A new cōmodye in englysh in maner Of an enterlude ryght elygant & full of craft of rethoryk / wherein is shewd & dyscrybyd as well the bewte & good propertes of women / as theyr vycys & euyll cōdiciōs / with a morall cōclusion & exhortacyon to vertew

¶ Franciscus petrarcus the poet lawreate
Sayth that nature whych is mother of all thing
wtout stryff can gyue lyfe to nothing create
And Eraclito the wyse clerk in his wrytyng
Sayth in all thyngꝭ create stryff is theyre workyng
And ther is no thing vnder the firma [...]ent
with any other in all poyntes equivalent
¶ And accordyng to theyre dictys [...]ehersyd as thus
All thyngꝭ are create in maner of [...]
These folysh louers then that be so amerous
Frō pleasure to displeasure how lede they theyr lyfe
Now sory now sad now Joyous now pensyfe
[...]as I pore mayden than what shall I do
Combryd by dotage of one Cali [...]to
¶ I know that nature hath gyuyn me bewte
with sanguynyous compleccy [...] [...]uour & fayrenes
The more to god ought I to do fewte
with wyll lyfe laud and loue of perfyt [...]es
I deny not but calisto is of grete worthynes
[Page] [...]
[...] he makyth me almost wery
O hys lamentacyons & exclamacyons on fortune
wt similytude maner as one that shuld dy
But who shall pyte thys Infayth not I
Shall I accōplysh hys carnall desyre
Nay yet at a stake rather bren in a fyre
¶ Of trouth I am sory for hys troble
To stryue wyth hym self thus for loue of me
But though hys sorows I assure you shuld doble
Out of his daunger wyll I be at lyberte
what a mys woman now criste benedicite
Nay nay he shall neuer that day see
[...]ys voluptuous appetyte cōsentyd by me
¶ wyst he now that I were present here
I assure you shortely he wold seke me
And without dout he doth now inquere
wether I am gone or where I shuld be
Se / is he not now come I report me
A las of thys man I can nener be ryd
w [...]ld to cryst I wyst where I myght be hyd
¶ By you feyre melebea may be sene
The grace the gyftes the gretnes of god
where i /
In takyng effect of dāe nature stren [...]
Nor yerthly but angellyke of lykely hode
In dewte so passyng the kinde of woman hod
O god I myght in your presens be able
To manyfest my dolours incōperable
¶ Greter were that reward than the grace
Heuyn to optayn by workys of pyte
Not so gloryous be the saites that se goddes face
Ne Ioy not so moch as I do you to see
yet dyffereus there is bytwene theym & me
For they gloryfy by his assuryd presens
And I in torment be cause of your absens
¶ why thynkyst thou that so grete a reward
ye more greter than yf god wold set me
In heuyn aboue all seyntes & more in regard
And thynk it a more hyer felycyte
yet more gretter thy reward shalbe
yf thou fle [...] the determynacyon
Of thy [...]sent of mynd by such temptacion
[Page]I perseyue the entent of thy wordys all
As of the wyt of hym that wold haue the vert [...]w
Of me such a woman to be come thrall
Go thy wey wyth sorow I wold thou kuew
I haue foule skorn of the I tell the trew
Or any humayn creature with me shuld begyn
Any cōmunycacyon perteynyng to syn
¶ And I promyse the where thou art present
whyle I lyff by my wyll I wyll be absent
Et exeat
¶ Lo out of all ioy I am fallyn in wo
Uppon whom aduers fortune hath cast her chauns
Of cruell hate whych causyth now a wayto go
The keper of my ioy and all my pleasauns
Alas alas now to me what noyauns
Dew gard my lorde and god be in this place
Sempronio /
ye syr.
a syr I shrew thy face
¶ why hast thou bene from me so long absent
For I haue bene about your bysynes
To order such thynge as were conuenient
your house and horse and all thyng was to dress
O sempronio haue pyte on my dystres
For of all creature I am the wofullest
How so what is the cause of your vnrest
¶ For I serue in loue to the goodlyest thyng
That is or euer was.
what is she
It is one which is all other excedyng
The picture of angelle yf thou her see
Phebus or phebe no comparyson may be
To her.
what hyght she /
melebea is her name
Mary syr this wold make a wyld hors tame
¶ I pray the sempronio goo fet me my lute
And bryng some chayre or stole with the
The argumente of loue that I may dispute
whych scyens I fynd the arte without pyte
Hy the sempronio hy the I pray the
Syr shortly I assure you it shalbe done
Then farewell cryst send the agayn sone
¶ O what fortune is egall vnto myne
O what wofull wyght with me may compare
The thurst of sorow is my myxyd wyne
which dayly I drynk wyth deepe draughte of ca [...]
Tush syr be mery let pas awey the mare
How sey you haue I not hyed me lyghtly
[Page]Here is your chayre and lute to make you mery
¶ Myry quod a / nay that wyll not be
But I must nedys syt for very feblenes
Gyue me my lute and thou shalt see
How I shall syng myne vnhappynes
Thys lute is out of tune now as I ges
Alas in tune how shuld I set it
when all armony to me discordith yche whyt
¶ As he to whos wyll reson is vnruly
For I fele sharp nedyls within my brest
Peas warr truth haterad and iniury
Hope and suspect and all in one chest
Behold nero in the loue of tapaya oprest
Rome how he brent / old and yong wept
But she toke no thought nor neuer the less slept
¶ Gretter is my fyre and less pyte shewd me
I wyll not mok this foule is a louer
what sayst thou /
I say how can that fyre be
That tormentyth but one lyuyng man gretter
Than that fyre that brēnyth a hole cyty here
And all ye people therī.
mary for y fyre ys grettyst
That brennyth verey sore and lastytꝭ lengyst
¶ And gretter is the fyre that brēnyth one soule
Than that whych brēnyth an hundred bodyes
Hys sayeng in this none can controll
None but such as lyst to make lyes
And yf the fyre of purgatory bren in such wyse
I had leuer my spirete in brute bestꝭ shuld be
Than to go thydyr and than to the deyte
¶ Mary syr that is a spyce of heryse
why so /
For ye speke lyke no crystyn man
I wold thou knewyst melebea worshyp I
In her I beleue and her I loue /
A ha than
wyth the melebea is a grete woman
I know on whych fote thou dost halt on
I shall shortly hele the my lyff theruppon
¶ An vncredable thyng thou dost promyse me
Nay nay it is easy I nough to do
Bnt furst for to hele a man knowlege must be
Of the seknes than to gyff counsell therto
what counsell can rule hym sempronio
That kepyth in hym kepyth no [...] of counsell
A is this Calisto his fyre / now I know well
¶ How that loue ouer hym hath cast her net
[Page]In whose perseuerans is all inconstans
why. is not Eliceas loue and thyn met
what than.
why reprouest me than of ignorans
For thou settyst mannis dignite in obeysanus
To the unperfeccion of the weke woman
A womā Nay a god of goddesses.
beleuyst y thā
¶ ye and as a goddes I here confesse
And I beleue there is no such sufferayn
In heuyn though she be in yerth.
peas peas
A woman a god nay to god a vyllayn
Of your sayeng ye may be sory.
it is playu
why so.
because I loue her and thynk surely
To obteyn my desyre I am vnworthy
¶ O ferfull hart why comparyst thou wt Nembroth
Or alexander of this world not lorde onely
But worthy to subdew heuyu as sayeng goth
And thou reputyst thy self more hye
Then them both and dyspayryst so cowardly
To wyn a woman of whom hath ben so many
Gotten and vngotten neuer harde of any
¶ It is resytyd in the fest of seynt Ihōn
Thys is the woman of auncyoun malyce
Of whom but of a woman was it long on
That adam was expulsyd from paradyse
She put man to payn whom ely dyd dispyse
Than syth adam gaff hym to theyre gouernaunce
Am I gretter than adam my self to auannce
¶ Nay but of those men it were wysedome
That ouercame them to seke remedy
And not of those that they dyd ouercome
Fle from theyre beginynge eschew theyre foly
Thou knowyst they do euyll thynge many
They kepe no meane but rygour of intencyon
Be it fayre foule wylfull without reason
¶ Kepe them neuer so close they wylbe she wyd
Gyff tokyns of loue by many subtell ways
Semyng to be shepe and serpently shrewd
Craft in them renewyng that neuer decays
Theyre seyenge sightynge prouokynge theyr plays
O what payn is to fulfyll theyre appetyte
And to accomplysh theyre wanton delytis
¶ It is [...] to se theyre dyssemblyng:
Theyre flatteryng counte nann [...] [...]heyr ingratytude
[...] fals witnese faynyd wepyng
[Page]There vayn glory and how they can delude
Theyre folysh [...]es theyre [...]anglyng not mewde
Theyre lecherous lust and wylenes therfore
whychcrafte & charmys to make men to theyr [...] lore
¶ Theyre enba winyng & theyre vnshamfastnes
Theyre bawdry theyre suttelte & fresh attyryng
what trimyng what payntyng to make fayrnes
Theyre fals intente & flykkeryng smyl [...]ng
Therfore lo yt is an old sayeng
That women be the dyuelle nette and hed of syn
And mannys mysery in paradyse dyd begyn
¶ But what thynkyst thou by me yet for all this
Mary syrye were a man of clere wyt
whom nature hath indewyd [...] the best gyfte
As bewte & gretnes of membres perfyt
Strenght lyghtnes & beyond this yche whyt
Fortune hath partyd with you of her influens
For to be able of lyberall expens
¶ For wythout goode wherof fortuue is lady
Noman can haue welth therfore by coniecture
yow shuld be belouyd of euery body
But not of Melebea now I am sure
And thought thou hadst praysyd me wt out mesure
And comparyd me without comparison
yet she is aboue in euery condicion
¶ Behold her noblenes her auncyon lynage
Her gret patrymony her excellent wyt
Her resplendent verteu hye portly corage
Her godly grace her suffereyn be wte perfyte
No tong is able well to expresse it
But yet I pray the let me speke a whyle
My sel [...] to refresh in rehersyng of my style
¶ I begyn at her herr which is so goodly
Crispyd to her helys tyed with fyne lase
Farr shynyng beyond fyne gold of araby
I trow the son coler to hyt may gyff place
That who to behold it myght haue the grace
wold say incomparison nothyng coūteruaylys
Then is it not lyke here of asse tayles
¶ O what foule comparison this felow raylys
Her gay glasyng eyen so fayre and bryght
Her browes her nose in a meane no fassyon faylys
Her mouth [...]per & feate her teeth small & whyght
[...]er lyppis [...] her body streyght vpryght
[Page]Her lyttyll tetys to the eye is a pleasure
O what Ioy it is to se such a fygure
¶ Her skyn of whytnes endarkyth the snow
wyth rose colour ennewyd I the ensure
Her lyttyll hande in meane maner this is no trow
Her fyngers small & long wt naylys ruddy most pure
Of proporcyon none such in purtrayture
without pere worthy to haue for fayrenes
The apple that parys gaue venus the goddes
¶ Sir haue ye all done.
ye mary what than
I put case all this ye haue sayd be trew
yet are ye more noble syth ye be a man
she is vnperfyte I wold ye knew
As all women be and of lesse valew
Phylozophers say the marter is less worthy
Than the forme / so is woman to man surely
¶ I loue not to here this alter [...]ion
Betwene melebea and me her louer
Possyble it is in euery condicyon
To abbot her as mych as you do loue her
In the wynnyug / begilyng is the daunger
That ye shall see he [...]e after wyth eyen fre
with what eyen.
with clere eyen trust [...]e
¶ why wyth what eyen do I se now
wyth dyme eyen whych shew a lytyl thyng much
But for ye shall not dispayre I assure you
No labour nor dylygens in me shall gruch
So trusty & fryndely ye shall [...]ynd [...]he [...]urh
In all thynge possyble that ye can [...]
The thyng to accomplysh to your desyre
¶ God bryng that to pase so glad it is to me
To here the thus though I hope not in thy doyng
yet I shall do yt trust me for a suret [...]
God reward the for thy gentyll intendyng
I gyff the this thayn of gold in rewardyng
Sir god reward you & lend vs good spe [...]
I dout not but I shall performe it in dede
¶ But wythout rewarde it is har [...] to work well
I am [...]ontent so thou be not ne [...]lygent
Nay be not you / for it passyth a meruell
The master slow / the seruant to [...]e dylygent
How thynky [...]t it can be shew me thyne intent
Sir I haue a neyghbour a moder of [...]
That can prouoke the har [...] rokkys to [...]
¶ In all euyll dede she is perfet wyse
I trow more than a M vyrgyns
Haue bene distroyed by her subtell deuyse
For she ncuer faylyth where she begynnis
All onely by thys craft her lyffyng she wynnis
Mayde wyffys wydows and euerychone
If she ones meddyll ther skapyth none
¶ How myght I speke wyth her sempronio
I shall bryng her [...]ydyr vnto this place
But ye must in any wyse let rewardis go
And shew her your greuys in euery case
Ellys were I not worthy to attayn grace
But alas sempronio thou taryest to long
Syr god be with you.
Lryst make the strong
¶ The myghty and petdurable god be his gyde
As he gydyd the [...] kynge in to bedleme
From the est by the start and agayn dyd prouyde
As theyre conduct to retorn to theyre own reame
So spede my sempronio to quench the leme
Of this fyre which my hart doth wast & spende
And that I may com to my desyryd ende
¶ To pas the tyme now wyll I walk
Up and down within myne orchard
And to my self go comyn and talke
And pray that fortune to me be nothard
Longyng to here whether made or mard
My message shall return by my seruannt sempronio
Thus fare well my lordys for a whyle I wyll go
¶ Now the blessyng that our lady gaue her sone
That same blessyng I gyue now to you all
That I com thus homely I pray you of [...]don
I am sought and sendfore as a woman vniuersall
Celestina of trewth my name is to call
Sempronio for me about doth inquere
And it was told me I shuld haue found hyin here
¶ I am sure he wyll com hyther anone
But the whylyst I shall tell you a prety game
I haue a wench of Sempronios a prety one
That soiornyth with [...]e Elecea is her name
But the last day we were both ny a stark shame
For sempron [...]o wold haue her to hym self seuerell
And she louyth one Cryto better or as well
¶ Thys Cryto and Elicea sat drynkyng
In my hous and I also makyng mery
[Page]And as the deuyll wold farr from our thynkyug
Sempronio almost cam on vs sodenly
But then wrought I my craft of bawdery
I bad Cryto go vp and make hymself rome
To hyde hym in my chamber among the brome
¶ Then made I Elicea syt doun a sowyng
And I wyth my rok began for to spyn
As who seyth of sempronio we had no knowyng
He knokkyd at the dore and I lete hym in
And for a countenaunce I dyd begyn
To catch hym in myne armys and seyd see see
who kyssyth me Elicea and wyll not kys the
¶ Elicea for a countenaunce made her greuyd
And wold not speke but styll dyd sowe
why speke ye not quod sempronio be ye meuyd
Haue I not a cause quod she no quod he I trow
A traytour quod she full well dost thou know
where hast thou ben these. iii. days fro me
That the inpostume and euyll deth take the
¶ Pease myne Elicea quod he why say ye thus
Alas why put you your self in this wo
The hote fyre of loue so brennyth betwene vs
That my hart is wyth yours where euer I go
And for .iii. days absens to say to me so
In fayth me thynkyth ye be to blame
But now hark well for here begynnyth the game
¶ Cryto in my chamber aboue that was hyddyn
I thynk lay not easyly and began to romble
Sempronio hard that and askyd who was within
Aboue in the chamber that so dyd Iomble
who quod she a louer of myne / may hap ye stomble
Quod he on the trewth as many one doth
Go vp quod she and loke whether it be soth
¶ well quod he I go / nay thought I not so
I sayd com sempronio let this foole alone
For of thy long absens she is in such wo
And half besyde her self and her wyt ny gone
well quod he aboue yet ther is one
wylt thou know quod I ye quod he I the requere
It is a wench quod I sent me by a frere
¶ what frere quod he wilt thou nedꝭ know [...] I thā
It is the [...] I pray [...]
O quod he what a lode hath that woman
To bere hym / ye [...]uod I though women per case
[Page]Bere heuy full oftyet they gall in no place
Then he laught / ye quod I no mo worde of this
For this tyme to long we spend here amys
Intrat sempronio
¶ Omoder Lelestyne I pray god prosper the
My son sempronio I am glad of our metyng
And as I here say ve go aboute to seke me
Of trouth to seke you was myne hyther cōmyng
Mother ley a perte now all other thyug
And all only tend to me and Imagyn
In that that I purpose now to begyn
¶ Calisto in the loue of fayre melebea
Burnyth wherfore of the he hath grete nede
Thou seyst well knowyst not me Celestina
I haue the end of the matter and for more spede
Thou shalte wade no ferther / for of this dede
I am as glad as euer was the surgyon
For saluys for broke hede to make prouysyon
¶ And so intend I to do to Calisto
To gyff hym hope and assure hym remedy
For long hope to the hart mych troble wyll do
wherfore to the effect therof I wyll hye
Peas for me thynkyth Calisto is nye
Intrat Calisto et parmeno
what sey you.
wottyst who is here
Sempronio that reuyuyth my chere
¶ It is sempronio with that old berdyd hore
Be ye they my maister so sore for doth long
Peas I sey parmeno or go out of the dore
Cōmyst thou to hinder me then dost thou me wrong
I pray the help for to make me more strong
To wyn this woman elle godde forbod
She hath equall power of my lyff vnder god
¶ wherfore to her do ye make such sorow
Thynk ye in her ars ther is any shame
The contrary who tellyth you be neuer his borrow
For as much she gloryfyeth her in her name
To be callyd an old hore as ye wold of fame
Dogge in the strete and chyldren at euery dore
Bark and cry out ther goth an old hore
¶ how knowyst all this dost thou know her
ye that [...] lou [...]th one Cryto better [...] agone
For a fals hore the deuyll ouer throw her
My moder when she dyed gaue me to her alone
[Page]And a sterker baud was ther neuer none
For that I know I dare well se
Let se the cōtrary who can ley
¶ I haue bene at her hows & sene her trynkette
For payntyng thynge inumerable
Squalmys & [...]almys I wonder where she gette
The thynge that she hath with folke for to fable
And to all baudry euer agreable
yet wors then that whych wyl neuer be laft
Not only a baud but a wych by her craft
¶ Say what thow wylt son spare not me
I pray the permeno lefe thy malycyous enu y
Hark hydyr sempronyo here is but we thre
In that I haue sayd canst thou dcnye
Com hens permeno I loue not thys I
And good mother greue you not I you pray
My mynde I shall shew now hark what I say
¶ O notable woman O auncyent vertew
O'gloryous hope of my desyryd intent
Thende of my delectable hope to renew
My regeneracion to this lyfe present
Resurreccon from deth / so excellent
Thou art aboue other / I desyre humbly
To kys thy handes wherin lyeth my remedy
¶ But myne vnworthines makyth resystence
yet worship I the ground that thou gost on
Beseching the good woman with most reuerens
On my payn with thy pyte to loke vppon
without thy comfort my lyfe is gone
To revyue my dede spryte thou mayst preferr me
with the wordes of thy mouth to make or marr me
¶ Sempronio can I lyff with these bonys
That thy master gyffyth me here for to ete
wordes are but wynd therfore attons
Byd hym close his mouth and to his purs get
For money makyth marchaunt that must Iet
I haue herd his wordes but where be his dedes
For wt out money wt me no thyng spedys
¶ what seyth she sewpronio alas my hart bledes
That I wyth you good woman mystrust shuld be
syr she thynkyth that money all thyng fedys
Then come on sempronio I pray the wyth me
And ta [...] here moder a whyle I pray the
For where of mystrust ye haue me appelyd
[Page]haue here my cloke tyll your dout be assoylid
¶ Now do ye well for wede among corn
Nor suspecious wt frynde dyd neuer well
Or faythfulnes of worde tornyd to a skorn
Makyth mynde doutfull good reason doth tell
Lome on sempronio thou gyffyst me good counsell
Go ye before & I shall wayt you vppon
Farewell mother we wyll come agayn anon
¶ How sey ye my lordis se ye not this smoke
In my maisters eyes yt they do cast
The one hath his chayn the other his cloke
And I am sure they wyll haue all at last
Ensample may be by this ye is past
How seruaūtis be dissaytfull in theyr maisters foly
Nothyng but for lucre is all theyr bawdry
¶ It pleasyth me parmeno that we to gedyr
May speke wherby thou maist se I loue the
yet vndeseruyd now thou cōmyst hydyr
wherof I care not but vertew warnyth me
To fle temptacyon & folow charyte
To do good agayns yll & so I rede the
Sempronio & I wyll helpe thy necessyte
¶ And in tokyn now that it shall so be
I pray the among vs let vs haue a [...]ong
For where armony is ther is amyte
what a old woman syng /
why not among
I pray the no lenger the tyme prolong
Go to when thou wylt I am redy
Shall I begyn /
ye but take not to hye / & cantan [...]
¶ How sey ye now by this lytyll yong fole
For the thyrd parte sempronio we must get
After that thy maister shall come to skole
To syng the fourth parte yt his purs shall swet
For I so craftely the song can set
Though thy maister be hors his purs shal syng clere
And taught to solf that womans flesh is dere
¶ How seyst to this thou praty parmeno
Thou knowyst not the world nor no delytis therin
Dost vnderstand me infeyth I tro no
Thou art yong inough the game to begyn
Thy [...]aisterhath wadyd hymself so farr in
And to bryng hym out lyeth not in me old pore
Thou shnldyst sey it lyeth not in me old hore
¶ A hotesona a shame take such a knau [...]
[Page]How darst thou wyth me thou boy be so [...]
Because such knolege of the I haue
why who art /
pineno son to albert the old
I dwelt wt the by the ryuer where wyne was sold
And thy moder I trow hyght claudena
That a wyld fyre bren the celestena
¶ But thy [...]oder was as olde a hore as I
Lome hydyr thou lytyll fole let me see the
A it is euen he by our blyssyd lady
what lytyll vrchyn hast forgotyn me
whē thou layst at my bedde fete how mery were we
A thou old matrone it were almys thou were ded
How woldestthou pluk me vp to thy bedde hed
¶ And inbrace me hard vnto thy bely
And for thou smelly dyst oldly I ran from the
A shamefull horeson fy vppon thefy fy
Lome hyther aud now shortly I charge the
That all this folysh spekyng thou let be
Leue wantonnes of youth than shalt thou do well
Folow the doctryne of thy Elders and counsell
¶ To whō thy parēte on whos soulis god haue [...]
In payn of cursyng bad the be obedyent
In payn wherof I command the straytly
To much i mastership put not thyne intent
No trust is in theym if thyne owen be spent
Maysters now adays coveyt to bryng about
All for theym self & let theyre seruantes go without
¶ Thy mai [...]er men sey and as I thynk he be
But lyght karych not who come to his seruyce
Faire worde shall not lak but [...]inal rewarde trust me
Make sempronio thy frynd in any wyse
For he can handle hym in the best gyse
Kepe thys & for thy profet tell it to none
But loke that sempronio and thou be one
¶ Moder celestyne I wot not what ye meane
Calisto is my mayster and so I wyll take hym
And as for ryches I de [...]ye it clene
For who so euer with wrong rych doth make hym
Soner than he gat it / it wyll forsake hym
I loue to lyfe in yoyfull pouerte
And to serue my [...] wt trewth and honeste
[...]roth and honeste [...]e ryches of the name
But surete of welth is to haue ryches
And after that for to get hym good fa [...]e
[Page]By report of fryndꝭ thys is truth dowtles
Than no such maner frynd can I exp̄sse
As sempronyo for both your ꝑfettꝭ to spede
whych lyeth in my handꝭ now yf ye be agreyd
¶ O ꝑmeno what a lyfe may we endure
Sempronyo louyth the doughter of elyso
And who arusa /
lykyst her / ꝑ / peraduenture
I shall get her to the that shall I do
Na moder celystyne I purpose not so
A man shuld be cōuersant I here tell
wyth them that be yl & thynk to do well
¶ Sempronyo hys ensample shall not make me
Better nor wors nor hys fautꝭ wyll I hyde
But moder celestyne a questyon to the
Is not syn a non in one espyed
That is drownyd in delyte / how shuld he prouyde
Agayns vertew to saue hys honeste
Lyke a chyld wt out wysdome thou answeryst me
¶ without cōpany mirth can haue non estate
vse no slowth nature abhorryth idelnes
whych lesyth delyte to nature appropryate
In sensnall causys delyght is chefe maistres
Specyally recountyng louys bysynes
To say thus doth she the tyme thus they pas
And soch maner they vse and thus they kys & basse
¶ And thus they mete & enbrase to gyther
what spech what grase what pleys is betwene theim
where is she there she goth let vs se whyther
Now pleasyd now froward now mume now hem
Stryke vp mynstryl wt sawꝭ of loue the old problē
Syng swete songꝭ now Justꝭ & torney
Of new inuencyons what conseytꝭ fynd they
¶ Now she goth to mas to morow she cōmyth owt
Behold her better yonder goth a cokold
I left her alone / she comyth / turn abowt
[...]o thus permeno thou mayst behold
Fryndꝭ wyll talk to geder as I haue told
wher fore perseyue thou that I sey truly
Neuer can be delyte wt out cōpany
hic iterum intrat calisto
Moder as I promysed to assoyle thy dowt
here I gyfe the an.
pesis of gold
Syr I promyse you I shall bryng it about
All thyng to purpose euyn as ye wold
[Page]For your reward I wyll do as I shuld
Be mery fere nothyng cōtent ye shall be
Then moder fare well be dylygent I pray the
¶ how sayst semptonio haue I done well
ye syr in my mynd & most accordyng
Then wylt thou do after my councell
After this old woman wyll thou be hyeng
To remember & hast her in euery thyng
Syr I am content as ye cōmaund me
Then go & byd ꝑmeno come I pray the
¶ Now god be theyre gyddys the poste of my lyfe
My relefe fro deth the [...]mbassade of my welth
My hope my hap my quyetnes my stryfe
My Joy my sorow my sekenes my helth
The hope of thys old woman my hart telth
That comfort shall come shortly as I Intend
Or els come deth & make of me an end
¶ In fayth it makyth no forse nor matter mych
what seyst ꝑmeno what sayst to we
Mary I say playnly that yonder old wych
And sempronio to geder wyll vndo the
A yll tongyd wrech wyll ye not see
Thynkyst thou lordeyn thou hādelyst me fayre
why knaue woldest thow put me now in dyspayre
Et exeat calisto
¶ Lo syrs my master ye se is angry
But thys it is tell folys for theyre proffyt
[...] warn theym for theyre welth it is but foly
For stryk theym on the hele and as moch wyt
Shall cō forth as at theyr forehede to ꝑscyue it
Go thy way calesto for on my charge
Thy thryft is sealyd vp though thou be at large
¶ O how vnhappy I am to be trem
For other men wyn by falsehed & flatery
I lese for my troth the world doth so ensew
Troth is put bak & takyn for foly
Therfore now I wyll chaunge my copy
If I had done as celystyne bad me
Lalysto hys mynyon styll wold haue had me
¶ Thys gyuyth me warnyng from hens forward
how to dele wt hym for all thyng as he wyll
I will the same forward or bakward
I will go streyght to hym and folow hym still
Say as he sayth be it good or yll
[Page]And syth these vawde get good prouokyng lechery
I trust flatery shall spede as well as bawdery
Hic exeat parweno et intret melebea
¶ I pray you cawe this wowan here neuer syn
In fayth to entre here I aw half adrad
And yet why so / I may boldly com in
I am sure frow you all I shall not be had
But iesus iesus be these men so wad
On wowen as they sey / how shuld it be
It is but fables and lyes ye way trust ine
Intret Celestina
God be here i
who is ther
wyl ye bye any thred
ye mary good woder I pray you come in
Lryst saue you fayre mestres & god be your sped [...]
And helth be to you & all your kyn
And mary godde mother that blessyd vyrgyn
Preserue & prosper your womanly personage
Aud well to inioy your yough & pusell age
¶ For that tyme pleasurys are most eschyuyd
And age is the hospytall of all maner sykenes
The restyng place of all thought vnreleuyd
The sporte of tyme past the ende of all quiknes
Neybour to deth a dry stok wythout swetnes
Discomforte disease all age alowith
A tre without sap that small charge boweth
¶ I meruell moder ye speke so much yll
Of age that all folke desyre effectuously
They desyre hurt for them selfas all of wyll
And the cause why they desyre to come therby
Is for to lyff for deth is so lothly
He that is sorowfull wold lyff to be soryer
And he that is old wold lyff to be elder
¶ Fayre damesell who can shew all the hurte of age
His werynes feblenes his discontentyng
His chyldishnes frowardnes of his rage
wrynkelyng in the face lak of syght and heryng
Holownes of mouth fall of teth faynt of goyng
And worst of all possessyd with pouerte
And the lymmys arestyd with debylite
¶ Moder ye haue takyn grete payn for age
wold ye not retorn to the begynnyng
Folys are they that are past theyre passage
To begyn agayn which be at the endyng
For better is possession than the desyryng
I desyre to lyff lengger do I well or no.
That ye desyre well I thynk not so
¶ For as sone goth to market the lambys fell
As the shyppe / none so old but may lyff a yere
And ther is none so yong but ye wot well
May dye in a day then no aduauntage is here
Betwen youth & age y matter is clere
wyth thy fablyng & thy resonyng I wys
I am begylyd but I haue knowen the or thys
¶ Art not celystyne y dwellyd by the ryuer syd [...]
ye for soth /
in dede age hath aray the
That thou art she now can skant be espyed
Me thynkyth by thy fauour thou shuldyst be she
Thou art sore chaungid thou mayst beleue me
Fayre maydon kepe thou well thys tyme of youth
But bewte shall passe at y last thys is truth
¶ yet I am not so old as ye iuge me
Good moder I ioy much of thyne accoyntanaunce
And thy moderly reasons ryght well please me
And now I thank the here for thy pastaunce
Fare well tyll a nother tyme yt hap may chaunce
Agayn that we two may mete to gedyr
May hap ye haue bysynes I know not whether
¶ O angelyk ymage o ꝑle so p̄cyous
O how thou spekyst it reioysyth me to here
Knowist thou not by the deuyne month gracyous
That agaynst the infernall feend lucyfe re
we shuld not only lyf by bred here
But by our good workys wher in I take some payn
yf ye know not my mynd now all is in veyn
¶ Shew me moder hardely all thy nesessite
And yf I can I shall prouyde the remedy
My necessite nay god wot it is not for me
As for myne I laft it at home surely
To ete when I wyll & drynk when I am dry
And I thank god euer one peny hath be myne
To by bred when Ilyst & to haue. iiii. for wyne
¶ Afore I was wyddow I caryd neuer for it
For I had wyne ynough of myne owne to sell
And wt a tost in wyne by the fyre I coud syt
wt. ii. dosen soppe the collyk to quell
But now wt me it is not so well
For I haue nothyng but that is brought me
In a pytcher pot of quartys skant thre
¶ Thus I pray god help them that be nedy
For I speke not for my self alone
But as well for other how euer spede I
The infyrmyte is not myne though that I grone
It is for a nother yt I make mone
And not for my self it is a nother way
But what I must mone where I dare not say
¶ Say what thou wylt & for whom thou lest
now gracyous damsell I thank you than
That to gyf audyens ye be so prest
wt lyberall redynes to me old woman
whych gyffyth me boldnes to shew what I can
Of one that lyeth in daunger by sekenes
Remyttyng hys langour to your gētyllnes
¶ what meanyst thou I pray the good moder
Go forth wt thy demaund as thou hast done
On the one ꝑte thou prouokyst me to anger
And on the other syde to compassyon
I know not how thy answere to fassyon
The wordes whych thou spekyst in my presence
Be so mysty / I ꝑseyue not thy sentence
¶ I sayd I laft one in daunger of sekenes
Drawyng to deth for ought that I can se
Now chose you or no to be murderes
Or reuyue hym wt a word to come from the
I am happy yf my word be of such necessyte
To help any crystyn man or ells goddꝭ forbod
To do a good dede is lykyng to god
¶ For good dedꝭ to good men be alowable
And specyally to nedy aboue all other
And euer to good dedys ye shall fynd me agreable
Trustyng ye wyll exhort me to non other
Therfor fere not spek your peticiō good mother
For they that may hele sekefolk & do refuse theym
Suerly of theyre deth they can not excuse theym
¶ Full well & gracyously the case ye consyder
For I neuer beleuyd that god in vayn
wold gyff you such countenaunnce & bewte to gedyr
But charyte therwith to releue folke in payn
And as god hath gyffyn you so gyff hym agayn
For folkꝭ be not made for them self onely
For then they shuld lyff lyke bestꝭ all rudely
¶ Among whych bestꝭ yet some be pyteful
The vnicorne humblyth hy [...] self to a mayd
[Page]And a dog in all his power yrefull
Let a man fall to ground his anger is delayd
Thus by nature pyte is conueyd
The kok when he skrapith & happith mete to fynd
Lallith for his henne lo se the gentyll kynde
¶ Shuld humayn creaturys than be of cruelnes
Shuld not they to theyre neybours shew charyte
And specyally to them wrappyd in sekenes
Than they that may hele theym cause y infirmyte
Mother without delay for godde sake shew me
I pray the hartly wythout more prayeng
where is the pacient that so is paynyng
¶ Fayre dāsell thou maist well haue knowlege herto
That in this Lyte is a yong knyght
And of clere lynage callyd Calisto
whose lyfe & body is all in the I plyght
The pellycan to shew naturys ryght
Fedyth his byrdys me thynkith I shuld not [...]ch the
Thou wotist what I meane lo nature shuld tech the
¶ A ha is this the entent of thy conclusyon
Tell me no more of this matter I charge the
Is thys the dolent for whom thow makyst petycyō
Art thow come hyther thus to desseyue me
Thow berdyd dame shameles thou semest to be
Is this he that hath the passiō offolishnes
Thikyst thow rybaud I am s [...]ch one of lewdnes
¶ It is not sayd I se well in vayn
The tong of man & woman worst members be
Thow brut baud thow gret enmy to honeste certayn
Lause of secret errours Ihū Ihū bnedicite
Sō good bodi take this old thef [...] fro me
That thus wold me disseyue me [...] her fals sleyght
Go owt of my syght now / get the hens streyght
¶ In an yuyll howre cam I hyther I may say
I wold I had brokyn my legge twayn
Go [...]ens thou brothell go hens in the dyuyll way
B [...]yst thou yet to increase my payn
wylt thow make me of thys fole to be fayn
To gyue hymlyfe to make hym mery
And to my self deth to make me sory
¶ wilt thow [...]ere a way profet for my perdi [...]ion
And make me lese the house of my fathe [...]
To wyn the howse of such an old matrone
As thow art shamfullyst of all other
[Page]Thikist thou that I ūderstād not thou falls mother
Thy hurtfull message thy fals subtell ways
Make a mende to god thou lyffyst to long days
¶ Answere thou traytres how darst be so bold
The fere of the makyth me so dysmayd
That the blod of my body is almost cold
Alas fayre maydyn what hast thou sayd
To me pore wydow why am I denayed
Here my cōclusion which ys of honeste
wt out cause ye blame thys gentylman & me
I sey I wyll here no more of that fole
was he not here with me euyn now
Thow old which thou bryngyst me in grete dole
Ask him what answere he had of me & how
I toke hys demaund as now know mayst thou
More shewyng is but lost where no mercy can be
Thus I answerd hym & thus I answer the
¶ The more straunge she makyth the gladder am I
Ther is no tempast that euer doth endure
what seyst thou what seyst thow shameful enmy
Speke out.
so ferd I am of your dyspleasure
your anger is so grete I [...]seyue it sure
And your pacyens is in so gret an hete
That for wo & fere I both wepe & swete
¶ Lyttyll is the hete incoparyson to say
To the gret boldnes of thy demeanyng
Fayre mayden yet one word now I you pray
Appease we pacyens & here my sayeng
It Is for a prayer mestres my demaundyng
That is sayd ye haue of seynt appolyne
For the toth ake wher of this man is in pyne
¶ And the gyrdle there thou weryst about the
¶ So many holy relyke it hath towchyd
That thys knyght thynkyth his bote thou maist be
Therfore let thy pyte now be a vouchid
For my hart for fere lyke a dog is couthyd
The delyght of vengen [...]s who so doth vse
Pyte at theyre nede shall they [...] refuse
¶ yf this betrew that thou s [...]yst to me [...]
Myn hart is lyghtnyd [...]eyuyng thecase
I wold be content well [...] I wyst how
To bryng this seke knyght vnto some [...]
Fayre damsell to the be hesth & grace
For yf this knyght & ye were aquap [...]tyd both two
[Page]ye wold not iudge him the man that ye do
¶ By god & by my soule in him is no malyncoly
with grace indewid in fredome as alexandre
In strength as hectour in countenaunce mery
Gracious / enuy iu him reynyd neuer
Of noble blod as thou knowyst / & yf ye [...]uer
Saw him armyd he semeth a seynt george
Rather than to be made in nature forge
¶ An angell thou woldist iudge him I make auow
The gentyll narciso was neuer so fayre
That was ināmoryd on his own shadow
wherfore fayre mayde let thy pyte repayre
Let mercy be thy mother & thou her heyre
This knyght whom I come for neuer seasyth
But cryeth out of payn that styll encresyth
¶ How long tyme I pray the hath it holdyn hym
I thynk he be. xxiiii. yeres of age
I saw hym born & holpe for to fold hym
I demaund the not therof thyne answer aswage
I ask the how long in this paynfull rage
He hath leyn /
of trewth fayr maydyn as he says
He hath be in this agony this. viii. days
¶ But he semyth he had leyn this. vii. yere
O how it greuyth me the il of my pacyent
Knowyng his agony & thy innocency here
Unto myne anger thou hast made resistens
wherfore thy demaund I graunt in recompens
Haue here my gyrdyll the prayer is not redy
To morow it shalbe / come agayn secretly
¶ And moder of these worde passyd betwene vs
Shew uothyng therof vnto this knyght
Lest he wold report me cruell & furyous
I trust the / now be trew for thougte be lyght
I meruell gretly thou dost me so atwyght
Of the dout that thou hast of my secretnes
As secret as thy self I shall be dowteles
¶ And to calisto wt this gyrdle celestina
Shall go and his ledy hart make hole & lyght
For gabriell to our lady wt aue maria
Came neuer gladder than I shall to this knyght
Calisto how wylt thou now syt vp ryght
I haue shewid thy water to thy phesycyon
Comfort thy self the feld is half won
¶ Moder he is much beholdyn vnto the
Fayr maydyn for the mercy thou hast done to vs
This k [...]yght & I both thy bedfolkis shall be
Moder yf nede be I wyll do more than thus
It shalbe nedefull to do so / & ryghteous
For this thus begon must nedis haue an ende
which neuer can be wtout ye condescend
¶ well mother to morow is a new day
I shall performe that I haue you promest
Shew to this seke knyght in all that I may
Byd him be bold in all thyngis honest
And though he to me as yet be but a gest
If my word or dede his holth may support
I shall not fayle and thus byd him take comfort
Et exeat melebea.
¶ Now cryst comfort ye & kepe the in thy nede
Now say you now is not this matter caryed clene
Can not old celestina her matter spede
A thing not well handlyd is not worth a bene
Now know ye by ye [...]alf tale what ye hole doth [...]eane
These women at the furst be angry & furyous
Fayre we ther comyth after stormys tempestyous
¶ And now to calisto I wyll me dres
which lyeth now languyshyng in grete payn
And shew hym that he is not remedyles
And bere hym this to make hym glad and fayn
And handyll hym so that ye shall sey playn
That I am well worthy to bere the name
For to be callyd a no [...]le arche dame
Danio pate [...] melebee.
¶ O meruelous god what a dreme had I to nyght
Most terryble vysy on to report and here
I had neuer none such nor none yerthely wyght
Alas when I thynk theron I quak for fere
It was of melebe [...] my doughter dere
God send me good tythyuge of her shortly
For tyll I here from her I can not be mery
¶ O dere father nothyng may me more displease
Nothyng may do me more anoyans
Nothyng may do me gretter disease
Than to se you father in any perturbans
For me chefly or for any other chauns
But for me I pray you not to be sad
For I haue no cause but to be mery and glad
¶ O swete melebea my doughter dere
I am replete with [...]oy and felycyte
[Page]For that ye be now in my presens here
As I perceyue in Ioy & prosperite
From deth to lyfe me thynkyth it reuyuyth [...]
For the ferefull dreme y I had lately
what dreme syr was that I pray you hertely
¶ Dowtles me though yt I was walkyng
In a fayre orchard where were placys two
The one was a hote [...]ath holsome & pleasyng
To all people that dyd repayre therto
To was [...]h them & clen [...] them from sekenes also
The other a pyt of foule stynkyng water
shortely they dyed all that ther in did enter
¶ And vnto this holesome bath me thought y ye
In the ryght path were cōmyng [...]
But before that me thought that I dyd see
A foule rough bych aprikeryd cur it was
whych strakyng her body along on the gras
And wt her tayle lykkyd her so that she
Made her selfe a fayre spaniell to be
¶ Thys bych then me thought met you in the way
Leppyng & fawnyng vppon you a pase
And rownd a bowt you dydrenne & play
whych made you then dysport & solas
whych lykyd you so well yt in short space
The way to the hote bath anon ye left it
And toke the streyght way to the foule pyt
¶ And euer ye lokyd continually
vppon that same bych & somoth her eyed
That ye cain to the fonle pyt brynk sodeynly
Lvke to haue fallyn in & to haue bene dystroyed
whych when I saw anon than I cryed
Stertyng in my slepe & therwt dyd awake
That yet for fere me thynk my body doth quaks
¶ was not this a fcrefull dreme & meruelous
I pray you doughter what thynk ye now to this
Hic mese [...]ea certo tempore nō [...]oquit̄ sed uustu [...]
why speke ye not why be ye now so studious
Is there any thyng y hath chauncyd you [...]
I am your father tell me what it is
A las now your dreme whych ye haue expressyd
¶ Hath made me all pensyfe & sore abasshyd
I pray you dere doughter now tell me why
Sir I know the canse of your vision
And what your dredefull dreme doth signyfye
Ther of wold I fayn now haue noticion
Alas dere fade [...] alas what haue I done
Offendyd god as a wrech vnworthy
wherein / dyspayre not god is full of mercy
Et genuflectat
¶ Than on my knees now I fall downe
And of god chefely askyng forgyfnes
And next of you for in to oblyuyon
I haue put your doctryne & lessons dowtles
Fere not doughter I am not merciles
I trust ye haue not so gretly offendyd
But that ryght well it may be amendyd
¶ ye haue fosterid me vp full louyngly
In verteous dis [...]plyne whych is the ryght path
To all grace & vert [...]w whych doth sygnyfye
By your dreme y [...]ayre plesaunt holesome bath
The foule pyt whereof ye dremyd which hath
Destroyd so many betokneth [...]yse & syn
In whych alas Thad almost fallyn In
¶ The prikyeryd curr & the foule [...]ych
which made her self so smoth & fayre to see
Betokenyth an old quene a baudy wych
Lallyd celystyne that wo myght she be
whych wt her fayre worde ay so [...]swadydme
That she had almost brought me here vnto
To fulfyll the foule lust of calis [...]
¶ Alas dere doughter I taught you a lesson
wh [...]ch way ye shuld attayn vnto vertew
That was euery mornyng to say an orason
Prayeng god for grace all vyce to eschew
O dere fader that lesson I haue kept trew
whych preseruyd me / for though I dyd cōsēt
In mynd / yet had he neuer hys intent
¶ The verteu of that prayer I se well on thing
hath preseruyd you from the shame of that sin
But because ye were somwhat cōsentyng
ye haue offendid god gretly therin
wherefore doughter ye must now begyn
humbly to besech god of hys mercy
For to forgyue you your syn & mysery
¶ O blyssid lord & fader celestiall
whose infynite merci no tong can exprese
Though I be a sinner wrech of wrechis all
yet of thy gret merci graunt me forgifnes
Full sore I repent my sy [...] I cōfese
[Page]Intendyng hens forth neuer to offend more
Now humbly I besech thy mercy therfore
¶ Now yt is well sayd myne one fayte doughter
Stand vp therfore or I know verely
That god is good & mercyfull euer
To all synners whych wyll ask mercy
And be repentaunt & in wyll clerely
To syn no more he of hys grete goodnes
wyll graunt them therfore his grace & forgif [...]es
¶ Lo here ye may see what a thyng it is
To bryng vp yong people verteously
In good custome / fo [...] gra [...] doth neuer mys
To them that vse good prayers dayly
which hath preseruyd thys mayde vndoutydly
And kept her frō actuall dede of shame
Brought her to grace preseruy [...] her good name
¶ wherfore ye vyrgyns & [...] maydens all
Unto this example now take good h [...]de
Serue god dayly the sone [...] ye shall
To honeste & goodnes no dout procede
And god shall send you euer his grace at nede
To wtstand all euyll temptacions
That shall come to you by any occasions
¶ And ye faders moders & other which be
Rulers of yong folke your charge is dowtles
To bryng them vp verteously & to see
Them occupied styll in some good bysynes
Not in idell pastyme or vnthryftynes
But to teche them some art craft or lernyng
whereby to be able to get theyr lyffyng
¶ The bryngers vp of youth in this region
haue done gret harme because of theyr neclygēs
Not puttyng them to lernyng nor occupacyons
So when they haue no craft nor sciens
And com to mans state ye see thexꝑience
That many of them compellyd be
To beg or stele by very necessite
¶ But yf there be therfore any remedy
The hedys & rulers must furst be dylygent
To make good lawes & execute them straytely
Uppon such maystres that be neclygent
Alas we make no laws but ponyshment
when men haue offendyd / but laws euermore
wold be made to preuent the cause before
¶ yf the cause of the myscheffe were seen before
whych by cōiecture to fall be most lykely
And good laws & ordynauncys made therfore
to put a way the cause / yt were best remedt
what is the cause that ther be so many
Thefte & robberies / it is be cause mē be
Dryuen therto by nede & pouerte
¶ And what is the verey cause of that nede
Be cause they [...]abur not for theyr lyffyng
And trewth is they can not well labour in dede
Be cause in youth of theyr ydyll vpbryngyng
But this thyng shall neuer come to reformyng
But the world cōtynually shalbe nought
As long as yong pepyll be euell vpbrought
¶ wherfore the eternall god that raynyth on hye
Send his mercifull grace & influens
To all gouernours that they circumspectly
May rule theyr inferiours by such prudence
To bryng them to vertew & dew obedyeus
And that they & we all by his grete mercy
May be ꝑteners of hys blessyd glory.


Iohēs rastell me imprimi fecit

Cum priuilegio regali




Johannes Rastell


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