyd vnto syn

To satysfye theyr mad concupyscence

With hasty cours vnto this daunsynge ryn

To seke occasyon of vyle synne and offence

And to expresse my mynde in short sentence

This vyciouse game oft tymes doth attyse

By his lewde synes, chast hartis vnto vyce

Than it in erth no game is more damnable

It semyth no peas, but Batayle openly

They that it vse of myndes seme vnstable

As mad folke rennynge with clamour showt and cry

What place is voyde of this furyous foly

None: so that I dout within a whyle

These folys the holy churche shall defyle

Of people what sort or order may we fynde

Ryche or pore hye or lowe of name

But by theyr folysshnes, and wanton mynde

Of eche sort some ar gyuen vnto the same

The prestis and clerkes to daunce haue no shame

The frere or monke in his frocke and cowle

Must daunce in his dortor lepynge to play the fole

To it comys children, maydes and wyues.

And flaterynge yonge men to se to haue theyr pray

The hande in hande great falshode oft contryues

The olde quean also this madnes wyll assay

And the olde dotarde thoughe he skantly may

For age and lamenes stere outher fote or hande

Yet playeth he the fole with other in the bande

Than lepe they about as folke past theyr mynde

With madnes amasyd rennynge in compace

He moste is commendyd that can moste lewdnes fynde

Or can most quyckly ren about the place

There ar all maners vsyd that lacke grace

Mouynge theyr bodyes in synes full of shame

Whiche doth theyr hertes to synne right sore inflame

So oft this vyce doth many one abuse

That whan they ar departyd from the daunce

On lust and synne contynually they muse

Hauynge therin theyr wyll and theyr pleasaunce

Than fall they oft to great mysgouernaunce

As folys gyuyn to worke vnprofytable

So in my shyp they well deserue a babyll.

Thenuoy of Barklay

Do way your daunces ye people moche vnwyse

Desyst your folysshe pleasour of trauayle

It is me thynke an vnwyse vse and gyse

To take suche labour and payne without auayle

And who that suspectyth his mayde or wyues tayle

Let hym nat suffer them in the daunce to be

For in that game thoughe sys or synke them fayle

The dyse oft renneth vpon the chaunce of thre

Of nyght watchers and beters of the stretes playnge by nyght on instrumentes and vsynge lyke Folyes whan tyme is to rest.

Playing at his leman's door.

He is a Fole that wandreth by nyght
In felde or towne, in company or alone
Playnge at his lemmans dore withouten lyght
Tyll all his body be colde as lede or stone
These folys knockynge tyll the nyght be gone
At that season thoughe that they fele no colde
Shall it repent and fele whan they be olde.

Nowe wolde I of my boke haue made an ende

And with my shyp drawen to some hauen or porte

Stryken my sayle, and all my folys sende

Vnto the londe, a whyle them selfe to sporte

But this my purpose is lettyd by a sorte

Of frantyke folys, wandrynge about by nyght

For often all yll doers hatyth the day lyght

Whyle (man) beste and euery lyuely creature

Refresshe theyr myndes and bodyes with rest

And slepe: without the whiche none can endure

And whyle all byrdes drawe them to theyr nest

These dronken bandes of Folys than doth Jest

About the stretis, with rumour noyse and cry

Syngynge theyr folysshe songes of rybawdry

The furyes ferefull spronge of the flodes of hell

Vexith these vagabundes in theyr myndes so

That by no mean can they abyde ne dwell

Within theyr howsys, but out they nede must go

More wyldly wandrynge than outher bucke or doo

Some with theyr harpis another with his lute

Another with his bagpype or a folysshe flute

Than mesure they theyr songes of melody

Before the dores of theyr lemman dere

Yowlynge with theyr folysshe songe and cry

So that theyr lemman may theyr great foly here

And tyll the yordan make them stande arere

Cast on theyr hede, or tyll the stonys fle

They nat depart, but couet there styll to be

But yet more ouer these Folys ar so vnwyse

That in colde wynter they vse the same madnes

Whan all the howsys ar lade with snowe and yse

O mad men amasyd vnstabyll and wytles

What pleasour take ye in this your folysshenes

What ioy haue ye to wander thus by nyght

Saue that yll doers alway hate the lyght

But folysshe youth doth nat alone this vse

Come of lowe byrth and sympyll of degre

But also statis them selfe therein abuse

With some yonge folys of the spiritualte

The folysshe pype without all grauyte

Doth eche degre call to this frantyke game

The darkenes of nyght expellyth fere of shame

One barkyth another bletyth lyke a shepe

Some rore, some countre, some theyr balades fayne

Another from syngynge gyueth hym to wepe

Whan his souerayne lady hath of hym dysdayne

Or shyttyth hym out, and to be short and playne

Who that of this sort best can play the knaue

Lokyth of the other the maystery to haue

The folysshe husbonde oft of this sort is one

With wanton youth wandrynge by nyght also

Leuynge his wyfe at home in bed alone

And gyueth hyr occasyon often to mysdo

So that whyle he after the owle doth go

Fedynge the Couko, his wyfe hir tyme doth watche

Receyuynge another whose egges she doth hatche.

Therfore ye folys that knowe you of this sort

To gyue occasyon of synne vnto your wyues

And all other: I you pray and exort

Of this your foly to amende your lyues

For longe nyght watches seldome tymes thryues

But if it be in labour: good to wyn

Therfore kepe your dorys: els abyde within

Thoughe I have touchyd of this enormyte

In englysshe tunge: yet is it nat so vsed

In this Royalme as it is beyonde the se

Yet moche we vse whiche ought to be refusyd

Of great nyght watchynge we may nat be excusyd

But our watchynge is in drunken glotony

More than in syngynge or other meledy

Whan it is nyght and eche shulde drawe to rest

Many of our folys great payne and watchynge take

To proue maystryes and se who may drynke best

Outher at the Tauerne of wyne, or the ale stake

Other all nyght watchyth for theyr lemmans sake

Standynge in corners lyke as it were a spye

Whether that the weder be, hote, colde, wete, or dry

Some other Folys range about by nyght

Prowdely Jettynge as men myndeles or wode

To seke occasyon with pacyent men to fyght

Delytynge them in shedynge mennys blode

Outher els in spoylynge of other mennys gode

Let these folys with suche lyke and semblable

Drawe to this barge, here shall they here a bable

Thenuoy of Barclay.

Ye folys that put your bodyes vnto payne

By nyghtly watchynge, voyde of auauntage

Leue of your foly or els ye shall complayne

And mourne it sore if ye lyue vnto age

For though ye thynke that this your blynde outrage

Is vnto you no hurte nor preiudyce

It doth your body and goodes great dammage

And great cause both to you and yours of vyce.

Of folysshe beggers and of theyr vanytees.

The beggar and his children.

Syns I haue taken the charge one me
Mo botis and Barges for Folys to aparayle
And so agayne of newe to take the se
I feryd lyst company shulde me fayle
Within my folysshe shyppis to trauayle
But nowe doth beggers them selfe to me present
For fewe of them I fynde of good intent

A great company of folys may we fynde

Amonge beggers, whiche haue theyr hole delyte

In theyr lewde craft: wherfore I set my mynde

In this Barge theyr maners, brefely for to write

For thoughe that nede them greuously do byte.

Yet is theyr mynde for all theyr pouerte

To kepe with them of children great plente

And though that they myght otherwyse well lyue

And get theyr lyuynge by labour and besynes

Yet fully they theyr myndes set and gyue

To lede this lyfe alway in wretchydnes

The clerke, frere, or monke, whiche hath store of ryches

For all his lyfe. if he it gyde wysely.

Wyll yet the beggers offyce occupy

Suche oft complayne the charge of pouerte

In garmentis goynge raggyd and to rent

But yet haue they of ryches great plente

Whiche in gode vse can neuer of them be spent

Almys is ordeyned by god omnypotent

And holy churche: for to be gyuyn in dede

Vnto good vse, and suche as haue moste nede

Almes is ordeyned by god our creatour

For men that lyue in nede and wretchydnes

Therwith their paynfull lyues to socour

And nat for ryche that lyues in viciousnes

But yet suche caytyfs boldly in dare pres

For their lewde lyfe without all maner drede

This almes takynge from them that haue most nede

The abbot, the Pryour, and also theyr couent

Ar so blyndyd with vnhappy couetyse

That with theyr owne can they nat be content

But to haue more, they alway mean deuyse

Ye: in so moche that some haue founde a gyse

To fayne theyr bretherne tan in captyuyte

That they may begge so by auctoryte

They fayne myracles where none were euer done

And all for lucre: some other range about

To gather and begge with some fayned pardon

And at the alehows at nyght all drynkyth out

So ren these beggers in company rowt

By stretis tauernes townes and vyllagys

No place can well be fre of theyr outragys

Some begge for byldynges, some for relyques newe

Of holy sayntis of countreys farre and strange

And with theyr wordes faynyd and vntrewe

For cause of Lucre, about they ren and range

But in a sympyll vyllage, ferme or grange

Where as these beggers moste sympyll men may fynde

With theyr fals bonys as relykes they them blynde

Other beynge stronge and full of lustynes

And yonge ynoughe to labour for theyr fode

Gyuyth theyr bodyes fully to slewthfulnes

The beggers craft thynkynge to them moost good

Some ray theyr legges and armys ouer with blood

With leuys and plasters though they be hole and sounde

Some halt as crypyls, theyr legge falsely vp bounde

Some other beggers falsly for the nonys

Disfygure theyr children god wot vnhappely

Manglynge theyr facys, and brekynge theyr bonys

To stere the people to pety that passe by

There stande they beggynge with tedyous shout and cry

There owne bodyes tournynge to a strange fassion

To moue suche as passe to pyte and compassyon

Suche yonge laddys as lusty ar of age

Myghty and stronge, and wymen in lyke wyse

Wanton and yonge and lusty of cowrage

Gyueth them selfe vtterly to this gyse

The cause is that they labour do despyse

For theyr mynde is in ydylnes to be styll

Or els in vyce to wander at theyr wyll

They paciently theyr prouertye abyde

Nat for deuocion of herte or of mynde

But to the intent that at euery tyde

Other mennys godes sholde them fede and fynde.

But if they a whyle haue ron in the wynde

And in theyr hande the staf some hete hath caught

They neuer after shall leue the beggers craft

Amonge these beggers also is comonly

Braulynge debate hatered and chydynge

Great othes, mockes falshode and enuy

And one with other euer more fyghtynge

As for theyr dronkennes and vnsure abydynge

Theyr rebaudry both in dede and communycacion

These ar chefe poyntis of theyr occupation

If the begger haue his staf and his hode

One bagge behynde and another before

Than thynkes he hym in the myddes of his goode

Thoughe that his clothes be raggyd and to tore

His body nere bare he hath no thought therfore

And if some man cloth them well to day

To morowe it shall agayne be solde away

And if these caytyfes fortune to begge or cry

For mete or money, on woman or on man

If one to them that, that they aske deny

And so depart: anone these beggers than

Whan he is gone, doth wary curse and ban

And if another gyue them ought of pyte

At the next alestake dronken shall it be

But if that I sholde gather in my barge

All folysshe beggers, and labour or intende

To note all theyr vyces, to sore sholde be the charge

And as I suppose I neuer sholde make an ende.

Wherfore I counsell them shortly to amende

Or els theyr lewdnes, synne, and enormyte

Shall cause men withdrawe theyr almes of charyte

Thenuoy of Barclay the translatour.

O people vnthrifty gyuen to ydlenes

Spendynge your youth this wyse in vanyte

What ioy haue ye to lyue in wretchydnes

Where ye myght come to better rowme and degre

By worke, and labour: and so auaunsyd be

Yet begge ye styll hauynge your ioy therin

Amende your foly, and lerne ye this of me

That goddes good sholde nat be spent in syn

End of Project Gutenberg's The Ship of Fools, Volume 1, by Sebastian Brandt


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