A MYRROVRE For Magistrates. Wherein may be seen by example of other, with howe gre­uous plages vices are punished: and howe frayle and vnstable worldly prosperitie is founde, even of those, whom Fortune see­meth most highly to fauour.

Foelix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum,

Anno. 1559. LONDINI, In aedibus Thomae Marshe.

Love and Lyve. To the nobilitye and all other in office, God graunt vvisedome and all thinges nedeful for the preseruacion of theyr Estates. Amen.

PLATO A­mong many o­ther of his no­table sentences concerning the government of a cōmon weale, hath this: Well is that realme governed, in which the am­bicious desyer not to beare office. Wherby you may perceive (right honorable) what offices are, where they be duely exe­cuted: not gaynful spoyles for the gredy to hunt for, but payneful toyles for the heedy to be charged with. You may perceyve also by this sentence, that there is nothing more necessary in a common weale, than that officers be diligent and trusty in their charges. And sure in whatsoever realme such provision is made, that officers be forced to do their duties, there is it as harde a matter to get an officer, as it is in o­ther places to shift of, and put by those, that with flat­tery, [Page] br [...]bes, and other shiftes, sue and preace for offi­ces. For the ambicious (that is to say prollers for po­wer or gayne) seeke not for offices to helpe other, for whiche cause offices are ordayned, but with the vndoing of other, to pranke vp them selves. And ther­fore bar them once of this bayre, and force them to do their duties, & they will geve more to be rid fro their charges, than they did at the first to bye them: For they seke only their commodity and [...]ase. And ther­fore, where the ambicious seeke no office, there no doubt, offices are duly ministred: and where offices are duly ministred, it cā not be chosen, but the people are good, whereof must nedes folow a good common weale. For if the officers be good, the people can not be yll. Thus the goodnes or badnes of any realme lyeth in the goodnes or badnes of the rulers. And therfore not without great cause do the holy Apostels so earnestly charge vs to pray for the magistrates: For in dede the welth and quiet of everye common weale, the disorder also and miseries of the same, cum speci­cially through them. I nede not go eyther to the Ro­mans or Grekes for proofe hereof, neyther yet to the Iewes, or other na [...]ions: whose common weales have alway florished while their officers were good, and decayed and ranne to ruyne, whan noughty men had the regiment, Our owne countrey stories (if we reade & marke them) will shewe vs examples ynow, would God we had not seen moe then ynowe. I pur­pose not to stand here vppon the particulers, because they be in part set furth in the tragedyes. Yet by the waye this I note (wishing all other to do the like) [Page] namely, that as good governers have never lacked their deserved renowme, fo have not the bad escaped infamy, besides such plages as are horrible to hear of

For God (the ordeyner of Offices) although he suffer them▪ punishment of the people to be often occupied of such, as are rather spoilers and Iudasses, than toylers or Iustices (whom the scripture therfore calleth Hipacrites) yet suff [...]eth he them not to skape vnpu [...]ished, because they dishonour him. For it is Gods owne office, yea his chiefe office, whych they beare & abuse. For as Iustice is the chief vertue, so is the ministracion therof, the chiefest office: & therfore hath God established it with the chiefest name, hon [...] ­ring & calling Kinges, & all officers vnder thē by his owne name, Gods. Ye be all Gods, as many as have in your charge any ministracion of Iustice. What a fowle shame wer it for any now to take vpon them the name and office of God, and in their doinges to shew them selves divyls? God can not of Iustice, but plage such shameles presumption and hipocrisy, and that with shamefull death, diseases, or infamy. Howe he hath plaged euill rulers from time to time, in o­ther nacions, you may see gathered in Boccas booke intituled the fall of Princes, translated into Englishe by Lydgate: Howe he hath delt with sum of our countreymen your auncestors, for sundrye vices not yet left, this booke named A Myrrour for Magi­strates, can shewe: which therfore I humbly offre vn­to your honors, beseching you to accept it fauorably. For here as in a loking glas, you shall see (if any vice be in you) howe the like hath bene punished in other [Page] heretofore, whereby admonished, I trust it will be a good occasion to move you to the soner amendment. This is the chiefest ende, whye it is set f [...]rth, which God graunt it may attayne.

The wurke was begun, & part of it [...] .iiii. yeare agoe, but hyndred by the lord Chauncellour that then was, nevertheles, through ye meanes of my lord Staf­ford, lately perused & licenced. Whan I first tooke it in hand, I had the helpe of many graunted, & of­fred of sum, but of few perfourmed, s [...]arce of any: So that wher I entended to have continued it to Quene Maries time, I have ben [...]ame to end it much sooner: yet so, that it may stande for a patarne, till the rest be ready: which with Gods grace (if I may have anye helpe) shall be shortly. In the meane while my lords and gods (for so I may call you) I most humbly be­seche you, fauourably to accepte this rude myrrour, and diligently to read and consider it. And although you shall finde in it, that sum haue for their vertue been enuied and murdered, yet cease not you to be vertuous, but do your offices to the vttermost: punish sinne boldly, both in your selues and other, so shall God (whose lieutenauntes you are) eyther so mayn­tayne you, that no malice shall preuayle, or if it do, it shal be for your good, and to your eternall glory both here and in heaven, which I beseche God you may covet and attayne. Amen.

Yours most humble, VVilliam Baldvvin.

¶ A Briefe Memorial of sundrye Unfortunate Englishe men. William Baldwin to the Reader.

WHan the Printer had pur­posed with hym selfe to printe L [...]d­gates booke of the fall of Princes, and had made priuye thereto, many both honourable and worshipfull, he was counsailed by dyuers of theim, to procure to haue the storye conty­newed from where as Bochas lefte, vnto this presente time, chiefly of suche as Fortune had dalyed with here in this ylande: whiche might be as a myrrour for al men as well noble as others, to shewe the slyppery deceytes of the waueryng lady, and the due rewarde of all kinde of vices. Whiche aduyse lyked him so well, that he requi­red me to take paynes therin: but because it was a mat­ter passyng my wyt and skyll, and more thankles than gaineful to meddle in, I refused vtterly to vndertake it, excepte I might haue the helpe of suche, as in wyt were apte, in learning allowed, and in iudgemente a [...]d esty­macion able to wield and furnysh so weighty an enter­pryse, thinkyng euen so to shut my handes. But he ear­nest and diligent in his affayres, pr [...]iued A [...]hles [...]o set [Page] vnder his shoulder: for shortly after, dyuers learned men whose many giftes nede fewe praises, consented to take vpon theym parte of the trauayle. And whan certayne of theym to the numbre of seuen, were throughe a ge­ne [...]all ass [...]nt at a [...] apoynted time a [...]d place gathered to­gether to deuyse therupon, I resorted vnto them, bering with me the booke of Bochas, translated by Dan Lid­gate, for the better obseruacion of his order: whiche al­though we lyked well, yet woulde it not cu [...]n [...]ly serue, seynge that both Bochas and Lidgate were dead, ney­ther were there any alyue that meddled with lyke arg [...] ­ment, to whom the vnfortunat might make their moue.

To make therfore a state mete for the matter, they al agreed that I shoulde vsurpe Bochas rowme, and the wretched princes complayne vnto me: and tooke vpon themselues euery man for his parte to be sundrye perso­nages, and in theyr behalfes to bewayle vnto me theyr greuous chaunces, heuy destunes, & wofull misfortunes.

This doen, we opened suche bookes of Cronicles as we had there present, and maister Ferrers, after he had founde where Bochas left, whiche was about the ende of king Edwarde the thirdes raigne, to begin the mat­ter, sayde thus.

I meruaile what Bochas meaneth to forget among his myserable princes, such as wer of our nacion, whose numbre is as great, as their aduentures wunderful: For to let passe all, both Britons, Danes, and Saxons, and to cum to the last Conquest, what a sorte are they, and sum euen in his owne tyme? As for example, king Ry­charde the fyrste, slayne with a quarlle in his chiefe pros­peritie, [Page] also king Iohn his brother as sum saye, poyso­ned: are not their histories rufull and of rare example? But as it shoulde appeare, he beynge an Italien, mynded most the Roman and Italike story, orels perhaps he wanted our countrey chronicles. It were therfore a goodlye and a notable matter to searche & dyscourse oure whole storye from the fyrst beginning of the inhabitynge of the yle. But [...]e [...]nge the printers mynde is to haue vs followe where Lidgate left, we wyll leaue that great laboure to other that maye intende it, and (as blinde bayarde is al­way boldest) I wyll begin at the tyme of Rycharde the second, a tyme as vnfortunate as the ruler therein. And forasmuche frende Baldvvin, as it shalbe your charge to note, and pen orderly the whole proces, I wyll so far as my memorie and iudgement serueth, sumwhat further you in the truth of the story. And therefore omytting the ru [...]le made by Iacke Strawe and his meyny, and the mourder of many notable men which therby happened, for Iacke (as ye knowe) was but a poore prince: I will begin with a notable example whiche within a whyle after ensued. And althoughe he be no great prince, yet sythens he had a princelye offyce, I wyll take vpon me the miserable person of syr Robert Tresilian chiefe Iu­stice of Englande, and of other which suffred with him: thereby to warne all of his authorytie and profession, to take heed of wrong Iudgementes, mysconstruyng of lawes, or wrestyng the same to serue the princes tu [...]nes, whiche ryghtfullye brought theym to a myserable ende, whiche they may iustly lament in maner ensuyng.

The fall of Robert Tresilian chiefe Iustice of Englande, and other his felovves, for mis­construyng the lavves▪ and expoun­ding them to serue the Princes affections.

IN the rufull Register of mischief and mishap,
Baldwin we beseche thee wt our names to begin,
Whom vnfrendly Fortune did trayne vnto a trap,
When we thought our state most stable to haue bin,
So lightly leese they all which all do ween to wyn:
Learne by vs ye Lawyers and Iudges of the lande
Uncorrupt and vpryght in doome alway to stande.
And print it for a president to remayne for euer,
Enroll and recorde it in tables made of brasse,
Engraue it in marble that may be razed neuer,
Where Iudges and Iusticers may see, as in a glasse,
What fee is for falshode, and what our wages was
Who for our princes pleasure corrupt with meed and awe
wittyngly and wretchedly did wrest the sence of lawe.
A chaunge more newe or straunge seldome hath he seen
Then from the benche aboue to cum downe to the bar:
was neuer state so turned in no tyme as I wee [...],
As they to becum clye [...]tes that counsaylours erst were,
But such is Fortunes playe, which featly can prefer
The iudge that sate aboue, full lowe beneth to stand,
At the bar a prisoner holdynge vp his hand.
Whiche in others cause coulde stoutly speake and plead,
Both in court and countrey, careles of the tryall,
Stande m [...]t lyke mummers without aduyse or read,
Unable to vtter a true plea of denyall:
Whiche haue seen the daye when that for halfe a [...]yall,
We coulde by very arte haue made the blacke seme white,
And matters of most wrong, to haue appered most right.
Beholde me vnfortunate forman of this flocke,
Tresilian sumtime chief Iustice of this lande,
By discent a gentleman, no staine was in my stocke,
Loketon, Holt, and Belknap, with other of my bands
Whiche the lawe and iustice had wholy in our hands
Under the seconde Richarde a prince of great estate,
To whom frowarde fortune gaue a foule checkmate.
In the common lawes our skill was so profounde,
Our credite and aucthoritie suche and so estemed,
That what so we concluded was taken for a grounde,
Allowed was for lawe, what so to vs best semed:
Lyle, death, landes, goodes, and all by vs was demed,
Whereby with easye paine, so great gaine we did get,
That euery thing was fishe that came vnto our net.
At sessions and at syses we bare the stroke and swey,
In patentes and commissions of Quorum, alway chiefe [...]
So that to whether syde so euer we did wey,
Were it right or wrong it past without repriefe,
We let hang the true man somwhiles to saue a thiefe
Of golde and of syluer our handes were neuer emptye,
Offices, termes, and fees, tell to vs in great plentye.
But what thing maye suffyse vnto the gredye man [...]
The more he hath in holde, the more he doeth desyre,
Happy and twise happy is he that wisely can
Content him selfe with that whiche reason doth requyre,
And moyleth for no more then for his needfull hyre:
But gredynes of mynde doth neuer kepe the syse,
Whiche though it haue enough yet doth it not suffyse.
For lyke as dropsye pacientes drinke, and styll be dry,
Whose v [...]staunched thyrst no lyquor can allaye.
And drinke they neuer so muche yet styll for more they cry:
So couetous catchers toyle both nyght and day,
Gredy and euer nedy prollyng for theyr praye.
O endles thyrst of golde corrupter of all lawes,
What mischiefe is on molde whereof thou art not cause?
Thou modest vs forget the fayth of our profession,
When sergeantes we were sworne to serue the cōmon lawe.
Whiche was that in no poynte we should make digression
From approued principles in sentens nor in sawe:
But we vnhappy wretches without all drede and awe
Of the Iudge eternall, for worldes vayne promocion,
More to man than God dyd beare our hole deuocion.
The lawes we interpreted and statutes of the lande,
Not trulye by the texte, but nuly by a glose:
And w [...]rds that wer most plaine whan thei by vs wer s [...]and [...]
We turned by construction lyke a welchmans hose,
Wherby many one both lyfe and lande dyd lose:
Yet this we made a mean to mount aloft on mules.
To serue kings in al p [...]intes men must sumwhile breke rules.
Thus clymyng and contendyng alway to the top
From hye vnto hygher, and than to be moste hye,
The hunny dewe of Fortune so fast on vs dyd drop
That of kinge Richards counsayle we came to be full nye:
To crepe into whose fauour we were [...]ll fyne and slye
Alway to his pro [...]i [...]e where any wurde myght sounde
That way (all were it wrong) the sens we dyd expounnde.
So wurkyng lawe lyke ware, the subiecte was not sure
Of lyfe, lande, nor goods, but at the princes wyll:
Whiche caused his kingdome the shorter tyme to dure,
For clayming power absolute both to saue and spyll,
The prince therby presumed his people for to pyll:
And set his lustes for lawe, and will had reasons place,
No more but hang and drawe, there was no better grace.
The king thus transcending the lymittes of his lawe,
Not raygning but raging by youthfull insolence,
Wyse and wurthy persons, dyd fro the courte withdrawe,
There was no grace n [...] place for auncient prudence.
Presumcion and pryde with excesse of expence
Possessed the palays, and pillage the countrye:
Thus all went to wracke, vnlyke of remedie.
The Baronye of Englande not bearyng this abuse,
Conspyring with the commons assembled by assent,
And seynge neyther reason, nor [...]reaty, coulde induce
The king in any thing his Rygor to relent,
Mawgree all his might they called a parlyament
Francke and free for all men without checke to debate
As well for weale publyke, as for the princes stare.
In whiche parlyament muche thinges was proponed
Concerning the regaly and ryghtes of the crowne,
By reason kynge Richarde, whiche was to be moned,
Full lytell regardynge his honour and renowne,
By synister aduyse, had tourned all vpsodowne.
For suerty of whose state, them thought it dyd behooue
His corrupt counsaylours, from him to remooue.
Among whom, Robert Uere, called duke of Irelande
with Myghell Delapole of Suffolke newe made erle,
Of Yorke also the Archebysshop, dyspatcht wer out of hande,
with Brembre of London Mayor▪ a full vncurteous churle,
Sum learned in the lawe in exyle they dyd hurle:
But I poore Tresilian because I was the chiefe
was dampned to the gallowes most vyly as a chiefe.
Loe the fyne of falshode, the stypende of corruption,
Fye on stynkyng lucre, of all vnryght the lure:
Ye Iudges and ye Iusticers let my most iust punycion,
Teache you to shake of bribes and kepe your handes pure.
Ryches and promocion be vaine thynges and vnsure,
The fauour of a prince is an vntrusly staye,
But Iustyce hath a see that shall remayne alwaye.
what glory can be greater before god or man,
Then by the pathes of equitie in iudgement to procede,
So d [...]l [...]e and so trulye the lawes alwayes to skan,
That ryght may take his place without rewarde or mede,
Set aparte all flattery and vaine worldly drede:
Take god before your eyes [...] iust iudge supreme,
Remembre well your reckeni [...]g at the daye extreme.
Abandon all aff [...]ay, be soothfast in your sawes,
Be cons [...]an [...] and c [...]reles of mortall mens dyspleasure,
With eyes sh [...] & hands close you should pronounce the lawes
Esteme not worldly [...]yre, thynke ther is a treasure
More worth then golde or stone a thousande rymes in valure,
Reposed for all suche as righteousnes ensue,
Whereof you cannot fayle, the promys made is true.
If sum in latter dayes, had called vnto mynde
The fatall fall of vs for wrestyng of the ryght,
The statutes of this lande they should not haue defynde
So wylfully and wyttingly agaynst the sentence quyte:
But though they skaped paine, the falte was nothing lyght:
Let them that cum hereafter both that and this compare,
And waying well the ende, they wyll I trust beware.

WHan maister Ferrers had finished this tra­gedye, whiche semed not vnfyt for the per­sons touched in the same An other whiche in the mean tyme had stayed vpon syr Ro­ger Mortimer, whose miserable ende as it should ap­peare, was sumwhat before the others, sayd as folo­weth. Althoughe it be not greatly appertinent to our purpose, yet in my iudgement I thynke it woulde do wel to obserue the times of men, and as they be more aunciente▪ so to place theym▪ for I fynde that before these, of whom maister Ferrers here hath spoken, there were two Mortimers, the one hanged in Ed­warde the thirdes tyme out of oure date, another slayne in Irelande in Richarde the secondes tyme, a [Page iiii] yere before the fall of these Iustices: whose historye syth it is notable and the example fruitfull, it were pi­tie to ouerpasse it. And therfore by your lycence and agrement, I will take vpon me the personage of the last, who full of woundes, miserably mangled, with a pale countenaunce, and grisly looke, may make his mone to Baldvvin as foloweth.

Hovve the tvvo Rogers, surnamed Morti­mers, for theyr sundry vices ended theyr lyues vnfortu­natelye.

AMong the ryders of the rollyng wheels,
That lost theyr holdes, Baldwin forget not me,
whose fatall threede false Fortune nedes would reele,
Ere it were twysted by the systers three.
All folke be frayle, theyr blysses brittle bee:
For proofe whereof although none other mer,
Suffyse may I, syr Roger Mortimer.
Not he that was in Edwardes dayes the thyrde,
Whom Fortune brought to boote and efte to bale,
With loue of whom the kyng so muche she sturde,
That none but he was heard in any tale:
And whyles she smooth, blewe on this merye gale,
He was created earle of Marche, alas,
Whence envy sprang whiche his destruction was.
For welth bredeth wrath, in suche as welth do want,
And pryde with folly in suche as it possesse,
Among a thousande shall you fynde hym skant,
That can in welth his loftye harte represse,
Whiche in this Erle due proofe did playne expresse,
For where he sumwhat hauty was before,
His hygh degree hath made hym nowe muche more.
For nowe alone he ruleth as him lust,
N [...] recketh for rede, save of kyng Edwardes mother:
Whiche forced envy soulder out the rust,
That in mens hartes before dyd lye and smother.
The Piers, the people, as well the one as the other,
Agaynst [...] so haynous a complaynt,
That for a traytour he was taken and attaynt.
Then all suche faultes as were forgot before,
The shower afresh, and samwhat to them ad:
For cruell envy hath eloquence in store,
whan Fortune byds, to warsse thinges meanely bad.
Fyue haynous crymes agaynst hym soone were had,
Fyrst, that he causde the kyng to yelde the Skot,
To make a peace, townes that were from him got:
And therewithall the charter [...]lled R [...]gman.
That of the Skots he bribed pryuy gayne,
That through his meanes syr Edward of Carnaruan
In Barkley castell trayterously was slayne:
That with his princes mother he had layne.
And fynally with pollyng at his pleasure,
Had robde the kyng and commons of theyr treasure.
For these thynges loe whiche erst were out of minde
He was condemned, and hanged at the last,
In whom dame Fortune fully shewed her kynde,
For whom she heaves, she hurleth downe as fast:
If men to cum would learne by other past,
This cosen of myne myght cause them set asyde,
High clymyng, brybyng, murdring, lust, and pryde.
The fynall cause why I this processe tell,
Is that I may be knowen from this other,
My lyke in name, vnlyke me though he fell,
Whiche was I thinke my graund sier or his brother:
To counte my kyn, dame Philip was my mother,
Deare doughter and heyre of douty Lyonell,
The seconde sonne of a kyng that dyd excell.
My father hyght syr Edmunde Mortimer,
True erle of Marche, whence I was after erle
By iust discent, these two my parentes wer,
Of whiche the one of knighthoode bare the ferle,
Of womanhoode the other was the perle:
Throughe theyr deserte so called of euery wight,
Tyll death them tooke, and left in me theyr ryght.
For why the attaynder of my elder Roger,
(whose shamefull death I tolde you but of late)
was founde to be vniust, and passed ouer
Agaynst the lawe, by those that bare hym hate.
For where by lawe the lowest of free estate
Should personally be heard ere iudgement passe,
They barred hym this, where through distroyed he was.
wherfore by doome of courte in parlyament,
whan we had proued our cosen ordred thus,
The Kyng, the Lordes, and Commens of assent,
His lawles death vnlawfull dyd discus:
And both to blood and good restored vs.
A Presydent most worthy, shewed, and left
Lordes lyues to saue that lawles might be rest.
whyle Fortune thus dyd furder me amayne
Kyng Rychardes grace the seconde of the name
(whose dissolute lyfe dyd soone abridge his rayne)
Made me his mate in earnest and in game:
The Lordes them selues so well allowed the same,
That throwe my tytles duely cummyng downe,
I was made heyre apparaunt to the crowne.
who then but I was euery where estemed?
well was the man that myght with me acquaynte,
whom I allowed, as Lordes the people demed.
To what so euer folly had me bente,
To lyke it well the people dyd assente:
To me as prince, attended great and small,
In hope a daye would cum to paye for all.
But seldome ioye continueth trouble voyde,
In greatest charge cares greatest do ensue,
The most possest are ever most anoyed,
In largest seas sore tempestes lyghtly brue,
The fresshest colours soonest fade the hue,
In thyckest place is made the depest wounde,
True proofe wherof my selfe to soone haue founde.
For whyles that Fortune lulde me in her lap,
And gaue me gyftes mo than I dyd requyre,
The sub [...]yll qucan behynde me set a trap,
whereby to dashe and laye all in the myre:
The Iryshe men against me dyd conspyre,
My landes of Ulster fro me to haue reft,
whiche herytage my mother had me left.
And whyles I there, to set all thinges in stay,
(Omyt my toyles and troubles thitherwarde)
Among myne owne with my retinue lay,
The wylder men whom lytell I dyd regarde,
And had therefore the recheles mans rewarde:
When least I thought set on me in suche number,
That fro my corps my lyfe they rent a sunder.
Nought myght auayle my courage nor my force,
Nor strength of men whiche were alas to sewe:
The cruell folke assaulted so my horse,
That all my helpes in pieces they to hewe,
Our blood distayned the grounde as drops of dewe,
Nought myght preuayle to flee nor yet to yelde,
For whom they take they murdre in the fyelde.
They know no lawe of armes nor none wil lerne:
They make not warre (as other do) a playe,
The lorde, the boye, the Calloglas, the kerne,
Yelde or not yelde, whom so they take they slay,
They save no prysoners, for raunsom nor for pay:
Theyr chiefest boote they counte theyr bodohs heade,
Theyr ende of warre to see theyr enmye deade.
Amongest these men or rather savage beastes,
I lost my lyfe, by cruell murder slame.
And therfore Baldwin note thou well my geastes,
And warne all princes rashnes to refraine:
Bid them beware their enmies when they saine,
Nor yet presume vnequally to strive,
Had I thus done, I had ben man alive.
But I dispysed the naked Iryshmen.
And for they flewe, I feared them the lesse:
I thought one man ynough to matche with ten,
And through this careles vnadvisednesse,
I was destroyed, and all my men I gesse,
At vnawares assaulted by our foen,
Whiche were in numbre fourty to vs one.
Se here the staye of fortunate estate,
The vayne assuraunce of this britell lyfe,
For I but yong, proclaymed prince of late,
Right fortunate in children and in wife,
Lost all at once by stroke of bloody knife:
Wherby assurde let men them selues assure,
That welth and lyfe are doubtfull to endure.

AFter that this Tragedy was ended, may­ster Ferrers sayde: seyng it is best to place eche person in his ordre, Baldvvin take you the Chronicles and marke them as they cum: for there are many wurthy to be noted, though not to be treated of. First the lord Morif a Scotish­man, who tooke his deathes wounde through a stroke lent him by the erle of Notingham whom he chalenged at the tilte. But to omit him, & also the fatte Prior of Tiptre, preaced to death with throng of people vpon London bridge at the Quenes entry, I wil cum to the duke of Gloce­stre the kinges vncle, a man muche mynding the common weale, & yet at length miserably made away, In whose person yf ye wyll gyue eare, ye shall heare what I thinke mete to be sayd.

Hovve syr Thomas of VVudstocke Duke of Glocester, vncle to king Richarde the seconde, vvas vnlavvfully murdred.

WHose state is stalysht in semyng most sure,
And so far from daunger of Fortunes blast,
As by the compas of mans coniecture,
No brasen pyller maye be fyxte more fast:
Yet wantyng the staye of prudent forecast,
Whan frowarde Fortune lyst for to frowne,
Maye in a moment tourne vpsyde downe.
In proofe whereof, O Baldwin, take payne
To hearken awhyle to Thomas of Wudstocke,
Addrest in presence his fate to complayne,
In the forlorne hope of the Englysh flocke:
Extracte by discent from the royall stocke,
Sonne to kyng Edward third of that name,
And seconde to none in glory and fame.
This noble father to maynteyne my state,
With Buckyngham Erldom dyd me indowe,
Both Nature and Fortune to me were grate,
Denyeng nothing which they myght allowe:
Theyr sundry graces in me did so flowe,
As bewty, strength, high fauour and fame.
Who may of God more wysh than the same?
Brothers we were to the numbre of seuen,
I beyng the syxt, and yongest but one [...]
A more royall race was not vnder heauen,
More stowte or more stately of stomacke and person,
Princes all pereles in eche condicion:
Namely syr Edwarde called the blacke prince,
Whan had Englande the lyke before eyther since?
But what of all this, any man to assure,
In state vncarefull of Fortunes varyaunce?
Syth dayly and hourely we see it in vre,
That where most cause is of affyaunce,
Euen there is founde moste weake assuraunce▪
Let none trust Fortune, but folowe Reason:
For often we see in trust is treason.
This prouerbe in proofe ouer true I tryed,
Finding high treason in place of high trust.
And most faulte of fayth where I most affyed:
Beyng by them, that should haue been iust,
Trayterously entrapt, ere I coulde mystrust.
Ah wretched worlde what it is to trust thee,
Let them that wyll learne nowe hearken vnto mee.
After king Edwarde the thyrdes decease,
Succeded my Nephewe Rycharde to reyne,
Who for his glory and honors encrease,
With princely wagies dyd me enterteyne,
Agaynst the Frenchmen to be his Chyefreyne:
So passyng the seas with royall puissaunce,
With God and S. George I inuaded Fraunce.
Wasting the countrey with swurde and with fyer,
Ouerturning townes, high castels and towers,
Lyke Mars God of warre enflamed with yre,
I forced the Frenchmen tabaddon theyr bowers:
Where euer we matcht I wan at all howers,
In suche wyse visyting both Cytie and village,
That alway my soldiers were laden with pillage.
With honoure and triumph was my retourne,
Was none more ioyous than yong king Richarde:
Who minding more highly my state to adourne,
with Glocester Dukedome dyd me rewarde:
And after in mariage I was prefarde,
To a daughter of Bohan an earle honorable,
By whome I was of Englande high Constable.
Thus hoysted so high on Fortunes wheele,
As one on a stage attendyng a playe,
Seeth not on whiche syde the scaffolde doth reele,
Tyll tymber and poales, and all flee awaye:
So fared it by mee, for day by daye,
As honour encreased I loked styll hyer,
Not seyng the daunger of my fonde desyer.
For whan Fortunes slud ran with full streame,
I beyng a Duke descended of Kinges,
Constable of Englande, chiefe officer in the realme,
Abused with esperaunce in these vaine thinges,
I went without feete, and flewe without winges:
Presumyng so far vpon my high state
That dread set aparte, my prince I would mate.
For where as al kings haue counsel of their choyse
To whom they refer the rule of theyr lande,
With certayne famyliers in whom to reioyce,
For pleasure or profyt, as the case shall stande,
I not bearyng this, would nedes take in hande,
Maulgree his wyll those persons to dysgrace,
And such as I thought fyt to appoynt in their place.
But as an olde booke sayth, who so wyll assaye,
Aboute the Cats necke to hang on a bell,
Had fyrst nede to cut the Cats clawes awaye,
Least yf the Cat be curst, or not tamed well,
She haply with her nayles may clawe him to the fell:
For doyng on the bell about the cats necke,
By beyng to busy I caught a sore checke.
Reade well the sentence of the Rat of renoune,
Which Pierce the plowman discribes in his dreame,
And who so hath wyt the sense to expoune,
Shall fynde that to bridle the prince of a realme,
Is euen (as who sayeth) to striue with the streame:
Note this all subiectes, and construe it well,
And busy not your braine about the cats bell.
But in that ye be Lyeges learne to obaye,
Submytting your wylles to your princes lawes,
It sytteth not a subiecte to haue his owne waye,
Remember this bywurde of the Cats clawes:
For princes lyke Lyons haue long and large pawes
That reache at raundon, and whom they once twitch,
They clawe to the bone before the skyn itch.
But to my purpose, I beyng once bent,
Towardes the atchiuyng of my attemptate,
Fower bolde Barrons were of myne assent,
By oth and allyaunce fastly confederate:
Fyrst Henry of Derby, an Earle of estate,
Richarde of Arundell, and Thomas of Warwicke,
With Mowbray erle Marshall a man most warlicke.
At Ratcote brydge assembled our bande,
The Commons in clusters cam to vs that day,
To daunce Robert Uere, then Duke of Irelande,
By whom king Rycharde was ruled alway:
We put hym to flyght, and brake his array,
Then maulgree the kyng, his leaue or assent,
By Constables power we called a parlyament.
Where not in roabes, but with bastardes bright,
We cam for to parle of the Publyke weale,
Confyrming our quarell, with maine and with might
With swurdes and no wurdes we tryed our appeale,
In stede of Reason declaryng our Zeale,
And whom so we knewe with the kyng in good grace
Playnely we depriued him of power and of place.
Sum with shorte proces were banyshe the lande,
Sum executed with capytall payne,
Wherof who so lyst, the whole to vnderstande,
In the parlyament roll it appeareth playne,
And furder howe stoutly we dyd the king strayne,
The Rule of his realme wholy to resygne,
To the order of those, whom we dyd assygne.
[...]
[...]
But note the sequele of suche presumption,
After we had these myracles wrought,
The king enflamed with indignacion,
That to suche bondage he should be brought,
Suppressyng the yre of his inwarde thought:
Studyed nought els but howe that he myght
Be highly reuenged of his high dispight.
Aggreued was also this latter offence,
with former matter his yre to renue:
For once at wyndsore I brought to his presence,
The Mayor of London with all his retinue,
To are a reckening of the Realmes reuenue:
And the soldiers of Brest were by me made bolde,
To clayme entertainment the towne being solde.
These griefes remembred, with all the remnaunt,
Of hate in his hert hourded a treasure,
Yet openly in shewe made he no semblaunt,
By wurde nor by deede to beare displeasure:
But loue dayes dissembled do neuer endure,
And who so trusteth a foe reconcylde,
Is for the most parte alwayes begilde.
For as fyer yll quencht will vp at a starte,
And sores not well salued do breake out of newe,
So hatred hydden in an yrefull harte,
Where it hath had long season to brewe,
Upon euery occasion doth easely renewe:
Not fayling at last, yf it be not let.
To paye large vsury besides the due det.
Euin so it fared by this frendship fained,
Outwardly sounde, and inwardly rotten:
For whan the kinges fauour in semyng was gained,
All olde dyspleasures forgyuen and forgotten,
Euin than at a sodayne the shaft was shotten,
Whiche pearced my harte voyde of mistrust,
Alas that a prince should be so vniust.
For lying at Plasshey my selfe to repose,
By reason of syckenes whiche helde me full sore:
The king espying me aparte from those,
with whom I confedered in bande before,
Thought it not meete, to tract the tyme more,
But glad to take me at suche auauntage,
Came to salute me with friendly vysage.
Who hauyng a bande bounde to his bent,
By coulour of kyndenes to byset his Eame,
Tooke tyme to accomplysh his cruell intent:
And in a small vessell downe by the streame,
Conueyed me to Calays out of the realme,
where without proces or doome of my yeres,
Not nature but murder abridged my yeres.
This acte was odious to God and to man,
Yet rygour to cloke in habyte of reason,
By crafty compas deuise they can,
Articles nyne of ryght haynous treason:
But doome after death is sure out of season,
For who euer sawe so straunge a presydent,
As execucion doen before iudgement.
Thus hate harboured in depth of mynde,
By sought occasyon burst out of newe,
And cruelty abused the lawe of kynde,
whan that the Nephewe the Uncle slewe,
Alas king Rycharde sore mayst thou rewe:
whiche by this facte preparedst the waye,
Of thy harde destynie to hasten the daye.
For blood axeth blood as guerdon dewe,
And vengeaunce for vengeaunce is iust rewarde,
O ryghteous God thy iudgementes are true,
For looke what measure we other [...],
The same for vs agayne is prepard [...]:
Take heed ye princes by examples past,
Blood wyll haue blood, eyther fyrst or last.

WHan maister Ferrers had ended this fruyt­full tragedye, because no man was readye with another, I, hauyng perused the story whiche cam next, sayd: Because you shall not say my maisters but that I wyll in sumwhat do my parte, I wyll vnder your correction declare the tragedy of the Lord Mowbray, the chiefe wur­ker of the Dukes destruction: who to admonysh all Counsaylers to beware of flattering princes, or falsely enuying or accusyng theyr Peregalles, may lament his vices in maner folowyng.

Hovve the Lorde Movvbray promoted by Kyng Richarde the seconde, vvas by hym banyshed the Realme▪ and dyed miserably in exyle.

THough sorowe and shame abash me to reherc [...]
My lothsum lyfe and death of due deserued,
Yet that the paynes thereof may other perce,
To leaue the lyke, least they be lykely serued,
Ah Baldwin marke, I wil shew thee how I swarued:
Dyssemblyng, Enuy, and Flattery, bane that [...]e
Of all their hostes, haue shewed their power on me.
I blame not Fortune though she dyd her parte,
And true it is she can doo lytell harme,
She gydeth goods, she hampreth not the harte,
A vertuous mynde is safe from euery charme:
Uyce, onely vyce, with her stoute strengthles arme,
Doth cause the harte to euyll to enclyne,
Whiche I alas, doo fynde to true by myne,
For where by byrth I came of noble kynde,
The Mowbrayes heyre, a famous house and olde,
Fortune I thanke her, was to me so kynde,
That of my prince I had what so I wolde:
Yet neyther of vs was muche to other holde,
For I through flattery abused his wanton youth,
And his fonde trust augmented my vntruth.
He made me fyrst the earle of Notyngham,
And Marshall of the realme, in whiche estate,
The P [...]e [...]s and people sayntly to me came,
with sore complaynt against them that of late
Made offycers, had brought the king in hate
By makynge sale of Iustice, ryght and lawe,
And lyuyng nought, without all dreede or awe.
I gaue them ayde these euyls to redresse,
And went to London with an army strong,
And caused the king against his wyll oppresse
By cruell death, all suche [...]led hym wrong:
The lorde chiefe Iustice suffred these among,
So dyd the Stuarde of his housholde head,
The Chauncelour scapte, for he aforehande fled.
These wicked men thus from the king remoued,
who best vs pleased, succeded in theyr place.
For whiche both kyng and commons muche vs loued
But chiefely I with all stoode high in grace,
The kyng ensued my rede in euery case,
whence selfe loue bred: for glory maketh proude,
And pryde aye looketh alone to be allowde.
wherfore to thende I might alone enioy [...]
The kinges good wyll I made his lust my lawe:
And where of late I laboured to destroye,
Suche flatryng folke as thereto stoode in awe,
Nowe learned I among the rest to clawe▪
For pride is suche, yf it be kindely caught,
As stroyeth good, and styrreth vp every nought.
Pryde pricketh men to flatter for the pray,
To oppresse and pol for mayntenaunce of the same,
To malyce suche as matche vn [...]thes it may:
And to be briefe, pride doth the harte enflame,
To fyer what myschief any fraude maye frame,
And euer at length the euyls by it wrought
Confounde the wurker, and bring him vnto nought.
Beholde in me due proofe of euerye parte:
For pryde fyrst forced me my prince to flatter
So muche, that what so euer pleased his harte,
Were it neuer so evyll, I thought a lawfull matter,
W [...]che caused the lordes afresh against him clatter,
Because he had his holdes beyonde sea [...]olde,
And seen his souldiers of theyr wages polde.
Though all these yls were doen by my assent,
Yet suche was lucke, that eche man deemed no:
For see the duke of Glocester for me sent,
With other lordes, whose hartes did blede for wo,
To see the Realme so fast to ruyne go.
In faulte whereof, they sayde the two dukes wer,
The one of Yorke, the other of Lancaster.
On whose remove fro beyng aboute the king
We all agreed, and sware a solempne oth,
And whyle the rest prouyded for this thyng,
I flatter I, to win the prayse of troth,
Wretche that I was brake fayth and promise both:
For I bewrayed the king theyr whole intent,
For whiche vnwares they all were tane and shent.
Thus was the warder of the common weale,
The Duke of Glocester gyltles made awaye,
With other moo, more wretche I so to deale,
Who through vntruth their trust dyd yll betraye:
Yet by this meanes obteyned I my praye,
Of king and Dukes I founde for this suche fauour
As made me Duke of Norfolke, for my labour.
But see howe pride and envy ioyntly runne,
Because my prince dyd more than me, preferre
Syr Henry Bolenbroke, the eldest sunne
Of Iohn of Gaunte, the Duke of Lancaster,
Proude I that would alone be blasyng sterre,
Envyed this Earle, for nought saue that the shine,
Of his desertes dyd glyster more then mine.
To the ende therfore his lyght should be the lesse,
I slyly sought all shyftes to put it out:
But as the pryze that would the palme tree presse,
Doth cause the bowes sprede larger rounde about,
So spyte and enuy causeth glory sprout.
And aye the more the top is ouertrode,
The deper doth the sounde roote sprede abrode.
For when this Henry Erle of Harforde sawe,
What spoyle the kyng made of the noble blood,
And that without all Iustice, cause, or lawe:
To suffer him so he thought not sure nor good.
Wherfore to me two faced in a hood,
As touching this, he fully brake his mynde,
As to his frende that should remedy fynde.
But I, although I knewe my prince dyd yll,
So that my heart abhorred sore the same,
Yet myschief so through malyce led my wyll,
To bring this Earle from honour vnto shame,
And towarde my selfe, my souerayne to enflame:
That I bewrayed his wurdes vnto the king,
Not as a rede, but as a most haynous thyng.
Thus where my duty bounde me to have tolde,
My prince his fault, and wylde him [...]o refrayne,
Through flattery loe, I dyd his yll vpholde,
whiche turnde at length both hym and me to payne:
Wo, wo, to kynges whose counsaylours do fayne,
Wo, wo to realmes where suche are put in trust,
As leave the lawe, to serve the princes lust.
And wo to him that by his flatteryng rede,
Maynteyneth a prince in any kynde of vyce:
wo wurth hym eke for envy, pryde, or mede,
That mysreportes any honest enterpryse,
Because I beast in all these poyntes was nyce,
The plages of all together on me lyght,
And due, for yll ylldoers doth acquite.
For when the Earle was charged with my playnt,
He flatte denyed that any parte was true,
And claymde by armes to aunswere his attaynt,
And I by vse that warly feates well knewe,
To his desyre incontinently drewe:
wherwith the king dyd seme ryght well content,
As one that past not muche with whom it went.
At tyme and place apoynted we apearde,
At all poyntes armde to proue our quarels iust,
And whan our frendes on eche parte had vs chearde,
And that the Haroldes had vs do our lust,
with spere in rest we tooke a course to iust;
But ere our horses had run halfe theyr way,
A shoute was made, the kyng dyd byd vs stay.
And for to avoyde the sheddyng of our bloode,
with shame and death, which one must nedes haue had
The king through coūsaile of the lordes thought good
To banysh both, whiche iudgement strayt was rad:
No maruayle than though both were wroth and sad,
But chiefely I that was exylde for aye▪
My enmy straunged but for a ten yeares daye.
The date expirde, whan by this doulfull doome
I should departe to lyve in banysht hande,
On payne of death, to Englande not to coome,
I went my way: the kyng seasde in his hande,
My offyces, my honours goods and lande,
To paye the due, as openly he tolde,
Of myghty summes, whiche I had from hym polde.
See Baldwin see, the salarye of synne,
Marke with what meede vile vyces are rewarded.
Through pryde and envy I lose both kyth and kynne,
And for my flattring playnte so well regarded,
Exyle and slaunder are iustly me awarded:
My wife and heyre lacke landes and lawful right
And me theyr lorde made dame Dianaes knyght.
If these mishaps at home be not inough,
Adioyne to them my sorowes in exyle:
I went to Almayne fyrst, a lande ryght rough,
In whiche I founde suche churlysh folke and vyle,
As made me loth my lyfe ech other whyle:
There loe, I learned what it is to be a gest
Abrode, and what to lyve at home in rest.
For they esteme no one man more than eche,
They vse as well the Lackey as the Lorde,
And lyke theyr maners churlysh is theyr speche,
Their lodging hard, their bourd to be abhord:
Their pleyted garmentes herewith well accorde,
All [...]agde and frounst, with diuers coloures dekt,
They swere, they curse, and drynke tyll they be [...]l [...]kt.
They hate all suche as these their maners hate,
Which reason would no wise man should allow:
With these I dwelt, lamenting mine estate
Till at the length they had got knowledge, how
I was exilde because I dyd auow
A false complaynt agaynst my trusty frende:
For which they named me traytour styl vnende,
That what for shame, and what for werynes
I stale fro thence, and went to Uenise towne,
Where as I founde more ease and frendlynes,
But greater gryefe: for now the great renowne
Of Bolenbroke whom I would haue put downe
Was war [...] so great in Britaine and in Fraunce,
That Uenise: through ech man did him auaunce.
Thus loe his glory grew through great despyte
And I therby increased in defame:
Thus enuy euer doth her host acquyte
Wyth trouble, anguysh, sorow, smart and shame,
But sets the vertues of her foe in flame:
To water lyke, whych maketh clere the stone,
And soyles it selfe by running thervpon.
Or ere I had soiurned there a yere
Strange tidinges came he was to England goen,
Had tane the king, & that which touched him nere
Enprisoned him, with other of his foen,
And made hym yelde hym vp his crowne and throne:
When I these thinges for true by serche had tryed;
Griefe griped me so I pined away and dyed.
Note here the ende of pride, so Flateries fine,
Marke the reward of enuy and false complaint,
And warne all princes from them to declyne
Lest likely fault do find tho like attaynt.
Let this my life be to them a restraynt,
By others harmes who lysteth take no hede
Shall by his owne learne other better rede.

THis tragicall example was of all the cum­pany well liked, how be it a doubte was founde therin, and that by meanes of the diuersity of the Chronicles▪ for where as maister Hall whom in this storye we chiefely folowed, maketh Mowbray accuser, and Boleynbroke appellant, mayster Fabian reporteth the matter [Page xvi] quite contrary, & that by the reporte of good au­thours, makyng Bokynbroke the accuser, and Mowbray the appeliant, Which matter sith it is more harde to desise, than nedefull to our pur­pose, which minde onely to diswade from vices and exalte vertue, we referre to the determinaci­on of the Haroldes, or such as may cum by the re­cordes and registers of these doinges, contented in the mean while with the best allowed iudge­ment, and which maketh most for our forshewed purpose. This doubt thus let passe, I would ꝙ one of the cūpany [...] gladly say sumwhat for king Richard. But his personage is so sore intangled as I thinke fewe bene [...]ices be at this day: for af­ter his imprisonment, his brother and diuers o­ther made a maske, minding by Henries destruction to haue restored him, which maskers mat­ter so runneth in this, that I doubt which ought to go before. But seing no man is redy to say ought in their behalfe, I will geue who so listeth leasure to thinke thervppon, and in the meane time to further your enterprise, I will in the kinges behalfe recount such part of his story as I thinke most necessary. And therfore imagine Baldvvin that you see him al to be māgled, with blew woundes, lying pale and wanne al naked vpon the cold stones in Paules church▪ the peo­ple standing round about him, and making his moue in this sort.

Hovve kyng Richarde the seconde vvas for his euyll gouernaunce deposed from his seat, and miserably murdred in prison.

HAppy is the prince that hath in welth the grace
To folowe vertue, keping vices vnder,
But wo to him whose will hath wisedomes place:
For who so renteth ryght and law a sunder
On him at length loe, al the world shall wunder,
Hygh byrth, choyse fortune, force, nor Princely mace
Can warrant King or Keysar fro the case,
Shame sueth sinne, as rayne drops do the thunder.
Let Princes therfore vertuous life embrace
That wilfull pleasures cause them not to blunder.
Beholde my hay, see how the sely route
Do gase vpon me, and eche to other saye:
Se where he lieth for whome none late might route,
Loe howe the power, the pride, and riche aray
Of myghty rulers lightly fade away.
The Kyng whych erst kept all the realme in doute,
The veryest rascall now dare checke and low [...]e:
What moulde be Kynges made of, but carayn clay?
Beholde his woundes, howe blew they be about,
Whych whyle he lived, thought neuer to decay.
Me thinke I heare the people thus deuise:
And therfore Baldwin sith thou wilt declare
How princes fell, to make the liuing wise,
My vicious story in no poynt see thou spare,
But paynt it out, that rulers may beware
Good counsayle, lawe, or vertue to despyse.
For realmes haue rules, and rulers haue a syse,
Which if they kepe not, doubtles say I dare
That eythers gryefes the other shall agrise
Till the one be lost, the other brought to care.
I am a Kyng that ruled all by lust,
That forced not of vertue, ryght, or lawe,
But alway put false Flatterers most in trust,
Ensuing such as could my vices clawe:
By faythful counsayle passing not a strawe.
What pleasure pryckt, that thought I to be iust.
I set my minde, to feede, to spoyle, to iust,
Three meales a day could skarce content my mawe,
And all to augment my lecherous minde that must
To Uenus pleasures alway be in awe.
For mayntenannce wherof, my realme I polde
Through Subsidies, sore fines, loanes, many a prest,
Blanke charters, othes, & shiftes not knowen of olde,
For whych my Subiectes did me sore detest.
I also made away the towne of Brest.
My fault wherin because mine vncle tolde
(For Prynces vyces may not be controlde)
I found the meanes his bowels to vnbrest.
The Piers and Lordes that did his cause vphold,
With death, exile, or greuous sines opprest.
[...]
[...]
Neyther lakt I ayde in any wicked dede,
For gaping Gulles whom I promoted had
Woulde furder all in hope of higher mede.
A king can neuer imagine ought so bad
But most about him will perfourme it glad
For sickenes seldome doth so swiftely brede
As vicious humors growe the griefe to feede.
Thus kinges estates of all be wurst bastad,
Abusde in welth, abandoned at nede,
And nerest harme whan they be least adrad.
My life and death the truth of this can trye:
For while I fought in Ireland with my foes,
Mine vncle Edmunde whom I left to gide
My realme at heme, right trayteously arose
To helpe the Percies plying my depose,
And cald fro Fraunce Erle Bolenbroke, whom I
Condemned ten yeres in eryle to lye:
Who cruelly did put to death all those
That in myne ayde durst looke but once awry,
Whose number was but slender I suppose.
For whan I was cum back this stur to stay,
The Erle of Worcester whom I trusted moste
(Whiles we in Wales at Flint our castell lay
Both to refresh and multiply mine oste)
Did in my hall in [...]ight of least and moste
Be breake his staffe, my houshold office stay,
Bad eche man shi [...]te, and rode him selfe away.
See princes, see the power wherof we boste,
Whome most we trust, at nede do vs betray,
Through whose false faith my land and life I lost.
For whan my trayterous Stuard thus was goen,
My seruauntes shranke away on euery side,
That caught I was, and caryed to my foen:
Who for theyr prince a prison dyd provide,
And therin kept me, til duke Henryes pride
Dyd cause me yeld him vp my crowne and throne.
Whych shortly made my frendly foes to grene:
For Henry seing in me their falshode tryde
Abhorde them all, and would be rulde by none,
For whych they sought to stoppe him strayt a tyde.
The chiefe conspirde by death to drive him down,
For which exployte, a solemne othe they swore
To render me my libertie and crown,
Wherof them selues deprived me before.
But salues helpe seeld an overlong suffred sore.
To stoppe the brech no boote to runne or rowne
When swelling fluds have overflowen the town:
Til sailes be spred the ship may kepe the shore.
The Ankers wayed, though al the frayte do frowne,
With streame and steere perforce it shalbe bore.
For though the piers set Henry in his state,
Yet could they not displace him thence agayne:
And where they easily put me downe of late,
They could restore me by no maner payne:
Thinges hardly mende, but may be mard amayne.
And whan a man is falne in froward fate
Still mischeves light one in anothers pate:
And wel meant meanes his mishaps to restraine
Ware wretched moues, wherby his ioyes abate.
Due proofe wherof in me appereth playne.
For whan king Henry knew that for my cause
His lordes in maske would kil him if they might,
To dash all dowtes, he tooke no farther pause
But sent sir Pierce of Erton a traytrous knight
To Pomfret Castell, with other armed light,
Who causeles kild me there agaynst all lawes.
Thus lawles life, to lawles deth ey drawes.
Wherfore byd Kynges be rulde and rule by right,
Who wurketh his wil, & shunneth wisedomes sawes
In flateries clawes, & shames foule pawes shal light.

WHan he had ended this so wofull a tragedy, and to all Princes a ryght wurthy instruc­tion, we paused: hauing passed through a miserable time full of piteous tragedyes. And seing the reyne of Henry the fourth ensued, a man more ware & prosperous in hys doynges although not vntroubled with warres both of outforth and inward enemies, we began to serch what Piers were fallen therin, wherof the number was not small: and yet because their exam­ples were not much to be noted for our purpose, we passed ouer all the Maskers (of whom King Richardes brother was chiefe) which were all slayne and put to death for theyr trayterous at­tempt. And finding Owen Glendour next, one of fortunes owne whelpes, and the Percyes his confederates, I thought them vnmete to be o­ver passed, and therfore sayde thus to the silent cumpany: what my maysters is euery man at [Page xix] once in a browne study, hath no man affeccion to any of these storyes? you minde so much sum other belyke, that these do not move you: And to say the troth there is no speciall cause why they should. Howbeit Owen Glendour because he was one of fortunes darlinges, rather than he should be forgotten, I wil tel his tale for him vn­der the priuilege of Martine Hundred: whych Owen cumming out of the wilde mountaynes like the Image of death in all poyntes (his dart onely excepted) so sore hath famine and hunger consumed hym, may lament his folly after thys maner.

Hovve Ovven Glendour seduced by false prophesies tooke vpon him to be prince of VVales, and vvas by Henry then prince therof, chased to the mountaynes, vvhere he miserably dyed for lacke of foode.

I Pray the Baldwin sith thou doest entend
To shewe the fall of such as clymbe to hye,
Remember me, whose miserable ende
May teache a man his vicious life to flye:
Oh Fortune, Fortune, out on her I crye,
My body and fame she hath made leane and slender
For I poore wretch am steruen Owen Glendour.
A Welshman borne, and of a gentle blud,
But ill brought vp, wherby full wel I find,
That neither birth nor linage make vs good
Though it be true that Cat wil after kinde:
Fleshe gendreth fleshe, so doeth not soule or minde,
They gender not, but fowly do degender,
When men to vice from vertue them do surrender.
Ech thing by nature tendeth to the same
Wherof it came, and is disposed like:
Downe sinkes the mold, by mountes the fiery flame,
With horne the hart, with hoofe the horse doth strike:
The Wulfe doth spoyle, the suttle For doth pyke,
And generally no fish, flesh, fowle, or plant
Doth any property that their dame had, want.
But as for men, sith seuerally they haue
A mind whose maners are by learning made,
Good bringing vp alonly doth them save
In vertuous dedes, which with their parentes fade.
So that true gentry standeth in the trade
Of vertuous life, not in the fleshly line:
For blud is Brute, but Gentry is diuine.
Experience doth cause me thus to say,
And that the rather for my countreymen,
Which vaunt and boast their selues aboue the day
If they may strayne their stocke for wurthy men:
Which let be true, are they the better than?
Nay farre the wurse if so they be not good,
For why they steyne the bewty of theyr blood.
How would we mocke the burden bearing mule
If he would brag he wer an horses sunne,
To presse his pride (might nothing els him rule,)
His boast to proue, no more but byd him runne:
The horse for swiftenes hath his glory wunne,
To which the mule could neuer the more aspier
Though he should prove that Pegas was his sier.
Ech man may crake of that which is his own,
Our parentes vertues theirs are and not oures:
Who therfore wil of noble kind be knowen
Ought shine in vertue like his auncestors,
Gentry consisteth not in landes and towers:
He is a Churle though all the world be his,
He Arthurs heyre if that he liue amys.
For vertuous lyfe doth make a gentleman
Of her possessour, all be he poore as Iob,
Yea though no name of elders shewe he can:
For proofe take Merlyn fathered by an Hob.
But who so settes his mind to spoyle and rob,
Although he cum by due discent fro Brute,
He is a Chorle, vngentle, vile, and brute.
Well thus dyd I for want of better wyt,
Because my parentes noughtly brought me vp:
For gentle men (they sayd) was nought so sy:
As to attaste by bolde attemptes the cup
Of conquestes wyne, wherof I thought to sup:
And therfore bent my selfe to rob and ryue,
And whome I could of landes and goodes depryue.
For Henry the fourth did then vsurpe the crowne,
Despoyled the kyng, with Mortimer the heyre:
For whych his subiectes sought to put him downe.
And I, whyle Fortune offred me so fayre,
Dyd what I myght his honour to appeyre:
And toke on me to be the prynce of Wales,
Entiste therto by many of Merlines tales.
For whych, such Idle as wayte vpon the spoyle,
From euery parte of Wales vnto me drew:
For loytring youth vntaught in any toyle
Are redy aye all mischiefe to ensue.
Through help of these so great my glory grew,
That I defyed my Kyng through lofty hart,
And made sharp warre on all that tooke his part.
See lucke, I tooke lord Reynolde Grey of Rythen,
And him enforst my doughter to espouse,
And so vnraunsomed held him still: and sithen
In Wygmore land through battayle rygorous
I caught the ryght heyre of the crowned house
The Erle of March syr Edmund Mortymer,
And in a dungeon kept hym prysoner,
Then al the marches longyng vnto Wales
By Syverne west I did inuade and burne:
Destroyed the townes in mountaynes and in vales,
And riche in spoyles did homward safe retourne:
Was none so bold durst once agaynst me spurne.
Thus prosperously doth Fortune forward call
Those whom she mindes to geue the forest fall.
Whan fame had brought these tidinges to the king
(Although the Skots than vexed him ryght sore)
A myghty army agaynst me he dyd bryng:
Wherof the French Kyng beyng warned afore,
Who mortall hate agaynst kyng Henry bore,
To greve our foe he quyckely to me sent
Twelve thousand Frenchmen armed to war, & bent.
A part of them led by the Erle of Marche
Lord Iames of Burbon, a valiaunt tryed knyght
Withheld by winds to Wales ward sorth to marche,
Tooke lande at Plymmouth pryuily on a nyght:
And when he had done al he durst or myght,
After that a mayny of his men were slayne
He stole to shyp, and sayled home agayne.
Twelve thousand moe in Mylford dyd aryue,
And came to me, then lying at Denbygh
With armed Welshmen thousandes double fiue:
With whom we went to wurcester well nigh,
And there encampte vs on a mount on high,
To abide the kyng, who shortly after came
And pitched his feild, on a Hyll hard by the same.
Ther eyght dayes long, our hostes lay face to face,
And neyther durst the others power assayle:
But they so stopt the passages the space
That vitayles coulde not cum to our auayle,
Wherthrough constrayned our hartes began to fayle
So that the Frenchmen shrancke away by night,
And I with mine to the mountaynes toke our flight:
The king pursued vs, greatly to his cost,
From Hyls to wuds, fro wuds to valeyes playne:
And by the way his men and stuf he lost.
And whan he see he gayned nought saue payne,
He blewe retreat, and got him home agayne:
Then with my power I boldly came abrode
Taken in my cuntrey for a very God.
Immediatly after fell a Ioly Iarre
Betwene the king, and Percies worthy bluds,
Which grew at last vnto a deadly warre:
For like as drops engendre mighty fluds,
And litle seedes sprut furth great leaves and buds,
Euen so small strifes, if they be suffred [...]un
Brede wrath and war, and death or they be don.
The kyng would haue the raunsum of such Scots
As these the Percyes had [...]ane in the feeld:
But see how strongly Luker knits her knottes,
The king will haue, the Percies wil not yeeld,
Desire of goodes soone craves, but graunteth seeld:
Oh cursed goodes desire of you hath wrought
All wyckednes, that hath or can be thought.
The Percies deemed it meter for the king
To haue redeemed theyr cosin Mortymer,
Who in his quarel all his power did bryng
To fight with me, that tooke him prisoner
Than of their pray to rob his Souldier:
And therfore willed him see sum mean wer found,
To quit furth him whom I kept vily bound.
Because the king misliked their request,
They came them selves and did accord with me,
Complayning how the kyngdome was opprest,
By Henries rule, wherfore we dyd agre
To put him downe, and part the realme in three:
The North part theirs, Wales wholy to be mine
The rest to rest to therle of Marches line.
And for to set vs hereon more agog
A prophet came (a vengeaunce take them all)
Affirming Henry to be Gogmagog
Whom Merlyn doth a Mouldwarp euer call,
Accurst of god, that must be brought in thrall
By a wulf, a Dragon, and a Lyon strong,
Which should deuide his kingdome them among.
This crafty dreamer made vs thre such beastes
To thinke we were these foresayd beastes in deede:
And for that cause our badges and our creastes
We searched out, whych scarcely wel agreed:
Howbeit the Haroldes redy at such a neede,
Drew downe such issues from olde auncestours,
As proued these ensignes to be surely oures.
Ye crafty Welshemen, wherfore do you mocke
The noble men thus with your fayned rymes?
Ye noble men why flye you not the flocke
Of such as haue seduced so many times?
False Prophesies are plages for divers crymes
Whych god doth let the divilish sorte devise
To trouble such as are not godly wyse.
And that appered by vs thre beastes in dede,
Through false perswasion highly borne in hand
That in our feat we could not chuse but spede
To kyll the kyng, and to enioye his land:
For which exployt we bound our selues in band
To stand contented ech man with his part,
So fully folly assured our folysh hart.
But such they say as fysh before the net
Shal seldome surfyt of the pray they take,
Of thinges to cum the haps be so vnset
That none but fooles may warrāt of them make:
The full assured, succes doth oft forsake.
For Fortune findeth none so fyt to flout,
As suresby sots whych cast no kinde of doute.
How sayest thou Henry Hotspur, do I lye?
For thou right manly gauest the king a feeld,
And there was slayn because thou wouldest not [...]y:
Sir Thomas Percie thine vncle (forst to yeeld)
Did cast his head (a wunder seen but [...]e [...]ld)
From Shrewsbury town to the top of Londō bridge.
Lo thus fond hope did theyr both liues abridge.
Whan Henry king this victory had wunne,
Destroyed the Percies, put their power to flyght,
He did appoynt prince Henry his eldest sunne
With all his power to meete me if he might:
But I discumfit through my partners fight
Had not the hart to mete him face to face,
But fled away, and he pursued the chase.
Now Baldwin marke, for I cald prince of Wales,
And made beleve I should be he in dede,
Was made to flye among the hilles and dales,
Where al my men forsooke me at my nede.
Who trusteth loyterers seeld hath lucky spede:
And whan the captaynes corage doth him fayle
His souldiers hartes a litle thing may quayle.
And so Prince Henry chased me, that loe
I found no place wherin I might abide:
For as the dogges pursue the selly do [...],
The brach behind the houndes on euery side,
So traste they me among the mountaynes wide:
Wherby I found I was the hartles hare
And not the beast Colprophete did declare.
And at the last: like as the litle roche,
Must eyther be eat, or leape vpon the shore
Whan as the hungry pickrel doth approch,
And there find death which it eskapte before:
So double death assaulted me so sore
That eyther I must vnto my enmy yeeld,
Or statue for hunger in the barayn [...] feeld.
Here shame and payne a whyle were at a strife,
Payne prayed me yeeld, shame bad me rather fast:
The one had spare, the other spend my life,
But shame (shame haue it) ouercam at last.
Than hunger gnew, that doth the stone wall brast
And made me eat both gravell, durt and mud,
And last of all, my dung, my fleshe, and blud.
This was mine ende to horrible to heare,
Yet good ynough for a life that was so yll.
Wherby (O Baldwin) warne all men to beare
Theyr youth such loue, to bring them vp in skill.
Byd Princes flye Colprophetes lying byll:
And not presume to clime aboue their states,
For they be faultes that foyle men, not their fates.

WHan starued Owen had ended his hun­gry exhortacion, it was well inough liked. Howbeit one found a dout wurth the mo­uing, & that concerning this title, erle of March: for as it appereth, there wer .iii. men of .iii diuers nacions together in one time entitled by that ho­nour: Fyrst sir Edmund Mortimer, whom O­wen [Page xxiiii] kept in prison, an Englishmā: the second the lord George of Dunbar a valiante Scot. bani­shed out of his countrey, & well estemed of Hen­ry the fowerth: the third lord Iames of Burbon a frenchman, sent by the french king to helpe O­wen Glendour. These thre men had this title all at once, which caused him to aske how it was true that euery one of these could be Earle of Marche? Wherto was aunswered, that euery countrey hath Marches belonging vnto them, and those so large, that they were Earledomes, & the lordes therof intituled therby, so that Lord Edmund Mortimer was Earle of Marche in Englande, lord Iames of Burbon of the mar­ches of Fraunce, and Lord George of Dunbar erle of the marches in Scotland. For otherwise nether could haue interest in others title. Thys doubt thus dissolued mayster Ferrers sayde: If no man haue affeccion to the Percies, let vs pas the times both of Henry the fowerth & the fifte, and cum to Henrye the syxte: in whose time for­tune (as she doth in the minoritie of princes) bare a great stroke among the nobles. And yet in Hē ­ry the fourths time are exāples which I would wish Baldvvin that you should not forget, as the conspiracie made by the bishop of Yorke, and the lorde Mowbray▪ sonne of him whom you late treated of: prycked forward by the earle of Nor­thumberland, father to sir Henry Hotspur, who fled himselfe, but his partners were apprehen­ded [Page] and put to death, with Baynton and Blin­kinsops, which could not see theyr duty to theyr King, but tooke part with Percy that banished Rebell. As he was proceding, he was desired to stay by one whych had pondered the story of the Percies, who briefly sayd. To thende Baldvvin that you may know what to say of the Percyes, whose story is not all out of my memory, (and it is a notable story) I wyll take vpon me the per­son of lord Henry earle of Northumberland, fa­ther of Henrye Hotspur, in whose behalfe thys may be sayd.

Hovv Henry Percy Earle of Northhum­berland, vvas for his couetous and trayterous attempt put to death at Yorke.

O Morall Senec true find I thy saying,
That neyther kinsfolke, ryches, strength, or fauour
Are free from Fortune, but are ay decaying:
No worldly welth is ought save doubtful labour,
Mans life in earth is like vnto a tabour:
Which now to mirth doth mildly men provoke
And strayt to war, with a more sturdy stroke.
All this full true I Percy find by proofe,
Which whilom was erle of Northumberland:
And therfore Baldwin for my Piers behoof
To note mens falles sith thou hast tane in hand,
I would thou shouldest my state well vnderstand:
For fewe kinges were more then I redouted,
Through double Fortune lyfted vp and louted.
As for my kinne their noblenes is knowen,
My valiauntise were folly for to prayse,
Wherthrough the Scortes so oft were ouerthrowen
That who but I was doubted in my dayes:
And that kyng Rychard found at all assayes,
For neuer Scottes rebelled in his rayne
But through my force were eyther caught or slayne.
A brother I had was Erle of Worcester
Alwayes in fauour and office with the king,
And by my wife Dame Elinor Mortimer,
I had a son which so the Scottes did sting,
That being yong, and but a very spring
Syr Henry Hotspur they gaue him to name,
And though I say it, he did deserue the same.
We thre tryumphed in king Richards time,
Til Fortune ought both him and vs a spite:
But chiefly me, whom clere from any crime,
My king did banish from his favour quite,
And openly proclaymed trayterous knight:
Wherethrough false slaunder forced me to be
That which before I did most deadly flee.
Let men beware how they true folke defame,
Or threaten on them the blame of vices nought,
For infamy bredeth wrath, wreke foloweth shames
Eke open slaunder, oftentimes hath brought
That to effect, that erst was neuer thought:
To be misdemed men suffer in a sort,
But none can beare the griefe of misreport.
Because my king did shame me wrongfully,
I hated him, and in dede became his foe:
And while he did at war in Ireland lye,
I did conspire to turne his weale to woe:
And through the duke of Yorke and other moe,
All royall power from him we quickely tooke
And gaue the same to Henry Boleynbroke.
Neyther dyd we this alonely for this cause,
But to say truth, force drave vs to the same:
For he dispising god and all good lawes
Slew whom he would, made sinne a very game.
And seing neither age nor counsayle could him tame,
We thought it wel done for the kingdomes sake,
To leaue his rule that did al rule forsake.
But whan sir Henry had attaynde his place,
He strayt becam in all poyntes wurse than he:
Destroyed the piers, & slewe kyng Rychards grace,
Agaynst his othe made to the lordes and me:
And seking quarelles how to disagre,
He shamelesly required me and my sonne
To yeld him Scottes which we in field had wun.
My Nephew also Edmund Mortymer
The very heyre apparaunt to the Crowne,
Whom Owen Glendour held as prisoner,
Uilely bound, in dungeon depe cast downe,
He would not raunsum: but did felly frowne
Agaynst my brother and me that for him spake,
And him proclaymed traytour for our sake.
This sowle despite did cause vs to conspire
To put him downe as we did Richard erst,
And that we might this matter set on fyre
From Owens [...]ayle, our cosin we remerst,
And vnto Glendour all our griefes reherst,
Who made a bonde with Mortymer and me,
To pryue the king, and part the realme in thre..
But whan king Henry heard of this devise
Toward Owen Gleudour he sped him very quyck
Mynding by force to stop our enterprise:
And as the deuell would, then fell I sick,
Howbeit my brother, & sonne, more politike
Than prosperous, with an oast fro Scotlād brought,
Encountred him at Shrewsbury, wher they fought.
The one was tane and kild, the other slayne,
And shortly after was Owen put to flight:
By meanes wherof I forced was to fayne,
That I knew nothing of the former fight.
Fraude oft avayles more than doth sturdy might:
For by my fayning I brought him in belief
I knew not that wherin my part was chief.
And while the king thus tooke me for his frend
I sought all meanes my former wrong to wreake,
Which that I might bring to the sooner ende
To the bishop of Yorke I did the matter breake,
And to Therle Marshall likewise did I speake,
Whose father was through Henries cause exyled
The bishops brother with trayterous death defiled.
These strayt assented to do what they could,
So did lorde Hastinges and lord Fauconbridge:
Which altogether promised [...]hey would
Set all their power the kinges dayes to abridge.
But se the spite, before the byrdes wer flidge
The king had woord, and seysoned on the nest
Wherby alas my frendes wer al opprest.
The bluddy tyrant [...]ought them all to ende
Excepted me, which into Scotland skapte
To George of Dunbar therle of March, my frend,
Who in my cause al that he could ey skrapte:
And when I had for greater succour gapte
Both at the Frenchman and the Flemminges hand,
And could get none, I toke such as I sand.
And with the helpe of George my very frend,
I did invade Northumberlande ful bold,
Whereas the folke drew to me stil vnend,
Bent to the death my party to vphold:
Through helpe of these ful many a fort and hold.
The which the king right manfully had man [...],
I easely wunne, and seysed in my hand
Not so content (for vengeaunce drave me on)
I entred Yorkeshire there to waste and spoyle,
But ere I had far in the countrey gon
The shirif therof, Rafe Rekesby did assoyle
My troubled hoost of much part of our toyle,
For he assauting freshly, tooke through power
Me and lord Bardolph both at Bramham more.
And thence conueyed vs to the towne of Yorke
Until he knew, what was the kinges entent:
There loe Lord Bardolf kinder than the Storke,
Did lose his head, which was to London sent,
With whom for frendshippe urine in like case went.
This was my hap, my for [...]une, or my fawte,
This life I led, and thus I came to naught.
Wherfore good Baldwin wil the pyers take hede
Of slaunder, malyce, and conspiracy,
Of couetise, whence al the rest procede:
For couetise ioynt with contumacy,
Doth cause all mischief in mens hartes to brede.
Ad therfore this to Esperance, my wurd.
Who causeth bludshed shall not skape the swurd.

BY that this was ended, I had found out the storie of Richard earle of Cambridge: and because it conteyned matter in it, though not very notable, yet for the better vnderstanding of the rest, I thought it mete to touche it, and therfore sayd as foloweth. You haue sayd wel of the Percies and favourably. For in dede as it should appere, the chyefe cause of theyr con­spiracie agaynst kyng Henry, was for Edmund Mortimer theyr cosins sake, whom the king ve­ry maliciously proclaymed to haue yelded hym selfe to Owen colourably, whan as in deede he was takē forcibly against his wil, & very cruelly ordered in prison. And seing we are in hād with Mortimers matter, I wyll take vppon me the person of Richard Plantagenet Earle of Cam­bridge, who for his sake likewise died. And ther­fore I let passe Edmund Holland erle of Kent, whom Henry the fowerth made Admirall to skoure the Seas, because the Buttons were a­brode: whiche Earle (as many thynges happen in warre) was slayne with an arrowe at the as­saulte [Page xxviii] of Briake: shortly after whose death thys king dyed, and his sonne Henry, the fyft of that name, succeded in his place. In the beginning of this Henry the fyfts rayne, dyed this Rychard, and with him Henry the lord Scrope & others, in whose behalfe this may be sayd.

Hovv Richard erle of Cambridge en­tending the kinges destructi­on vvas put to death at Southhamp­ton.

HAst maketh wast, hath commonly ben sayd,
And secrete mischiefe seeld hath lucky spede:
A murdering mind with proper pryze is wayd,
Al this is true. I find it in my Crede.
And therfore Baldwin warne all states take hede,
How they conspire any other to betrappe,
Least mischiefe meant light in the miners lappe.
For I lord Richard, heyre Plan [...]agenet
Was Erle of Cambridge, and right fortunate,
If I had had the grace my wit to set
To have content me with mine owne estate:
But o false honours, broders of debate,
The loue of you our lewde hartes doth allure
To lese our s [...]lues by seking you vnsure.
Because my bro [...]her Edmund Mortimer,
Whose eldest sister was my wedded wife,
I meane that Edmund that was prisoner
In Wales so long, through Owens busy strife,
Because I say, that after Edmundes life,
His rightes and titles must by law be mine,
(For he ne had, nor could encrease his line)
Because the right of realme & crowne was ours,
I serched meanes to helpe him thervnto.
And where the Henries held it by their powers
I sought a shift their tenures to vndo,
Which being force, sith force or sleyt must do,
I voyde of might, because their power was strong
Set privy sleyte agaynst theyr open wrong.
But sith the deathes of most part of my k [...]ne
Did dash my hope, throughout the fathers dayes
I let it slip, and thought it best beginne
Whan as the s [...]nne shuld dred lest such assayes:
For force through spede, sleyght spedeth through de­layes
And seeld doth treason time so fitly find
As whan al dangers most be out of minde.
Wherfore while Henry of that name the fifte,
Prepared his army to go conquer Fraunce,
Lord Skrope and I thought to attempt a drifte
To put him downe my brother to avaunce:
But wer [...] it gods wil, my luck, or his good chaunce,
The king wist wholy wherabout we went,
The night before the king to sh [...]pward bent.
Then were we strayt as traytours apprehended,
Our purpose spied, the cause therof was hid,
And therfore loe a false cause we pretended
Wherthrough my brother was fro daunger ryd:
We sayd for hier of the French kinges coyne, we did
Behight to kil the king: and thus with shame
We stayned our selves, to save our frend fro blame.
Whan we had thus confest so foule a treason,
That we deserved, we suffred by the lawe.
Se Baldwin see, and note (as it is reason)
How wicked dedes to wofull endes do drawe.
All force doth fayle, no crafte is wurth a stra' [...],
To attayne thinges lost, and therfore let them go,
For might ruleth right, and wil though God say no.

WHan stout Richarde had stoutly sayd his mind, belike ꝙ one, this Rychard was but a litle man, or els litle fa­uoured of wryters, for our Cronicles speake very litle of him. But seyng we be cum now to king Henries viage into Fraunce, we can not lack valyant men to speake of: for among so many as were led and sent by the Kyng out of thys realme thyther, it can not be cho­sen but sum, and that a great summe, were [...]layne among theym: wherfore to speake of them all, I thynke not nedefull. And therfore to let passe Edwarde Duke of Yorke, and the Earle of Suffolke slayne both at the battayle of Agine courte, as were also ma­ny other, Let vs ende the time of Henry the fyfth, and cum to hys sunne Henry the syxt: whose nonage brought Fraunce and Nor­mandy out of bondage, and was cause that fewe of our noble men died aged. Of whom to let passe the numbre, I wyll take vppon [Page xxx] me the person of Thomas Mountague earle of Salysburye, whose name was not so good at home (and yet he was called the good erle) as it was dreadful abrode: who ex­claming vpon the mutability of fortune, iust­ly may say thus.

Hovv Thomas Montague the earle of Salysbury in the middes of his glory, vvas chaunceably slayne vvith a piece of ordinaunce.

WHat fooles be we to trust vnto our strength,
Our wit, our courage, or our noble fame,
Which time it selfe must nedes deuour at length
Though froward Fortune could not foyle the same.
But seing this Goddes gideth al the game,
Which still to chaunge doth set her onely lust,
Why toyle we so for thinges so hard to trust.
A goodly thing is surely good reporte,
Which noble hartes, do seke by course of kinde,
But seen the date so doubtful and so short,
The wayes so rough wherby we do it find:
I can not chuse but prayse the princely minde
That preaseth for it, though we find opprest
By soule defame those that deserve it best.
Concerning whom marke Baldwin what I say,
I meane the vertuous hindred of their brute,
Among which number reken wel I may
My valiaunt father Iohn lord Montacute,
Who lost his life (I iudge) in iust pursute:
I say the cause and not the casual spede,
Is to be wayed in euery kinde of dede.
This rule obserued, how many shall we find
For vertues sake with infamy opprest?
How many agayn through helpe of fortune blind,
For yll attemptes atchiued, with honour blest?
Succes is wurst ofttimes whan cause is best,
Therfore say I: god send them sory happes,
That iudge the causes by their after clappes.
The ende in dede, is iudge of euery thing,
Which is the cause, or latter poynt of time:
The first true verdyct at the first may bryng,
The last is slow, or slipper as the slime,
Oft chaunging names of innocence and crime.
Duke Thomas death was Iustice two yeres long,
And euer sence sore tiranny and wrong.
Wherfore I pray the Baldwin waye the cause,
And prayse my father as he doth deserue:
Because erle Henry, king agaynst all lawes,
Endeuoured king Richard for to starve
In iayle, wherby the regal crowne might swarve
Out of the line to which it than was due,
(Wherby God knowes what euil might ensue)
My lord Iohn Holland duke of Excester,
Which was dere cosin to this wretched king,
Did mooue my father, and the erle of Glocester,
With other lordes to ponder well the thyng:
Who seing the mischiefe that began to spring,
Did all consent, this Henry to depose,
And to restore kyng Richard to the rose.
And while they did deuise a prety trappe
Wherby to bring their purpose bettre about,
Which was in maske, this Henry to haue slayne:
The duke of Awmerle blew their counsay [...]e out,
Yet was their purpose good there is no doubt.
What cause can be more wurthy for a knight,
Than save his king, and helpe true heires to right?
For this with them my father was destroyed,
And buryed in the doung [...]l of defame.
Thus evil chaunce theyr glory did auoyde,
Wheras their cause doth clayme eternal [...].
Whan dedes therfore vnluckely do frame,
Men ought not iudge the authours to [...] naught,
For right through might is often overraught.
And God doth suffer that it should be so,
But why, my wit is feble to decise,
Except it be to heape vp wrath and wo
Upon their heades that iniuries devise.
The cause why mischiefes many times arise,
And light on them that wold mens wronges redresse,
Is for the rancour that they beare, I gesse.
God hateth rigour though it furder right,
For sinne is sinne, how euer it be vsed:
And therfore suffereth shame and death to light,
To punish vice, though it be wel abused.
Who furdereth right is not therby excused,
If through the same he do sum other wrong:
To every vice due guerdon doth belong.
What preach I now, I am a man of warre,
And that my body (I dare say) doth professe,
Of cured woundes beset with many a skarre,
My broken Iaw vnheald can say no lesse.
O Fortune, Fortune, cause of all distresse
My father had great cause thy fraude to cursse.
But much more I, abused ten times wursse.
Thou neuer flatteredst him in all his life,
But me thou dandledst like thy darling deare:
Thy giftes I found in every corner rife,
Where ever I went, I met thy smyling cheare:
Which was not for a day, or for a yeare,
But through the rayne of thre right worthy kynges,
I found the forward in al kind of thinges.
The while king Henry conquered in Fraunce
I sued the warres, and still found victory.
In all assaultes so happy was my chaunce,
Holdes yelde or wunne did make my enmies sory:
Dame Prudence eke augmented so my glory,
That in all treaties ever I was one
Whan weyghty matters were agreed vpon.
But whan this king this mighty conquerour,
Through death vnripe, was both his realmes bereft,
His sely infant did receyue his power,
Pore litle babe ful yong in cradell left,
Where crowne and Scepter hurt him with the hef [...]:
Whose wurthy vncles had the governaunce,
The one at home, the other abrode in Fraunce.
And I which was in peace and war wel skilled,
With both these rulers greatly was estemed:
Bare rule at home as often as they willed,
And fought in Fraunce whan thei it nedeful demed.
And every where so good my seruice semed,
That Englishmen to me great loue did beare,
Our foes the French, my force fulfilled with feare.
I alwayes thought it fitly for a prince,
And such as haue the regiment of realmes,
His subiectes hartes with mildnes to convince,
Wyth iustice myxt, auoyding all extremes.
For like as Phebus with his chearfull beames,
Doth freshly force the fragrant floures to florish,
So rulers mildnes subiectes loue doth norish.
This found I true: for through my mild behauour
Their hartes I had with me to liue and dye:
And in their speache for to declare their fauour,
They called me styll good earle of Salisbury,
The lordes confest the commons did not lye.
For vertuous life, fre hart, and lowly mind,
With high and low shal alwayes fauour find.
Which vertues chief becum a man of war,
W [...]erof in Fraunce I founde experyence,
For in assaultes due mildnes passeth farre
Al rigour, force, and sturdy violence:
For men wil stoutly sticke to their defence
When cruel captaynes covet them to spoyle,
And so enforst, oft geue their foes the foyle.
But when they know they shall be frendly vsed,
They hazard not their heades, but rather yelde,
For this, my offers neuer were refused
Of any towne, or surely very seelde:
But force and furies fyt be for the feelde.
And there in dede I vsed so the same,
My foes would flye if they had heard my name.
For whan lord Steward and erle Uantadore,
Had cruelly besieged Crauant towne,
Which we had wunne, and kept long time before,
Which lieth in Awxer on the riuer Youne,
To rayse the siege the Regent sent me downe:
Where as I vsed all rigour that I might,
I killed all, that were not saued by flight.
When the erle of Bedford then in Fraunce lord re­gent,
Knew in what sort I had remoued the syege,
In Brye and Champayne he made me vice gerent,
And Lieutenaunt for him and for my Lyege:
Which caused me go to Bry, and ther besyege
Mountaguillon, with twenty wekes assant,
Which at the last was yelded me for naught.
And for the duke of Britayns brother, Arthur,
Both erle of Richmonde and of Yvery,
Against his othe from vs had made departure,
To Charles the Dolphin, our chief enemy,
I with the regent went to Normandy,
To take his towne of Yvery, which of spight
Did to vs dayly al the harme they might.
They at the first compounded by a day
To yeeld, if rescues did not cum before.
And whiles in hope to fight, we at it lay,
The Dolphin gathered men two thousand skore,
With erles, lordes, and captaynes ioly store:
Of which the duke of Alanson was gide,
And sent them downe to see if we would bide.
But they left vs and downe to Uernoile went,
And made their vaunt they had our army slayne,
And through that lye, that towne from vs they hent,
Which shortly after turned to their payne:
For there both armies met vpon the plaine,
And we .viii.M. whom they flew, not slewe before,
Did kil of them, ten thousand men and more.
When we had taken Uernoile thus againe,
To driue the Dolphin vtterly out of Fraunce,
The Regent sent me to Aniowe and to Mayne,
Wher I besieged the warlik towne of Mawns:
Ther lord of Toysers Baldwins valiaunce
Did well appere, which wold not yeeld the towne,
Till all the towres & walles wer battred downe.
But here now Baldwin take it in good part,
Though that I brought this Baldwin ther to yeeld:
The Lion searce for all his noble hart,
Being overmatched, is forst to flye the feeld▪
If Mars him selfe had there ben with his sheeld,
And in my s [...]ormes had stoutly me withstoode,
He should haue yeeld, or els haue shed my bloode.
Th [...]s wurthy knight both hardy, stout, and wise,
Wrought well his feate: as time and place require,
Whan fortune fayles, it is the best advice
To strike the sayle, least al lie in the mire.
This have I sayd to thend thou take no yre,
For though no cause be found, so nature frames,
Men haue a zeale to such as beare their names.
But to returne, in Mayne wan I at length,
Such towns & fortes as might either helpe or hurt,
I mann [...]d Mayon & Suzans townes of strength,
Fort Barnarde, Thanceaux, & S. Eales the curt,
With Lile sues Bolton, standing in the durt:
Eke Gwerland, Sus [...]e, Loupeland and Mountsure,
With Malicorne, these wan I and kept full sure.
Besides al this, I tooke nere forty holdes,
But those I razed even with the grounde.
And for these dedes, as sely shepe in foldes
Do shrinke for feare at every litle sound,
So fled my foes before my face ful round:
Was none so hardy durst abide the fight,
So Mars and Fortune furdered me their knight.
I tel no lye, so gastful grewe my name,
That it alone discomfited an host:
The Scots and Frenchmen wil confesse the same,
Els wil the towne which they like cowardes lost.
For whan they sieged Bewron with great bost,
Being fourty .M. Britayns, French, and Scottes,
Fiue hundred men did vanquish them like sottes.
For while the Frenchmen did assault them stil,
Our Englishmen came boldly furth at night,
Criyng sainct George, Salisbury, kil, kil, kil,
And offred freshly with their foes to fight,
And they as frenchly tooke them selves to flight,
Supposing surely that I had ben there.
Se how my name did put them all in feare.
Thus was the Dolphins power discomfited,
Fower .M. slayne, their campe tane as it stoode,
Wherby our towne and souldiers profited,
For there were vitayles plentifull and good:
This while was I in England by the rood
To appeace a strife that was right foule befall,
Betwene Duke Humfrey and the Cardinall.
The Duke of Exceter shortly after died,
Which of the king at home had gouernaunce,
Whose roume the earle of Warwike then supplied,
And I tooke his, and sped me into Fraunce.
And hauing a zeale to conquer Orlyaunce,
With much a do I gat the regentes ayde,
And marched thither and siege about it layde.
But in the way I tooke the towne of Yayn,
Wher murdred wer for stoutnes many a man:
But Baugency I tooke with litle payne,
For which to shew them fauour I began:
This caused the townes of Mewne and Iargeman,
That stoode on Loyer, to profer me the keyes,
Ere I came nere them, welny by two dayes.
See here how Fortune forward can allure,
What baytes she layeth to bring men to their endes.
Who having hap like this, but would hope sure
To bring to bale what euer he entendes?
But soone is sowre the sweete that Fortune sendes:
Whan hope and hap, whan helth and welth is hyest,
Than wo and wracke, desease, and nede be nyest.
For while I, suing this so good successe,
Layd siege to Orlyaunce on the river syde,
The Bastard (Cuckold Cawnyes sonne I gesse,
Tho thought the dukes) who had the towne in gide.
Came fearcely forth, when he his time espide,
To raise the siege, but was beat backe agayne,
And hard pursued both to his losse and payne.
For there we wan the bulwarke on the bridge
With a mighty tower standing fast therby.
Ah cursed tower that didst my dayes abridge,
Would god thou hadst bene furder, eyther I.
For in this tower a chamber standes on hie,
From which a man may view through al the towne
By certayne windowes yron grated downe.
Where on a day (now Baldwin note mine ende)
I stoode in vewing where the towne was weake,
And as I busily talked with my frend,
Shot fro the towne, which al the grate did breake,
A pellet came, and drove a mighty fleake,
Agaynst my face, and tare away my checke,
For payne wherof I dyed within a wecke.
See Baldwin see the vncertaynty of glory,
How sodayne mischief dasheth all to dust.
And warne all princes by my broken story,
The happiest Fortune chiefly to mistrust.
Was neuer man that alway had his lust.
Than such be fooles, in fancy more then mad,
Which hope to haue that neuer any had.

THis straunge aduenture of the good erle drave vs al into a dumpne, inwardly lamenting his wofull destynye, out of which we wer awaked, after this sort.

To what ende (ꝙ one) muse we so much on this matter. This Earle is neyther the first nor the last whom Fortune hath foundered in the heyth of their prosperitye. For all through the raine of this vnfortunate king Henry, we shall find many whych haue bene likewise serued, whose chaunces sith they be mar [...]l, and ther­fore honorable, may the better be omitted: And therfore we wil let go the lordes M [...]rlmes and Poyninges, slayne both at the siege of Orleans shortly after the death of this earle. Also the va­liaunt earle of Arundle destroyed with a bow­let at the assault of Gerbory, whose storyes ne­vertheles are wurth the hearyng. And to quic­ken vp your spirites, I wil take vpon me a tra­gicall person in deede, I meane kyng Iamy slayne by his seruauntes in his pryvy chamber, who although he be a Skot, yet seing he was [Page xxxvi] brought vp in Englande where he learned the language, hys example also so notable, it were not meete he shoulde be forgotten.

And therfore marke Baldwin what I thinke he may say.

Hovv king Iames the first for breaking his othes and bondes, vvas by gods suffrauns miserably murdred of his ovvne subiectes.

IF for examples sake thou write thy booke,
I charge the Baldwin thou forget me not:
Whom Fortune alwayes frowardly forsooke,
Such wa [...] my lucke, my merite, or my lot.
I am that Iames king Roberts sonne the Skot,
That was in England prisoner all his youth,
Through mine vncle Walters trayterous vntruth.
For whan my father through disease and age,
Unwieldy was to gouerne well his land,
Because his brother Walter semed sage,
He put the rule therof into his hand.
Than had my father you shall vnderstand
Of lawfull barnes, me, and one only other,
Nempt Dauy Rothsay, who was mine elder brother
This Dauy was prince of Scotland, and so take,
Till his aduoutry caused men complayne:
Which that he might by monyshment forsake,
My father prayed mine vncle take the payne
To threaten him, his vices to refrayne.
But be false traytour, butcherly murdring wretch,
To get the crowne, began to fetch a fetch.
And finding now a proffer to his pray,
Deuised meanes my brother to deuower,
And for that cause convayed him day by day▪
From place to place, from castell vnto tower,
To Faulkland fort, where like a tormentour
He starmd him, and put to death a wife
Whom through a reede he sukt to saue his life.
O wretched death▪ fye cruel tiranny,
A prince in prison lost for fault of foode:
Was [...]nce enmy wrought such villany.
A trusted brother stroye his brothers blood
Wo wurth foe frendly, fye on double hood.
Ah wretched father, see thy sonne is lost,
Sterved by thy brother, whom thou trustedst most.
Of whom whan sum began to find the fraud,
And yet the traytor made him selfe so clere,
That he should seeme to haue deserued laud,
So wofull did he for his death appeare,
My doubtful father louing me ful deere
To auoyde all daunger that might after chaunce,
Sent me away, but nine yeres olde, to Fraunce.
But windes and wether wer so contrary,
That we wer driuen to the English coast,
Which realme with Skotland at that time did vary
So that they tooke me prisoner, not as oste:
For which my father fearing I wer lost,
Conceiued shortly such an inward thought
As to the graue immediatly him brought.
Than had mine vncle all the regiment
At home, and I in England prisoner lay,
For to him selfe he thought it detryment,
For my releace any raunsum for to pay,
For (as he thought) he had possest his pray:
And therfore wisht I might in durauns dure
Till I had dyed, so should his rayne be sure.
But good king Henry seing I was a child,
And heyre by ryght vnto a realme and crowne,
Dyd bring me vp, not lyke my brother, wylde
But vertuously in feates of high renowne:
In libe [...]all artes in instrumentall sowne:
By meane wherof whan I was after king,
I did my realme to ciuil order bring.
For ere I had been prisoner eyghtene yere,
In which short space two noble princes dyed,
Wherof the first in prudence had no peere
The other in warre most valyant throwly tryed,
Whose rowme his sonne babe Henry eke supplyed
The pyers of England which did gouerne all,
Did of their goodnes helpe me out of thrall.
They maried me to a cosin of their king
The Duke of Somersets daughter rich & fayre.
Releast my raunsome saue a trifling thing:
And after I had done homage to the hayer,
And sworne my frendship neuer should appayre,
They brought me kingly furnisht to my lande,
Which I rec [...]yued at mine vncles hand.
Wherof my lordes and commons wer ful glad,
So was mine vncle chiefly (as he sayed)
Who in his mouth no other matter had,
Saue punish such as had my brother trayed.
The faut wherof epparantly he layed,
To good duke Murdo, his elder brothers sonne,
Whose father dyed long ere this dede was doen.
My cursed vncle [...]lyer than the snake
Which would by craft vnto the crowne aspier,
Because he sawe this Murdo was a stake
That stayed vp the stop of his desier,
(For his elder brother was Duke Murdoes fier)
He thought it best to haue him made away,
So was he suer (I goen) to haue his pray.
And by his craftes the traytour brought to passe
That I destroyed Duke Murdo, and his kin
Poore innocentes, my louing frendes, alas.
O kinges and Princes what plight stand we in,
A trusted traytour shal you quickely winne
To put to death your kin and frendes most iust:
Take hede therfore, take hede whose rede ye trust.
And at the last to bring me hole in hate
With god and man, at home and eke abrode,
He counsayled me for surance of my state:
To helpe the Frenchmen, then nye overtrode
By Englishmen, and more to lay on lode,
With power and force al England to invade,
Against the othe and homage that I made.
And though at first my conscience did grudge
To breake the bondes of frendship knit by oth,
Yet after profe (see m [...]schiefe) I did iudge
It madnes for a king to kepe his troth.
And semblably with all the world it goth.
Sinnes ofte assayed are thought to be no sinne,
So sinne doth soyle, the soule it sinketh in.
But as diseases common cause of death,
Bring daunger most, whan least they pricke & smart
Which is a signe they haue expulst the breth
Of liuely heat which doth defende the hart:
Euen so such sinnes as felt are on no part
Haue conquered grace, and by their wicked vre,
So kild the soule that it can haue no cure.
And grace agate, vice stil suceedeth vice,
And all to haste the vengeaunce for the furst.
I arede therfore all people to be wise,
And stoppe the bracke whan it begins to burst.
At taste no poyson (vice is venim wurst,
It mates the mind) beware eke of to much,
All kil through muchnes, sum with only touche.
Whan I had learned to set my othe at nought,
And through much vse the sence of sinne exyled,
Agaynst king Henry, what I could I wrought,
My fayth, my othe, vniustly foule defiled.
And while sly Fortune at my doinges smiled,
The wrath of God which I had wel deserued,
Fell on my necke, for thus loe was I serued.
Ere I had raygned fully fiftene yere,
While time I laye at Pertho at my place.
With the Quene my wife & children me to chere,
My murdring vncle with the double face,
That longed for my kingdome and my mace,
To s [...]ay me there suborned Robert Gram,
With whom his nephew Robert Stuart cam.
And whan they time fit for their purpose found,
Into my priuy chaumber they a [...]art,
Where with their sweardes they gave me many a wound,
And slue al such as stucke vnto my parte:
There loe my wife dyd shewe her louing harte,
Who to defende me, felled one or twayne,
And was sore wounded ere I coulde be slayne.
See Baldwin Baldwin, the vnhappy endes,
Of suche as passe not for theyr lawfull oth:
Of those that caus [...]les leaue theyr fayth or frendes,
And murdre kynsfolke through their foes vntroth,
Warne, warne all princes, all lyke sinnes to loth,
And chiefely suche as in my Realme be borne,
For God hates hyghly suche as are forsworne.

WHan this was sayd, let King Iamy go ꝙ mayster Ferrers, & returne we to our owne story, & se what broyls wer amōg the nobility in ye kinges minority. How ye cardi­nal Bewford maligneth the estate of good duke Hūfrey the kinges vncle & protector of ye realme, & by what driftes he first banisheth his wife frō him. [Page] And lastly howe the good duke is murderously made away through conspiracy of Quene Mar­garet and other: both whose tragedies I entend at leasure to declare, for they be notable. Do so I pray you (ꝙ another) But take hede ye demurre not vpon them. And I to be occupied the meane time, will shewe what I haue noted in the duke of Suffolkes doinges, one of the chiefest of duke Humfreyes destroyers, who by the prouidens of God, came shortly after in such hatred of the peo­ple, that the King him selfe could not saue hym from astraunge and notable death, which he may lament after this maner.

Hovv Lorde VVilliam Delapole Duke of Suffolke vvas vvorthily punyshed for abusing his Kyng and causing the destruction of good Duke Humfrey.

HEauy is the hap wherto all men be bound,
I meane the death, which no estate may flye:
But to be banisht, headed so, and drownd,
In sinke of shame from top of honors hye,
Was never man so served I thinke but I:
And therfore Baldwin fro thy grave of griefe
Reiect me not, of wretched princes chiefe.
My only life in all poyntes may suffise
To shewe howe base all baytes of Fortune be,
Which thaw like yse, through heate of enuies eyes:
Or vicious dedes which much possessed me.
Good hap with vices can not long agree,
Which bring best fortunes to the basest fall,
And happiest hap to enuy to be thrall.
I am the prince duke William De la Poole
That was so famous in Quene Margets dayes.
That found the meane Duke Humfreyes blud to coole
whose vertuous paynes deserve eternal prayse
Wherby I note that Fortune can not raise,
Any one aloft without sum others wracke:
Fluds drowne no fieldes before they find a bracke.
But as the waters which do breake their walles
Do loose the course they had within the shore,
And dayly rotting stinke within their stalles
For fault of moouing which they found before:
Euen so the state that over high is bore
Doth loose the lyfe of peoples love it had,
And rots it selfe vntil it fall to bad.
For while I was but Erle, eche man was glad
To say and do the best by me they might:
And Fortune ever since I was a lad
Did smile vpon me with a chereful sight,
For whan my Kyng had doubed me a Knight
And sent me furth to serve at warre in Fraunce,
My lucky spede mine honor dyd enhaunce.
Where to omit the many feit [...]s I wrought
Under others gyde, I do remember one
Which with my souldyers valiantly was fought
None other captayne save my selfe alone,
I meane not now the apprinze of Pucel Ione
In which attempte my travayle was not smal,
Though the Duke of Burgoyn had the prayse of al.
But the siege of Awmarle is the [...]eate I prayse
A strong built towne, with castes, walles, & vaultes,
With men and weapon armed at al assayes:
To which I gave n [...] five times five assaultes,
Tyl at the last they yelded it for naughtes.
Yet Lord Rambures like a valiaunt Knight
Defended it as long as euer he might.
But what prevayled it these townes to winne
Which shortly after must be lost againe,
Wherby I see there is more glory in
The keping thinges than is in their attayne:
To get and kepe not is but losse of payne.
Therfore ought men prouide to saue their winnings
In al attemptes, els lose they their beginninges.
Because we could not kepe the townes we wunne
(For they were more then we might [...]asely wyelde)
One yere vndyd what we in ten had doen:
For envy at home, and treason abrode, dyd yelde
Kyng Charles his Realme of Fraunce, made barain fielde,
For bluddy warres had wasted al encreace,
Which causde the Pope helpe pouerty sue for peace,
So that it Tourayne at the towne of Toures
Duke Charles and other for their Prince appered,
So dyd Lord Rosse, and I than Erle, for oures:
And when we shewed wherein eche other dered,
We sought out meanes all quarels to haue clered,
Wherein the Lordes of Germany, of Spayne,
Of Hungary and [...] paine.
But sith we could no final pea [...]e [...]
For neither would the others couenants heare,
For eightene monthes we dyd conclude a truce:
And while as frendes we lay together there
Because my warrant dyd me therein beare,
To make a perfite peace, and through accorde,
I sought a mariage for my soberaine Lorde.
And for the French kinges doughters wer to small
I fancied most dame Margarete his niece,
A lovely lady, beautifull and tall,
Fayre spoken▪ pleasaunt, a very princely piece,
In wit and learning matcheles hence to Grece,
Duke Rayners daughter of Aniow, king by stile,
Of Naples, Ierusalem, and of Scicil yle.
But ere I could the graunt of her attayne,
All that our king had of her fathers landes,
As Mauntes the citee, the county whole of Mayne,
And most of Aniow duchy in our handes,
I did release him by assured bandes.
And as for dowry with her none I sought,
I thought no peace could be to derely bought.
But whan this mariage throwly was agreed
Although my king were glad of such a make,
His vncle Humfrey abhorred it in deed,
Because therby his precontract he brake,
Made with the heire of the erle of Arminake,
A noble maide with store of goodes endowed,
Which more than this with losse, the duke allowed.
But love and beauty in the king so wrought
That neither profite or promise he regarded,
But set his vncles counsayle still at nought:
And for my paynes I highly was rewarded.
Thus vertue starves, but lust foode must be larded.
For I made Marquise went to Fraunce againe,
And brought this Bride vnto my soverayne.
At whom because Duke Humfrey aye repined,
Calling their mariage aduowtry (as it was)
The Quene did move me, erst therto enclined,
To helpe to bring him to his Requiem masse.
Which sith it could for no crime cum to passe
His life and doinges were so right and clere,
Through privy murder we brought him to his beere
Thus righteousnes brought Humfrey to rebuke
Because he would no wickednes allowe,
But for my doinges I was made a duke
So Fortune can both bend and smothe her browe
On whom she list, not passing why nor howe.
O lord how high, how soone she did me raise,
How fast she filde me both with prayes and prayse.
The Lordes and Commons both of like assent,
Besought my soverayne, kneling on their knees,
To recorde my doinges in the parliament,
As dedes deseruing everlasting foes.
In which attempt they did no labour leese,
For they set not my prayse so fast in flame,
As he was ready to reward the same.
But note the ende, my dedes so wurthy demed
Of Kinge, of Lordes, and Commons altogether,
Wer shortly after treasons false estemed,
And al men curst Quene Margets cumming hither,
For Charles the french king, in his fea [...]es not lither
Whan he had rendred Rayner Mauntes & Mayne,
Found meane to winne all Normandy agayne.
This made the people curse the mariage
Esteming it the cause of every losse:
Wherfore at me with open mouth they rage,
Affirming me to have brought the realme to mosse:
Whan king & Quene sawe thinges thus go a crosse,
To quiet all a parliament they called,
And caused me in prison to be thralled,
And shortly after brought me furth abrode.
Which made the Cōmons more than double wood:
And sum with weapons would have layed on lode,
If their graund captaine Blewberd, in his moode,
Had not in time with wisedome bene withstoode▪
But though that he and mo wer executed
The people still their wurst against me bruted.
And so applyed the Parliament with billes,
Of haynous wronges, and open traytrous crimes,
That king & queene were forst against their willes
Fro place to place to adiourne it divers times.
For princes power is like the sandy slymes,
Which must perforce geve place vnto the wave,
Or sue the windy sourges whan they rave.
Their life was not more dere to them than I,
Which made them search all shiftes to save me still,
But aye my foes such faultes did on me trye
That to preserve me from a wurser yll,
The king was fayne, ful sore agaynst his will,
For five yeres space to send me in exile,
In hope to have restored me in a while.
But marke howe vengeaunce wayteth vpon vice.
As I was sayling toward the coast of Fraunce,
The Earle of Deuonshires barke, of litle price,
Encountred me vpon the seas by chaunce,
Whose captaine tooke me by his valiaunce,
Let passe my shippes, with all the frayt and loade,
But led me with him into Dover roade.
Where whan he had recounted me my faultes,
As murdring of Duke Humfrey in his bed,
And howe I had brought all the realme to naughtes
In causing the King vnlawfully to wed,
There was no grace, but I must loose my head.
Wherfore he made me shrive me in his boate,
On the edge wherof my necke in two he smoat.
A piteous ende, and therfore Baldwin warne,
All pyers and princes to abhorre vntroth,
For vicious grayne must cum to fowlendes barne:
Who brueth breach of lawful bond or oth,
God wil ere long, cause all the world to loth.
Was never prince that other did oppresse
Unrighteously, but died in distresse.

WHan this was sayd: Every man reioy­ced to heare of a wicked man so mar­uaylously well punished: For though Fortune in many poyntes be iniurius to Prin­ces, yet in this and such lyke she is moost righte­ous: And only deserveth the name of a Goddes, whan she prouideth meanes to punish & distroye [Page] Tyrantes. And whan we had a whyle conside­red the driftes of the King and Quene to haue saued this Duke, and yet they could not: It is wurth the labour (sayd one) to way the workes and iudgementes of God: which seyng they are knowen most euidently by comparyng contra­ryes, I wyll touche the story of Iacke Kade in order next folowynge. Whome Kynge Henrye with all his puissauns was no more able for a while to destroy (yet was he his rebellious ene­mie) than he was to preserve the Duke of Suf­folke his derest frend: by whiche two examples doeth appere howe notably God dysposeth all thinges, and that no force stretcheth farther, than it pleaseth him to suffer. For this Cade be­inge but base borne, of no abilitye, and lesse po­wer, accompanied with a few naked Kentysh­men, caused the Kynge with hys armye at all poyntes appoynted, to leaue the fyelde, and to suffer hym to doe what so euer he lusted: In whose behalfe, seynge he is one of Fortunes whelpes, I wyll trouble you a while to heare the proces of his enterprise, Which he maye de­clare in maner folowyng.

Hovv Iacke Cade traiterously rebelling agaynst his Kyng, vvas for his treasons and cruell doinges vvurthely punyshed.

SHal I cal it Fortune or my froward folly
That lifted me, and layed me downe belowe
Or was it courage that we made so Ioly,
Which of the starres and bodyes grement grow?
What euer it were this one poynt sure I know,
Which shal be mete for euery man to marke:
Our lust and wils our evils chefely warke.
It may be wel that planetes doe enclyne,
And our complexions move our myndes to yll,
But such is Reason, that they brynge to fine
No worke, vnayded of our lust and wyl:
For heauen and earth are subiect both to skyl.
The skyl of God ruleth al, it is so strong,
Man may by skyl gyde thinges that to him long.
Though lust be sturdy and wyl inclined to nought,
This forst by mixture, that by heavens course,
Yet through the skyl God hath in Reason wrought
And geuen man, no lust nor wyl so course
But may be stayed or swaged of the sourse,
So that it shal in nothing force the mynde
To worke our wo, or leaue the proper kynde.
But though this skil be geven every man
To rule the wyl, and kepe the minde aloft,
For lacke of grace ful fewe vse it can,
These worldly pleasures tickle vs so oft:
Skyl is not weake, but wyl strong, flesh is soft
And yeldes it selfe to pleasure that it loueth,
And hales the mynde to that it most reproueth.
Now if this happe wherby we yelde our mynde
To lust and wyll, be fortune, as we name her,
Than is she iustly called false and blynde,
And no reproche can be to much to blame her:
Yet is the shame our owne when so we shame her,
For sure this hap if it be rightly knowen,
Cummeth of our selves, and so the blame our owne.
For who so lyveth in the skole of skyll
And medleth not with any worldes af [...]aires,
Forsaketh pompes and honors that do spyl
The myndes recourse to Graces quiet stayers,
His state no Fortune by no meane appayers:
For Fortune is the folly and plage of those
Which to the worlde their wretched willes dispose.
Among which Fooles (Marke Baldwyn) I am one
That would not stay my selfe in mine estate.
I thought to rule, but to obey to none,
And therfore fel I with my Kyng at bate.
And to the ende I might him better mate,
Iohn Mortimer I caused my selfe be called,
Whose Kingly blood the Henries nye had thralled.
This shift I vsed the people to perswade
To leave their Prince, on my side more to sticke,
Wheras in deede my fathers name was Kade
Whose noble stocke was never wurth a sticke.
But touching wit I was both rype and quicke,
Had strength of lims, large stature, cumly face,
Which made men wene my lynage were not base.
And seing stoutnes stucke by men in Kent
Whose Ualiaunt hartes refuse none enterprise,
With false perswasions straite to them I went,
And sayd they suffred to great iniuryes:
By meane wherof I caused them to rise,
And battayle wyse to cum to blacke heth playne
And thence their grefes vnto the Kyng complayne.
Who being deafe (as men say) on that eare,
For we desired releace of subsidies,
Refused roughly our requestes to heare
And came against vs as his enemies.
But we to trap hym, sought out subtiltyes,
Remoued our campe, and [...]acke to Senocke went,
After whom the Staffordes wt their power wer sent.
Se here how Fortune setting vs a flote
Brought to our nettes a porcion of our pray.
For why the Staffordes with their army hote
Assayled vs at Senocke, where we laye:
From whence alive they parted not away,
Whiche whan the Kynges retinew vnderstode
They all affirmed my quarel to be good
Which caused the king, and quene whom al did hate,
To raise their campe, and sodaynly depart:
And that they might the peoples grudge abate,
To imprison sum ful sore against their hart.
Lord Sayes was one, whom I made after smart▪
For after the Staffordes & their [...]ast was slaine,
To Blackheath fyelde I marched backe againe.
And where the king would nothing heare before,
Nowe was he glad to send to know my minde:
And I therby enflamed much the more,
Refused his grauntes, so folly made me blind.
For this he flewe and left lord Skales behind,
Mo helpe the towne, and strengthen London tower,
Towardes which I marched forward wt my power.
And found there all thinges after my desier,
I entred London, did there what I list,
The Treasurer, lord Sayes, I did conspier
To have condemned: wherof whan I mist,
(For he by lawe my malice did resist)
By force I tooke him in Guyld hall fro the heape,
And headed him before the crosse in cheape.
His sonne in law, Iames Cromer shrive of Kent,
I caught at Myle ende, where as than he laye:
Beheaded him, and on a poale I sent
His head to London, where his fathers laye.
With these two heades I made a prety play,
For pight on poales I bare them through the strete,
And for my sport made ech kisse other swete.
Than brake I prisons, let furth whom I woulde,
And vsed the citie as it had be mine:
Tooke fram the marchanntes, money, ware, & golde:
From sum by force, from other sum by fine.
This at the length did cause them to repine,
So that lord Skales consenting with the mayre,
Forbad vs to their citie to repayre.
For al this while mine hoast in Southwarke lay▪
Who whan they knewe our passage was denyed,
Came boldly to the bridge and made a fraye,
For in we would, the townes men vs defied:
But whan with strokes we had the matter tryed,
We wan the bridge and set much part on fire,
This doen, to Southwarke backe we did retier.
The morowe after came the Chauncellour
With generall pardon for my men halfe gone,
Which heard and read, the rest within an houre
Shranke all awaye, eche man to shift for one.
And whan I sawe they left me post alone,
I did disguise me like a knight of the post,
And into Sussex roade away in poste.
And there I lurked, till that cursed coyne
That restles begle sought and found me out.
For strayt the king by promise did enioyne
A thousand marke, to whosoever mought
Apprend my corse: which made men seke about.
Among the which one Alexander Iden,
Found out the hole wherin the fox was hidden.
But ere he tooke me, I put him to his trumpes,
For yeeld I would not while my handes would holde
But hope of money made him stur his stumpes,
And to assaul [...] me valiauntly and bolde.
Two howres and more our cumbate was not colde,
Til at the last he lent me such a stroke,
That downe I fell, and never after spoke.
Than was my carkas caried like a hog,
To Southwarke borow where it lay a night,
The next day drawen to Newgate like a dog,
All men reioycing at the rufull sight:
Than were on poales my parboylde quarters pight,
And set aloft for vermine to deuower,
Meete graue for rebels that resist the power.
Full litell knowe we wretches what we do,
Whan we presume our princes to resist.
We war with God, against his glory to,
That placeth in his office whom he list,
Therfore was never traytour yet but mist
The marke he shot, and came to shamefull ende
Nor never shall til God be forst to bend.
God hath ordayned the power, all princes be
His Lieutenauntes, or debities in realmes,
Against their foes still therfore fighteth he,
And as his enmies drives them to extremes,
Their wise deuises prove but doltish dreames.
No subiect ought for any kind of cause,
To force the lord, but yeeld him to the lawes.
And therefore Baldwin warne men folow reason
Subdue theyr wylles, and be not Fortunes slaues,
A troublous ende doth ever folowe treason,
There is no trust in rebelles, raskall knaues,
In Fortune lesse, whiche wurketh as the waves:
From whose assautes who lyst to stande at large,
Must folowe skyll, and flye all worldly charge.

BY saint mary (ꝙ one) yf Iacke wer as well learned, as you haue made his o­racion, What so ever he was by byrth, I warraunt hym a gentylman by his learnyng. Howe notably and Philosopher like hath he dis­crybed Fortune and the causes of worldly cum­braunce? howe vpryghtly also and howe lyke a deuine hath he determined the states both of of­ficers and Rebelles. For in dede officers be gods deputies, and it is gods office which they beare, and it is he whiche ordeyneth thereto suche as himselfe lysteth, good whan he fauoreth the peo­ple, and evyll whan he wyll punysh theim. And therefore whosoever rebelleth agaynst any ruler either good or bad, rebelleth against GOD, and shalbe sure of a wretched ende: For God can not but maintein his deputie. Yet this I note by the waye concernyng rebelles and rebellions. Al­though the deuyll rayse theim, yet God alwayes vseth them to his glory, as a parte of his Iustice. For whan Kynges and chiefe rulers, suffer theyr vnder officers to mysuse theyr subiectes, and wil [Page] not heare nor remedye theyr peoples wronges whan they complayne, than [...] GOD the Rebell to rage, and to execute that parte of his Iustice, whiche the parcyall prince woulde not. For the Lord Saies a very corrupt officer, & one whom notwithstanding the king alwaies main temed, was destroyed by this Iacke, as was al­so the byshop of Salysbury (a proude and couei­tous prelate) by other of the rebelles. And there­fore what soever prince desyreth to lyue quyatlye without rebellion, must do his subiectes right in all thinges, and punyshe suche officers as greue or oppresse theim, thus shall they be sure from all rebellion. And for the clerer opening herof, it were well doen to set forth this Lord Sayes Trage­die. What neede that (ꝙ another) seyng the lyke example is seen in the duke of Suffolke, whose doinges are declared sufficiently alredy. Nay ra­ther let vs go forward, for we haue a great may­ny behynde that maye not be omytted, and the tyme as you see, passeth away. As for this Lorde Sayes whom Cade so cruelly kylled and spyte­fully vsed after his death (I dare say) shalbe kno­wen thereby what he was to all that reade or heare this storie. For God would never have suf­fred him to haue been so vsed, except he had fyrst deserved it. Therefore let hym go, and with hym the Bushop, and all other slaine in that rebellion: which was raysed as it may be thought, through sum dry [...]t of the duke of Yorke, who shortly after [Page xlviii] began to endeuoure all meanes to attayne the Crowne, and [...]refore gathered an armye in Wales, and marched towarde London: but the kyng wich his power taried and met him at S. Albones. Where whyle the king & he wer about a treatye, therle of Warwyke set vpon the kings army, and uewe the duke of Somerset, the Erle of Northumberlande, the Lorde Clyfforde, and other, and in conclusion got the victorie, and the duke was made Lord Protector. Whiche so gre­ved the Queene and her accomplices, that pryvy grutches and open dissemblyng never ceassed tyl the duke and his allies were glad to flye the field and Realme, he into Irelande, they to Calayes, whence they came agayne, with an army, wher­of the Erle of Salisburye was leader, and mar­ched toward Coventry where ye king than was, and had gathered an armye to subdue them, and encountred them at Northhampton, and fought and lost the fyelde and was taken hym selfe, the duke of Buckingham, the erle of Shrewesbury, the vicounte Beaumount, the Lord Egermount, and many other of his retinue slayne. Yf no man haue any minde to any of these noble personages because they were honourably slaine in battay [...]e, let sum man els take the Booke, for I mynde to say sumwhat of this duke of Somerset.

☞ Whyle he was deuisyng thereon, and every man seking farder notes, I looked on the Croni­cles, and fynding styl fyelde vpon fyelde, & manye [Page] noble men slayne, I purposed to haue ouerpassed all, for I was so wearye that I waxed drowsye, and began in dede to slumber: but my imaginaci­on styll prosecutyng this ragicall matter, brought me suche a fantasy. me thought there stode before vs, a tall mans body full of fresshe woundes, but lackyng a head, holdyng by the hande a goodlye childe, whose brest was so wounded yt his hearte myght be seen, his louely face and eyes disfigured with dropping teares, his heare through horrour standyng vpryght, his mercy cravyng handes all to bemangled, & all his body embrued wt his own bloud. And whan through the gastfulnes of this pyteous spectacle, I wared afeard, and turned a­waye my face, me thought there came a shrekyng voyce out of the weasande pipe of the headles bo­dye, saying as foloweth.

Hovv Richard Plantagenet duke of York vvas slayne through his over rash boldnes, and his sonne the earle of Rutland for his lack of valiauns.

TRust Fortune (ꝙ he) in whō was neuer trust,
O folly of men that haue no better grace,
All rest, renowne, and dedes lie in the dust
Of al the sort that sue her slipper trace.
What meanest thou Baldwin for to hide thy face?
Thou nedest not feare although I misse my head:
Nor yet to mourne, for this my sonne is dead.
The cause why thus I lead him in my hand,
His skin with blud and teares so sore bestaynd.
Is that thou mayst the better vnderstand
How hardly Fortune hath for vs ordaynde:
In whom her love and hate be hole contaynde.
For I am Richard prince Plantagenet,
The duke of Yorke in royall rase beget.
For Richarde erle of Cambridge, eldest sonne
Of Edmund Langley, third sonne of king Edward,
Engendred me of Anne, whose course did runne
Of Mortimers to be the issue garde:
For when her brother Edmund died a warde,
She was sole hayer by due discent of line,
Wherby her rightes and titles al wer mine,
But marke me now I pray thee Baldwin marke,
And see how force oft overbeareth right:
Waye how vsurpers tyrannously warke,
To kepe by murder that they get by might,
And note what troublous daungers do alight
On such as seke to reposses their owne,
And how through rigour right is overthrowen.
The earle of Herford, Henry Bolenbrooke,
Of whom duke Mowbray tolde thee now of late,
Whan voyde of cause he had king Richard tooke:
He murdred him, vsurped his estate,
Without all right or title, sauing hate
Of others rule, or love to rule alone:
These two excepted, title had he none.
The realme and crowne was Edmund Mortimers
Whose father Roger, was king Richardes hayre,
Which caused Henry and the Lancasters
To seeke all shiftes, our housholdes to appayre,
For sure he was to sit beside the chayre
Wer we of power to clayme our lawfull right,
Wherfore to stroye vs he did all he might.
His cursed sunne ensued his cruel path.
And kept my giltles cosin strayt in duraunce:
For whom my father hard intreated hath.
But liuing hopeles of his liues assuraunce
He thought it best by politik procuraunce,
To prive the king, and so restore his frend:
Which brought him selfe to an infamous ende.
For whan king Henry of that name the fift,
Had tane my father in this conspiracy,
He from Sir Edmund all the blame to shift,
Was fayne to say the French king, his ally,
Had hyred him this trayterous act to trye,
For which condemned, shortly he was slayne.
In helping right this was my fathers gayne.
Thus whan the linage of the Mortimers
Were made away by this vsurping line,
Sum hanged, sum slayne, sum pined prisoners:
Because the crowne by right of law was mine,
They gan as fast agaynst me to repine:
In feare alwayes least I should sturre them strife.
For gilty hartes have never quiet life.
Yet at the last in Henryes dayes the sixt,
I was restored to my fathers landes,
Made duke of Yorke. wherthrough my minde I firt,
To get the crowne and kingdome in my handes.
For ayde wherin I knit assured bandes
With Nevels stocke, whose doughter was my make
Who for no wo would ever me forsake.
O lord what happe had I through mariage,
Fower goodly boyes in youth my wife she boore.
Right valiaunt men, and prudent for their age.
Such bretherne she had and nephewes stil in store,
As none had erst, nor any shal haue more:
The erle of Salisbury, and his sonne of Warwike,
Wer matchles men from Barbary to Barwike.
Through helpe of whom and Fortunes lovely looke
I vndertooke to clayme my lawful right,
And to abash such as agaynst me tooke,
I raysed power at all poyntes prest to fight:
Of whom the chiefe that chiefly bare me spite,
Was Somerset the Duke, whom to annoy
I alway sought, through spite, spite to vistroy.
And maugre him, so choyse loe was my chaunce,
Yea though the quene that all rulde tooke his part,
I twise bare stroke in Normandy and Fraunce,
And last liuetenant in Ireland, where my hart
Found remedy for euery kind of smart.
For through the love my doinges there did brede,
I had their helpe at all times in my nede.
This spiteful duke, his silly king and quene.
With armed hostes I thrise met in the [...]ield,
The first vnfought through treaty made betwene,
The second ioynde, wherin the king did yeeld,
The duke was slayne, the quene enforst to shylde
Her selfe by flight. The third the quene did fight,
Where I was slaine being overmacht by might.
Before this last were other battayles three,
The first the erle of Salisbury led alone,
And fought on Bloreheth, and got the victory:
In the next was I and my kinsfolke euerythone.
But seing our souldiers stale vnto our foen,
We warely brake our cumpany on a night,
Dissolved our hoaste, and tooke our selues to flight.
This boye and I in Ireland did vs save,
Mine eldest sonne with Warwicke and his father,
To Caleys got, whence by the reade I gave
They came againe to London, and did gather
An other hoast, wherof I spake not rather:
And met our foes, slew many a lord and knight,
And tooke the King, and drave the Queene to flight.
This done came I to England all in haste.
To make my claime vnto the realme and crowne:
And in the house while parliament did last,
I in the kinges seat boldly sat me downe,
And claymed it: wherat the lordes did frowne,
But what for that, I did so wel procede,
That al at last confest it mine in dede.
But sith the king had rayned now so long,
They would he should continue til he died,
And to the ende that than none did me wrong,
Protect [...]ur and heire apparant they me cryed:
But sith the Quene and others this denied,
I sped me toward the North, where than she lay,
In minde by force to cause her to obey.
Wherof she warnde prepared a mighty power,
And ere that mine were altogether ready,
Came bold to Boswurth, and besieged my bower.
Where like a beast I was so rashe and heady,
That out I would, there could be no remedy,
With skant fiue thousand souldiers, to assayle
Fower times so many, encampt to most avayle.
And so was slayne at first: and while my childe
Skarce twelve yere olde, sought secretly to part,
That cruell Clifford, lord, nay Lorell wilde,
While the infant wept, and praied him rue his smart
Knowing what he was, wt his dagger cla [...]e, his hart:
This doen he came [...]o the campe where I lay dead,
Dispoylde my corps, and cut away my head.
And whan he had put a paper crowne theron,
As a gawring stocke he sent it to the Queen,
And she for spite, commaunded it anon
To be had to Yorke: where that it might be seen,
They placed it where other traytours been.
This mischiefe Fortune did me after death,
Such was my life, and such my losse of breath.
Wherfore see Baldwin that thou set it furth
To the ende the fraude of Fortune may be knowen,
That eke all princes well may way the wurth:
Of thinges, for which the sedes of warre be sowen:
No state so sure but soone is overthrowen.
No worldly good can counterpeyze the prise,
Of halfe the paynes that may therof arise.
Farre better it wer to loose a piece of right,
Than limmes and life in sousing for the same.
It is not force of frendship nor of might,
But god that causeth thinges to fro or frame.
Not wit, but lucke, doth wield the winners game.
Wherfore if we our follies would refrayne,
Time would redres all wronges, we voyd of payne.
Wherfore warue princes not to wade in warre,
For any cause, except the realmes defence:
Their troublous titles are vnwurthy farre,
The blud, the life, the spoyle of innocence.
Of frendes and foes behold my foule expence,
And never the nere: best therfore tary time,
So right shall raigne, and quiet calme ech crime.

WIth this, mayster Ferrers shooke me by the sleve, saying: why how now man, do you forget your selfe? belike you mind our matters very much: So I do in dede (ꝙ I) For I dreame of them. And whan I had re­hearced my dreame, we had long talke concer­ning the natures of dreames, which to stint and to bring vs to our matter againe, thus sayde one of them: I am glad it was your chaunce to dreame of Duke Richard, for it had bene pity to have overpassed him. And as cōcerning this lord Clyfford whych so cruelly killed his sonne, I purpose to geve you notes: who (as he welde served) came shortly after to a sodayne death, & yet to good for so cruell a tiraunt. Wherfore as you thought you sawe and heard the headles duke speake thorow his necke, so suppose you see this lord Clifford all armed save his head, with his brest plate all gore bloud running from his throte, wherin an hedles arrow sticketh, thrugh which wound he sayeth thus:

Hovv the lord Clyfford for his straunge and abhominable cruelty, came to as straunge and sodayne a death.

OPen confession areth open penaunce,
And wisedome would a mā his shame to hide:
Yet sith forgeuenes cummeth through repentaunce
I thinke it best that men their crimes ascried,
For nought so secrete but at length is spied:
For couer fire, and it wil neuer linne
Til it breake furth, in like case shame and sinne.
As for my selfe my faultes be out so playne
And published so brode in every place,
That though I would I can not hide a grayne.
All care is bootles in a cureles case,
To learne by others griefe sum haue the grace,
And therfore Baldwin write my wretched fall,
The brief wherof I briefly vtter shall.
I am the same that slue duke Richardes childe
The louely babe that begged life with teares.
Wherby my honour fowly I defilde.
Poore selly lambes the Lyon neuer teares:
The feble mouse may lye among the beares:
But wrath of man his rancour to requite,
Forgets all reason, ruth, & vertue quite.
I mean by rancour the parentall wreke
Surnamde a vertue (as the vicious say)
But litle know the wicked what they speake,
In boldning vs our enmyes kin to slay,
To punish sinne, is good, it is no nay.
They wreke not sinne, but merit wreke for sinne,
That wreke the fathers faultes vpon his kyn.
Because my father lord Iohn Clifford died
Slayne at S. Albons, in his princes ayde.
Agaynst the duke my hart for malyce fryed,
So that I could from wreke no way be stayed.
But to avenge my fathers death, assayde
All meanes I might the duke of Yorke to annoy.
And all his kin and frendes to kill and stroy.
This made me with my bluddy daggar wound.
His giltles sunne that never agaynst me sturde:
His fathers body lying dead on ground,
To pearce with speare, eke with my cruell swurd
To part his necke, and with his head to bourd,
Envested with a paper royal crowne,
From place to place to beare it vp and downe.
But cruelty can never skape the skourge
Of shame, of horror, and of sodayne death.
Repentaunce selfe that other sinnes may pourge,
Doth flye sc [...]o [...] this, so sore the soule it slayeth,
Dispayre dissolves the tirauntes bitter breath▪
For sodayne vengeaunce sodaynly alightes
On cruell heades, to quite thier cruel spightes.
[...]

The infamous ende of Lord Iohn Tip­toft Earle of VVurcester, for cru­elly executing his princes butcherly commaun­dementes.

THe glorious man is not so loth to lurke,
As the infamous glad to lye vnknowen:
Which maketh me Baldwin disalow thy wurke,
Where princes faultes so openly be blowen.
I speake not this alonely for mine owne
Which wer my princes (if that they wer any)
But for my Pyers, in numbre very many.
Or might report vprightly vse her tong,
It would lesse greve vs to augment thy matter.
But suer I am thou shalt be forst among,
To frayne the truth, the living for to [...]atter:
And otherwhiles in poyntes vnknowen to smatter.
For time never was, nor ever I thinke shall be,
That truth vnshent should speake in all thinges fre.
This doeth appere (I dare say) by my story,
Which divers writers diversly declare,
But story writers ought for neyther glory,
Feare, nor favour, truth of thinges to spare.
But still it fares as alway it did fare,
Affection, feare, or doubtes that dayly brue,
Do cause that stories never can be true.
Unfruytfull Fabyan folewed the face
Of time and d [...]des, but let the causes [...]ip:
Whych Hall hath added, but with double grace,
For feare I thinke least trouble might him trip:
For this or that (sayeth he) he felt the whip.
Thus story writers leave the causes out,
Or so rehears them, as they wer in dout.
But seing causes are the chiefest thinges
That should be noted of the story wryters,
That men may learne what endes al causes bringes
They be vnwurthy the name of Croniclers,
That leave them cleane out of their registers,
Or doubtfully report them: for the fruite
Of reading stories, stand [...]th in the suite.
And therfore Baldwin eyther speake vpright
Of our affayres, or touche them not at all:
As for my selfe I waye al thinges so light,
That nought I passe how men report my fall.
The truth wherof yet playnly shew I shall,
That thou mayst write, and other therby rede,
What thinges I did, wherof they should take hede.
Thou hast heard of Tiptoftes erfes of Wurcester
I am that Iohn that lived in Edwardes dayes
The fourth, and was his frend and counsayler,
And Butcher to, as common rumor sayes.
But peoples voyce is neyther shame nor prayse:
For whom they would alive devour to day,
To morow dead, they wil wurship what they may.
But though the peoples [...]erdit go by chaune [...],
Yet was there cause to cal me as they did.
For I enforst by meane of gouernaunce,
Did execute what euer my king did byd.
From blame herein my selfe I can not ryd,
But fye vpon the wretched state, that must
Defaine it selfe, to serue the princes lust.
The chiefest crime wherwith men do me charge,
Is death of the Earle of Desmundes noble sonnes.
Of which the kinges charge doth me clere discharge,
By strayt commaundement and Iniunctions:
Theffect wherof so rigorously runnes,
That eyther I must procure to se them dead,
Or for contempt as a traytour lose my head.
What would mine enemies do in such a case,
Obey the king, or proper death procure?
They may wel say their fancy for a face,
But life is swete, and love hard to recure.
They would haue doen as I did I am sure:
For seldome wil a welthy man at ease
For others cause his prince in ought displease.
How much lesse I, which was lieutenant than
In the Irishe yle, preferred by the king:
But who for love or dread of any man,
Consentes to accomplish any wicked thing,
Although chiefe fault therof from other spring,
Shall not eskape Gods vengeaunce for his dede,
Who sauseth none that dare do yl for drede.
This in my king and me may wel appere,
Which for our faultes did not eskape the scourge:
For whan we thought our states most sure and clere
The wind of Warwick blew vp such a sourge
As from the realme and crowne the king did pourge,
And me both from mine office, frendes, and wife,
From good report, from honest death, and life.
For Therle of Warwick through a cancard grudge,
Which to king Edward causeles he did beare,
Out of his realme by force did make him trudge,
And set king Henry agayne vpon his chaire.
And then all such as Edwardes louers were
As traytours tane, were greuously opprest,
But chiefly I, because I loved him best.
And for my goodes and livinges wer not small,
The gapers for them bare the world in hand
For ten yeres space, that I was cause of all
The exeen [...]ions done within the land.
For thys did such as did not vnderstand
My enmies drift, thinke all reportes wer true:
And so to hate me wurse than any Iewe.
For seeldome shall a ruler lose his life,
Before false rumours openly be spred:
Wherby this proverbe is as true as rise,
That rulers rumours hunt about a head.
Frowne Fortune once all good report is fled:
For present shew doth make the mayny blind,
And such as see, dare not disclose their mind.
Through this was I king Edwardes butcher na­med,
And bare the shame of all his cruell dedes:
I cleare me not, I wurthely was blamed,
Though force was such I must obey him nedes.
With hyest rulers seldome wel it spedes,
For they ve ever nearest to the nip,
And fault who shall, for all fele they the whip.
For whan I was by parliament attaynted,
King Edwardes evilles all wer counted mine.
No truth avaylde, so lyes wer faste and paynted,
Which made the people at my life repine,
Crying: Crucifige, kill that butchers line:
That whan I should have gone to Blockaut feast,
I could not passe so sore they on me preast.
And had not bene the officers so strong
I thinke they would have eaten me aliue,
Howbeit hardly haled from the throng,
I was in the Fleete fast shrowded by the shrive.
Thes one dayes life their malice did me give:
Which whan they knew, for spite the next day after,
They kept them calme, so suffeed I the slaughter.
Now tel me Baldwin, what fault doest thou find,
In me, that lustly should such death deserve?
None sure, except desire of honour blind,
Which made me seke in offices to serve.
What minde so good, that honors make not swerve?
So mayst thou see, it only was my state
That caused my death, and brought me so in hate.
Warne therfore all men, wisely to beware,
What offices they enterprise to beare:
The hyest alway most maligned are,
Of peoples grudge, and princes hate in feare.
For princes faultes his faultors all men teare.
Which to auoyde, let none such office take,
Save he that can for right his prince forsake.

THis Earles tragedy was not so soone finished, but one of the cumpany had prouided for an other, of a notable person, lord Tiptoftes chiefe enemy: concerning whom he sayd: Lord god, what trust is there in world­ly chaūces? what stay in any prosperity? for see, the Earle of Warwicke which caused the earle of Wurcester to be apprehended, attaynted, and put to death, triumphing with his olde impriso­ned, and newe vnprisoned prince king Henry, was by and by after (and his brother with him) flayne at Barnet field by kyng Edward, whō he had before time damaged divers wayes. As first by his frendes at Banbury field, where to revenge the death of his Cosin Harry Nevel, Sir Iohn Conyers and Iohn Clappain his seruauntes slewe five thousand Welshemen, and beheaded theyr captaynes, the earle of Pen broke, and syr Rychard Harbert his brother af­ter they wer yelded prisoners: of whom syr Ry­chard Harbert was [...]he tallest gentleman both of his person and handes that ever I reade or [Page] heard of. At which time also, Robyn of Rids­dale, a rebell of the earle of Warwyks raysing, tooke the earle Rivers king Edwardes wifes father, and his sonne Iohn, at his manour of Grafion, and caryed them to Northhampton, & there without cause or proces beheaded them. Whych spites to requite, king Edward caused the lord Stafford of Southwike one of War­wikes chyefe frendes to be taken at Brent march, and headed at Budgewater. This cau­sed the Earle shortly after to raise his power, to encounter the king which came agaynst him with an army beside Warwike, at Wouluey wher he wan the field, tooke the king prisoner, and kept him a while at Yorkeshire in Middle­ham castel: whence (as sum say) he released him agayne, but other thinke he corrupted his ke­pers, and so escaped. Then through the lordes the matter was taken vp betwene them, & they brought to talk together: but because they could not agree, the earle raysed a new army, wherof he made captayne the lord Welles sonne which broyle kinge Edward minding to appeace by pollicy, fowly distayned his honor committing peruiry. For he sent for the lord Welles & his brother sir Thomas Dunocke, vnder safeconduyte promising thē vpon his fayth to kepe thē harm­les: But after, because the Lord Walles sonne would not dissolve his army, beheded thē both, and wēt with his power downe into Lincoln­shire, [Page lxviii] & there fought with sir Robert Welless, & slewe ten thousand of his souldiers yet ran they away so fast, that the casting of of their clothes for the more spede, caused it to be called loose-coate fyeld) & tooke sir Robert & other, and put them to deth in the same place. This misfortune forced the earle of Warwike to saile into Fraūce wher he was wel entertained of yt king a while, and at last with such poore helpe as he procured ther of duke Rayner & other he came unto Eng­land againe, & increased such a power in Kyng Henries name yt as the lord Tiptoft, sayd in his tragedy, king Edwarde vnable to abide him, was faine to flye over the washes in Lincoln­shire to get a ship to saile out of his kingdome to [...]is brother in lawe the duke of Burgoyne: So was king Hēry restored again to the kingdome. Al these despites & troubles the Earle w [...]ought agaynst king Edward, but Henry was so [...]nfortunate that ere halfe a yeare was exp [...]red, king Edwarde came backe agayne, and imprisoned him, and gave the erle a sielde, wherein [...] s [...]w both him and his brother. I have recounted thus much before hande for the better ope [...]ing of the story, which if it should have bene spoken in his traged [...] would rather have mad [...] a vo­lume tha [...] a Pamphlete. For I ente [...]de onelye to say in the tragedy, what I have [...] the Earle of Warwycke person [...] other noble m [...]n, wham I have by the waye touched, should not be forgotten.

[Page]And therfore imagine that you see this Earle lying with his brother in Paules church in his coat armure, with such a face & countenaunce as he beareth in portrayture ouer the dore in Poules, at the going downe to Iesus Chap­pell fro the south ende of the quier stayres, and saying as foloweth.

Hovv sir Richard Nevell Earle of VVar­vvike, and his brother Iohn Lord Mar­quise Mountacute through their to much boldnes vver slayne at Barnet field.

AMong the he any heape of happy knyghtes,
Whom Fortune stalde vpon her stayles stage,
Oft hoyst on hye, oft pight in wretched plightes,
Behold me Baldwin, a per se of my age,
Lord Richard Nevell, Earle by mariage
Of Warwike duchy, of Sarum by discent,
Which erst my father through his mariage hent.
Wouldest thou beholde false Fortune in her kind
Note well my life so shalt thou see her naked:
Ful fayre before, but toto foule behind,
Most drowsy still whan most she semes awaked:
My fame and shame her shift full oft hath shaked,
By enterchaunge, alowe and vp alofte,
The Luysard like that chaungeth hewe ful oft.
For while the Duke of Yorke in life remayned
Mine vncle deare, I was his happy hand:
In all attemptes my purpose I attayned,
Though King and Quene & most Lordes of the land
With all their power did often me withstand,
For god gaue Fortune, and my good behaviour,
Did from their prince steale me the peoples fauour,
So that through me in feldes right manly fought,
By force mine vncle tooke king Harry twise:
And for my cosin Edward so I wrought,
When both our syers were slayne through rashe ad­uice:
That he atchieved his fathers enterprise:
For into Scotland King and Quene we chased,
By meane wherof the kingdome he embraced.
Which after he had enioyde in quiet peace,
(For shortly after was king Henry take,
And put in prison) his power to encreace,
I went to Fraunce, and matched him with a make,
The French kinges doughter, whom he did forsake:
For while with payne I brought his sute to passe,
He to a widowe rashly wedded was.
This made the French king shrewdly to suspecte,
That all my treaties had but yll pretence,
And whan I sawe my king so bent to lust,
That with his fayth he past not to dispence,
Which is a princes honors chiefe defence,
I could not rest [...] I had found a meane.
To mend his misse, or els to marre him cleane.
Wherfore I allyed me with his brother George,
Encensing him his brother to maligne
Through many a tale I did agaynst him forge:
So that through power we did from Calays bring
And found at home, we frayed so the king,
That he to go to Freseland ward amayne,
Wherby king Henry had the crowne agayne.
Then put we the earle of Wurcester to death
King Edwardes frend, a man to fowle defamed:
And in the while came Edward into breath,
For with the duke of Burgoyne so he framed.
That with the power that he to him had named,
Unlooked for he came to England strayt,
And got to Yorke, and tooke the towne by sleyte.
And after through the sufferans of my brother,
Which like a beast occasion fowly lost,
He came to London safe with many other,
And tooke the towne to good king Harries cost,
Which was through him from post to piller tost,
Til therle of Oxeford, I, and other more,
Assembled power his fredome to restore.
Wherof king Edward warned came with spede,
And camped with his oste at Barnet towne,
Where we right fierce encountred him in dede
On Easter day, right early on the downe,
There many a man was slayne and striken downe
On eyther side, and neyther part did gayne
Til I and my brother both at length were slayne.
For we to harten our overmatched men,
Forsooke our stedes, and in the thickest throng,
Ran preacing furth on foote, and fought so then,
That down we drave them wer they never so strōg.
But ere this inche had lasted very long:
With numbre and force we wer so fowlye cloyed
And rescue fayled, that quite we wer destroyed.
[...]
[...]
Now tell me Baldwin hast thou heard or read,
Of any man that did as I have done?
That in his time so many armies led,
And victory at every vyage wunne?
Hast thou ever heard of subiect vnder sonne,
That plaaste and baaste his soveraynes so oft,
By enterchaunge, now low, and than alost?
Perchaunce thou thinkest my doinges were not such
As I and other do affirme they were.
And in thy minde I see thou musest much
What meanes I vsed, that should me so prefer:
Wherin because I wil thou shalt not erre,
The truth of all I wil at large recite,
The short is this: I was no hippocrite.
I never did nor sayd, save what I mente,
The common weale was still my chiefest care,
To priuate gayne or glory I was not bent,
I never passed vpon delicious fare.
Of nedeful foode my bourde was never bare.
No creditour did curs me day by day.
I vsed playnnes, ever pitch and pay.
I heard olde soldiers, and poore wurkemen whine
Because their dutyes wer not duly payd.
Agayne I sawe howe people did repine,
At those through whom their paimentes wer delayd:
And proofe [...] oft assure (as scripture sayd)
That god doth wreke the wretched peoples griefes,
I sawe the polles cut of fro polling thev [...]s.
This made me alway iustly for to deale.
Which whan the people playnly vnderstoode,
Bycause they sawe me mind the common weale
They still endeuoured how to do me good,
Ready to spend their substaunce, life, and blud,
In any cause wherto I did them move
For suer they wer it was for their behove.
And so it was. For whan the realme decayde,
By such as good king Henry sore abused,
To mende the state I gave his enmies ayde:
But whan king Edward sinful pranl [...]es stil vsed,
And would not mend, I l [...]kewise him refused:
And holpe vp Henry the better of the twayne,
And in his quarel (iust I thinke) was slayne.
And therfore Baldwin teach by proofe of me,
That such as covet peoples love to get,
Must see their wurkes and wurdes in all agree:
Live liberally, and kepe them out of det,
On common weale let al their care be set,
For vpright dealing, dets payd, poore sustayned,
Is meane wherby all hartes are throwly gayned,

ASsoone as the Erle had ended his ad­monicion, sure (ꝙ one) I thinke the Erle of Warwike although he wer a glorious man, hath sayd no more of him selfe than what is true. For if he had not had notable good ver­tues, or vertuous qualities, and vsed lawdable meanes in his trade of lyfe, the people woulde [Page] never have loved him as they did: But god be with him, and send his soule rest, for sure his bo­dye never had any. And although he dyed, yet ciuil warres ceased not. For immediatlye after his death, came Quene Margarete with a po­wer out of Fraunce, bringing with her her yōg sonne prince Edwarde, and with such frendes as she found here, gave king Edward a battel at Tewrbury, where both she & her sonne wer takē prisoners, with Edmund duke of Somer­set her chiefe captayne: whose sonne lord Iohn, and the earle of Deuonshire, were slayne in the fight, and the duke him selfe with divers other immediatlye beheaded: whose infortunes are wurthy to be remembred, chiefely Prince Ed­wardes, whom the king for speaking truth, cruelly stroke with his gauntlet, and his bretherne tirannously murdered. But seinge the time so farre spente, I will passe them over, and with them Fawconbridge that ioly rover, beheaded at Southhampton: whose commocion made in Kent, was cause of sely Henries destruccion. And seing king Henrye him selfe was cause of the destruccion of many noble princes, being of all other most vnfortunate him selfe, I will de­clare what I have noted in his vnlucky lyfe: who wounded in prison with a dagger, maye lament his wretchedues in maner falowing.

Hovv king Henry the syxt a vertuous prince, vvas after many other mi­series cruelly murdered in the Tovver of London.

IF ever woful wight had cause to rue his state,
Or by his rufull plight to move men moane his fate,
My piteous playnt may preace my mishaps to rehearce,
wherof the least most lightly heard, the hardest hart may pearce
What hart so hard can heare, of innocens opprest
By fraude in worldly goodes, but melteth in the brest
Whan giltles men be spoylde, imprisoned for theyr owne,
who wayleth not their wretched case to whō the cause is knowē
The Lyon licketh the sores of selly wounded shepe,
The deadmans corse may cause the Crocodile to wepe,
The waves that waste the rockes, refresh the rotten redes,
Such ruth the wracke of innocens in cruel creature bredes.
What hart is than so hard, but wyl for pitye blede,
To heare so cruell lucke so cleare a life succede?
To see a silly soule with woe and sorowe souste,
A king deprived, in prison pente, to death with daggars doust.
Woulde god the day of birth had brought me to my beere,
Than had I never felt the chaunge of Fortunes cheere.
Would god the grave had gript me in her gredy woumbe,
Whan crowne in cradle made m [...]king, wt [...]
Would god the rufull toumbe had bene my royall trone,
So should no kingly charge have made me make my mone:
O that my soule had flowen to heaven with the ioy,
When one sort cryed: God save the king, another, Vive le roy.
So had I not been washt in waves of worldly woe,
My mynde to quyet bent, had not bene tossed so:
My frendes had bene alyve, my subiectes vnopprest:
But death or cruell destiny, denyed me this rest.
Alas what should we count the cause of wretches cares,
The starres do styrre them vp, Astronomy declares:
Or humours sayth the leache, the double true divines,
To the will of god, or yll of man, the doubtfull cause assignes.
Such doltish heades as dreame that all thinges drive by haps,
Count lack of former care for cause of afterclaps.
Astributing to man a power fro God bereft,
Abusing vs, and robbing him, through their most wicked theft.
But god doth gide the world, and every hap by skyll,
Our wit and willing power are paysed by his will:
What wyt most wisely wardes, and wil most deadly vrkes,
Though al our power would presse it downe, doth dash our wa­rest wurkes.
Than destiny, our sinne, Gods wil, or els his wreake,
Do wurke our wrethed woes, for humours b [...] to weake:
Except we take them so, as they prouoke to sinne,
For through our lust by humours fed, al vicious dedes beginne
So sinne and they be one, both wurking like effect,
And cause the wrath of God to wreake the soule infect,
Thus wrath and wreake divine, mans sinnes and humours yll,
Concur in one, though in a sort, ech doth a course fulfill.
If likewise such as say the welken fortune warkes,
Take Fortune for our fate, and sterres therof the markes,
Then destiny with fate, and Gods wil al be one:
But if they meane it otherwise, skath causers skyes be none.
Thus of our heavy happes, chiefe causes be but twayne,
Wheron the rest depende, and vnderput remayne.
The chiefe the wil diuine, called destiny and fate,
The other sinne, through humours holpe, which god doth highly hate,
The first appoynteth payne for good mens exercise,
The second doth deserve due punishment for vice:
This witnesseth the wrath, and that the love of God,
The good for love, the bad for sinne, God beateth with his rod.
Although my sundry sinnes do place me with the wurst,
My happes yet cause me hope to be among the furst:
The eye that searcheth all, and seeth every thought.
Doth know how sore I hated sinne, and after vertue sought.
The solace of the soule my chiefest pleasure was,
Of wordly pompe, of fame, or game, I did not pas:
My kingdomes nor my crowne I prised not a crum:
In heaven wer my rytches heapt, to which I sought to cum.
Yet wer my sorowes such as never man had like,
So divers stormes at once, so often did me strike:
But why, God knowes, not I, except it wer for this
To shew by patarne of a prince, how britle honour is.
Our kingdomes are but cares, our state deuoyde of stay,
Our riches redy snares, to hasten our decay:
Our pleasures priuy prickes our vices to prouoke,
Our pōpe a pumpe, our fame a flame, our power a smouldring smoke.
I speake not but by proofe, and that may many rue.
My life doth crie it out, my death doth trye it true:
Wherof I will in briefe, rehearce my heavy hap,
That Baldwin in his woful warpe, my wretche dues may wrap.
In Windsore borne I was▪ and bare my fathers name,
Who wanne by war all Fraunce to his eternall fame:
And left to me the crowne, to be receyued in peace,
Through mariage made with Charles his haire, vpon his lifes decease.
Which shortly did ensue, yet died my father furst,
And both their realmes were mine, ere I a yere were nurst:
Which as they fell to soone, so faded they as fast,
For Charles and Edward got them both, or fortye yeres were past
Thi [...] Charles was eldest sonne of Charles my father in law,
To whom as heire of Fraunce, the Frenchmen did them draw.
But Edward was the heire of Richard duke of Yorke.
The hayer of Roger Mortimer, slayne by the kerne of Korke,
Before I came to age Charles had recovered Fraunce,
And kilde my men of warre, so lucky was his chaunce:
And through a mad contract I made with Rayners daughter,
I gave and lost all Normandy, the cause of many a slaughter.
First of mine vncle Humfrey, abhorring sore this acte,
Because I therby brake a better precontracte:
Thā of the flattring duke that first the mariage made,
The iust rewarde of such as dare their princes yll perswade.
And I poore sely wretche abode the brunt of all:
My mariage iust so swete was [...]
My wife was wise and good had [...]
[...]
Wherfore warne men beware how they iust promise breake
Least proofe of paynful plagues do cause them waile the wreke:
Aduise wel ere they graunt, but what they graunt, perfourme.
For god wil plage all doublenes, although we feele no wourme
I falsly borne in hand beleved I did wel,
But al thinges be not true that learned men do tell:
My cleargy sayd a prince was to no promis bounde,
Whose wordes to be no gospel tho, I to my griefe haue found.
For after mariage ioynde Quene Margarete and me,
For one mishap afore, I dayly met with three:
Of Normandy and Fraunce Charles got away my crowne,
The Duke of Yorke & other sought at home to put me downe.
Bellona rang the bell at home and all abrode,
With whose mishaps amayne fel Fortune did me lode:
In Fraunce I lost my fortes, at home the soughten fielde,
My kindred slaine, my frendes opprest, my selfe enforste to yelde
Duke Richard tooke me twise, and forst me to resigne,
My crowne, and titles, due vnto my fathers ligne:
And kept me as a warde, did all thinges as him list,
Til time my wife through bluddy sword had [...]ane me from his fyst.
But though she slew the duke, my sorowes did not slake,
But like to hiders head, stil more and more awake:
For Edward through the ayde of Warwick and his brother,
From one field drave me to the Skots, and toke me in another.
Then went my frēdes to wracke, for Edward ware the crowne
For which for nine yeres space his prison held me downe:
Yet thence through Warwikes wurke I was againe releast,
And Edward driven fro the realme, to seke his frendes by East.
But what prevayleth payn, or prouidens of man
To helpe him to good hap, whom destiny doth ban?
Who moyleth to remove the rocke out of the mud,
Shall myer him selfe, & hardly skape the swelling of the flud.
This al my frendes have found and I have felt it so.
Ordayned to be the touche of wretchednes and woe,
For ere I had a yeare possest my seat agayne,
I lost both it and liberty, my helpers all were slayne.
For Edward first by stelth, and sith by gadered strength,
Arrived and got to Yorke and London at the length:
Tooke me and tyed me vp, yet Warwike was so stout,
He came with power to Barnet fyelde, in hope to helpe me out.
And there alas was slayne, with many a wurthy knight.
O Lord that ever such luck should hap in helping right:
Last came my wife and sonne, that long lay in exyle,
Defyed the King, and fought a fyelde, I may bewalle the whsle.
For there mine only sonne, not thirtene yere of age,
Was tane and murdered strayte, by Edward in his rage:
And shortly I my selfe to stynt al furder strife
Stabbed with his brothers bluddy blade in prison lost my life.
Loe here the heauy happes which happened me by heape,
See here the pleasaunt fruytes that many princes reape,
The payneful plagues of those that breake their lawful bandes,
Their mede which may & wil not save their frendes fro bluddy handes.
God graunt my woful haps to greuous to rehearce,
May teache all states to know how depely daungers pearce:
How frayle al honours are, how brittle worldly blisse,
That warned through my feareful fate, they feare to do amys.

[Page lxxv]THis tragedy ended, an other said: eyther you or king Henry are a good philoso­pher, so narowly to argue the causes of misfortunes: but ther is nothing to experience, which taught, or might teach ye king this lesson. but to procede in our matter, I finde mencion here shortly after ye death of this king, of a duke of Excester found dead in the sea betwene Do­ver and Calays, but what he was, or by what adventure he died, master Fabian hath not she­wed, and master Hall hath overskipped him: so that excepte we bee frendlier vnto him, he is like to be double drowned, both in the sea, and in the gulfe of forgetfulnes. About this matter was much talke, but because one tooke vppon him to seeke out that story, that charge was cō ­mitted to him. And to be occupied the meane while, I found the storye of one drowned like­wise, and that so notably, though priuily that al the world knew of it: wherfore I sayd: because night approcheth, and that we wil lose no time, ye shall heare what I have noted concerning the duke of Clarens, king Edwardes brother, who al to be washed in wine, may bewayle his infortune after this maner.

Hovv George Plantagenet third sonne of the Duke of Yorke, vvas by his bro­ther King Edvvard vvrongfully imprisoned, and by his bro­ther Richard misera­bly murdered.

THe foule is fowle men say, that files the nest.
which maketh me loath to speak now, might I chuse,
But seing time vnburdened hath her brest,
And fame blowen vp the blast of all abuse,
My silence rather might my life accuse
Than shroud our shame, though fayne I would it so:
For truth wil out, though all the world say no.
And therfore Baldwin hartely I the beseche.
To pause awhile vpon my heauy playnt,
And though vnneth I vtter spedy spech,
No fault of wit, or folly maketh me saynt:
No heady drinkes have geven my tounge attayn [...]e
Through quaffing craft, yet wine my wits confoūd
Not which I dranke of, but wherin I dround.
What prince I am although I nede not shewe.
Because my wine bewrayes me by the smell,
For never was creature sowst in Bacchus dew [...]
To death but I, through Fortunes rigour fel:
Yet that thou mayst my story better tell,
I will declare as briefly as I may,
My welth, my woe, and causers of decay.
The famous house sournamed Plantagenet,
Wherat dame Fortune frowardly did frowne,
White Bolenbroke vniustly sought to set
His lord king Richard quite beside the crowne,
Though many a day it wanted due renowne,
God so preserved by prouidens and grace,
That lawful heires did never faile the race.
For Lionell king Edwardes elder childe,
Both vncle and haire to Richard yssulesse,
Begot a doughter Philip, whom vnfilde
The earle of March espousde, and god did blesse
With fruyte assinde the kingdome to possesse:
I mean sir Roger Mortimer, whose hayer
The earle of Cambridge maried Anne the fayer.
This earle of Cambridge Richard clept by name,
Was sonne to Edmund Langley duke of Yorke:
Which Edmund was fift brother to the same
Duke Lyonel, that al this line doth korke:
Of which two houses ioyned in a forke,
My father Richard prince Plantagenet
True duke of Yorke, was lawful heire beget.
Who tooke to wife as you shal vnderstand
A mayden of a noble house and olde,
Raulfe Nebels daughter Earle of Westmerland:
Whose sonne Earle Richard was a baron bolde,
A [...]d had the right of Salysbury in bolde,
Through mariage made with good Earle Thomas hayer,
Whose earned prayses never shal appaire.
The duke my father had by this his wife,
Fower sonnes, of whom the eldest Edward hight,
The second Iohn, who lost in youth his life,
At wakefield slayne by Clifford cruell knight.
I George am third of Clarence duke by right.
The fowerth borne to the mischiefe of vs all,
Was duke of Glocester, whom men Richard call.
Whan as our syer in sute of right was slayne,
(Whose life and death him selfe declared curst,)
My brother Edward plyed his cause amayne,
And got the crowne, as Warwick hath rehearst:
The pride wherof so depe his stomacke pearst,
That he forgot his frendes, dispisde his kin,
Of oth or office passing not a pinne.
Which made the earle of Warwike to maligne.
My brothers state, and to attempt a waye,
To bring from prison Henry selly king,
To helpe him to the kingdome if he may.
And knowing me to be the chiefest staye,
My brother had, he did me vndermine
To cause me to his treasons to encline.
Wherto I was prepared long before,
My brother had bene to me so vnkinde:
For sure no cankar fretteth fleshe so sore,
As vnkinde dealing doth a louing minde.
Loves strongest bandes vnkindnes doth vnbinde,
It moveth love to malice, zele to hate,
Chiefe frendes to foes, and bretherne to debate.
And though the Earle of Warwike subtile syer,
Perceyved I bare a grudge agaynst my brother,
Yet towarde his feat to set me more on fire,
He kindeled by one firebrand with another:
For knowing fansie was the forcing rother,
Which stiereth youth to any kinde of strite,
He off [...]red me his daughter to my wife.
Wherthrough and with his crafty filed tounge,
He stale my hart, that erst vnstedy was:
For I was witl [...]s, wanton, fonde, and younge,
Whole bent to pleasure, brittle as the glas:
I can not lye, In vino veritas.
I did esteme the beawty of my bryde,
Above my selfe and all the world beside.
These fond affeccions ioynt with lacke of skyll,
(Which trap the hart, and blinde the iyes of youth,
And pricke the minde to practise any yll)
So tickled me, that voyd of kindly truth:
(Which where it wantes, all wickednes ensueth)
I stinted not to persecute my brother,
Till time he left his kingdome to an other.
Thus karnall love did quench the loue of kind,
Til lust were lost through fansy fully fed.
But whan at length I came vnto my minde,
I sawe how lewdly lightnes had me led,
To seeke with payne the peril of my hed:
For had king Henry once bene setled sure,
I was assured my dayes could not endure.
And therfore though I bound my selfe by othe
To helpe king Henry al that ever I might,
Yet at the treaty of my bretherne both.
Which reason graunted to require but right,
I left his part, wherby he perisht quite:
And reconsilde me to my bretherne twayne,
And so came Edward to the crowne againe.
This made my father in lawe to fret and fume,
To stampe and stare, and call me false forsworne,
And at the length with all his power, presume
To helpe king Henry vtterly forlorne.
Our frendly profers stil he tooke in skorne,
Refused peace, and came to Barnet field,
And there was kilde, bicause he would not yeeld:
His brother also there with him was slayne,
Wherby decayed the kayes of chiualrie.
For never lived the matches of them twaine,
In manhode, power, and marciall pollicy,
In vertuous thewes, and frendly constancy,
That would to god, if it had bene his wil
They might have turnde to vs, and liued stil.
But what shal be, shal be: there is no choyse,
Thinges nedes must drive as destiny decreeth:
For which we ought in all our haps reioyce,
Because the eye eterne all thing forseeth,
Which to no yll at any time agreeth,
For yl [...] to yll to vs, be good to it,
So farre his skilles excede our reach of wi [...].
The wounded man which must abide the smart,
Of stitching vp, or [...]earing of his sore,
As thing to bad, reproves the Surgeons art,
Which notwithstanding doth his helth restore.
The childe likewise to science plied sore,
Countes knowledge yll, his teacher to be wood,
Yet Surgery and sciences be good.
But as the pacientes griefe and Scholers payne,
Cause them deme bad such thinges as sure be best,
So want of wisedome causeth vs complayne
Of every hap, wherby we seme opprest:
The poore do pine for pelfe, the rich for rest,
And whan as losse or sicknes vs assayle:
We curse our fate, our Fortune we bewayle.
Yet for our good, god wurketh every thing.
For through the death of those two noble peres
My brother lived and raignde a quiet king,
Who had they lived perchaunce in course of yeares.
Would have delivered Henry from the breres,
Or holpe his sonne to enioye the careful crowne,
Wherby our lyne should have be quite put downe.
A careful crowne it may be iustly named,
Not only for the cares therto annext,
To see the subiect wel and duly framed,
With which good care few kinges are greatly vext
But for the dread wherwith they are perplext,
Of losing lordship, liberty, or life:
Which woful wrackes in kingdomes happen rife.
The which to shun while sum to sore have sough [...]
They have not spared all persons to suspect:
And to destroy such as they gilty thought:
Though no apparaunce proved them infact.
Take me for one of this wrong punisht sect,
Imprisoned first, accused without cause,
And doen to death, no proces had by lawes.
Wherin I note how vengeaunce doth acquite
Like yll for yll how vices vertue quell:
For as my mariage love did me excite
Against the king my brother to rebell,
So love to have his children prosper well,
Prouoked him against both lawe and right,
To murder me, his brother, and his knight.
For by his quene two goodly sonnes he had.
Borne to be punisht for their paren [...]es sinne:
Whose fortunes kalked made their father sad,
Such wofull haps were founde to be therin:
Which to auouch, writ in a rotten skinne
A prophecy was found, which sayd a G,
Of Edwardes children should destruccion be.
Me to be G, because my name was George
My brother thought, and therfore did me hate.
But woe be to the wicked heades that forge
Such doubtful dreames to brede vnkinde debate:
For God, a gleve, a gibet, grate or gate,
A Graye, a Griffeth or a Gregory,
As well as George are written with a G.
Such doubtfull riddles are no prophecies.
For prophecies, in writing though obscure,
Are playne in sence, the darke be very lyes:
What god forsheweth is euident and pure.
Truth is no Harold nor no Sophist sure:
She noteth not mens names, their shildes nor crea­stes,
Though she compare them vnto birdes and beastes.
But whom she doth forshewe shal rule by force,
She termeth a W [...]lfe, a Dragon or a Beare:
A wilful Prince, a raynles ranging horse.
A bolde, a Lyon: a coward much in feare,
A hare or hart: a crafty, pricked eare:
A lecherous, a Bull, a Goote, a Foale:
An vnderminer, a Moldwarp, or a mole.
By knowen beastes thus truth doth playne declare
What men they be, of whom she speakes before,
And who so can mens properties compare
And marke what beast they do resemble more,
Shall soone discerne who is the griefly bore.
For God by beastes expresseth mens condicions,
And not their badges, haroldes supersticions.
And learned Merline whom God gave the sprite,
To know, and vtter princes actes to cum,
Like to the Iewish prophetes, did recite
In shade of beastes, their doinges all and sum:
Expressing playne by maners of the dum,
That kinges and lordes such properties should have
As had the beastes whose name he to them gave.
Which while the folish did not well consider,
And seing princes gave, for difference
And knowledge of their issues myxt together,
All maner beastes, for badges of pretence,
They tooke those badges to expres the sence
Of Merlines minde, and those that gave the same,
To be the princes noted by their name.
And hereof sprang the false namde prophecies,
That go by letters, siphers, armes, or signes:
Which all be foolish, false and crafty lies,
Deuised by gesse, or Guiles vntrue diuines:
For whan they sawe that many of many lines
Gave armes alike, they wist not which was he,
Whom Merline meant the noted beast to be.
For all the broode of Warwickes geve the Bear,
The Buckinghames do likewise geve the swan:
But which Bear bearer shoulde the lyon teare
They wer as wise as Goose the [...]ery man:
Yet in their skil they ceased not to skan:
And to be demed of the people wise,
Set furth their gloses vpon prophecies.
And whom they doubted openly to name
They darkly termed, or by sum letter meant:
For so they mought how ever the world did frame,
Preserve them selves from shame or being shent.
For howsoever contrary it went,
They might expound their meaning otherwise,
As haps in thinges should newly stil arise.
And thus there grew of a mistaken truth,
An arte so false, as made the true suspect:
Wherof hath cum much mischiefe, more the ruth,
That errours should our mindes so much infect.
True prophecies have fowly been reiect:
The false which brede both murder, warre & strife,
Belyved to the losse of many a goodmans life.
And therfore Baldwin teach men to discerne,
Which prophecies be false and which be true:
And for a ground this lesson let them learne,
That all be false which are deuised newe:
The age of thinges is iudged by the hue.
All Riddels made by letters, names or armes,
Are yong and false, for wurse than witches charmes.
I know thou musest at this lor [...] of mine,
How I no student, should have learned it:
And doest impure it to the fume of wine
That styrs the tounge, and sharpeneth vp the wit,
But harke, a frende did teache me every whit.
A man of mine, in al good knowledge rife,
For which he giltles, lost his learned life.
This man abode my servaunt many a day,
And stil in study set his hole delite:
Which taught me more than I could beare away
Of every arte: and by his searching sight
Of thinges to cum he could forshew as right,
As I rehearce the pageantes that wer past:
Such perfectnes god gaue him at the last.
He knew my brother Richard was the Bore,
Whose tuskes should tears my brothers boyes & me,
And gave me warning therof long before.
But wit nor warning can in no degree
Let thinges to hap, which are ordaynde to bee,
Witnes the paynted Lionesse, which slue
A prince imprisoned, Lions to eschu [...].
He tolde me to, my youkefelow should dye,
(Wherin would God he had bene no diuine)
And after her death, I should woe earnestly
A spouse, wher at my brother should repine:
And finde the meanes she should be none of mine.
For which such malice, should among vs rise,
As save my death no treaty should decise.
And as he sayd, so all thinges came to passe:
For whan King Henry and his sonne wer slayne,
And every broyle so throughly quenched was,
That the King my brother quietly did rayne,
I, reconsiled to his love agayne,
In prosperous health did leade a quiet life,
For five yeares space with honors laden rise.
And to augment the fulnes of my blisse,
Two lovely children by my wife I had:
But froward hap, whose maner ever is,
In chiefest ioy to make the happy sad,
Bemixt my swete with bitternes to bad:
For while I swam in ioyes on every side,
My louing wife, my chiefest iewel died.
Who s [...] lacks whan f [...]l [...] I had bewaylde a yeare,
The Duke of Burgoyues wise dame Margarete
My louing sister, willing me to chear [...],
To mary againe did kindly [...] intreat:
And wisht me matched with a mayden nete
A stepdaughter of hers, duke Charles, his hapee,
A noble damesell, yong, discrete and fayer.
To whose desper, because I did encline,
The King my brother doubting my degree,
Through prophecies, against vs did repine:
And at no hande, would to our willes agree.
For which such rancor pearst both him and me
That face to face we fell to flat defiaunce,
But were appeased by frendes of our aliaunce.
Howbeit my mariage vtterly was dasht:
Wherein because my servaunt sayd his minde,
A meane was sought wherby he might be lasht.
And for they could no crime agaynst him finde,
They forged a fault the peoples lyts to blinde,
And tolde he should by sorceries pretende,
To bring the King vnto a spedy ende.
Of all which poyntes he was as innocent,
As is the babe that lacketh kindely breth:
And yet condemned by the Kinges assent,
Most cruelly put to a shamefull death.
This fierd my hart, as soulder doth the heath:
So that I could not but exclame and crye,
Against so great and open an iniury.
For this I was commaunded to the tower,
The king my brother was so cruel harted:
And whan my brother Richard saw the hower
Was cum, for which his hart so sore had smarted,
He thought best take the time before it parted.
For he endeuoured to attayne the crowne,
Frō which my life must nedes have held him downe.
For though the king within a while had died,
As nedes he must, he surfayted so oft,
I must have had his children in my gyde
So Richard should beside the crowne have cost:
This made him plye the while the waxe was sof [...]
To find a meane to bring me to an ende,
For realme rape spareth neither kin nor frend.
And whan he sawe how reason can asswage
Through length of time, my brother Edwardes yre [...]
With forged tales he set him new in rage,
Til at the last they did my death conspire.
And though my truth sore troubled their desire,
For all the world did know mine innocence,
Yet they agreed to charge me with offence.
And covertly within the tower they called,
A quest to geve such verdite as they should:
Who what with fear, and what with fauour thraide,
Durst nought pronounce but as my brethern would
And though my false accusers never could
Prove ought they sayd, I giltles was condemned:
Such verdites passe where iustice is contemned.
This seat atchieved, yet could they not for shame
Cause me be kilde by any common way,
But like a wulfe the tirant Richard came,
(My brother, nay my butcher I may say)
Unto the tower, when all men wer away,
Save such as wer provided for the [...]eate:
Who in this wise did straungely me entreate.
His purpose was, with a prepared string
To strangle me. but I bestird me so,
That by no force they could me therto bring,
Which caused him that purpose to forge.
Howbeit they bound me whether I would or no.
And in a bu [...]e of Malmesey standing by,
Newe Christned me, because I should not crie.
Thus drounde I was, yet for no due desert,
Except the zeale of Iustice be a crime:
False prophecies bewitched king Edwardes hert.
My brother Richard to the crowne wold clime.
Note these thre causes in thy ruful ryme:
And boldly say they did procure my fal,
And death, of deathes most straunge and hard of al.
And warne all princes prophecies to eschue
That are to darke or doubtful to be knowen:
What God hath sayd, that can not but ensue,
Though all the world would have it overthrowen.
When men suppose by fetches of their owne
To flye theyr fate, they further on the same.
Like quenching blastes, which oft reuive the flame.
Will princes therfore not to thinke by murder
They may auoide what prophecies behight,
But by their meanes theyr mischiefes they may fur­der,
And cause gods vengeaunce heauier to alight:
Wo wurth the wretch yt strives with gods forsights.
They are not wise, but wickedly do ar [...]e,
Which thinke yll dedes, due destinies may barre.
For if we thinke that prophecies be true,
We must beleve it can not but beride
Which God in them forsheweth shall ensue:
For his decrees vnchaunged do abide.
Which to be true my bretherne both have tried.
Whose wicked warkes warne princes to detest,
That others harmes may kepe them better blest.

BY that this tragedy was ended, nyghte was so nere cum that we could not conveniently tary together any longer: and therfore sayd mayster Ferrers: It is best my ma­sters to staye here. For we be cum now to the ende of Edwarde the fowerth his raygne. For the last whom we finde vnfortunate therein, was this Duke of Clarens: In whose behalfe I commende much that which hath be noted. Let vs therfore for thi [...] [...]ime leave with him. And this daye seuen nightes hence, if your busi­nes will so suffer, let vs all mete here together agayne And you shal se that in the mean season I will not only deuise vppon this my selfe, but [Page lxxxiii] but cause divers other of my acquayntauns, which can do very well, to helpe vs forwarde with the rest. To this every man gladly agreed. howbeit (ꝙ an other) seing we shall end at Ed­ward the fowerthes ende, let him selfe make an ende of our daies labour with the same [...]racion which mayster Skelton made in his name, the tenour wherof so farre as I remember, is this.

Hovv king Edvvard through his surfeting and vntemperate life, sodain­ly died in the mids of his prosperity.

MIseremini mei ye that be my frendes,
This world hath formed me downe to fall:
How may I endure whan that every thing endes?
What creature is borne to be eternall,
Now there is no more but pray for me all.
Thus say I Edward that late was your King,
And .xxiii. yeares ruled this imperiall:
Sum vnto pleasure and sum to no liking:
Mercy I aske of my misdoing,
What auayleth it frendes to be my foe?
Sith I can not resist, nor amend your complayning,
Quia ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
I slepe now in molde as it is naturall,
As earth vnto earth hath his reverture:
What ordeyned God to be terrestriall,
Without recourse to the earth by nature?
Who to live ever may him selfe assure?
What is it to trust on mutability?
Sith that in this world nothing may endure?
For now am I gone that was late in prosperity.
To presume therupon it is but a vanitye,
Not certayne, but as a chery fayre ful of wo.
[Page lxxxiii]Rayned not I of late in great prosperitye?
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
Where was in my life such an one as I.
While Lady Fortune with me had continuaunce?
Graunted not she me to have victory,
In England to rayne, and to contribute Fraunce?
She toke me by the hand and led me a daunce,
And with her sugred lyppes on me she smyled.
But what for her dissembled countenaunce,
I could not be ware tyl I was begiled.
Now from this worlde she hath me exiled,
Whan I was lothest hence for to goe,
And am in age as who saieth but a childe.
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
I had ynough I helde me not contente,
Without remembraunce that I should dye:
And moreover to encroch ready was I bent,
I knew not how long I should it occupy,
I made the tower strong I wist not why.
I knew not to whom I purchased Tattersall.
I amended Dover on the mountayne hye,
And London I prouoked to fortify the wall.
I made Notingham a place full royall.
Windsore, Eltam, and many other mo.
Yet at the last I went from them all,
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
Where is now my conquest and victory?
Where is my ritches, and royall array?
[Page]Where be my coursers and my horses hye [...]
Where is my mirth, my solas, and playe?
As vanity to nought all is wyddred away:
O Lady Bes▪ long for me may you call,
For I am departed vntill doomes day:
But love you that lord that is soveraine of all,
Where be my castels and buyldinges royall▪
But Windsore alone now have I no moe.
And of Eton the prayers perpetuall,
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
Why should a man be proude or presume hye?
Saynt Barnard therof nobly doth treat,
Saying a man is but a sacke of ster [...]ory.
And shall returne vnto wurmes meal:
Why what became of Alexander the great?
Or els of strong Sampson, who can tell?
Wer not wurmes ordayned their flesh to freate?
And of Salomon that was of wit the well
Absolon profered his h [...]re for to sell,
Yet for all his beauty, wurmes eat him also.
And I but late in honour did excell,
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.
I have playd my pageaunt now am I past,
Ye wore well all I was of no great elde.
This all thing concluded shall be at the last,
Whan death approcheth, than lost is the felde:
Than seing this world me no longer vphelde,
For nought would conserve me here in my place,
In manus tuas domine my spirite vp I yelde,
[Page lxxxv]Humby beseching the o God, of thy grace.
O you curteous commons your hartes enbrace,
Beningly now to pray for me also,
For right well you know your king I was.
Et ecce nunc in pulvere dormio.

WHan this was sayde, every man tooke his leave of other and departed: And I the better to acquyte my charge, recorded and noted all such matters as they had wylled me.

FINIS.

The Contentes and Table of the booke.

  • The Epistle dedicatory.
  • ¶A prose to the Reader, continued betwene the tra­gedies from the beginning of the booke to the ende.
  • Tragedies beginning.
    • ¶Tresilian and his felowes hanged. folio. i.
    • ¶Mortimer slayne. folio. iiii.
    • ¶Thomas of Wodstocke murdered. fol. viii.
    • ¶Mowbray lord Marshall banished. fol. xii.
    • ¶King Richard the second murdered. fol. xvi.
    • ¶Owen Glendour starved. fol. xix.
    • ¶Percy earle of Northumberland beheaded. fo. xxv.
    • ¶Richard earle of Cambridge beheaded. fo. xxviii.
    • Thomas Montague earle of Salisbury slaine. fo. xxx.
    • ¶King Iames the fyrst murdered. fo. xxxvi.
    • ¶Good duke Humfrey murdered, and Elianor Cobham his wife banished. fol. xl.
    • ¶William de la Poole duke of Southfolke banished and beheaded.
    • ¶Iacke Cade calling him selfe Mortimer slaine and beheaded.
    • ¶Richard Plantagence duke of Yorke slaine. fo. lix.
    • ¶Lord Clifford slayne. fol. lxii.
    • Iohn Tiptoft earle of Wurcester beheaded. fol. lxiiii.
    • ¶Richard Nevell erle of Warwike slaine. fol. lxix.
    • ¶King Henry the sixt murdered fol. lxxii.
    • ¶George duke of Clarence drowned. fol. lxxv.
    • ¶King Edward the fowerth surfeted. fol. lxxxiii.
Finis.

¶Fautes escaped in the printing.

Leafe 1. lyne 20. reade,
hath be seen,
Leafe 8. lyne 5. reade,
whoss state is stablisht.
Seconde syde lyne 21. reade,
hearken to me.
Leafe 9. lyne 4. reade,
frenchmen to abandon.
Leafe 19. B. lyne 13. reade,
am sterved Owen,
Leafe 69. lyne 7, reade,
vpon her strailesse stage,
Leafe 82. B. lyne 15. reade,
attributing to man.
Leafe 84. lyne 26. reade,
fro whiche for. &c.
Leafe 81. lyne 1. reade,
whose lacke,

The same leafe lyne 26. reade, as foulder doth.

B. Signyfieth the seconde syde of the Leafe▪

¶ Imprinted at London in Fletestrete nere to Saynct Dunstones Church by Thomas Marshe.

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