The castell of laboure.
[figure]

Here begynneth the prologe of this present treatyse

YE mortall people that desyre to obtayne
Eternall blysse by your labour dylygent
With mortall ryches subdue you to payne
To rede this treatyse to the ryght entent
Whiche shall shewe you playne and euydent
That ydelnes moder of all aduersyte
Her subiectes bryngeth to extreme pouerte
The ryche by ydelnes to pouerte are brought
By it the oratour leseth his scyence
The grete clerke by it is set at nought
Thus is it ennemye vnto sapyence
Wherfore let vs do our dylygence
This leude capytayne fro vs to exyle
Whiche nought entendeth but man to begyle
Ydell people euer troubled are with thought
With indygence mysauenture and necessyte
And in the snare whan they are cought
They are enuyroned with pouerte
Than cometh dysconfort in theyr aduersyte
And also dyspayre them doth manace
And thought and trouble euer doth them chace
Therfore ye people that be subiect to this vyce
By your grete sleuthe and neglygence
Breke your bondes / I aduyse you to aryse
And to these wordes gyue your aduertence
[Page] Whiche the wyse man sayth in brief sentence
Who laboureth not to get his lyuynge
Is no worthy here to haue abydynge
¶Thus whan this vyce a man dothe assayle
Of sleuthsulnes and of ocyosyte
By theyr meanes dothe ryches fayle
What foloweth than but pouerte
Thus tourneth his welthe vnto aduersyte
So of his folye dothe he repent
Than echone to hym doth iniurye
Whiche oft to vs appereth euydent
¶Therfore to vs it is ryght profytable
For to take reason for to be our gyde
With vnderstoudynge / whiche are agreable
Vs for to gouerne in euery tyde
Wherby we may / yf sleuthe be set asyde
Ouercome pouerte & obteyne rychesse
And dystroy thought mysfortune & dystresse
¶But mannes mynde is full vnstedfast
More prone to vyce than to goodlynesse
And whan by vyce man thus is ouercast
Than cometh dysceyte / vsurye and falsnesse
Counseylynge man all to vnthreftynesse
Thus yf that reason be not our frende and gyde
Trouthe shall decay by falshode and pryde
But who wolde lyue in meane moderate
And by way of dylygence rychesse purchace
Good wyll must he haue to be his aduocate
[Page] With a good hert / for therin is solace
Intencyon to good must we purchace
And than may we lyue bytwene hye and lowe
By suche meane that our frendes may vs knowe
In this lyfe can none haue skarsnesse
Whyle that reason is his protectour
Yf he in labourynge take peyne and besynesse
Auoydinge sleuth that blynde gouernour
Whiche man assayleth euery day and hour
Wherby are many brought to dystresse
But dylygence bryngeth man to rychesse
By whiche rychesse man cometh to noblenesse
Whiche to vertue is as chyef nouryse
Therfore leue we sleuth drawynge to besynesse
Enclynynge to vertue and leuynge couetyse
Thus is it good to eche that is wyse
Remembrynge how sone he shall haue an ende
In trouth and vertue his short tyme to spende
Thus in conclusyon who redeth this treatyse
To the rude langage gyue none aduertence
It is but wryten the tyme to exercyse
Without studye / peyne / or dylygence
With style inornate / voyde of eloquence
Expressynge the wayes of dylygence & ydelnesse
The one of pouerte the other of rychesse

¶Thus endeth the prologue and be gynneth the castell of labour.

[Page]

[figure]
IN musynge an euenȳge with me was none
An olde prouerbe came in me subuenaūce
A naturall foole in a house alone
Wyl make for hymself shyft or cheuysaūce
Than came in to my remembraunce
A cyrcunspect of many dygnytees
Fro whiche a man hauynge suffysaunce
Withdraweth his herte as fro vanytees
It is ay sene that youthes lustynesse
For to subdue is harde and daungerous
Some lyue in ioye / pleasure and gladnesse
Fortune to some is ryght contraryous
Some dethe tacheth in theyr estate prosperous
Whome he ouerthroweth with his mortall blast
Thus goeth the worlde / none is so eurous
But other must he dye fyrst or last
A yonge herte is vnstable and volage
And knoweth not in what estate to byde
Somtyme dysposed vnto maryage
Somtyme to serue god the worlde set asyde
Thus as my mynde varyenge dyd glyde
I thought it most for myn auauntage
Desyrynge god for to be my gyde
Fermely I concluded vpon maryage
Thus hauynge all my frendes at assent
In short processe I puruayed me a wyfe
Without wysedom / yet was I content
To her to kepe the dayes of my lyfe
I thought no thynge on wynnynge losse or stryfe
She vnto me lyghtly dyd consent
Than in an euenynge sad and pensyfe
By her lyenge symple of myn entent

pouertye

necessyte

Dystresse

Nede.

Sodanly I was in grete daunger
For to me fyersly dyd appere
An odyous man / an vnknowen straunger
With thre women cruell of manere
This company to me approched nere
Whan that I them togyder sawe assemble
So cruell was theyr countenaunce and chere
That fere constrayned my body for to tremble
The man was mysshapen / pale / and rusty
Rude / foule / and ryght abhomynable
The women also as I coude spye
Of shape were foule aud detestable
Theyr chere was yll and myserable
With contenaunce replenysshed with ire
Lene as ony wolf rauysable
Theyr eyen brennynge as rede as fyre
The man approched fyers as he woldefyght
With starynge eyen / & sayde his name was nede
His wyfe sayde necessyte she hyght
The seconde pouerte / and the thyrde in dede
Her named dystresse so thought I by her wede
Than I desyred to knowe theyr lynage
Pouerte was theyr moder full of drede
This tolde they me in bryef langage
Touchynge theyr fader they coude not denye
But that he dwelt in the depest pyt of hell
Whan I that harde ryght sore aferde was I
Than nede approched with coūtenaunce cruell
Myn body streynynge so that it dyd swell
Necessyte me so sore dyd handle
So that sothly it semed ryght well
[Page] Or that she went she wolde me strangle
Than sodaynly came pouerte
Whiche me tourmented with rudenesse
Than with grete crudelyte
Vpon my bely lept dystresse
They all abounded in cruelnesse
On me smytynge with all theyr myght
Dysgorgynge fyre in theyr fyersnesse
Vpon me as a torche lyght
Some at me foyned / some smote downe ryght
That the strokes loude dyd redounde
For all my peyne / durynge that nyght
My wyfe euer slept styll and sounde
She in her pleasure dyd habounde
And wolde not wake for my dysease
For yf I were brought to the grounde
I trowe she cared not a pease

thought

AS she thus slept and I in payne
With these foure fures dyd endure
To me approche I sawe certayne
A foule and counterfayted creature
Odyous / proude / & fyers I you ensure
And by the hande she toke me fast
She thought her purpose to procure
And drewe myn armes that they nere brast
This fals witche me so dyd greue
Whiche by her name was called thought
That vneth coude I me remeue
Thus vnto dethe she me nere brought
Of wordes and tales she wanted nought
Euer she talked I wote not what
And behynde her a vylayne cought
That was as blereyed as a cat

heuynes

BEynge in this perturbacyon
This chorle on me gaped full wyde
I fered sore his entencyon
Whan that I sawe hym by my syde
He loked as he had ben fryde
Of shape and colour was he full vyle
Than he began with me to chyde
In his langage whiche was subtyle
Vpon my bely he set his knees
And sayd his name was heuynesse
With scarled bordred were his eyes
Balde and full of vnlustynesse
He semed fader of all vnthryftnesse
Iagged and garded full vngay
With a race fylled with falsnesse
Berded lyke to a kytlynge of may
Hym to beholde I was dysmayed
Howe he of thynges past dyd clatter
Many a newe tale to me he sayde
He had well lerned for to patter
Of thynges to come fast dyd he chatter
Byddynge me call them to remembraunce
He lyst no thynge with me to flatter
But put me to extreme vttraunce
He bad I sholde remember my dettys
And brought me forthe my countynge boke
He shewed me there of my receptes
And me compelled theron to loke
By fere constrayned me body quoke
That power was past me for to speke
[Page] That rybaude fered me with his loke
That confort to me coude I none take
Of his tourment what sholde I say
I neuer was in suche encumbraunce
He bode styll and went not away
And dyd me moche more greuaunce
Than all the other by theyr noysaunce
And tourned me fro syde to syde
To slepe he left me no suffraunce
But fyresly styll at me dyd chyde
This fals caytyf by his cruelnesse
Troubled me that my wytte was gone
He put me in so grete dystresse
That my herte was colde as ony stone
I knewe not to whome me for to mone
So was I enuyroned rounde about
They me tourmented so echone
That of my lyfe I had grete dout
¶Than rounde about me dyd I loke
Fyrst of all same I pouerte
And fals nede by the berde me shoke
There were dystresse and necessyte
Thought was in theyr companye
And heuynes dyd clater fast
All these syr so layde at me
That fro my bed they me nere cast
Than as I dyd my hede remeue
About me lokynge for confort
I sawe one come / whiche dyd me greue
More than all the other sorte
[Page] He sayde his name was dysconfort
Of colour was he pale and wan
It nought auayled hym to exhort
I sawe neuer suche an other man

Disconfort

By the hande fast he me toke
And with grete myght dyd m constrayne
Full sore me by the berde he shoke
This these renewed all my peyne
His encumbraunce wasted my brayne
That often I wysshed that I were dede
He wolde hym selfe no thynge refrayne
But kept me styll fast by the hede
In frowarde imaginacyon
Dysconforte kept me a longe space
He bad me in conclusyon
To sue to hym after his grace
[Page] Saynge that the tyme and space
Ones lost coude not recouered be
With suche termes dyd he me manase
Than in conclusyon thus sayd he
A poore man how shalt thou pay
All thy dettes that are behynde
Brede and drynke must thou puruay
And a house to kepe the fro the wynde
Bothe men and maydens must thou fynde
With euery thynge that longeth them to
Doth not fortune strongly the bynde
Now let se how thou canst do
What I this harde I was nere mad
And often fortune cursed I
The specyall cause why I was sad
Was for my purse was clene empty
Than was it nede I dyd espye
My gowne to pledge vnto one
I sawe there was no remedy
Though that I had but that alone
O blessyd iesu what may this be
Maryed was I in an euyll chaunce
To lyue in suche pouerte
As I this sayd thesame instaunce
Came to me Despayre in cruell ordonaunce
One of the worst of all the sort
She was chyef capytayne of theyr daunce
And doughter vnto Dysconfort

[Page]

Despayre

dysconfort.

This Despayre dyd me so assayle
That lost was my dyscrecyon
My face began to wax pale
By fere of her cruell vexacyon
So cruell was her perturbacyon
Whiche on me she dyd extende
That I thought in conclusyon
Of my selfe to make an ende
¶I was redy to renne here and there
To clymbe vp hye and than to fall
By my lyfe set I not an here
By meanes of this furye infernall
I thought / who nedes to his deth shall
It is but folye it to prolonge
This is a worde sayde ouerall
He that is drowned may no man hange
And therfore thought I for to do
The worst that eyther I coude or myght
To sle my fader and moder also
Yf I had founde them in my syght
Than vnto my mynde came full ryght
That I sholde dye no more but ones
Wherfore dyspayre that wretched wyght
Bad me go therto at ones
I sawe well that without labour
I neuer sholde sholde obteyne rychesse
Fortune therof is gouernour
To some she gyueth with largesse
But I haue neyther more nor lesse
So that I wery am of my lyfe
Auoyde of ioyefull of dystresse
Lo what it is to take a wyfe
I se dysconfort doth me greue
Despayre encreaseth my lang our
That fote ne hande can I remeue
Suche is my payne and my dolour
Neyther thought I on worshyp ne honour
On knyght squyer baron ne lorde
My mynde was on no thynge that houre
But to hange my selfe with a corde
Or elles to lepe in to some ryuer
And there with peyne my selfe to drowne
I cared not in what maner
I dyed so that my lyfe were done
Despayre made me her champyon
And had me so take in her snare
[Page] That sodenly as I fell in suowne
She me nere strangled or I was ware

treason

Despeyre

AS I was in this perturbacyon
I sawe a lady pleasaunt and bryght
For to beholde her meke fassyon
Sothly it was a pleasaunt syght
Her caperon with parle was pyght
With precyous stones about enlumynynge
Her beaute full face shone as bryght
As phebus doth in a may mornynge
This lady standynge me before
In her behauour was meke and lyberall
Good and gracyous to ryche and poore
She semed to me the quene celestyall
[Page] A quene excellent I may her call
For she was doughter shortly to say
Vnto that meke lorde and immortall
The whiche was borne on Chrystmas day
Sore I desyred to knowe her name
By cause she was of suche excellence
She sayde reason whome none doth blame
Than was I ryght glad of her presence
This noble lady by her dylygence
Approched nere vnto my syde
Despayre anone gate her thens
And dysconfort with her dyd glyde
All the hole company dyd auoyde
What tyme reason sat by me thus
It was some wynde wolde me haue noyed
Sende vnto me by myght of Eolus
I trowe that Pluto / or Neptunus
Or mars chyef forger of batayle
Or elles helporter Cerberus
Engendred them me to assayle
What sholde I say they fled that tyde
Bothe despayre and the other rout
Than was there none with me to chyde
I rysynge vp loked rounde about
Than of no thynge was I in doubt
Whan reason began to speke softly
Whan she had dryuen the other out
That her to here grete Ioye had I
Reason spake with delyberacyon
Replete with wysedom excellently
[Page] So that sothly in conclusyon
She semed an oratoure wytty
What she sayde was sayde playnly
To the vnderstondynge of euery man
And syttynge in a chayre me by
Wys [...]ly to speke thus she began
My frende this thought se thou eschewe
Ferest thou that rychesse wyll fayle
Subdue thy selfe to force and vertue
And be reuled by my counsayle
Whiche shall the guyde in eche batayle
So thou consyder what thou hast to do
Thou mayst gete gode by thy trauayle
For to fynde the and all thyn to
ONe god alone must thou honoure
And hym serue with all dylygence
And as thy selfe loue thy neyghboure
Agaynst hym do thou none offence
In trouble se thou haue pacyence
After the tyme and the season
To eche man haue thou obedyence
These be the termes of reason
Thou sholdest not to largely
Reioyse thy selfe of thy rychesse
Nor yet be wrothe semblably
Of pouerte / peyne / or dystresse
Whan Atropos hymselfe doth dresse
Eche to smyte with his mortall lance
He smyteth the ryche with cruelnesse
And to the poore hath oft suffraunce
Why shold thyn herte for sere thus fayle
Is it not rychesse ynough to the
To haue thy handes redy to trauayle
Without wem or mayme of thy body
Yf that thou [...]bour certaynly
Thou shall [...]ot fayle to haue rychesse
So that thou from all synne do fle
Peasably lyuynge in mekenesse
Fyrste auoyde eche synne mortall
Replenysshe the with the grace dyuyne
Behaue the so in this lyfe mortall
That thou to hell do not declyne
Submyt thy selfe vnto the discyplyne
Of hym that made eche creature
Praye hym thyn herte so to enlumyne
That thou aduersyte may endure
Whan nede cometh to thy presence
To besye labour infyx thy courage
So shalt thou make hym to go thens
Constreynynge hym maugre his vysage
And yf dystresse do vnto the outrage
Thorough besynesse awaye hym chase
Yf thought wolde do to the domage
In some good dede put thy solace
And yf pouertye do the assayle
Or fals and feble necessyte
Enforce thy body vnto trauayle
By suche meane shalt thou cause them fle
Yf dysconfort do trouble the
Tende not vnto his tempta cyon
[Page] Yf despayre [...] olde thy lady be
Leue her and come vnto me reason

humilitie casteth Pryde

YF pryde on the do auenture
Despyte dysdayne or presumpcyon
Beware of them they are not sure
Of them cometh grete abusyon
Cast fro the collaudacyon
Vayne glorye with mysgouernaunce
Fle fro fals ymagynacyon
Fle bostynge and oultrecuydaunce
Yf suche vyces on the do warre
Them and theyr werkes se thou despyse
Constrayne them by myght to stande a farre
Pray humylyte the to promyse
Her helpe and socoure in ony wyse
With contemplacyon and deuocyon
But aboue all I the aduyse
Be meke of thyn entencyon
Humylyte must be the chyef
Agaynst pryde grounde of all vyce
And for to kepe the fro myschyef
Do so that thou mayst haue iustyce
Gete good prouysyon yf thou be wyse
Lete hym euer kepe the vantgarde
Than shall pryde full of malyce
Renounsynge the auoyde rerewarde

charite casteth Enuye

AFter that pryde is fro the chased
By the myght of humylyte
With a nother thou shalt be menased
Whiche is daungerous called enuye
Accompanyed with myserye
With falshode / murder / and treason
Suche shall be in his companye
With sclaunder and fals detraccyon
As a daungerous capytayne
Enuye wyll the assayle and touche
He shall do the full mouche payne
Yf thou as subiect vnto hym crouche
Ill reporte hath he in his pouche
With many vyces and dyuers
Whiche vnto vertue are reproche
Hym alway tendynge to reuers
Whan that thou seest her the aboute
In me put thou thy trust and Ioye
Be not afrayde nor do not doute
Trust well I shall them all destroye
Fayth and charyte shall them noye
Se thou alwaye do her honoure
So shall she wyt on the employe
To knowe how she men doth socour
Charyte hath waytynge on her dygnyte
Very true loue and miserycorde
Beneuolence with grace and veryte
Amonge them founde is no dyscorde
But peas mekenesse and concorde
These shall the helpe in thy necessyte
And thus as I vnto the recorde
They shall enuye auoyde fro the

[Page]

pacience ca [...] yre

ANd than whan done is this assaute
On the shall come a tyraūt daūgerous
Whose name is Ire withouten faute
To all vyce fyers and desyrous
And vnto vertue alwaye contraryous
The whiche in seruauntes doth abounde
He may well say that he is eurous
Whome this vyce doth not confounde
Cruelte bereth his banyer
Felonye is his chyef champyon
Peruersyte is his portere
Madnes reygneth in his dongeon
Cursed murder that fals felon
Of his hous is as chyef captayne
Here is a cursed relygyon
To hym that foloweth theyr trayne
Therfore yf Ire do the dystresse
Shewe thy force and thy puysaūce
Call vnto the debonayrnesse
[Page] Agaynst yre a full myghty launce
With her shall come fayre suffraunce
Pacyence is chyef / with dyscrecyon
Stedfastnesse with attemperaunce
Subduynge the vnto correccyen
Ire hath neyther mercy nor pety
On man nor woman here lyuynge
But echone assayleth full cruelly
Ennemye to peas and to warre accordynge
Susteyner of eche vyce semynge
Whose furour melteth mannes hert
Whiche to his counsell are lenynge
Wherfore thy syght therfro dyuert
It is impossyble that a man Irous
May vnto god do good seruyce
For Ire is a synne ryght daungerous
Whiche is gouerned without Iustyce
It is a fyers and mortall vyce
Whiche often dothe ryght grete domage
Syth thou art warned be thou wyse
Lyst that he do to the outrage
Shewe thy force and puyssaunce
Call vnto the force with noblenesse
Pray pacyence to be thy launce
Whiche shall this vyce lyghtly oppresse
Whan yre is gone sleuthe shall her dresse
On euery syde with the to fyght
Whiche of all vyce is chyef maystresse
A stronge tyraunt despysynge ryght

[Page]

Dylygēce casteth Sleuthe

AS chyef capytayne of all the rout
Sleuth shall haue pleasure ye to assayle
And sonne I put the out of dout
That in thy bed she shall not fayle
On the to lye bothe wanne and pale
On her shall wayte vnlustynesse
With neglygence voyde of trauayle
Chyef guyder of all vnthryftenesse
Defende the fyersly as a man
For with sleuthe shall come rychelesse
For to subdue the yf he can
Puttynge the to vnlustynesse
Accompanyed with fals fayntnesse
The whiche by theyr iniquyte
Many one bryngeth fro tychesse
Vnto grete payne and pouerte
Cowardyse wyll the folowe fast
Yf thou do not thy selfe defende
[Page] Vnto the grounde he wyll the cast
But yf that thou thy myght extende
And her withstandynge yf thou entende
With her to fyght by force souerayne
Vnto the grounde shall she descende
Lyke the wynde peased by rayne
Sleuth to the wyll make good chere
By faynt and feble dyssymulacyon
But at the ende is his manere
For to stange lyke the scorpyon
Beware of his abusyon
Lyst that thou in his bondes rest
But for helpe in conclusyon
To god must thou make thy request
Agaynst sleuth for thy defence
Entencyon to good must thou requyre
Prouyde chyefly for dylygence
Besynesse with charge se thou desyre
And for good hert se thou enquyre
Pray good wyll to be thy gyde
So shalt thou sleuth cast in the myre
Hym and his asse as he doth ryde
[...]
[...]

[Page]

Largesse casteth Covetyse.

After this assaut perylous
On the shall come voyde of Iustyce
One ougly fyers and daungerous
Whose name is called auaryce
Beware his cursed couetyse
For by his wordes fals and subtyle
Many one to hym dothe he atyse
Whome at the ende he dothe begyle
Auaryce is so yll and vnsacyable
Neuer fulfylled with rychesse
And of his mynde ay founde vnstable
By thought euer fulfylled with heuynesse
This auaryce doth all them oppresse
Whiche lyghtly fyndeth not socoure
He and his seruauntes wyll them dresse
The to assayle at euery houre
Whan auaryce dothe the assayle
With hym wyll come full lyghtly
Vsurye and rapyne withouten fayle
[Page] Fals swerynge and okerye
Murder / theft / and trecherye
Fraude / falshode / and decepcyon
Accompanyed with roberye
Malyce and cauyllacyon
Whan that thou seest this companye
With auaryce the to dystresse
Withdrawe thy selfe to charyte
To suffysaunce and to largesse
But in largesse auoyde excesse
And by almes I the ensure
Auaryce thou shalt oppresse
That he no lenger shall endure
And yf that ony maner creature
Wolde say that these vyces all
Be gyuen vnto them by nature
Or yet by destenye infernall
Mesemeth nay / theyr wyll is lyberall
God hath vs gyuen reason and wyt
Vs for to guyde vnto ioy eternall
Whiche we shall haue ye we deserue it
Th [...]fore my sone se that thou entende
Vnto thy selfe with perfyte dylygence
Wherby thou mayst the fro this vyce defende
For euer thou seest by playne euydence
That auaryce full of malyuolence
Hym moost hurteth that loueth it best
With largesse make for hym defence
Yf thou woldest haue thy mynde in rest

[Page]

sob [...]te casteth glotony

SO whan thou ouercome hast auaryce
With the braunches of his lynage
To the wyll come a cruell vyce
Named glotonye full of outrage
Whiche wyll to the do grete domage
Yf thou thy selfe to hym subdue
As wel in youthe as in thy age
This vyce on many doth renewe
To drynke whan thou hast no thurst
Without mesure or ony reason
And to ete whan thou hast no lust
Therin is no dyscrecyon
He may be called a foule gloton
That of his wombe his god doth make
Beware of this abusyon
Lyft in his bondes this vyce the take
Dysordered appetyte is with glotonye
And serueth hym chyef on the nyght
And gurmandyse is of his meyny
[Page] And sleuth with hym encreaseth myght
All these fyersly on the wyll lyght
On eche syde the temptynge myghtely
But lyft vp thyn eyen to heuen bryght
Besechynge god of helpe mekely
Sothely whan that thy stomake
Is furnysshed with mete beyonde nature
Thou mayst be lykened vnto a sacke
Replete with fylthe dunge and ordure
It dyspleaseth god sore / I the ensure
And to thy selfe doest thou outrage
Than bableth thy tunge without mesure
To others hurt / sclander and domage
Yest mayst thou make ryght good resystence
Agaynst them maugre theyr vysage
So that thou wylt take abstynence
The whiche shall be for thyn auauntage
Sobryete is chyef of this passage
Whiche shall glotonye fro the auoyde
Who in grete drynkynge hath vsage
By deth lyghtly is destroyed
Drunkenesse dothe the longes brenne
And maketh the membres for to quake
Dr [...]nken men often laugh and greene
Than me [...]ooth them for fooles take
Drunkenesse the wyt doth brake
It maketh a man to fyght and chyde
Sothly this vyce often doth make
A man of his frendes homycyde

[Page]

chastite casteth lechery

WHan thou escaped hast glotonye
And passed his cruell morsure
The sore assayle wyll lechyerye
A cruell vyce I the ensure
The whiche is of suche nature
At her begynnynge her face to paynt
But yf that she a whyle endure
Thy body wyll she make full faynt
This foule synne ougly to name
With her braunches ryght many folde
Hym that it loueth bryngeth to shame
Example of Hercules the bolde
I coude mo counte yf that I wolde
Whome lechery hath made to smerte
Bryefly yf thou wylt haue tolde
It destroyeth many a noble herte
It wyll the gyue foolysshe pleasaunce
With a desyre ryght dysordynate
Superfluyte with his launce
Yf he with the do make debate
[Page] He wyll the lay on the grounde prostrate
And brynge the vnto captyuyte
Makynge the fall fro thyn estate
And to knowe thy fragylyte
Cupydo shall thyn eyen bynde
Hauynge venus hym to socoure
Thus whan these two haue made the blynde
They shall the brynge in grete erroure
Than shall thou fall in to langoure
For whan thou art in theyr bondes cought
Yf thou leue not by theyr rygoure
Shortly they shall the brynge to nought
For to auoyde the crudelyte
Of this fals archer amerous
Take thou the shelde of chastyte
Therin is fortune prosperous
Chastyte is so vyctoryous
That he wyll take vyndycacyon
Of this fals vyce full vycyous
And vaynquysshe his operacyon
Many be that wyll them excuse
Of theyr loke and beholdynge
Saynge that none can theym accuse
For beholdynge of ony thynge
This reason is vnto them semynge
Be not our eyen made for to se
Suche excusacyons wyll they brynge
For to defende theyr infelycyte
Thus say they for theyr excusaunce
Why may we not loke here and there
[Page] That is trouth without doutaunce
Of thy loke nedest thou not to fere
But yet my sone this mayst thou lere
Thyn eyen vnto the god hath sent
With them to loke euery where
So that thou haue a good entent
The fayre regarde of maryage
Is vnto god ryght grete delyte
In good hope for to haue lynage
Or ellys it is of no profyte
Therfore yf thou wylt be perfyte
Dryue awaye this foolysshe pleasaunce
Geuynge vnto hym no respyte
For to take the in to his daunce
Remember the grete and fore vengeaunce
Taken of god for this outrage
Often tymes without doutaunce
Of the mayster it maketh the page
But as I sayde in maryage
Behaue the as thou ought to do
With good hope for to haue lynage
Or elles sothly thou synnest to
Therfore in bryef conclusyon
To auoyde the peyne infernall
Fle from all yll operacyon
Procedynge of these synnes mortall
And of pryde in especyall
For whiche Lucyfer fell downe to hell
Take this for a doctryne generall
Whiche ensuynge I shall the tell
¶Agaynst pryde take thou mekenesse
For enuye take thou charyte
Pacyence putteth Ire in dystresse
By dylygence sluethe is in captyuyte
For couetyse take thou lyberalyte
Glotonye by sobrenesse is made thrall
Chastyte subdueth lechery
But good and ferme fayth ruleth all
It is trouth that mannes nature
To all yll vyce is prone and redy
Wherfore the better may he endure
The whiche vseth somwhat percyte
Whiche is a grete frende vnto chastyte
Agaynst synne take suche resystence
Yf thou wylt auoyde aduersyte
And purchace a place in goddes presence
Therfore yf thou wylt heuen obteyne
As thy selfe loue thy neyghboure
Fro mortall synne thy selfe refrayne
Fere god and do hym honoure
Do his hyddynge whiche is thy creatoure
Speke lytell here what wyse men say
So mayst thou escape terrene lan goure
And haue wheron to lyue alway
Where as many wordes are spoken
For to speke in breef langage
Often wysedom and trouth is broken
Of moche speche cometh grete domage
Who in grete langage hath vsage
Some worde may he say in good entent
[Page] The whiche soundeth to grete outrage
And causeth hym after to repent
Behaue thy selfe curtes and amyable
Cause no debate / stryfe / nor dyscorde
Be prudent / symple / and seruyable
Speke thou of no man yll report
Take good hope and good confort
Lo here the playne waye of hardnesse
Whiche shall the brynge vnto the fort
That thou desyrest
that is rychesse
Rychesse goten by fore labour
By watchynge trauayle and by peyne
Is vnto god moche more pleasour
Than it is whan it is sodayne
One may in this lyfe mundayne
Obteyne rychesse with grete vertue
But whan it is yll goten certayne
The getters vnto the deuyll subdue
Folowe therfore the vertuous waye
On the ryght hande that none doth begyle
Leue the left / the whiche alwaye
Destroyeth man / be he neuer so subtyle
This waye that none doth defyle
On the ryght hande is called dylygence
For though the left on the do smyle
The latter ende is voyde of all defence
In this cursed waye on the left syde
Many a man doth walke gladly
So at the ende are they destroyed
For that theyr good is goten falsly
[Page] Some be drowned and some hanged on hye
Be they neuer so hardy / subtyle / or wyse
Suche is the ende / but the other sothly
Bryngeth a man vnto paradyse
A man that foloweth the left way
Can vnneth hym selfe refrayne
He that hym selfe refrayne not may
Shall fynde it harde to come agayne
Therfore begynne in the waye of peyne
Whiche shall the brynge to the sterred regyon
And for thy ledars haue no dysdayne
To take vnderstandynge wyt and reason
Some fooles yll and obstynate
Whan they are repreued by Iustyce
Say that they there to are destynate
Wenynge for the excuse theyr malyce
They say that fortune must accomplyse
That / that is theyr destyne
Thus dothe the deuyll these wretches atyse
To kepe them in theyr incredulyte
Good wyll must thou haue therfore
Auoyde yll thought fro thyn entent
And yf that thou be tempted sore
Beware do not therto consent
Lyft vp thyn eyen to the fyrmament
Prayenge for helpe and than I reason
Shall be ryght glad / fayne and dylygent
The to delyuet in euery season
Yf destryne shold haue domynacyon
Than our good dedes sholde not auayle
[Page] Echone wolde make transgressyon
Yf thou so thynke thy mynde doth fayle
Yf thou do well for thy trauayle
Thou shalt haue Ioye / and for yll punycyon
Gete heuen / and withouten fayle
Thou escapest all tribulacyon
Though that thy destenye be nought
Be thou not redy to do the werst
He that is of a cursed thought
Euermore leueth the best
Yf thou do yll beware the last
Iustyce to eche geueth his guerdon
Whan thy soule tro this lyfe is past
Thou shalt haue euen as thou hast done
In this noble way of dylygence
Yf that thou thy selfe redresse
Thou shalt by playne experyence
By meane there of obteyne rychesse
As for the waye of sleuthfulnesse
Now euer it appere the ende is nought
There is but wo / peyne and dystresse
Dysconfort / trouble / care / and thought
The waye of sleuth a man doth brynge
Vnto a place of captyuyte
Where nought is but hunger and mournynge
Called the maner of wo and pouette
There is no thynge but necessyte
Brede nor drynke / worke nor trauayle
There lyueth man in suche penurye
That hunger constrayneth his hert to fayle
Whan one is fall in suche myschaunce
And subdued in suche pouertye
He must to haue his sustenaunce
His clothes sell releued for to be
Whan they are gone than what doth he
Than must he be a begger or a thefe
So in conclusyon here may ye se
Of sleuthe what is the ende and prese
Of suche folke that ben ocyous
By ryght no man sholde haue mercy
They are to theym selfe contraryous
Sleuth dysceyueth them so falsly
Some be pale blacke and rusty
Agaynst the sonne syttynge for solace
Some dye for hunger some colde and thursty
Sorowe mot he haue that it doth purchace
Yf thou hast passed a place perylous
And thens escaped without domage
Take good hede se thou be cautelous
Retourne not theder for thyn auauntage
But the behaue as prudent wyse and sage
Auoydynge all sleuthe and neglygence
Go about by another passage
Whiche is the waye of dylygence
Yf thou se some goynge amysse
Lyghtly auoyde theyr company
Suche as in thy presence thy mouth wyl kysse
And wolde the sle yf they myght preuely
Be not aquaynted with suche comonly
Kepe well thy counsell shewe not it
[Page] Whan one blynde ledeth another lyghtly
Often they bothe fall in the pytte
Take therfore the ryght passage
Of good hope and good esperaunce
Be dylygent for thyn owne auauntage
For therin is rychesse and pleasaunce
Bothe in plentye and in suffysaunce
But set not thyn hert theron to sore
Gete not wrongfully suche abundaunce
That thy soule suffre peyne therfore
Who that tychesse to moche dothe pryse
For it takynge labour and greuaunce
Is so brought by vnhappy couetyse
That he is neuer at his pleasaunce
Though he haue rychesse in abundaunce
For all is he not there with content
But a man that hath suffysaunce
To all good gladly dothe consent
Suffysaunce doth god gretely please
As thou full well mayst vnderstonde
And couetyse dothe hym dysplease
Therfore auoyde his cruell honde
Let hym not take the in his bonde
Lyst his excesse do the begyle
Yf thou remember thou art but fonde
With it thou endurest but a whyle
Remember it is no thynge permanent
In abundaunce to haue rychesse
As water rennynge sone is it spent
Whan deth cometh all thyn excesse
[Page] Of welth and rychesse tourneth to heuynesse
Thou must it all leue the behynde
Than one of thy kynne with largesse
Bloweth thy pens out with the wynde
Therfore with lytell be thou content
Thankynge euer god of pouerte
Thanke hym of that he hath the sent
Auoydynge synne and iniquyte
If thou with synne subdued be
Thou canst do no dede merytorye
Do well and than I ensure the
Thou shalte obteyne the heuenly glorye
Some folke in all theyr lyfe
To gete good are full dylygent
Lettynge neyther for hatred ne stryfe
And yet are they neuer content
Vnto all falshode they do consent
They tende not but to gete and saue
With couetyse is theyr herte so brente
That they thynke neuer ynough to haue
Whan they are moost in fortunes grace
Lyfted vp hye vnto the mone
She shewynge them her frowarde face
Causeth them lyghtly to come downe
Though they before sate in theyr trone
Fortune on them hath made a mowe
Wherby theyr rychesse fro them is gone
Than on the grounde lye they full lowe
Therfore se thou fortune defye
Syth her rychesse is so vnstable
[Page] And in god onely thy selfe affye
In whome is rychesse perdurable
His suffysaunce is full profytable
Therfore in hym thy selfe assure
And in this purpose be thou stable
God hym loueth that doth endure
A man ryche full of ygnoraunce
Whiche in tyme passed hath had honour
In fortunes rychesse hauynge pleasaunce
Is now downe dryuen by a sodayne shoure
He neuer afore was vsed to laboure
Thus after he hath lepte from hype to lowe
By ydelnes fortune doth on hym loure
He lyeth on the grounde & none wyll hym knowe
Of clothynge desyre thou no newe guyse
But clothe thy selfe alway honestly
Suffre not pryde vpon the to ryse
But go ay meke and symplye
And se thou be content onely
So thou haue good whereon to Iyue
Without gatherynge ouer largely
Thou knowest not whan deth wyll arryue
If it fortune that by necessyte
Thou put thy selfe in the seruyce
Of ony man of grete auctoryte
Other lorde / marchaunt / or Iustyce
Be not folysshe / flaterynge / nor nyse
Nor yet slouthfull in ony wyse
Se that thou flee fro echo vyce
Leest he the vtterly despyse
What euer he saye suffre mekely
Fere hym with loue entyer and cordyall
Serue hym bothe daye and nyght truly
Saye of hym good ouer all
Remembre loue is so specyall
That without it no good is done
Of his goodes be not lyberall
And god shall paye the thy guerdon
Thou ought of ryght to set thy herte
With all thy myght and thy puyssaunce
Thy maysters wyll for to aduerte
And it to fulfyll without doutaunce
So call thou vnto thy subuenaunce
This prouerbe that I the lere
Kepe it in thy remembraunce
Loue goth neuer without fere
Fere without loue may ryght well be
We fere without loue them that vs menase
But where as true loue is in certaynte
It maketh men lyue euen by compas
Therfore this loue se thou purchace
And than thou shalte fall in his fauour soone
Than thy rewarde to thy solace
Shall be euen after as thou hast done
If thou truly thy mayster serue
He shall perceyue it within a whyle
Than shalte thou haue that thou dost deserue
With a a good name whiche none doth fyle
But yf that thou do hym begyle
He shall perceyue it at the last
[Page] Than shall thy dedes thy name defyle
So out of his hous he shall the cast
Whan that thou arte thus departed
Without his loue full folysshely
As a seruaunt full yll aduerted
Another mayster must thou seke truly
Than shall other come pryuely
And enquyre whether thou were yll or good
If he saye yll that they may spye
No man wyll haue the by the rode
But yf that ony be in necessyte
And can none other seruaunt fynde
Than parauenture he wyll haue the
And alway be to the vnkynde
But yf he be a fole or blynde
Elles wyll he none of thy seruyse
Than shalte thou wander out with the wynde
No mayster shall loue thy guyse
If that thou wylte thy mayster please
Thou must haue these thre propretees
Fyrst must thou haue an asses eares
With an hertes fete in all degrees
An hogges snoute / and after these
By suche meanes shall I declare
That in tyme of aduersytees
By them the better thou mayst fare
By an asses eares this is ment
That thou must harken hym aboute
If thou se he be not content
Saye nought but se thou hym doute
[Page] Where as he is se thou not route
What he cōmaundeth do gladly
Than shall he not put the out
If thou behaue the thus wysely
By this hogges snoute mene I this
What mete so euer to the is brought
Though it be somwhat a mysse
Take pacyence and saye thou nought
Ete thou it not but it be ought
Rather suffre thou a lytell penurye
Another tyme better shall be bought
For to amende that Iniurye
Let thy snoute smell in eche place
And specyally for to seke labour
If thou so do in lytell space
Thou shalte not fayle of his fauour
Let thy pacyence ouercome his rygour
And take good hede to his condycyon
Se that thou alway hym honour
Submyttynge the to his correccyon
This sygnyfyeth the fete of an herte
Thou must do thy mayster socour
Bothe daye and nyght though thou sholde smerte
To renne and go at euery houre
Daye nor nyght spare no laboure
Rather than he sholde haue domage
Helpe hym in welth and in doloure
If ony man do to hym outrage
Thus reason lefte of her parlyament
Than after tourned I me to rest
[Page] And than came wysedome full dylygent
A man prudent / dyscrete and honest
Stondynge nere afore my brest
I lyfted my heed vnto hym nere
He made suche glose vpon the texte
That I had meruayle hym to here

wysedome.

HE that hym ruleth by reason
Geteth bothe ryches and honour
Takynge vpon hym labour
Euer hath he a ryche mansyon
That is ruled by reason
He puruayeth eche thynge in season
As best is whan the tyme is grene
After a storme the sonne doth shene
That man is quyte of all dyscencyon
Whiche is ruled by reason
¶Sothly my frende it is abusyon
This caduke rychesse gretly to prayse
To many a man it doth dysease
He auoydeth sclaunder and detraccyon
Whiche is ruled by reason
¶Ye knowe that within a lytell season
Fortunes fauour many one procure
But of her grace no man is sure
Therfore he wyse is in conclusyon
Whiche is ruled by reason
I make townes & castelles stronge of walles
I make Iestes / storyes / and comedyes
I made the seuen artes lyberalles
With poemes and many tragydees
I haue made many omelyes
Whiche vnto man are full profytable
Wherby he may auoyde all folyes
And of his mynde be ferme and stable
Whan reason on man hath dominacyon
I promote hym vnto grete dygnyte
I hate dyscorde / and adulacyon
And loue peas / concorde / and equyte
He that wyll lyue well in prospetyte
Must haue reason to be his gouernour
And than wyll I of myn owne lyberte
Of very ryght be his protectour
I am wysedome whiche haue knowlegynge
Of good and yll without doutaunce
But without reason I do no thynge
For in her is so maner ygnoraunce
[Page] Who me procureth I hym auaunce
Wherfore sone yf thou wylte procede
Be euer concent with suffysaunce
Than shall I helpe the at thy nede
Obey to reason what euer she saye
With all thyn herte in lowlynesse
Than by her grace shalte thou puruay
Bothe worshyp honour and rychesse
She helpeth men out of dystresse
By her wytte and dyscrecyon
If thou wylte come to parfytnesse
Put the in her subgeccyon

The auctour

¶Thus wysedome vnto me spake
At reasons wyll and cōmaundement
Wherby grete comforte dyde I take
His reasons were so wyse and prudent
On whose saynge I fyxed myn entent
Concludynge vpon the way of payne
But for the tyme passed I was dolent
Whiche lost / coude not be called agayne
Than halfe faynt for watchynge excessyfe
I lyfted my hede vp lokynge me aboute
Lefte alone sore / sad / and pensyfe
Than was I agayne in doute
I fered them that afore wente out
Than sawe I one full of grauyte
Go compassynge my bedde aboute
With two seruauntes in his company
Whan he vnto me dyde appere
I thought he had ben some aduocate
[Page] His hode was furred with menyuere
His gowne of the same lyke his estate
He me behelde without ony debate
And sayd his name was dysceyte full slye
Of whome cometh many a mortall fate
His lytell varlet was named vsurye
Falshode was his seruauntes name
So knewe I by his fals vysage
The mayster cared no thynge for shame
Yet was he a comely personage
He me so flaterynge by his langage
Set hym downe there by my cheke
I meruaylled what was his vsage
Than thus vnto me he began to speke

vsurye

falshode

deeeyte

[Page] [...] [Page] [...]

SAy my frende wheron dost thou [...]
Thou doost thy selfe destroy wt thought
All thy wytte thou doost abuse
Thou studyest sore and all for nought
Reason hath the in her bondes cought
But let her go by my counsayle
Than of rychesse that thou hast sought
By my helpe thou shalte not fayle
Wysedome hath the aduertysed
To put the in reasones subgeccyon
A strawe man let her be dyspysed
And yelde the vnder my proteccyon
Who loueth reason lacketh dyscrecyon
Thou alway seest a man resonable
That fereth god Iustyce and punycyon
Hath neuer ought this is verytable
Reason that fole doth the counsayle
To lyue alway vertuously
Thou shalte haue hunger for thy trauayle
She byddeth the alway labour besely
But by my crafte I all sodaynly
Make hym this daye poore ryche to morowe
Therfore reason se thou defye
Let her and all hers go with sorowe
Reason with lytell is well content
She setteth no thynge by excesse
For to labour she is euer dylygent
Without gatherynge of grete rychesse
But I exalte men vnto noblesse
Sodaynlye by my arte subtyle
[Page] If ony wolde do me falsnesse
I take hym lyghtly in his owne wyle
But whyle that thou ensuest reason
Thou shalte neuer come to dygnyte
But poore and symple in euery season
As a bonde man had in captyuyte
Out of all maner hope lyberte
Oppressed shalte thou be ouer all
Euery daye well mayst thou se
That the grete dothe the small
Leue therfore reason by my counsayle
If thou wylte haue rychesse lyghtly
And yf that ony do the assayle
By my crafte I shall blere theyr eye
If that thou do entende to me
Thou shalte fynde that thou hast sought
I shall be at thy wyll redy
And whyle I lyue thou shalte lacke nought
If that thou wylte come to thyn ease
And haue golde at thy pleasour
Thy neyghbour se that thou dysease
With iniwaye / domage / force / and rygour
Let me dysceyte be as thy gouernour
Or elles my seruaunt vsurye
From one to other go euery houre
With a glosynge langage of flaterye
Let thy tunge be as a knyfe
With euery man therwith to rage
And where thou woldest haue no stryfe
Shewe thy selfe dyscrete and sage
[Page] Specyally where as is [...]
Speke fayre tyll thou haue thy pray
But yet let not to do domage
To euery man whyle that thou may
Gouerne the euer with dyscepcyon
Care not for them that are in payne
At poore folke haue thou deryson
To gete good do the not refrayne
For to deceyue men set thy brayne
In theyr presence shewe them good chere
But of theyr hurte se thou be fayne
In theyr absence in eche manere
Speke fayre with falshode amonge
Shewe thy selfe meke and treatable
Take mony by ryght and wronge
Make the ryche man myserable
Gather togyder tychesse arrable
Fere neyther god ne the deuyll of hell
Of thy wordes be thou not stable
To ryche enuyous
to poore cruell
Paye nought in plede / nor in processe
Lene no thynge but vnto vsure
Se that thou the poore oppresse
Take theyr herytage and nouryture
Spare no thynge the to periure
And yf that ony do the repreue
By swerynge fast thy selfe assure
From his good hym to remeue
Thou shalte haue rychesse at the last
To lyue in grete prosperyte
[Page] If thou speke fayre and borowe fast
Faynynge thy selfe in charyte
For now a dayes in trouth and veryte
No man of the wyll haue count
Without clothynge of auctoryte
Lyke a knyght or a vycount
Kepe thy termes lyke thyn estate
With ermyne or sables furre thy gowne
If ony man haue enuye therate
By thy crafte tourne hym vp set downe
Thus mayst thou encrease thy renowne
And yf ony come with the to speke
Let thy man saye thou arte not in the towne
That he may come often the to seke
Let hym retourne the to enquyre
Be not asshamed for to lye
And what thynge that thou doost desyre
Be it good or badde do it lyghtly
Take no hede to well nor truly
So it be done take thou no thought
And I shall helpe the euer besely
So that at nede thou shalte lacke nought
To hym that is curteys and lowly
Euery man dare agaynsaye
But to one ryche gaye and hastye
Scant is one that dare saye nay
They wyll hym fere lyst that he fraye
Therfore eche man wyll hym forbere
Fayne felonye on them to laye
And than shall euery man the fere
What euer thou doost worke by whle
Fyll thy stomacke full of falsenesse
Fro the reason do thou exyle
Of her nought cometh but dystresse
Refuse fayth take thou falsnesse
For suche is the worlde in this season
As thou mayst se by euydence expresse
They are all poore that folowe reason
Se thou be redy aye to take
Without gyuynge ought agayne
Thy promesse swerynge se thou forsake
Thus mayst thou haue rychesse sodayne
Let thy tunge folowe the comyn trayne
Of adulacyon couered with eloquence
Thus shall euery man be fayne
Vnto the for to do reuerence
If there come to the ony myschaunce
Care not it shall do the no grefe
Thou shalte haue for thy sustenaunce
Me and my men the to relefe
We shall defende the fro myschefe
And vnder the vmbre of veryte
Though he be neuer so fals a thefe
We shall ouercome hym by our subtylte
Loke what it is for to haue polyce
With crafte subtylte and practyke
By whiche meanes he that worketh slye
Casteth his encmye lyghtly in the dyke
Trewe wysedome se thou exyle
Whiche causeth thought and heuynes
[Page] Muse alway men to begyle
Let not to make fayre promesses
Euery daye here twenty masses
But haue at none of them deuocyon
And space thou not to take excesses
Of thefte / falshhode / and extorcyon
Byleue me for thyn auauntage
And refuse thou reason vtterly
Falshode my frende shall be thy page
Exaltynge the to rychesse myghtely
Whan thou arte in suche case truly
Euery man shall do the honour
And yf that ony do to the vylany
Se thou hym tame by thy rygour
Whyle that reason on the doth reyne
Thou shalte neuer come to worthynesse
But euer of pouerte complayne
Auoyde of myrth full of sadnesse
Thou shalte not nede to count expresse
Crownes / nobles / nor royalles
Thou shalte be voyde of all rychesse
And of degrees temporalles
Thou hast herde what I haue the tolde
This is my mynde and my counsayle
Wherfore on me se thou be bolde
And do here after for thyn auayle
Thus mayst thou come without trauayle
To rychesse so thou autoyde reason
If thou thus do without fayle
No more wyll I saye at this season

The auctour.

¶Whan this fals catyf had thus sayd
I was abstracte nere fro my mynde
His wordes made me sore afrayde
That I vnstable was as the wynde
Aboute me socour coude I none fynde
For fere I quaked / colde were my fete
I had in me as good a mynde
As hath a gose vpon a spete
That whiche reason dyde me counsayle
Was good holsome and reasonable
Dysceyte contrarye dyde me assayle
Shewynge me craftes dysceyuable
Thus was my mynde as varyable
As a fane strondynge in the wynde
In no purpose ferme nor stable
As now a dayes we may fynde
As I thus laye troubled full sore
Wysedome retourned to me agayne
More prudent than he was before
Whiche with his langage dyscrete & playne
Exorted me for to refrayne
Me fro that thefe decepcyon
And than reason sholde me mayntayne
And thus sayd he in conclusyon

¶Wysedome.

[Page]

wysedome.

DOst thou trust falshode or dysceyte
A poore man they wyll the dyffame
They loue but dyscorde and debate
They prayse the yll & good doth blame
And they pryncypally are the same
Whiche bryngeth man to the pytte of hell
Trust in reason moost noble of fame
Whiche no thynge doth but that is well
That man is madde that leueth reason
Vnto dysceyte for to be lenynge
He that so doth after in brefe season
Ayenst hym selfe is murmurynge
Therfore be thou the withdrawynge
For of hym venym doth dyscende
[Page] Lyue after reason aboue all thnge
For who well lyueth well doth ende
How many dayly doost thou se
That leuynge reason them selfe assure
In falshode hauynge grete dygnyte
Fro poore men takynge theyr pasture
In this extorcyon they longe endure
By falshode getynge good mundayne
But whan that knowen is theyr nature
They he made poore by chaunce sodayne
We haue ofte sene grete wyndes blowe
And with a lytell rayne ouercome
So many men be brought full lowe
Before exalted by fals custome
Some rayed in scarlet / and other some
Arayed in golde / tyssue / and veluet
The one after vnto the swerde become
The other trayned vnto the gybet
If that they had trusted in reason
Leuynge falshode that dysceyuour
They sholde not haue had suche confusyon
But styll haue lyued in theyr honour
Reason that lady of grete valour
Doth nought that is to repreue
But dysceyte that fals traytour
His chefe subgertes doth myschefe
Syth that rychesse is so varyable
Wherfore take we therfore suche payne
Consyderynge our lyfe so vnstable
From deth we can vs not refrayne
[Page] The daye and houre is vncertayne
Therfore let vs lyue scarsely
For this is a thynge moost certayne
That fyrst or last we must nedes dye
Dysceyte in his fyrst begynnynge
To eche man well ynough doth sounde
But an euyll deth is his endynge
His scolers thus doth he confounde
But hym that in rychesse doth abounde
By reason goten eche man doth prayse
In dysceyte suche ende is founde
That euery man doth it dysprayse
By reason well mayst thou obtayne
Rychesse mundayne suffycyently
Who that hath none bydeth in payne
And ofte is entreted vncurteysly
Who hath not money and that largely
Were he as holy as was saynt poule
Where euer he goth contynually
He shall be taken but for a fole
Who that by reason doth good purchace
He lyueth therwith ryght merely
To his pleasour with grete solace
But yf that ony thrugh enuye
Wolde do hym wronge or iniurye
He must to god call for socoure
And than shall he full hastely
Hym ayde and helpe at euery houre
Thus in my bedde sore troubled layde
Halfe releued was my courage
I toke good hede to that he sayd
For he was wyse dyscrete and sage
And thynkynge it for myn auauntage
Submytted me to the grace dyuyne
I knowe dysceyte by his outrage
Wolde me haue brought vnto ruyne
So purposed I fully to take
The counsayle of my lady reason
And dysceyte vtterly forsake
With his falshode and abusyon
Than beynge of this opynyon
Reason dyde vnto me appere
With her face bryght as the sonne
Arayed in a ryche manere
This lady was ryght gracyous
Pleasaunt curteys and amyable
On me lokynge with chere Ioyous
With a salutacyon ryght honourable
For this fals caytyfe myserable
Dysceyte with his seruauntes two
For all theyr chere abhomynable
At her comynge dyde fro me go

Reason.

[Page]

Reason

I Am gladde of the perfyte vyctorye
Whiche thou hast obteyned this nyght
It shall be to the ryght merytorye
In the hygh trone that is so lyght
Wysedome with his noble myght
Hath ben for the a good solycytour
But syth thou hast agreed to the ryght
Now shalte thou be my seruytour
I gyue the in cōmaundement
For to serue me ferme and faythfully
Haunt company wyse and prudent
So shalte thou haue ryches largely
I knowe that mannes mynde truly
By temptacyon full ofte doth vary
What I cōmaunde do thou gladly
And to me reason be not contrary
What man that I do sustayne
I make clene from all maner vyce
But he that falshode doth mayntayne
Hateth concorde / peas / and Iustyce
God wyll that thou leue malyce
And vsurye in pryncypall
Whiche thou must do yf thou be wyse
With perfyte wyll and cordyall
I kepe men in theyr fraunchyse
I make the feble stronge and able
Dysceyte to yll men doth atyse
And doth nought that is profytable
Be therfore constaunt / ferme / and stable
Endue thy herte with forte and vertue
So shalte thou dysceyte full myserable
By godly wysedome strongly subdue
Good name is better than rychesse
The grace of god is full excellent
Trust not in the fayre promesse
Of dysceyte / ne his termes eloquent
Behaue thy selfe wyse and prudent
Be ruled by grace and pacyence
Bothe daye and nyght be dylygent
To gete the treasour of sapyence
And yf that god gyue the wysedome
Be not therof proude nor gloryous
But more symple se thou become
Thankynge hym with chere pyteous
Let thy mynde be euer vertuous
Submyttynge the to thy creatour
[Page] Whiche is so meke and gracyous
That he wyll be thy gouernour
With eche man be in charyte
Begynnynge at thy selfe fyrst of all
Let all thy dedes sounde vnto equyte
To poore men be thou lyberall
Men wyse and vertuous to the call
Whiche shall the kepe from all domage
Auoyde flaterers from thy hall
The to dysceyue is theyr vsage
With me abydeth none malycyous
Tyraunt traytour nor cowarde
But noble people wyse and vertuous
And peas as chefe bereth the standarde
Who casteth on me his regarde
Shall suerly scape bothe hole and sounde
Who in dysceyte hath his forwarde
Whan he moost trusteth is brought to grounde
If that by fortune thou haue aduersyte
Without noyse pacyently endure
God knoweth thy fragylyte
Fro poynt to poynt I the ensure
And yf dysceyte on the procure
Auoyde the cause the tyme and place
For without doute I the ensure
Dysceyte stynketh in goddes face
Where as is pryde myschefe is bye
Therfore of humylyte take comforte
Fals flaterye se thou defye
And tende no thynge to dyscomforte
[Page] Beware falshode and yll reporte
Auoyde robberye and all maner wronge
If thou do as I the exorte
In vertue shalte thou lyue full longe
Thou mayst gete yf thou folowe me
Rychesse mundayne in suffysaunce
Without falshode or iniquyte
Or doynge thy neyghbour ony greuaunce
Thy good and yll in a balaunce
Shall be weyed at the daye extreme
And than after thyn ordynaunce
The myghty Iuge shall the deme
Therfore sone by me thou may
Obteyne goodes mundayne & eternall
Lyue without thought in lowe aray
Without ony payne corporall
Of this rychesse that is temporall
Thou mayst with Ioye haue here thy parte
And the hyghe glorye celestyall
Whan thy soule shall hens departe
Beholde what two grete benefyces
I ordayne for my seruytour
Where other fylled with malyces
By falshode lese all suche honours
Periurers theues and seductours
Saturate with synne and ordure
Lyue here in castelles and in toures
But theyr estate can not endure
Robbery / pykynge / and cauyllacyon
Thefte with falshode doth gouerne
[Page] That fals tyraunt decepcyon
And ledeth hym vnto the tauerne
Fals vsurye doth dyscerne
Theyr armes with his termes blasynge
With pryde of all vyce lanterne
Vnto theyr counseyll is lenynge
Suche as they haue but small conscyence
Wherfore se that thou them dyspyse
They refuse vertue / cunnynge / and scyence
Lenynge to ryotte suche is theyr guyse
Wherfore dere sone I the aduyse
Let not theyr power on the extende
For yf it do I the promyse
At tyborne wyll they make the ende
If falshode thrugh his wylynes
Exalte a man vnto honour
And after yf that his ryches
Be lost by some sodayne shoure
They to whome ye dyde rygour
Before wyll Ioye of his domage
They wyll be redy at euery houre
To hym to render his outrage
One vnto another wyll saye
Loke where he lyeth that was so ryche
His good yll goten is now awaye
And lo where he lyeth in the dyche
We thought that his ende wolde be suche
He hath lyued in welth to longe
His scabbed skyn lo now doth ytche
That he dare not come vs amonge
Thus mayst thou se it is profytable
To lyue truly in this mortall lyfe
Getynge rychesse by meanes verytable
Syth it yll goten encreaseth stryfe
Who laboureth for rychesse excessyfe
Weneth to come vnto hye estate
But at the last he abydeth pensyfe
And euery good man doth hym hate
Leue therfore vyce and loue vertue
If thou wylte lyue in lybertye
And than men knowynge the good & true
Wyll be gladde of thy company
But yet must thou haue humylyte
With pacyence & concorde thy way to dresse
With fayth / trouth / and equyte
If thou wylte gete heuenly rychesse
Be thou symple of countenaunce
Speke fayre with chere amyable
Beware dysceyte and fere his launce
Be not of purpose varyable
It is a thynge abhomynable
Vnde an abyde of faythfulnesse
To haue a fals herte & reprouable
Full of wrathe / yre / and falsnesse
Vnder the vmbre of veryte
Many one vseth fals dyscepcyon
Vsynge to speke ryght faythfully
But falshode is in theyr entencyon
Then thynke other to dysceyue by treason
But theyr selfe dysceyued do they fynde
[Page] But lerne this sone of me reason
God knoweth euery mannes mynde
God knoweth playne and clerely
Mannes mynde thought and courage
For he by his grace ineffably
Made hym lyke to his owne ymage
Sholdest thou not than do hym homage
Whiche hath the gyuen so grete a benefyce
Passynge all other in auauntage
That is the realme of paradyse
And after whan by dysobedyence
Man was dampned to be in payne
That hyghe lorde a lambe of innocence
With his owne blode brought hym agayne
This blessed lorde had no dysdayne
For to become a man mortall
And suffre deth with many a payne
To make vs fre that erst were thrall
This lorde chefe mayster of Iustyce
Shall kepe his Iugement fynall
Than some that there be moost of pryce
Shall than be myserablest of all
The poore and ryche shall be egall
Eche man shall haue lyke audyence
All mankynde there in generall
Shall there abyde this Iuges sentence
The aungelles shall theyr trumpettes blowe
Callynge men to the Iugement
Than euery man full well shall knowe
How that he here his lyfe hath spent
[Page] With an hygh voyce that lorde omnipotent
Shall call my seruauntes with hym to dwell
The badde all pensyf / woo / and dolent
Perpetually shall be dampned to hell
Now arte thou so that thou mayst chuse
The harde waye of saluacyon
Or elles yf thou wylte that abuse
Thou fyndest the waye of perdycyon
Do after me sone that am reason
To auoyde the fendes cruell bonde
And than that Iuge prynce of dyscressyon
Shall the set on his ryght honde
On the rayne bowe meke and propyce
On hye shall syt that myghty lorde
Hauynge on his one hande Iustyce
And on the other myserycorde
With them shall be peas and concorde
And veryte shall be there playne
This Iuge with these at one accorde
Shall Iuge the lygnage humayne
God shall my seruauntes vnto hym call
With meke chere and countenaunce
Vnto his hyghe sete emperyall
But after another maner of chaunce
He shall saye wordes of grete penaunce
To falshode seruauntes whiche shall be dum
Puttynge them to extreme vttraunce
Ite maledicti in ignem eternum
What shall theyr rychesse than auayle
Whan they shall haue but ryghtwysnesse
[Page] Eche man shall haue after his trauayle
The good lyght and the yll derkenesse
Some shall thynke it a daye of swetnesse
But other some with crye and yell
Shall thynke that daye of bytternesse
Dyscendynge downe to the pytte of hell
Therfore frende to thy selfe take hede
Renounce falshode with all iniquyte
This daye shall make the to haue drede
If thou it call to mynde truly
Who geteth rychesse here falsly
Of hell paynes shall haue his parte
And therfore hyther come am I
Fro this payne the to dyuerte
Therfore aryse and do me homage
With meke herte and entencyon
Refusynge falshode with his outrage
Makynge sucke prouysyon
That thou mayst lyue by dyscressyon
Than shall I make the to possede
A place in the heuenly regyon
Lo all my seruauntes hath suche mede

¶The auctour.

[Page]

Reason

AFter that I herde my lady reason
So wysely speke full of prudence
I forsoke dysceyte / falshode & treason
Yeldynge me vnto her magnyfycence
I kneled downe in her presence
Knowynge it for myn auauntage
With meke Ioue and obedyence
Vnto reason I made homage
Holdynge my handes vp to her grace
With lowe chere dyde I me present
There shewed I her all the case
How that I my lyfe had spent
[Page] This noble lady wyfe and prudent
Surely vnto me dyde promesse
So I wolde make amendement
To be my lady and maystresse
Than this lady approched nete
Of all other moost good and gracyous
With lowly countenaunce and chere
Of my helth gretly desyrous
And to her seruauntes neuer contraryous
Seynge her nere thus vnto her sayd I
Moost excellent lady moost good & gloryous
To you wyll I me submytte gladly
Do ye with me what is your pleasour
I am euer redy gladde and dylygent
To do all thynge that may you honour
Neuer wyllynge more to be neglygent
To suche vertues / or counseyle prudent
I defye falshode with his subtyltees
To you obeyenge with hole entent
Bothe in welth and aduersytees
Reason was gladde in eche degre
Whan she herde me saye in this wyse
Than as syster vnto humylyte
Out of her chayre sone dyde she ryse
And kyssynge me she dyde promyse
Euer at my nede for to be kynde
Than sodaynly in a secrete wyse
This lady entred in to my mynde
Thus whyle that reason was my guyde
I gouerned me well and wysely
[Page] Dysceyte and falshode settynge asyde
With wretchednesse and vsurye
To byde with reason purposed I
As longe as god lent me my lyfe
Beynge in this purpose dyde I espye
Approche an olde man and his wyfe
Whan I them sawe I was content
They were so meke and gracyous
The mannes name was euydent
Good wyll / to none was contraryous
The womannes good herte to none enuyous
The whiche two had with them brought
A yonge chylde / pleasaunt / good and vertuous
In excellence passynge my thought
This chylde euer by good wyll stode
Vpon her hande to her lenynge
This was his name / lust to do good
As me thought vnto my semynge
These thre togyder on me smylynge
Approched nere and fyrst of all
Good herte began with this saynge
With meke countenaunce and lyberall

¶Good herte.

[Page]

good herte

good wyll

lust to do good

SIth that reason resteth in the
Sone I shall not from the departe
The tyme & season now mayst thou se
Whiche to the bryngeth the ease of hert
We shall fro the all yil dyuerte
Puttynge in to thy subgeccyon
Thy wyfe & chyldren hole & quarte
Whan age cometh the vpon
We thre togyder shall the conuay
Vnto a place full of all pleasaunce
There shall we shyfte for to puruay
To helpe the out of all greuaunce
This place is of grete cheuysaunce
Goten onely by waye of dylygence
The whiche place shall the auaunce
To the hye degre of excellence
Folowe vs and we shall the brynge
In to the hye way whiche is ryght spacyous
The whiche way hath at his endynge
A fayre castell pleasaunt and sumptuous
In whiche remayneth a treasour precyous
That is worldly goodes full of noblesse
This place is called that is so beauteous
Labour / wherin remayneth rychesse
Reason ryght often hath the tolde
Of this castell whiche is so honourable
Passynge all castelles a thousande folde
And vnto mankynde moost profytable
But the waye is so varyable
That none can come thyder without vs thre
But he must haue some fortune myserable
And be compelled agayne to fle
Therfore who thyder doth hym dresse
Not hauynge vs in his companye
Shall neuer truly haue rychesse
His fortune is in grete dyffycultye
Many one cometh vnto dygnyte
By falshode / vsurye / and rapyne
But at the rnde symple pouertye
Kepeth them fallen in to ruyne
Syth thou applyest to reasons doctryne
I shall helpe the euer at thy nede
My wyfe shall vnto the enclyne
My sone shall helpe the for to spede
Do after vs and haue no drede
For we thre shall to the be kynde
[Page] Whan thou hast laboured / for thy mede
If thou well do thou shalte well fynde
Lust to do good is now redy
Vnto this place the to conuay
Therfore aryse and come lyghtly
And we shall well for the puruay
Reason her seruauntes helpeth alway
Whiche hath vs hyther vnto the brought
Ryse vp let vs go without delay
For after grete rest ofte cometh thought

¶The auctour.

¶I accorded vnto them lyghtly
Auoyde of slouth and neglygence
With them thyder to go gladly
Vnto this place chefe of dylygence
Whiche of all honour hath preemynence
Eche man for to helpe at his nede
Than thought I for to recompence
The tyme loste / and thyder to spede
But I tolde them I knewe no thynge
Of dylygence / nor yet of besynesse
Good herte sayd / by our techynge
Thou shalte knowe the way expresse
Thou mayst bothe saye & thynke doutlesse
Whyle we thre are thy conductours
That thou arte voyde of heuynesse
And sure of all worldly honours
Awake and put the in apparayle
To moche slepe hurteth man certayne
In this waye must thou fore trauayle
For reason so doth it ordayne
[Page] For what man that taketh payne
On hym with trauayle and abstynence
To rychesse nedes must attayne
Therfore aryse and go we hens
Go sone thou must bestowe thy tyme
In other wyse than thou hast done
Let not to labour for no cryme
Lettynge thy dedes ay sounde to reason
And as for me I me abandon
With my husbande on the to wayte
Vnto this castell and noble mansyon
Wherin is rychesse without dysceyte
Who other begyleth hym selfe dysceyueth
Rychesse yll goten cometh to yll ende
Who in this castell falshode conceyueth
Shall not his power ferre extende
But after deth yf thou wylte ascende
Take me and trauayle to be thy guyde
Whiche in this castell shall the defende
By our meanes in euery tyde.

¶Lust to do good.

¶Do my faders cōmaundement
If thou truly wolde haue rychesse
And to my moder be dylygent
In that thou mayst with lowlynesse
And I shall do my wyll and besynesse
Vnto my power the to sustayne
Wherfore auoyde thou slouthfulnesse
And vs to folowe take on the payne

¶The auctour.

[Page]

good herte

good wyll

Lust to do good

THus I hauynge grete delyte
To here them speke so wysely
Lepte fro my bed without respyte
And made me redy hastely
Good wyll wente full redely
To lyght a candell at myn instaunce
Whiche as she wente songe so merely
That her to here I had pleasaunce
I toke my clothes vnto me necessarye
And made me redy at theyr instaunce
Lust to do good full gladly
To bere the candell had grete pleasaunce.
Than wente they forth all in ordynaunce
As folke replenysshed with mekenesse
That to beholde theyr countenaunce
My herte was fylled with gladnesse
Lust to do good wente alwaye
Before berynge the candel [...] [...]yght
Good [...]yll wente nexte in tayre araye
And than good herte I folowed ryght
Sothly it was a pleasaunt syght
To se togyder so meke a company
I had not suche sorowe all the nyght
As I had than myrth and melodye

good herte

good wyll

besinesse.

THan entred we in to the waye
Of grete payne called dylygence
Without restynge I wente alwaye
There founde I no resystence
These thre were euer in my presence
For the waye was vnknowen to me
I hasted me vnder theyr defence
That I myght there the sooner be
Thus wente we forth a lytell whyle
Of the waye was I ygnoraunt
My thre felawes dyde on me smyle
On me beholdynge with glad semblaunt
Than sawe I this castell fayre & pleasaunt
Moost ryche / stronge and sumptuous
Whan I it sawe so resplendaunt
Sothly of herte I was full Ioyous
Vnto the gate whan I was nye
I wolde haue entred without sauegarde
But the porter resysted me
Beholdynge me with chere frowarde
Of that castell he kepte the garde
His wyfe was euer in his presence
Thynkest thou to entre he sayd cowarde
Not hauynge our loue nor our lycence

¶Besynesse.

¶Thynkest thou to entre without our leue
In to this castell chefe grounde to rychesse
Nay nay thou must hens remeue
None entreth here but by mekenesse
My wyfe Cure and I besynesse
Haue suche offyce in this castell
To vs obeyeth bothe more and lesse
That hath intencyon therin to dwell
By the fayre path of dylygence
Thou arte come hyder as I byleue
Yet mayst thou not here haue resydence
Without our loue fauour and leue
[Page] Thou mayst not entre therfore remeue
For with the am I not content
Auoyde or elles I shall the greue
His wyfe than sayd incontynent

¶Cure.

¶Gentyll husbonde holde hym excused
He wyll obey vnto your cōmaundement
Let not his mekenesse be refused
He wyll nought without your assent
I knowe hym wyse / dyscrete / & prudent
He wyll gladly do you homage
So it wyll please you be content
Of fauour to graunt hym passage
Cōmaunde hym what so euer ye please
And he shall do it without fallace
He purposeth not you to dysplease
But hym submytteth vnto your grace
Prayenge that he may haue place
In to this castell for to go
He hath our fauour to purchace
Good herte and good wyll also

¶The auctour.

¶ Than besynesse as a man full kynde
Sayd / syth thou hast suche socour
My fauour redy shalte thou fynde
The for to helpe at euery houre
To here hym speke I had pleasoure
Than sayd he / syth thou hast reason
Thou shalte not fayle of grete honoure
With welth and rychesse in brefe season

¶Besynesse.

[Page]

The castell of laboure.

cure

besines

I That called am besynesse
Vnto man rychesse do procure
My wyfe also in all dystresse
Doth man of her helpe assure
This place is called by droyture
The excellent castell of labour
If thou here be I the ensure
Thou must be besye in euery houre
Syth thou arte in our subgeccyon
Trust well thou shalte come to rychesse
For whyle in thy mynde abydeth reason
By no meane cannest thou haue skarsnesse
I shall helpe the in all besynesse
In this castell to ensue the trayne
[Page] The capytayne therof and the maystresse
Are called by name trauayle and payne
Thou shalte in this place haue moche ad.
Mannes good wyll for to deserue
Thou shalte skant fynde the meane therto
The capytayne is so yll to serue
Vnneth his byddynge canst thou obserue
Without it be well done and a pace
But in goodnesse thou the styll preserue
Thou shalte be soone out of theyr grace
Thus do I the afore aduerte
Of the grete payne that thou shalte fynde
Lest that after it sholde greue thy herte
Therfore on wysedome set thy mynde
The capytayne is somwhat vnkynde
Whiche shall do to the grete rygour
Eche thynge tourneth as the wynde
Within this castell of labour

¶The auctour.

¶All that shall do me none yll
I shall assaye them for to please
I haue founde good herte and good wyll
With lust to do good whiche shall me case
I trust no man for to dysplease
Whyle I of them do take counsayle
I wyll not let for no dysease
To go in to this castell of trauayle

[Page]

cure.

besinesse

THan besynesse & cure brought me in to
This castell / ample / and spacyous
Shewynge me men and women also
Sore workynge and none ocyous
Thē to beholde was a thȳge meruaylous
Bothe yonge and olde of euery facultye
To labour was there none contraryous
Eche one wolde afore his felawe be
They smote with hambers that were stronge
That to beholde I had grete wonder
Suche a noyse was them amonge
That it sounded lyke the thunder
Some were aboue and some were vnder
In theyr shertes labourynge for hete
Some dyde peces breke in sunder
Some agayne them togyder bete
To beholde them I had delyte
Seynge them worke so lustely
That to labour I had appetyte
Cure and besynesse that dydespye
Whiche sayd vnto me shortly
That yf I coude labour well
They wolde gete me lycence gladly
In that castell for to dwell
Than to them answered I certayne
That to labour I was content
Than spake they to the capytayne
Requyrynge hym for to assent
He graunted me a place present
Conuenyent for my degre
There promysed I for to be dylygent
So that in theyr fauour I myght be
I set me downe vnto labour
With besynesse and parfyte dylygence
Trustynge therby to haue honour
Cure and besynesse were not thens
I was ryght glad of theyr presence
For they taught me how I sholde do
Vnto them I gaue audyence
And what they sayd I agreed therto
Than came the wyfe of the capytayne
Goynge here and there trottynge
They tolde me that her name was payne
Eche mannes labour vysytynge
Her handes and her forehede swetynge
She taryed nomore in ony place
[Page] Than doth a pursuyuaunt rydynge
Whan he wolde purchace some grace
Somtyme in her smocke rennynge fast
No thynge tendynge to rest nor ease
She ran styll whyle her breth wolde last
Not sparynge for no dysease
She was dylygent eche man to please
And me behelde approchynge nere
She sayd syr porter ye me dysplease
For bryngynge of this straunger here

¶Payne.

Syr besynesse that are porter
Of this castell shewe me playne
Who hath brought hyther this straunger
I sawe hym neuer afore certayne
Cometh he fro fraunce or fro brytayne
I must knowe his cause and his entent
He must submytte hym vnto my payne
Or elles in vayne his tyme is spent

¶Besynesse.

¶My lady payne haue ye no doute
For hyther is he come truly
With good herte and good wyll hym aboute
Whiche hyther hath hym brough besely
Lust to do good is to hym nye
Whiche is a chylde ryght honourable
Ye shall fynde hym to you redy
Humble of herte and seruysable

¶Cure.

¶My husbonde and I loue hym ryght well
We shall helpe hym at euery nede
[Page] Ye shall not nede hym [...]ght to tell
Therfore my lady haue ye no drede
Euen as he doth gyue hym his mede
And my husbonde shall be his borowe
That in his labour he shall spede
And neyther spare for payne nor sorowe

¶Payne:

payne

Cure

YE saye bothe well and wysely
I knowe not yet how he wyll preue
For many one be soone wery
Of labour whan it doth them greue
But suche sothly be to repreue
But we shall soone se what labour
He can do / or that he remeue
To come to rychesse and honour

¶The auctour.

¶Than payne to me approched nere
Byddynge me labour dylygently
And that I sholde in eche manere
Do my besynesse well and wysely
Not sparynge my body nor my bones
And he that dyde not so truly
Sholde auoyde that place at ones
I tolde her that I had desyre
To worke fast without fayne
And for to folowe her pleasyre
So that she sholde not complayne
Saynge I trusted to obtayne
By my labour welth and rychesse
And that I sholde my setfe constrayne
To be nere Cure / and Besynesse

¶Payne.

¶That is answered by good moyen
Whan trauayle my husbonde shall you se
The whiche is feble and auncyen
Your worke and labour shall he ouerse
Of hym rewarded shall ye be
After your worke and your labour
And in the meane tyme ye shall haue me
Alway redy at your socour

¶The auctour.

¶Than began I to labour fast
Employenge theron pleasure & myght
Contynuenge whyle the nyght dyde last
Than in the mornynge appered lyght
[Page] In at a wyndowe that was bryght
Than blewe I my candellout
Labourynge styll with all my myght
As other that were me aboute
Styll to labour I dyde me cast
By suffraunce of the grace dyuyne
Vnto the tyme of the brekefast
Where we had neyther ale ne wyne
They myght not tary for to dyne
So sure on labour was theyr purpose
Tyll labour caused them to declyne
By payne constrayned so vp they rose
They were all homely as companyons
Theyr labour gaue them an appetyt reall
Some ete garlyke / some ete onyons
Suche seruyce was amonge them all
Browne brede to them was cordyall
Wetynge it in the water clere
Drynkynge of the fountayne clere as crystall
They had no scorne of this manere
There was neyther befe ne moton
To ete whan hunger dyde them assayle
Suche is the maner in this season
Some be rewarded yll theyr trauayle
They wrought in peas and in batayle
Some etynge and labourynge bothe at ones
Not sparynge theyr body without fayle
As chefe labourers for the nones

[Page]

[figure]
WHan that I sawe theyr condycyon
So prone to labour and besynesse
I set myn hole and ferme entencyon
By suche labour to gete rychesse
Than vpon me came fayntnesse
That I had lust to refresshe nature
Whan they me sawe in suche dystresse
I lacked no brede I you ensure
I wolde be of theyr company
And takynge this brede with good wyll
I therof bote ryght merely
Styll workynge not thynkynge yll
I had no scorne me for to fyll
With this brede but theron bote
[Page] And after with chere meke and styll
With fayre water I wasshed my throte
I fylled my bely fayre and well
With this fayre brede made of rye
Drynkynge alway at the well
And yet styll wrought I merely
I was as well at ease truly
As though I had had all deyntees
In the worlde / for certaynly
To moche is nought in all degrees
Shortly to saye I was as full
As was conuenyent to nature
For excesse maketh the mynde dull
I reporte me to besynesse and cure
For often tymes man doth murmure
Whan he is full of mete and wyne
To all vyce prone I the ensure
Excludynge hym from the grace dyuyne
Whan I was thus refresshed well
I drewe me to my werke agayne
Good herte and good wyll dyde me tell
How I sholde do also certayne
Lust to do good dyde me mayntayne
Thus drewe I me vnto besynesse
I spared neyther trauayle nor payne
Without falshode to gete rychesse

[Page]

Cure

Besynes

good hert

good wyll

lust to do good

CVre and charge dyde me beholde
Cōmaundynge me to labour fast
And tolde me suerly that they wolde
Rewarde me truly at the last
So laboured I tyll the daye was past
And as I laboured songe I merely
Tyll hesperus cloudes the daye ouercast
And that the nyght approched nye
Than cure vnbyden wente a p [...]ce
And lyghtly lyghted a candell
She set it by my workynge place
And many newe poyntes to me dyde tell
She sayd who bydeth in this castell
After the cōmaundement of reason
Must worke vnto the curfue knell
Consyderynge the tyme and season
At her byddynge I wrought styll fast
Hauynge therin delyte and pleasoure
Tyll that the bell range at the last
Whiche was a conuenyent houre
Than hunger came with his rygour
Whiche cruelty dyde me assayle
With that sawe I come from a toure
The capytayne called trauayle

trauayle

FRende yu arte welcome vnto this place
For thy labour true and dylygent
Whiche hath brought the in to my grace
Therfore shal I gyue ye ryches ꝑmanent
So after that thy youthe is spent
I shall the promyse and behest
[Page] After thy labour incontynent
Thou shalte come to the hous of rest
Thou shalte haue rest at thy desyre
After thy payne and trybulacyon
Thou shalte syt merely by the fyre
After that thy worke is done
There shalte thou fynde consolacyon
After thy payne and thy trauayle
Thus shalte thou fynde in conclusyon
After pouerte ryche apparayle
And therfore at one worde shortly
Now do as thou thynkest best
For with good wyll the leue gyne I
For to go home vnto thy rest
And thy prayer and thy request
I trauayle shall vnto the promesse
Go now thou shalte haue my behest
After labour / that is rychesse

¶The auctour.

¶Than toke I leue of trauayle
Goynge to rest full of gladnesse
Than with hye voyce withouten fayle
I called the porter named besynesse
Than to the gates I dyde me dresse
The whiche were shytte than had I doute
Yet shewed I the porter suche mekenesse
Than he agreed to let me out

[Page]

Besynes

Cure.

BEsynesse and cure his wyfe
Let me out at the gate mekely
Alway me warnynge for brede of stryfe
On the mo [...]nynge to ryse erly
My labour for to fynysshe parfytly
Saynge all that I had done was nought
Without it were ended lyghtly
Wherfore theron set thy thought
He sayd in the castell of rychesse
No man can haue ony audyence
Whyle he soiourneth with ydelnesse
The capytayne hath gyuen that sentence
But by the waye of dylygence
One may ryght well obteyne this place
[Page] Here mayst thou se in thy presence
By what hardnesse thou fell in grace
In labour must thou haue perseueraunce
Auoydynge grete test that is so daungerous
Whiche bryngeth wyse men in to ygnoraunce
And to rychesse is ryght contraryous
Auoyde slouth whiche is so odyous
That of hym cometh nought but pouerte
Aboue all to falshode be contraryous
Despysynge his goodes full of iniquyte
If thou hym loue sone I ensure the
Of my worde mayst thou be certayne
That thou offendest the deite
Of our lorde and deseruest payne
Eternall / therfore the refrayne
Fro this falshode in eche degre
And yf that slouth vpon the fayne
As poore as Iob was shalte thou be
Without rest no man may lyue
For it is accordynge to trauayle
But yf in rychesse yf thou wystē preue
Rest not to moche by my counsayle
Remembre this lesson se thou not fayle
And to the entent thou forsake not this lawe
Not it forgettynge / for thyn auayle
By thyn eare I shall the drawe

¶Cure.

My frende one can not aye endure
For to labour to his auauntage
[Page] Therfore se thou thy selfe assure
To labour fast in thy yonge age
Infyre thy mynde and thy courage
On reason and thou shalte haue rychesse
By ydelnesse thou doost outrage
Bothe to the and all thy doutlesse

¶The auctour.

¶Than drewe she myn ere agayne
As cure had done before doutlesse
And than vanysshed away certayne
Leuynge me there full of fayntnesse
Procedynge of my labour and besynesse
Thus seynge them gone I thought it best
To refresshe nature without excesse
And so drewe me to the hous of rest
I sawe rest whiche dyde me abyde
Within his hous withouten blame
And my wyfe on the other syde
Dressed my souper without dyffame
There rested I in goddes name
Famylyarly not as a straunger
Thankynge god of immortall fame
That I escaped was that daunger

[Page]

The house of rest
VNto the table I wente that tyde
Entendynge to soupe without outrage
My wyfe sate on the other syde
After my custome and olde vsage
There had we brede wyne & potage
And of flesshe a small ꝓytaunce
Without to ony hurte or domage
We souped togyder at our pleasaunce
My wyfe voyded the table clene
And vnto me approched nere
Than on my shulder dyde she lene
After her custome and manere
There tolde I her of the daungere
Whiche I was in the nyght before
How that she slepte with mery chere
The whyle that I was troubled sore
I tolde her that in all my lyfe
I had not so grete peruersyte
Now in pleasure and now in stryfe
Tourmented fyersly felte I me
For fals Nede / and Necessyte
With Pouerte / & her felawe Dystresse
Thought and heuynes with cruelte
Laye on my bedde me to opresse
Dyscomforte and Dysesperaunce
Laye vpon me with theyr treason
Redy to brynge me to myschaunce
Or in the waye of perdycyon
That had not ben my lady reason
Whiche me enfourmed to myn auauntage
They had brought me vnto confusyon
Or done to me some grete outrage
Wysedome dyde gretly me profyte
For I haunted his companye
Whiche by his meanes made me quyte
Of falshode / dysceyte / and vsurye
Whiche thre by theyr polecye
Had me nere brought to confusyon
But after agayne comforte had I
Of that wyse lady called reason
To whome I haue made homage
For the of her owne beneuolence
Hath gyuen me at brefe langage
Good herte and good wyll for my defence
Whiche haue a chylde ay in my presence
Lust to do good named is he.
[Page] Redy to helpe me in all indygence
Out of payne and peruersyte
We wente vnto the castell of labour
Where was many an artyfycer
Cure stode at the gate that houre
Besynesse her husbonde was porter
They receyued me with good chere
Trauayle was theyr capytayne
His wyfes name was called payne
There wrought I all daye & nyght certayne
With fre wyll and glad pleasaunce
To morowe must I retourne agayne
To this castell of fayre ordynaunce
There founde I but small pytaunce
But euery man after his degre
After his labour had his fe
And therfore my welbeloued wyfe
Consyder the payne and the trauayle
Whiche whyle ye slepte without stryfe
Ryght cruelly dyde me assayle
But now am I well without fayle
Syth I haue escaped this daungere
And in your presence may appere
My wyfe therof cared no thynge
But leughe me to derysyon
She scorned me and my talkynge
For were it wynnynge or perdycyon
It was to her all one conclusyon
For so she were serued at her desyre
She cared not yf I laye in the myre
She called me fole and cared nought
And was nere redy with me to fyght
She swore by god that her dere bought
She wolde make me remembre that nyght
Therfore I wente to bedde euen ryght
For the thyre foted stole fore fered I
To that with a woman it is but foly
A man sholde take no hede at all
To what someuer a woman saye
Of her tunge she is lyberall
It is no wysedome her to denay
In peas may he be by no way
That wolde styll a woman / it is contrary
She is a publyke and comyn secretary
Who euer he be that hath a wyfe
Had nede for to haue paryence
Or elles must he lyue alway in stryse
Though she be bounde to obedyence
Yet doth she after her owne sentence
I dare no more saye for drede of blame
That man is happy that one can tame
On this poynt I made we redy
And so wente to my bedde full ryght
Where I slepte styll and merely
Cyll foure of the clocke after mydnyght
Than vp I rose by the candell lyght
Thynkynge on cure and besynesse
And to my worke soone byde I me dresse
Ay prayenge god by his ordynaunce
That yf I may not obtayne rychesse
[Page] That I may purchace suffysaunce
Whiche is my lady and my maysteresse
To enfourme me to lyue in symplenesse
So that after this lyse mortall
I may reioyse the realme eternall

¶Actoris excusatio.

GO forth small treatyse & humbly the present
Vnto the reders as indygne of audyence
Exortynge them with meke and lowe entent
To this rude langage to gyue none aduertence
For many one hath parfyte dylygence
Whiche by no meane his mynde can expresse
The cause therof is lacke of eloquence
Whiche now is caduke by meane of slouthfulnesse
The yonge chylde is not all parfyte
To renue whan he can neyther crepe nor go
But whan he begynneth he hath grete delyte
In his newe scyence / wherfore he hath grete wo
Endurynge falles with many paynes mo
Thus suche payne so longe doth he endure
And to hym selfe he entendeth so
That of his fete he is parfyte and sure
So certaynly in suche case am I
Somwhat assayenge yf I can ensue
The steppes of them the whiche craftely
All vyce of wrytynge vtterly eschue
But ygnoraunce ryght ofte doth me subdue
And often I fall for lacke of exercyse
[Page] This rude langage so on me both renewe
That I agayne vnnethes may aryse
The cause why I folowe not these oratours
Is for lacke of intellygence
And that I haue not smelled of the floures
Spryngynge in the gardyn of parfyte eloquence
Wherfore with humble and meke obedyence
I submytte me to the correccyon
Of them whome minerua with her scyence
Hath endued this is my conclusyon

¶Thus endeth the castell of labour wherin is rychesse / vertue / & honour. Enprynted at London in Fletestrete in the sygne of the sonne. by Wynkyn de worde. Anno dnī. M.CCCCC.vi.

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