¶ One and thyrtye Epigrammes wherein are brieflye touched so manye abuses, that maye and ought to be put away. Compiled and Imprinted by Robert Crowley, dwel­linge in Elye rentes. in Holburne. Anno domini. 1550.

i. Cor. xiiii. What so euer ye do, let the same be done to edifie wythall.
Gala vi. If I shoulde studye to please men: than coulde I not be the seruaunt of Christe.

The Boke to the Reader.

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

¶ The table of the cōtentes of thys boke.

  • Of Abbayes
  • Of Alehouses
  • Of Allayes
  • Of Almes houses.
  • Of Balyarrantes
  • Of Baudes
  • Of Beggers
  • Of Bearebaytinge
  • Of Brawlers
  • Of Blasphemous swearers.
  • Of Colliers
  • Of Commocioners
  • Of Commune drunckardes.
  • Of commune lyers
  • Of Dyce players
  • Of Double beneficed men
  • Of Thexcheker.
  • [Page]Of Fatterers
  • Of Fole
  • Of Forestallers
  • Of Godles men
  • Of Idle persons
  • Of Inuenters of straunge newes.
  • Of Laye men that take tythes
  • Of Leasemongers
  • Of Marchauntes
  • Of Men that haue diuers offices.
  • Of Nice wyues.
  • Of Obstinate Papistes.
  • Of Rente raysers.
  • Of Vayne writers
  • Of Vnsausiable Purchasers
  • Of Vsurers.

Of Abbayes.

AS I walked alone
and mused on thynges,
That haue in my time
bene done by great kings.
I bethought me of Abbayes
that sometyme I sawe,
Whiche are nowe suppressed
all by a lawe.
O Lorde (thought I then)
what occasion was here,
To prouide for learninge
and make pouertye chere?
The landes and the Iewels
that hereby were hadde,
Would haue foūd godly prechers
whiche might well haue ladde:
The people aright
that nowe go astraye,
And haue fedde the pore
that famishe euerye daye.
But as I thus thought
it came to my mynde,
That the people wyll not se
but delite to be blynde,
Wherfore they are not worthy
good preachers to haue,
Nor yet to be prouided for
but styll in vayne to craue.
Than sayd I (O Lorde God)
make this time shorte,
Mat. 24.
For their sakes onely Lorde
that be thy chosen sort.

Of Alehouses

NEades must we haue places
for vitailes to be solde,
For such as be sicke
pore, feble, and olde.
But lorde to howe greate
abuse they be growne,
In eche lyttle Hamlet,
village, and towne.
They are become places
of waste and excesse,
An herber for such menne
as lyue in idlenes.
And lyghtlye in the contrey
they are placed so,
That they stande in mens waye
whan they shoulde to churche go.
And than suche as loue not
to heare their faultes told
By the minister that readeth
the new testamente and olde.
Do turne into the alehouse
and let the churche go.
Yea, and men accounted wise
and honeste do so.
But London (God be praysed)
all menne maye commend
Whiche doeth nowe this greate
enormitie emende
For in Seruice tyme
no dore standeth vp,
A cōmen­dation of London.
Where suche men are wonte
to fyll canne and cuppe.
Woulde God in the contrey
they woulde do the same
Eyther for goddes feare
or for worldely shame.
How hallow they the Saboth
that do the time spende,
In drynkinge and idlenes
tyll the daye be at an ende?
Not so well as he doeth
that goeth to the plowe,
Or pitcheth vp the sheues
from the carte to the mowe.
Mat. xiii
But he doeth make holye
the Sabothe in dede,
That heareth Goddes worde
and helpeth suche as nede.

Of Allayes.

TWo sortes of Allayes
in London I finde,
The one agaynste the lawe
and the other againste kinde.
The firste is where bowlinge
forbidden menne vse,
And wastynge their good
do their laboure refuse.
A disprai­se of Lon­don.
But in London (alas)
some men are deuillishelye
Suffered to professe it,
as an arte to lyue by.
Well I wyll saye no more
but suche as lyue so,
And officers that suffer them
shall togither go.
To Satan their fire
for of god they are not,
Who commaundeth to laboure
syxe dayes ye wotte.
Exo. xxiii.
And the seuenth he commaundeth
all menne to sanctifie,
In beynge well occupied
and not idlelye
The other sorte of Allayes
that be agaynste kynde,
Allayes agaynste kynde.
Do make my herte wepe
whan they come to my mind.
For there are pore people
welmoste innumerable,
That are dryuen to begge,
and yet to worcke they are able.
If they might haue althinges
prouided aright,
Alas, is not thys,
a greate ouer syght?
Ye Aldermen and other
that take Allaye rente
Why bestowe ye not the riches
that god hath you sente.
In woule or in flaxe
to finde them occupied
That nowe lye and begge
by euerye highe waye side.
And you that be chiefe
and haue the commune treasure
Why can you neuer finde
a time of leasure
To se where the treasure
will finde them workinge
To the profit of the Citye
in some maner thinge
But (alas) this my tale,
is to deafe men tolde
For the charitie of rich men
is nowe thorowe colde.
And this is a Citye
in name, but in dede
It is a packe of people
that seke after mede.
Loke the diffinitiō of a citye you that be serued
For officers and all
do seke their owne gaine,
But for the wealth of ye commons
not one taketh paine
An hell without order
I maye it well call
Where euerye man is for him selfe
and no manne for all.

Of Almes houses.

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

Of Baylife Arrantes.

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

Of Bawdes.

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

Of Beggers.

THe Beggars whome nede
compelleth to craue
Ought at our handis
some reliefe to haue
But such as do counterfayt,
haueynge theyr strength
To labour if they luste,
beyng knowne at the length
Ought to be constrayned,
to worcke what they can
And lyue on theyr laboures
as besemeth a christyan
And if they refuse
to worcke for theyr meate
i. Tim iii
Then ought they to faste
as not worthy to eate
And such as be sore
and wyll not be healed
Oughte not many case
to be charished
I heard of two beggars
Of two beggers
that vnder an hedge sate
who dyd wyth longe talke
theyr matters debate.
They had boeth sore legges
most lothsome to se
Al rawe from the fote
welmost to the knee
My legge, quod the one
I thank god is fayre
So is myne (quod the other)
in a colde ayre
For then it loketh rawe
and as redde as any bloud
I would not haue it healed
for any worldis good
For were it once whole
my lyuinge were gone,
And for a sturdye begger
I shoulde be take anone.
No manne woulde pittye me
but for my sore legge,
Wherfore if it were whole
I might in vaine begge.
I shoulde be constrained
to laboure and sweate,
And perhaps sometime
wyth schourges be beate.
Well (sayde the tother)
lette vs take hede therefore,
That we let them nor heate
but kepe them styll sore.
An other thynge I hearde
of a begger that was lame,
Of an o­ther beg­ger.
Muche like one of these
if it were not the same.
Who syttinge by the fire
wyth the cuppe in hys hande.
Began to wonder whan
he shoulde be a good husbande.
I shall neuer thriue
(quod this beger) I wene,
For I gate but .xvi.d. to daye
and haue spente eyghtene.
Well let the worlde wagge
we muste neades haue drynke
Go fyll me this quarte pot
full to the brynke,
The tonge muste haue bastinge
it wyll the better wagge,
To pull a goddes penye
out of a churles bagge.
Yet cesse not to gyue to all
wythoute anye regarde,
Thoughe the beggers be wicked
thou shalte haue thy rewarde.

Of Bearbaytynge.

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

Of Brawlers.

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

Of Blasphemous swerers.

THe sonne of Syrach
wryteth playnelye,
Eccl. xxiii
Of suche menne as do
sweare blasphemouselye.
The manne that sweareth muche
shall be fylled, sayeth he,
Wyth all wicked maners
and iniquitie.
In the house of that manne
the plage shall not cease,
He shall be styll plaged
eyther more or lesse.
Math. v.
Christe biddeth all hys,
affirme and denye,
Wyth yea yea, nay naye,
affirmynge no lye.
What so euer ye adde more
(sayeth he) cometh of euyll.
And is of the wycked
suggestion of the deuill.
But we can not talke
wythouten othes plentye
Some sweare by gods nayles
hys herte and hys bodye,
And some sweare his fleshe,
hys bloude and his fote.
And some by his guttes
hys lyfe and herte rote.
Some other woulde seme
all swearynge to refrayne,
And they inuente idle othes
such is their idle brayne.
By cocke and by pye
and by the gose wynge
By the crosse of the mouse fote
and by sa [...]ncre chyckyn.
And some sweare by the deuell
suche is their blindenes,
Not knowynge that they cal
these thynges to wytnes.
Of their Consciences in that
they affirme or denye,
So boeth sortes commit
moste abhominable blasphemie.

Of the colier of Croydon.

IT is sayde that in Croydon
there dyd sometyme dwell,
A Colier that did
all other Coliers excell.
For his riches thys Colier
myghte haue bene a knight
But in the order of knighthode
he hadde no delyght.
Woulde god all our knightes
did minde colinge no more,
Than this Colier did knyghtyng
as is sayde before.
For whan none but pore coliars
dyd wyth coales mell,
At a reasonable pryce
They dyd theyr coales sell.
But sence oure knighte Coliars
haue hadde the firste sale
We haue payde muche money
and had fewe sackes to tale.
A lode that of late yeres
for a royall was solde,
Wyll coste nowe .xvi.s.
of syluer or golde.
God graunte these men grace
their pollynge to refrayne.
Or els brynge them backe
to theyr olde state agayne.
And especiallye the Colier
that at Croydon doth sell,
For men thynke he is cosen
to the Coliar of hel.

Of Commotioners.

WHen the bodye is vexed
through humors corrupted
To restore it to helth
those humours muste be purged
For if they remayne
they wyll styl encrease:
Euerye daye more and more
and augment the disease.
So that in shorte tyme
the bodye muste decaye,
Excepte God gyue health
by some other waye.
Euen so doeth it fare
by the weale publike
Whyche chaunceth to be often
diseased and sycke.
Throughe the mischeuous malyce
of suche menne as be,
Desierous to breake
the publyke vnitie.
Eche publike bodye
muste be purged therfore
Of these rotten humours
as is sayde before.
Else wyll it decaye,
as do the bodies naturall
When rotten humours
haue infected them ouer all
But if the publyke bodie,
can not be purged well
By force of purgacion
as phicisins do tell
When bodies be weake,
and so lowe brought
That by purgacion,
no health can be wrought
Then must there be sought
some easyer waye
To kil ye strength of those humors
as phiasians saye.
When the swerde wyll not helpe
in the commune wealth
To purge it of Commotioners
and brynge it to health.
Than muste discrete counsel
fynde wayes to kyll,
The power of those rebels
and lette them of their wyll.
And that muste be by cherishynge
the humours naturall,
And by quyckenynge agayne
of the spirites vytall.
Whyche in the commune wealthe
are the subiectes true,
That do alwaye studye
Sedition to eschewe.
When these mē through cherishing
do growe and be stronge:
Than can not Commocioners
continue longe.
For as whan the strength
of yll humours is kylled,
In a naturall bodye
they be sone comsumed.
Or made of euill good
as it is playne to se:
So wyll it betyde
of suche menne as be.
In the commune wealth
geuen vnto sedision,
When they se they cannot
finyshe their intention.
And what is their power
but the people ignoraunte
Whom thei do abuse
by their councelles malignaunt?
When the hertes of the people
be wonne to their prince,
Than can no commotioners
do hurte in hys prouince.
If thys will not helpe
than God wyll take cure,
And destroy these Commosioners
we maye be right sure.
Excepte the tyme be come
that the bodye muste dye,
For than there canne be found
no maner remedy.
God graunte that oure synne
haue not broughte vs so lowe,
That we be passe cure
god onelye doeth thys knowe.
And I truste to se healthe agayne
if the finall ende,
Be not nowe nere at hande
whyche the Lorde shortelye sende.

Of commen drunkardes.

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

Of commune Liars.

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

Of Dicears.

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

Of double benificed men.

THe kynge of that realme,
where iustice doeth reygne
Perused olde statutis,
that in bokis remayne.
And as he turned the boke,
him chaunced to se
That suche as haue benifices
shoulde residente be.
And haue their abidynge
whiles their lyfe shold endure
Emonge them ouer whom
god hath geuen them cure.
Than sayde he to him selfe
I thynke well there is,
No lawe in thys realme
worse obserued than this.
Yet canne there nothynge
my flocke more decaye,
Than whan hirelynges suffer
my shepe to go astraye.
Then called he hys counsell
and tolde them his minde,
And willed that they shoulde
some remedye finde.
Who with good aduice
agreed on thys thinge,
That visitours shoulde be sent
with the power of the kynge
To punyshe all suche
as herein dyd offende
Vnlesse they were founde
thorowe wyllynge to amende.
These visitours found many stout
priestes, but chieflye one,
Osee. iiii
That hadde sondrye benifices
but woulde surrender none.
Than was this stoute felowe
brought to the kynge,
Who saide vnto hym,
syr howe chaunceth this thing?
Wil ye transegresse my lawes
and than disobeye:
Menne hauing my power?
syr what canne you saye?
If it may like your grace (quod he)
loe here is to se,
Your seale at a graunte
of a pluralitie.
Wel, saide the kinge than,
I repente me of all yll:
But tell me maister doctoure
wil you haue your benifices styl?
If your grace do me righte (ꝙ he)
I must haue them my life tyme,
So shalt thou (quod the kynge)
for to morow by pryme
God wyllynge, thy body,
shalbe diuided and sent
To ech benifice a piece,
to make the resident.
Away wyth him (quod the kyng)
and let al thyngis be done
As I haue geuen sentence,
to morower none
For syth thou arte a stoute priest
an example thou shalt be
That all stouburne priestes,
may take warnyng by the.

Of the Exchecker

IN the weste parte of Europe
there was sometyme a kynge
That had a courte for receyte,
of money to him belonging.
But the ministers for that Court,
dyd longe & many a daye
Take brybes to beare wt suche mē
as should forfaytis pay.
At the laste to the kynge,
this theyr falshode was tolde
By such as about him,
were faythful and bolde.
Then dyd the kynge send,
for these ministers yll
And layed all theyr treaspases,
before them in a byl.
Then were they abashed,
and had nought to say
But cried for his pardon,
but he bade awaye.
Ye haue borne wt theues,
and haue robbed me
And suffered my commons,
impoueryshed to be.
No statute could cause,
offendars to emende
Because you dyd beare wyth them
when they dyd offende.
Awaye wyth them all,
laye them fast in prisone
Tyll we haue determined,
what shall wyth them be done.
What iudgment they had,
I haue not hearde yet.
But well I wot they deserued,
a tiburne typpet.

Of Fatterars.

A Flatterynge frende,
is worse then a foe.
For a frende is betrusted,
when the other is not so.
Of an open enimie,
a man may be ware,
ii. Re. iii.
when the flatteryng frend,
wyl worcke men much care.
For if Abner had knowne,
what was in Ioabs herte.
I do not doubt but he would,
haue out of his waye sterte.
Or at the leaste he would not,
haue admitted him so ny:
As to be embraced of him,
and on his dagger to dye.
Wherefore I aduertise
al men to be ware
Of all flatterynge frendis,
that bryng men to care.
As for open ennimies,
trust them if ye wyll,
I can not forbyd you,
to admyt your owne yll.
Woulde god all men woulde,
such flatterars trye:
As hange at theyr elbowes
to get some what therby.
But (alas) nowe adayes,
men of honour do promote:
Many a false flatterynge,
and lewde harlot.
Whych thynge may at the lengthe
be theyr owne decay.
For if the wynde turne,
the flatterars wyll awaye.
The swallowe in sommer
wyll in your house dwell,
But when wynter is commynge
she wyll saye farewell.
And when the short dayes,
begyn to be colde
Robyn red breast wyll come hom [...]
to you and be verye bolde.
But whan somer returneth
and bushes waxe grene,
Then Robyn your manne
will no more be sene.
So some of your flatterers
will in prosperitie,
Be of your housholde
and of your familie.
And some other wyll
whan nede doeth them payne
Sue to do you seruice
till they be wealthy againe.

Of Foles.

THe preacher sayth thus
Eccle. iiii
a pore wittye ladde,
Is better than an olde kyng
whose wytte is but badde.
The wise manne in pouertie
is righte honorable,
Whan the fole in his riches
is worthie a bable.
Some foles there be of nature
that vnderstande noughte,
And some vnderstande thinges
But do conceiue in their thought
That they them selues be wisest
whiche follye passeth all,
And doeth sone appeare
boeth in greate and smale.
These foles wyll heare no mans
reade or counsell,
And whatsoeuer they thē selues do
is exceadynge-well.
But other mens doinges
they wyll euer dispraise
None other can do oughte
that maye their myndes please.
And further they thinke
it becommeth them well
In euerye mannes matter
them selues to entermell.
And whan they come in place
where is anye talke,
No man shall haue time to speake,
their tonges shall so walke.
Of theyr owne dedis and goodis,
they wyll brage and boste
And declare all theyr myshaps,
and what they haue loste.
If ye tell them of theyr fautes,
then wyl they nedis fyght
Ye muste saye as they saye,
be it wronge or ryght
In fyne ye must prayse them
and set forth theyr fame
And how so euer they do,
Ye may them not blame.
If ye tell them of knowledg,
they saye they lacke none
And wyshe they had lesse,
and then they make mone
For the losse of vayne toyes,
where in they delyte
And then if ye reasone farre,
beware, they wyll fyght
All wise men take hede,
and shunne theyr companye
For of all other men,
they are moste vngodly

Of Forestallers.

THe fryses of Walis
to Brystow are brought
But before they are wouen
in walis they are boughte
So that now we do paye,
four grotis or else more
For the fryse we haue bought,
for eight pens heretofore
And some saye the woule,
is bought ere it do growe
And the corne long before,
it come in the mowe.
But one thyng there is,
that hurteth most of all.
Many offices are bought,
longe ere they fall.
And ryght so are benefices,
in euery coaste.
So that persons and vicars,
kepe neyther sod nor roaste.
The pore of the parish,
whom the person should fede.
Can haue nought of our tythis,
to succoure their nede.
Reuertions of farmes
are bought on eche syde,
And the old tenaunt must pay well
if he wil abide.
And where the father payd a penye
and a Capon or twayne,
The sonne must paye ten pounde
thys passeth my brayne
Well, let these forestallers
repente them betime,
Leaste the clarke of the market
be with them ere prime.
For he when he commeth
will punishe them all,
That do anie neadefull thinge
ingrosse or forestall.
For well I wotte this
when he wente laste away
He sente vs his seruaunte
and thus did he saye.
i. Cor. x.
Se that amonge you
none seke his owne gayne,
But profite eche other
wyth trauayle and payne.

Of Godlesse men.

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

Of Idle persons

IDlenes hath ben cause
Eccle 33
of much wyckednes.
As Ecclesiasticus,
doeth playnely wytnes.
Idle persons therfore,
can not be all cleare.
As by the storie of Sodome,
it doeth well appeare
But that we may come nere,
to our owne age
The Idlenes of Abbays,
made them outrage.
Yet let vs come nere,
euen to the tyme present.
And se what myschyfe,
Idle persons do inuent.
What cōspiracies haue bē wroght
wythin this lyttle whyle.
By Idle men that dyd,
the commons begyle.
And what haue Idle men,
alwaye practised.
To breake the peace of prynces,
that they myght be hyered.
I wyll not saye what,
the Idlenes of priestis hath done
Nor yet the Idlenes,
of seruantis in London
Let euerie man search,
his owne houshold well,
And whether the thynge,
be true that I tell.
Yea what abuse dyde euer,
emonge the people rayne.
But the same dyd fyrst sprynge.
out of an Idle brayn.
Idlenes therfore,
maye ryghte well be named
The gate of all mischiefe
that euer was framed.
Ye maisters and fathers therfore
that feare God omnipotente,
Kepe youre families occupied
leaste ye be shente.
For if thorowe their idlenes
they fall into outrage,
Your iudgemente shall be strayght,
for they ar cōmitted to your charge
Kepe them therfore styll occupied,
in doynge youre busines.
Or els in readynge or hearyng
some bokes of Godlines.
And woulde god the maiestrates
woulde se men set a worke,
And that within thys realme
none were suffered to lurke.
This realme hath thre cōmodities
woule, tynne, and leade,
Which beīg wrought wt in ye realme
eche man might get his bread.

¶ Of inuenters of straūge newes.

SOme men do delite
straunge newes to inuente,
Of this mannes doynge
and that mannes intente.
What is done in Fraunce
and in the Emperours lande,
And what thinges the Scotes
are nowe takynge in hand.
What the kynge and hys counsell,
do intende to do,
Thoughe for the moste parte
it be nothynge so.
Suche men cause the people
that els woulde be styll,
To murmure and grudge
whiche thinge is verye yll.
We sawe the expe­rience of thys of late.
sometyme they cause
the people to ryse,
And assemble them selues
in moste wicked wyse.
In Plato hys commune wealth
suche men shoulde not dwell,
For Poets and Oratours
he dyd expel.
Oh that these newes bryngers
hadde for their rewarde,
Newe halters of hempe
to sette them forwarde.

¶ Of Lay mē that take tithes, and priestes that vse their tythes priuatelye.

VVhan Iustice beganne
in iudgemente to sitte,
To punishe all suche menne
as faultes did committe.
Than was there a manne
before hyr accused,
For tithes that he toke,
and priuatelye vsed.
Whan due profe was hadde
and the thynge manifeste,
The witnesses sworne,
and the trespace confeste.
Then gaue the Iudge iudgment
and these wordes he spake
Se that from this Caytife
all his goodes ye take.
For seing he made that priuate
that commune shoulde be,
He shall haue this iustice
by the iudgemente of me.
Those pore men that by the tythes
shoulde be releeued
Shal haue al hys goods
emonge them deuided.
And bicause he shewed no mercye,
no mercye shall he haue,
Iacob. ii.
The sentence is geuen,
go hange vp the slaue.

Of Leasemongers.

OF late a Leasemonger
of London lay sicke,
And thinckinge to dye
his conscience did hym pricke.
Wherefore he sayde thus
wyth hym selfe secretely,
I will s [...]nd for a preacher
to knowe what remedye.
But whiles he thus laye
he fell in a slumbre,
And sawe in his dreame
pore folke a great numbre.
Whoe sayde they had learned thys,
at the preachers hande,
To paye all with patience
that their Landelordes demaunde.
For they for their sufferaunce
in suche oppression,
Are promised rewarde
in the resurrection.
Where suche as take leases
them selues to aduaunce,
Are certayne to haue hell,
by ryghte inheritaunce.

Of Marchauntes.

IF Marchauntes wold medle,
wyth Marchaundice onelye,
And leaue farmes to such men
as muste lyue therebye.
Then were they moste worthye
to be hadde in pryce,
As menne that prouide vs,
of all kyndes Marchaundice.
But sythe they take farmes
to lette them out agayne,
To suche men as muste haue them
thoughe it be to their payne.
And to leauye greate fines
or to ouer the rente,
And purchase greate landes
for the same intente:
We muste neades call them
membres vnprofitable,
As menne that woulde make
all the realme miserable.
Howe they leaue of their trade
and lende oute their money
To yonge Marchaunte menne
for greate vsurye,
Whereby some yong men
are dryuen to leaue all,
And do into moste extreme
pouertye fall:
It greueth me to wryte,
but what remedie?
They muste heare their faulte
sythe they be so greadye.
And thus I saye to them
and true they shall it fynde,
The Lorde wyll haue all
their yll doynges in mynd.
And at the laste daye
whan they shall arise.
All shall be layde playne
before theyr owne eyes.
Where iudgemente shall be geuen
Iacob. ii.
as saynte Iames doeth wytnes.
Wythoute all mercye,
to suche as be merciles.

¶ Of men that haue diuers offices

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

Of Nice wyues.

THe sonne of Sirache
of women doeth saye,
Eccl. xxvi
That their nicenes & hordom
is perceiued alwaye.
By their wanton lokes
and liftynge vp of eyes,
And their lokinge ascoye
in moste wanton wise.
And in the same
Iesus Syrach I fynde
That the gate and the garment
Eccle. xi
do declare the mynd.
If these thyngis be true,
as no doubt they be.
What shold we thynk of the womē
that in London we se?
For more wanton lokis,
I dare boldly saye.
Were neuer in Iewish whores,
then in London wines this day
and if the gate and the garmentis,
do shew any thynge.
Our wyues do passe theyr whoris,
in whorlyke deckyng.
I thyncke the abhominable,
whores of the stewes
Dyd neuer more whorelyke,
attyerments vse.
A cappe on hir head,
lyke a sowes mawe.
Such an other facion,
I thyncke the Iewe, neuer saw.
Then fyne geare on the forehead,
set after the new tryk.
Though it cost a crown or two.
what then? they maye not stycke.
If theyr heyre wyl not take colour
then must thei by newe.
And laye it oute in tussockis,
this thynge is to true.
At ech syde a tussocke,
as bygge as a ball.
A very fayre syght
for a fornicator bestiall,
Hyr face faire paynted,
to make it shyne bryght.
And hyr bosome all bare,
and moste whorelyke dight.
Hyr mydle braced in,
as smale as a wande:
And some bye wastes of wyre
at the paste wyues hande.
A bumbe lyke a barrell
wyth whoopes at the skyrte,
Hyr shoes of such stuffe
that maye touche no dyrte.
Vpon hyr whyte fyngers
manye rynges of golde,
Wyth suche maner stones
as are most dearlye solde.
Of all their other trifles
I wyll saye nothynge,
Leaste I haue but small thanckes
for thys my writynge.
All modeste Matrons
I truste wyll take my parte,
As for nice whippers wordes
shall not come nye my hert.
I haue tolde them but trueth
let them saye what they wyll,
I haue sayde they be whore like
and so I saye still.

Of Obstinate Papistes

AN obstinate Papiste
that was sometyme a Frier
Hadde of his Friers cote
so greate a desire.
That he stale out of England
and wente to Louayne.
And gate his Fryers cote
on his foles backe agayne.
A wilfull Begger
this papist wyll be.
A fole and a fryer,
and thus is one man three.
Would god all the papistis,
that he lefte behynd.
Where wyth him in fryes cotis,
accordyng to theyr kynde.
Or els I would they were,
wyth theyr father the pope.
For whylse they be in England,
they do but lyue in hope.
And except they myght get,
the Bible boke burned.
Into dispeyre theyr hope,
wyll shortly be turned.
God graunte them the grace
this hope to forsake,
And their naturall prynce
for their heade to take.
Forsakinge the Pope,
wyth all hys peltrye:
Whiche of longe tyme
they haue sette so much by.

Of rente raysers.

A Manne that had landes
of tenne pounde by yere
Surueyed the same
and lette it out deare.
So that often pounde
he made well a score,
Moe poundes by the yere
than other did before.
But whan he was tolde
what daunger it was
To oppresse hys tenauntes
he sayde he did not passe.
For thys thynge he sayde
full certaynelye he wyste,
That wyth hys owne he myghte,
alwayes do as he liste.
But immediatlye I trowe
thys oppressoure fyl sicke:
Luke. xvi
Of a voyce that he hearde
geue accountes of your Baliwicke.

Of Vayne wryters, vaine talkers and vaine hearers.

OF late as I laye
and lacked my reste,
At suche time as Titan
drewe faste to the Easte.
Thys sayinge of Christe
came into my minde,
Whyche certayne and true
all maner menne shall fynde.
Of euerye idle worde
ye shall geue a rekeninge.
Mat. xii.
Be it spoken by mouthe,
or put in wrytynge.
O Lorde (thought I then)
what case be they in,
That talke and write vaynely
and thinke it no sinne?
Than slombred I a little
and thoughte that I sawe,
Thre sortes of vayne menne
condempned by gods lawe.
The one was a writer
of thynges nought and vayne.
And an other a talker
and thys was theyr paine.
The wryter hadde the crowne
of hys heade opened,
Whose braynes wyth a stycke
the talker styrred.
And he wyth boeth handes
drewe the talkers tonge,
so that without hys mouthe
it was an handefull longe.
The thirde was an herkener
of fables and lyes,
Whose eares were almost
drawen vp to hys eyes.

Of vnsaciable purchasers.

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

Of Vsurers.

A Certaine man hadde landes
little thoughe it were,
And yet wold faine haue liued
lyke a gentlemans peare.
Of thys lande he made sale
and toke readye golde,
And let that for double the rente
of the lande that was solde.
Than came there a broker,
and saide if he woulde do:
As he woulde aduise hym,
he shoulde make of one penye two.
Marye that woulde I fayne do
(quod this vsurer than)
I praye the teache me
the feate if thou can.
You shall (sayde thys broker)
lende but for a monethes day:
And be sure of
a suffitiente gage alwaye.
Wyth a plaine bill of sale
if the day be not kept,
And se that ye do
no causes accepte.
Than muste you be sure
that your intereste be
One penye for a shyllynge
and thre pence for three.
So by the yeres ende
twelue moneths geue twelue pens
For the vse of a shyllinge
lo I haue tolde you al sens.
Than saide this vsurer
this matter goeth well,
For my twentye pounde lande
that I chaunced to sell.
I shall haue foure hundred
pounde rente by the yere,
To lyue lyke a Lorde
and make iolye chere.
Than came there a Prophete
and tolde thys manne plaine
That heauen is no place,
Psal. xv.
for suche vnlawefull gayne.
Why sir (quod this Vsurer)
it is my liuynge,
Yea syr (quod this Prophet)
but it is not youre calling.
You are called to liue
after twentye pounde by yere,
And after that rate
ye shoulde measure your chere.
Tyll god did encrease you
by his mercifull wayes,
By encreasynge youre corne
and youre cattell in the leyes.
Whych encrease wyth your landes
you are bounde to employe,
To the profite of all them
that do dwell you bye.
Ye are not borne to your selfe
neither maye you take
That thinge for youre owne
where of God did you make.
But Stuarde and Baylife
that shall yelde a rekeninge,
At the daye of Iudgemente,
Luke. xvi
for euerye thynge.
And do ye not doubte
but then ye shall knowe,
Whether ye maye your goodes
at youre pleasure bestowe.
And whether ye maye vse
wayes wicked and yll,
To encrease your riches
at youre owne will.
But chieflye to lende
youre goodes to vsurie,
Is a thinge that you shall
moste dearelye abye.
For Christe saieth in Luke
that the Heathen do so,
Luke. vi.
Take hede lest ye flytte
frome pleasure to woe.

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