PASQVIL THE PLAYNE.

LONDINI IN AEDIBVS THOMAE BERTHELETI. M. D. XXXIII.

¶Thomas Elyot knight to gentile reders.

SEns plainnes in speking is of wise men commen ded, and diuerse do ab­horre longe prohemes of Rhetorike: I haue sette out this mery treatise / wherin plainnes and flateri do come in trial / in such wise as none honest man wil be therwith offended. The persona­ges, that do reasone, be of small re­putation: For Pasquillus, that spe­keth moste, is an image of stone, sit­tinge in the citie of Rome openly: on whome ones in the yere, it is leful to euery man, to set in verse or prose a­ny taūte that he will / agayne whom he lift, howe great an astate so euer he be. Not withstandynge in this booke he vsith suche a temperaunce / that he noteth not any particular persone or Countrey. Gnatho was brought in by writers of Comedies [Page 2] for suche a seruante / as alway affir­med, what so euer was spokē of his maister: but he was a Greke borne, and therfore he sauorith some what of rethorike. Pasquille is an olde Romane / but by longe sittinge in the strete, and hering market men chat, he his become rude and homely.

Harpocrates was the prelate of the temple of Isis and Serapis, whiche were honorid for goddis in Aegypt / whose image is made holdynge his fynger at his mouthe, betokeninge silence. These thre communed to ge­ther, as it foloweth / but where, I had forgoten to aske,. All be it by­cause the matter is merily brought in, and therwith sauoreth somwhat of wisedome: I thought hit not in­conueniēt to participate it with you that will not interprete it but accor­dinge to the beste meaninge, And in the redinge this littill treatise distin­ctly, will consider diligently the state [Page] and condition of the parson that speketh / with the ordre and conclusion of his hole reason. And if it seme to you, that Pasquill sayth true, in de­claringe howe moche ye do fauoure truthe, defende hym ageynste vene­mous tunges and ouerthwart wit­tis, whiche doeth more myschieffe, than Pasquillus babillinge.

Fare ye well.
Pasquillus. Gnato. Harpocrates.
PASQVILL.

IT is a wonder to se the world: Now a daies, the more straunge the better lyked, therfore vnnethe a manne maye knowe an honest man from a false harlotte. But peace / who is this gentylman that standeth here har­kenynge? What I saye myne olde felowe Gnatho, I praye the come forthe, ye steale not so awaye. Per­dye I knowe youre olde facyon / though ye be nowe thus straungely disguysed.

GNATO.

Who spea­keth to me: Pasquill? Sawest thou not Harpocrates late? I seeke for hym, he must come to my mayster.

PASQILL.

I wote not whither thyneye soughte for Harpocrates, but sure I am, that thyn ere sought for Pasquillus. But I praye the tourne about: thou haste the stran­gest [Page] apparaise that euer I loked on: What haue we here? A cappe ful of aglettes & bottons this longe estrige fether doeth wonderly wel / the tirfe of the cappe tourned downe afore lyke a pentise hathe a meruaylous good grace: but this longe gowne with strayte sleues is a non sequitur, and hit shall lette you to flee, & than youre fethers shall stande you in no stede, and so mought ye happē to be combred, if ye shulde come in to a stoure, where ye wold shyft for your selfe. God a vowe what doest thou with this longe typpet? If it were white as it is blacke, I wolde haue sayd, thou camest to challenge men at wrastlynge, but I wene ye haue walked latein the strete, and pulled it from some worshypfull doctour. What a gods name / haue ye a boke in your hande? A good feloweshyp wherof is it? Let me se. Nouum te­stamentū? What / thou deceiuest [...] / [Page 4] I had wend thou couldest haue skil­led of nothynge but only of flatery. But what is this in your bosom? An other boke, or els a payre of car­des of valery salse hed? Dyd I not saye at the fyrst / that it is a wonder to se this worlde? Lo som wyll be in the bowelles of diuinite er they knowe what belongeth to good hu­manitie. Let se, what is here?

Troylus and Chreseyd? Lord what discorde is bytwene these two bo­kes? Yet a great dele more is there in thyn aparayll. And yet moost of all betwene the boke in thy hande and thy condicions. As god helpe me / as moch as betwene trouth and leasynge.

GNA.

Well Pasquillus / thou wylte neuer leue thyn olde cu­stome in raylynge. Yet haste thou wyt ynough to perceyue what da­mage and hindrance thou hast ther­by susteyned: and more arte thou lykely & with greater peryll / if thou [Page] haue not good awayte / what, and to whome / and where thou spekest. I herde the wordes that thou spa­kest whyle ere, wherof it I wolde be a reporter, it mought tourne the to no littell displeasure: but I know that thou arte a good felowe, and woldest that all thynge were well, though thy wordes be all crabbed. Wherfore not withstandynge that thou speakest rebukefully to me, I take hit in iape, ne wyll carye hense with me the presumtuous wordes that thou spakest. But by myne ad­uise leue nowe at the last thin vndis­crete libertie in speche, wherin thou vsest vnprofitable tauntes and rebu­kes / I may well calle them vnprofy­table, wherby nothynge that thou blamist / is of one iote amended, and thou losest therby preferment, whi­che thyn excellent wit doth require: & that wors is / trauailest in study of minde to augmente thin owne detriment, [Page 5] and therin losist moche tyme, that mought be better employed.

¶I remembre, that ones I asked a man, that was wise and verye well lerned, howe I mought sonest come to promotion: he sayde. vsyng Aes­chylus counsaylle / whiche was a writar of tragedies: and I deman­ded, what it was? And he aunswe­red, holding thy tonge wher it behoueth the. And spekyng in tyme that whiche is conuenient. And the same lesson Pasquillus if thou woldeste obserue / I doute not, but that thou shuldest fynd therin no lytle cōmodi­tie.

PAS.

Mary Gnato I wyl no more wonder at thy syde gowne: for thou arte moche wysar than I sup­posed. I had wende all this whyle, that by nature onely thou haddest ben instructed to flatter, but by saint I one I se now, that thou ioynest al­so therto a shrewde wyt, and prepa­rest to the helpinge therof as it were [Page] a crafte gathered of lernynge and scripture. Notwithstanding a good felowshyp / if thy taryenge shall not be greuouse or hurtfull vnto the (for I knowe howe expedient it is that thou be not longe oute of the syght of thy mayster, if thou wylt be Gna tho alone) tell me how thou vnder­standest the sayd sentence of Aeschy­lus tragedy: for I feare we two do vnderstonde hym dyuersely, & than thy counsayle in respecte to thy pur­pose shall lytell profyte me.

GNA.

Supposest thou so? In good faythe and to me it semeth so playne, that it nedeth none expositor, but to the intent that my counsayll to the may take some effecte, in the lyttell tyme that I may now tary, I wyl as com pendiously as I can shewe my con­ceite / in declaringe what I thynke / that Aeschylus mente by the sayde sentence.

¶It behoueth a man to holde his [Page 6] tunge, whan he aforeseeth by any experience, that the thinge / whiche he wolde purpose or speke of to his su­periour / shall neyther be pleasantly herde nor thankefully taken. And in wordes oportunitie & tyme alwaye do depende on the affection and ap­petite of hym that hereth them.

How sayest thou Pasquill, is it not so?

PASQVILL.

So? No so mote I go. But one thyng here me. I wyll nat flatter the Gnatho. If thou vnderstandeste no better the newe testamtnt (whiche thou cariest as solemnely with the, as thou shul dest rede a priue lesson / Hem I had almoste tolde where openly) than thou doest Aeschylus sentence / whi­che as if thou haddest bene lerned, thou toldest to me for a counsaylle, thy brethe wyll be so hote shortly, that thou wylt make men aferde to come within twentye fote of the.

And herke in thyne eare. By my [Page] trouth, I wene it be neyther better nor warse.

GNATO.

Wyl ye not leue your ouerthwart facion. I can no more. I se it is vaine to counsaile a madde man to loke to his profite. Fare well, I haue somewhat els to do / than to attende to thy pratynge.

PASQVILL.

What be you angry for this? Loke on the boke in your hande: perdie hit agreeth not with your profession to be out of charitie. But gentyll Gnatho tary so long as I may shew the how I vnderstande the sayde sentence of Aeschylus.

GNATO.

Say on.

PASQVILL.

¶Where two hostes be assembled, and in poynt to fyght: if thou be a­mong them, though thou be a great astronomer / it behoueth the to hold thy tunge / and not to talke of con­iunctions, and of the trine or quar­til aspectes, but to prepare the to ba­taylle. Where a good felowshyp is sette at dyce or at cardes, thoughe [Page 7] thou be lerned in geometrie: holde thy tunge, and speke not of propor­cions or figures. Where men be set at a good soupper / and be busily oc­cupyed in eatynge and drynkynge, though thou be depely sene in philosophie / holde thy tonge and dispute not of temperaunce / or moderate diete. Where thou arte amonge a great companie, at bankettinges or other recreations: though thou be well lerned in holy scripture, holde thy tonge, interprete not Paules e­pistels / for therin is no daliaunce.

Whan thou arte sittynge in coun­saile aboute maters of weighty im­portaunce: talke not than of passe tyme or daliaunce, but omittinge af­fection or dreede, speke than to the pourpose.

Where thou seeste thy frende in a great presence hououred of all men, though thou knowest in hym nota­ble vices, yet there holde thy tonge, [Page] and reproche hym not of them. Where thou seest thy lorde or may­ster in the presence of many / resolued in to fury or wantonnesse, thoughe thou hast all redy aduertisementes, howe he shall refrayne it: yet holde thy tonge than / for troublynge that presence.

¶On the other parte. If before ba­taile ioyned, thou beholdest thy side the weiker: and thyne aduersaries more puissaunt and stronger: speke than of policie, wherby thou hopest to optayne the victorie.

¶Before that thy frende syttethe downe to dyce, if thou dost perceiue, that he shal be ouermatched: disco­rage hym betyme / or he repent hym in pouertie.

¶Whan thy frendes be set downe to souper / before the cuppes betwise fylled: reherce the peryll and also dishonesti that hapneth by glotony.

¶Whan yonge men and women [Page 8] haue appoynted a bankette, than er the ouens be hete / and tables all co­uered / reherce hardely the sentences of saynt Paule, or saynt Hierome, if thou be lerned.

If thou be called to counsaile / after thou haste either herde one raisonne bifore the / or at the leest weye, in the balaunce of thyne owne raison pon­derid the questiō: spare not to shew thine aduise, & to speke truely / remē ­bring that god is not so ferre of, but that he can here the.

¶If thou knowest a vice in thy frende, which is of a fewe men sus­pected, er it be talked of at the ta­uerne, or of his enemy reproched / warne him of the damage that may happen / if it be not amended.

¶Whan thou percciuest thy Mai­ster to be resolued in to wrath or af­fections dishonest, Before wrathe be incresed in to fury, and affection in to voluptuous appetite. As oportunitie [Page] serueth the / reuerētly and with tokens of loue towarde hym, speke suche wordes as shalbe conuenient.

¶Oportunite consisteth in place or tyme / where and whan the sayd af­fections or passion of wrath be some dele mitigate and out of extremitie. And wordes be called conueniente, whiche haue respecte to the nature and state of the person, vnto whom they be spoken, and also to the detri­mente / whiche mought ensue by the vice or lacke that thou hast espied, & it ought not to be as thou hast sup­posed. For oportunite & tyme for a counsayllour to speke / do not depend of the affection and appetite of hym that is counsayled: mary than counsaylle were but a vayne worde, and euery man wolde do as hym lyfte.

For if he listed not to here any coun­sayle, he shulde neuer be warned of his owne errour, but by satietie and tediousnesse of his owne vice, or by [Page 9] grace (if he were worthi to haue it)

GNA.

Nowe by the fayth I owe to god / I wold not haue thought / that thou haddest ben so well rayso­ned. For men haue alwaye reputed the but for a babbler and raylar.

PASQVILL.

Ye what men? By god those / whiche oughte moste to haue thanked me. I saye, herke in thine eare: Popes, emperours / kin­ges / and cardinalles. Thou herest what I say. Whan they, by such as thou & Harpocrates be / were with flatery and dissimulation broughte in to the hate of god and the people, ones in yere / I gaue thē warning, neither for menaces, nor yet for bea­tynges, I neuer cessed. Thou arte remembred whan pope Leo sware, that he wolde throwe me in to the ryuer of Tyber. And that yere I went to saint Iames on pilgremage / which I auowed, if I escaped drowning. But in a vnlucky houre was [Page] I a pylgreme: for sens there haue comen bothe to sainct Iames at Cō ­postella, and to saint Peter at Rome euery yere ten thousande pilgremes fewer, than there dyd a thousande yeres before that tyme. And menne saye, that in other contreys dyuers monasteries be lyke to breake hospi­talitie, bicause theyr offringes be not the thyrde parte so moche as they were accustomed. For in dede nowe a daies mens deuocion waxeth euen as colde / as the mounkes be in the quyer at midnyght. that commodi­tie had Rome by myn absence. And yet after mi pilgremage done, I had for mi trouth & plainnesse as moch ꝑ done of god, as if I had bylded one cloyster in Rome / and an other in Parise / & put in to eueryche of them an hundred friers cōuentuals. And yet were that a blessed dede, if the lawe were not agayne incresing of valiant beggers. But to my purpose. If [Page 10] these men that we spake of / had wy­sely & coldly expended and tried my wordes, that they called raylynge, many thinges mought haue ben preuented / that were after lamented.

Germany shulde not haue kicked a­gayne her mother: Emperours and princis shuld not haue ben in perpe­tual discorde / & often tymes in peril, prelates haue ben laughed at, as di [...] ­sardes: saynctes blasphemed, and miracles reproued for iougglynges / lawes and statutes contemned / and officers littell regarded. What must nedes folowe / sens my breth faileth me? I leue that to the Gnatho to coniect, for thou arte wyse moughe to consider.

GNA.

I knowe what thou meanest / but a felyshyp leaue thy bourdinge and currishe philoso­phie, sens it is neyther profitable / plesant, nor thankefull. Who wolde be so madde to driue about a myll, and is sure / that all the meale / that he [Page] gryndeth / shall fall on the floore: sa­uinge a litle mylduste / that shall flie in to his eien, and put hym to payne and perchaunce make hym blynde? And thou studyest ot speake many good wordes, whiche be lost in the rushes: and if any yll meaning may be pycked out, it is caste in thy nose to put the in daunger. Lese no more laboure Pasquyll / but folowe my counsaylle: and if within two yeres thou be newe paynted and gylt / and haue mo men wondryng at the, than at any other ymage in Rome, by my trouthe I wyll stande in the rayne and sonne as longe as thou haste done, and yet it were an vure­sonable wager.

PAS.

Go to let se what is thy counsaill?

GN.

Mary I wyll telle the. Thou haste a very sharpe wytte and a redy: wherfore thou arte mete for the worlde. And pitie it were, that such a iewel shuld be neglected.

PAS.

And pitie hit [Page 11] were, that suche a flaterar as thou art / shulde longe be vnhanged. But passe on a goddis name.

GNA.

I wist well, that in suche as frowarde pice of tymbre I shulde lose moche laboure: yet wyll I proue / if good counsaylle may warke any thinge in the. Nowe here Pasquill what I say. By thy longe railinge, thy wyt is well knowen. Now tourne the lefe. And whā thou herist any thing purposed by them / whom thou hast offendid, what so euer it be, affirme it to be well / and therwith auaunce the wytte and intent of the persone that spake it, whiche thou mayst do excellētly wel. For he that can dispise spytefully, can if he liste, prayse and cōmende also in comparably. And if thou canste not refrayne from rebu­kinge and tauntinge: practise thy naturall fury and woodenesse agayne them that repugne agayne the saide purpose. And where thou dyddest [...] [Page] [...] [Page 9] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 10] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 11] [Page] wonder to see me haue in my hande the Newe testamēt / if thou woldist do the same, and nowe in thyn age, laye apart the lesson of gentiles, cal­led humanite, sens thou mayst haue good leysour / beinge not yet called to counsaile / pyke out here and there sentences out of holy scripture, to fournyshe thy reason with autho­ritie. I make god auowe, thou shalt be within thre monethes able to confounde the greattest diuine in all Italie. And whan thy conuersion and good opinion is knowen, than shalt thou be called fore. But than alway remembre howe so euer the tenour bell ryngeth, he ryngeth alwaye in tune and though he iarre somwhat / yet thou canste not here it / his soune is so great / and thine eares be so ly­tell. And if other men fynde it, saye that it is no faulte, but a quauer in musike / and became the bell, if they had the witte to perceyue it. I tea­che [Page 12] the in parables, for this crafte wolde not be opened to euery man: for it shulde not be for my profyte: but thy subtill wyt comprehendeth all that I mene, thou art so acquain­ted with all our experience.

PAS.

Now on my feith wel said / I coude not haue founden a craftier knaue to lerne of betwene this and Hierusa­lem. But cometh here? He semeth a reuerēde ꝑsonage, he is none of thy sorte I trowe?

GN.

By god we be right cosens, I by the mother syde, and he by the father. And that caused me to speake so moche as I doo / and hym so little, and yet is there smalle diuersite betwene oure condicions.

PAS.

What meaneste thou therby?

GNA.

For we bothe haue one mayster. And whan he spe­kethe / or doethe any thynge for his pleasure: I studye with wordes to commende it. If my couseyn stande by / he speketh littell or nothyng / but [Page] formynge his visage in to a grauitie with silence / loketh as if he affirmed all thynge, that is spoken.

PAS.

What is his name?

GN.

Harpo­crates.

PAS.

That is a hard name by Iesus. But why holdeth he his fynger at his mouthe.

GNA.

For he hathe espyed me talkynge / and bycause he weneth, that I speke to moche, he maketh a sygne / that I shulde cesse: but I am gladde, that I haue met with hym. Cosin Har­pocrates I haue sought for you this two houres.

PAS.

Why speketh he not?

GN.

O that is his grauitie to pause a whyle or he speke, he ler­ned it whan he was student at Bo­nony.

HARPO.

What is the ma­ter Gnato?

GN.

My maister whan he hath dined, wyll syt in counsail about waightie causes.

HAR.

And whan I haue dyned / I wyl gyue at­tendaunce.

PAS.

Lo is it not as I fayde, a wonder to se this worlde?

[Page 13]In olde tyme men vsed to occupie the mornynge in deepe & subtile stu­dies, and in counsayles concernynge the cōmune weale, and other mat­ters of great importaunce. In lyke wise than to here controuersies, and gyue iudgementes. And if they had any causes of theyr owne / than to treate of them. and that dydde they not without a great consyderation. procedynge bothe of naturall ray­son, and also counsayle of phisike.

And after diner they refreshed their wittes, eyther with instrumentes of musike, or with redynge or heringe some pleasant storie, or beholdinge some thynge delectable and honest. And after theyr diner was digested / thanne eyther they exercysed them selfes in rydynge / runnynge on fote / shoting, or other like pastime / or wēt with theyr haukes to se a flight at the ryuer, or wold se their grehoun­des course the hare, or the dere: whiche [Page] they dydde as well to recreate theyr wyttes / as also to gette them good appetite. But lo nowe all this is tourned in to a newe fascion, god helpe vs, the worlde is almost at an ende: For after noone is tourned to fore noone / vertue into vice, vice into vertue / deuotiō into hypocrisie, and in some places men saye / faythe is tourned to herisye. Dyd I not now say well at the begynnynge. That it is a wonder to see this worlde?

HAR.

Hem Pasquillus.

PAS.

Wel, ye thynke as moche as I speke for all your poynting and wynking.

HAR.

But in silēce is suretie.

PAS.

Perchaunce naye. If I perceyued one at thy backe with a swerde dra­wen, redy to strike the / woldest thou that I shulde holde my peace / or els tell the?

HARPOCRAT.

Naye, sylence were than oute of season.

PASQVILLVS.

Now well fare you for your balde reason, a manne [Page 14] maye see what wysedome there is in youre compendiouse speakynge / ye wyll season sylence. Marye I wene my lorde shulde haue a better cooke of you thanne a counsayllour. Not withstandynge for your silence ye mought be a confessour. But yet I doute me: for I remembre Gnato what thou saydest whyle ere / that whā ye were presēt both with your master, if thou commendest his say­enges or doinges / this man wold approue it with silence & countenance, which mought do more harme / thā all thy flatcry / than what mischiefe mought folowe of his damnable sy­lence, if in secrete tyme of confession, wherin confessours haue aboue all men most largest lyberte to blame & reproue / he shulde eyther dissemble the vyces that he knoweth in hym, whome he hath in confession / or els forbeare to declare to hym the enor­mitie of suche capytall synnes as he [Page] hath confessed.

GN.

By my trouth thou art a busy felow, doest thou re­membre / what thou saydest, whan thou dydest espie, that I had a boke of the Newe Testament.

PASQ.

What sayd I?

GNA.

Mary this thou saydest / that some wolde be in the bowels of diuinite or they know what belongeth to good humanite. Nowe thou takest thy selfe by the nose: for without hauyng regard to whom thou spekest / thou presumest to teche this worshypfull man what he shall do in confession.

PAS.

It is well raysoned of you by swete saint Ronyon: ye define teaching, as wel as he dyd season his sylence. Didest thou here me teache hym, what he shulde do? Nay and if thou hast so moche witte to remembre / vpon the wordes that thou thy self spakest / I declared what incōuenience mought happen by the flaterynge silence of a cōfessour: wenest thou that I was [Page 15] neuer confessed? Yes I haue tolde a tale to a frier or this tyme, with a grote in my hande / and haue ben as­soyled forthwith without any fur­ther rehersall: where if a poore man had tolde halfe so moche, he shulde haue ben made equall to the diuell / and haue ben so chidde, that whan he hadde gone from confession, he shulde haue hanged doune the eres / as if he had ben lerninge of pricke songe. All be it / it is the custome of some of you, that be courtiars, whā ye can not defend your matter with raison, to embrayed hym that spea­keth with presumption, treson / mis­prison or such other like praty mor­selles / to stoppe hym of talkynge.

But betwene two men full of wor­des, trouthe shall neuer or late be e­spied: wherfore I wil no more Gna tho meddel with the, but from hens forth I wil speake to Harpocrates: for if he can perswade me, that his [Page] silence is better than my babblynge. I wyll folowe his doctryne rather than thyn / for I haue professed from my chyldehode neuer to speke in er­nest to my mayster or frende / contra­rye to that, that I thynke.

GNA.

Ergo thou haste professed to stande styl in the rayne / and ones perchance to be throwen in to Tyber, or brokē in pieces.

PAS.

And perchaunce if god neuer lyed / I may be in the pa­laice mery / whan thou shalte sytte withoute on a ladder / and make all thy frendes sorye. Herdest thou neuer, that the worlde is roūde, and therfore it is euer tournynge, nowe the wronge side vpwarde, an other tyme the ryghte, but lette this passe. I praye the Harpocrates teache me howe thou doest season thy sylence, doest thou hit with salte or with spyces?

HARPOCRAT.

Naye, with sugar, for I vse lyttell salte.

PAS.

And that maketh your coun­sayl [Page 16] more swete than sauery.

HAR­POCRA.

Ye speke lyke a poticary.

PASQVILL.

And I haue knowen a wyse poticarie done moche more good, if he were trusted, than a fo­lyshe phisition. But nowe to thy silence / that thou so moche praysest Harpocrates, Thou saydest that in sylence was suretie. And I asked, If I perceiued one at thy back with a sworde drawen redy to strike the, whither shuld I speke or kepe silēce? And thou answeredst, that silence was than out of season.

HARPO.

So sayd I.

PAS.

I can the thāke, thou abidest by thy word: although at this day / that be accomted no po­lycie. But why saidest thou / that si­lence were than out of seson?

HAR.

For I mought be sore hurt, or per­chance kylled / if I were not thā warned, myn enmy beinge so nygh me.

PASQ.

Ye: I wiste well / that ye wold not be slayne, nor yet woūded, [Page] of ye mought haue rome ynough to rōne / or your long clothis did not let you. But I put ease I knewe, that your enmie were at youre chamber dore / or let it be further, at Poytiers in France, who had auowed to slee you, & were in his iournay towarde you / but whan or where he wolde strike you / I know not: shuld I forth with warne you, or els kepe silence vntill I sawe his sworde ouer your heed redi to kyl you, that I mought keepe silence all waye in seasone?

HAR.

No that were no frendshyp but rather traison / to knowe me to be in suche perylle, and to hyde hit from me, that there were no meane to escape, but only by fortune.

PAS.

What no lasse than trayson? Peace ye are yet no pope, & bycause ye be a priest ye be exēpted from being emperour or kyng.

HAR.

Hast thou any other terme more propre, where a man consenteth to the destruction of [...] [Page 18] ceyued by hym / that I trusted, and drynke poyson in the stede of wyne: wherof I shulde eyther be deed / or fall in to suche sickenes and brekinge out / that all men shuld abhorre me.

PASQ.

I wolde to god / that thou woldest affirme alway truthe to thy maister / as thou doest nowe to me. But Harpocrates thou woldest not die / nor yet lyue to be abhorred of al men: therin I can preise the. Now sens thou arte a good manne (as I suppose) and also lerned, woldeste thou / that any warse thinge shulde happen to thy maister / that trusteth the / than thou woldest to thy selfe?

HAR.

No truely.

PAS.

And if thou knewest any daunger towarde hym / as I haue rehersedde / thou oughtest as wel to warne hym of it, as I ought the.

HA.

I can not denie that.

PAS.

And also thou woldest.

HAR.

Why, wherfore shuld I not?

PAS.

For perauenture if your mai­ster [...] [Page] [...] [Page 15] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 16] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 18] [Page] mistrusteth him not / that hathe auowed to kylle hym / & accompted your tale for a fantasye / or if he fa­uoureth hym moch that ye knowe wold poyson hym: he will suppose / that ye tell it hym of some suspicion or malice, and will leane a dese eare toward you. And thā he, on whom ye complayned / beinge aduertised, shall omitte that / whiche he purpo­sed, to proue you a lyar. And than shulde ye bothe lese your thanke of your master and be called a detrac­tour: and also haue hym, whom ye accused, and all his bende, vigilant espialles to brynge you in daunger, is it not thus?

HAR.

Ye syr by Ie­sus.

PAS.

What if a nother man, whiche loueth your maister no lasse than ye doo, gaue hym suche war­ninge, and ye knewe hir to be true: but ye perceyue / that youre maister listeth not to here of suche mater / or perchaunce commendeth hym / whi­che [Page 19] is complayned on: wolde ye al­so preyse hym to support the truste that your maister hathe in hym, or commende your maister therin / for his constance and litell mistrustinge?

HAR.

Nay than were I worthy a hote mischiefing if I wolde helpe to bringe so my maister vnto his confu­sion.

PAS.

What, wolde you hold your runge / & say nothinge?

HAR.

No but I wolde forbere for a time / and a wayte diligentely, to see yf the perille wolde cesse, or mought be by some occasion preuented, or by my maister other wise spied: but whan it were imminent / thanne wolde I giue warninge.

PAS.

Imminent, what calle ye that?

HAR.

Whan his ennemie is at his backe with his sworde drawen / redy to strike him.

PAS.

And what for poysonynge?

HAR.

Whan I sawe my frend haue the cuppe in his hande & were redy to drynke.

PAS.

Nowe gate ye all [Page] this witte with so littell lernynge?

It is not for nought / that ye be a coū saillour, sens ye haue suche a praty feate in seasonyng. Of likelyhode ye be well sene in constellations, and do knowe perfettly the subtile distincti­ons of tymes & momentes / ye wold forbeare to warne youre maister at the begynnynge of daungier / and whan he is at the poynt to fall in to it, perchaunce or ye shall not be pre­sent, or els not able or of powar to resiste it: but teache me I pray you, what ye calle imminent, for hit is a worde taken out of latine, and not cōmenly vsed.

HARP.

Marye the thinge that is imminent, is whan it appereth to be in the instante to be done or to happen: and after some mens exposition, as hit thretned to come.

PAS.

It is well expouned and clerkly. Than if ye wyll diuide the tyme into instantes / bycause per­chance ye be a good Duns man: ye [Page 22] France, as I sayde at the fyrst, if ye know, that he purposeth to sle him: than it appereth to you, that the killinge of your maister is in the instāt to be done, & is thretned to happen, ergo the perille is imminent, and ye are boūde to gyue your frende war­ninge.

HAR.

Perchaunce I maye knowe a thinge, and yet it appereth not to me / and than your argument auayleth not an herryng. As I may knowe by other mennes tellynge, or by coniecture of a lyght suspicion.

PAS.

Nay than shall we haue mo­che a do with you, if ye wyll compel me of euery worde that I speke, to make definition. Thoughe I haue not so moche lernyng as you / I vse alwaye my wordes in theyr propre signification, and to serue to the matter that I reason vnto. I knowe a thynge / whiche by a cause I consy­der euidentely. And that whiche is onely reported / I doo here / but I [Page] knowe not: but coniceture is by si­gnes / resemblaunce, or likely hoode, whiche may be false: and yet is hit not to be neglected, as it shal appere afterwarde. But now retourne we to knowelege, whiche being certein, as I haue defined hit, as soone as thou knowest that one wyll kylle or poyson thy mayster, the perill is im­minent: than by thyn owne reason / thou oughtest to warne him: it not, thou art by thin owne sentence con­dempned of treason.

HAR.

Thou sayest soore to me Pasquill. Not withstandynge yet me scmethe: I shulde not warne hym so soone, for the daungers, whiche thou reher­siddest, mought happen vnto me / if I lacked a thankfull and secrete he­rer / or els the purpose were chaun­ged: but it were better to tary, vntil it came to suche preparacion, that it moughte not be denied.

PAS.

So mought it be / if ye were partner of [Page] the conspiracie, for than [...] happē to be made priuie to [...] whan / & the place, where [...] maister shuld stande in suc [...] die: but els ye mought know [...] a thinge purposed / & ye be [...] of the tyme / whan it shulde [...] cuted. Than if ye forbare to [...] your maister vntil the perill mough [...] be more euident / and as ye saye / moughte not be denied: before that tyme it mought be more than immi­nent, and in the seconde instant, that is to saye in the selfe doynge / or to speke hit more clenly, in execucion.

HAR.

But than were I out of daū ­ger.

PAS.

ye / that is all that he care for: yet moughte ye happen to be deceyued, and your silence in stede of suertie tourne you to trouble. For seldome is the maister in ieopardie, and the seruantes at libertie, special­ly they whiche be next about hym: Or if ye happen to escape enemis, if [Page] [...] perceyued / that ye knewe [...]le / and wold not discouer [...]de perchance escape hard­ [...]er, though ye had shaken [...]r longe robes, and were [...]erkynne Yet if ye warned [...] mayster at the begynnynge, [...]gh he toke it not thankfully / yet [...] you your duetie / & can not lacke rewarde of god, who loueth truth / for your fidelite. And thoughe he, whom ye disapoynted, or his affini­tie / shall seke howe to be aucnged on you: either god wyl defende you, or if there fall to you therby any ad­uersitie / finally falschode longe kepte in / wyll braste oute at the laste, and than shal repentance cause your sim­plicite to be had in renome and per­petual memorie: whiche part of honour to euery honest man, passeth alother rewarde, that may be gyuen in this lyfe that is transitorie. But bicause we spake while ere [...]f conie­ment? [Page 25] Or doest thou esteme the deth of the soule to be of lasse importance than the dethe of the bodye? What sayst thou? that iugement belongeth to thy faculte.

HAR.

Indede there ye touche me.

PAS.

Lyke wyse, a knocke on the heed / though it be to the scull / is not so daungerous to be healed / as an yuell affection thrast in to thy maisters braynes by false opi­nion. Nor a wipe ouer his face with a sworde, shal not blemmishe so mo­che his visage / as vice shall deforme his soule & deface his renome / wher­by he is further knowen than by his phisonomy. Is there any poison can make him to be so abhorred of man / as auarice, tyranny / or bestly liuynge shall cause hym be hated of god and of man vniuersally?

HAR.

No in good faythe, I thynke thou sayest truely.

PAS.

Than cōferre all this togyther, with that whiche we be­fore raysoned / and se where in any [Page] thynge that thy maister speaketh or dothe / if there by any of the perilles iminent / which I late rehersed: whi­ther it were better to speke or kepe silence, and in whiche of them were most suretie. And consider also, that bytwene these two perilles, that I haue rehersed / is no lyttell diuersite, besydes that the one is moche more than the other. For in the bodilye perill / in the tyme of the stroke per­chaunce youre maister wolde here you / & therby escape, or ye mought defende him: but the other perill of soule or mynde, the lenger that he continueth therin / the more gladly he receyueth the stroke, & the more he wyll disdayne to be warned by you: and than ye putte your selfe in more daunger of that / whiche we spake of before: but for all that ney­ther in tyme of daunger thou ough­test to leaue thy mayster vnwarned, which thou hast all redy graunted: [Page 26] nor yet whan thy maister is striken or poysoned, speche is vnprofitable as thou hast supposed.

HAR.

Now proue you that? For if ye be a sur­geon, ye know it must be your dedes and not your wordis, that must help hym.

PAS.

Now it is wel remem­bred ye shall haue goddes blessinge. I neuer herd a more foole by my ho­ly dome / doeth a surgeon all his cure with playsters and instrumentes? somtyme he speketh also / or if he be domme, one speaketh for hym, and telleth his pacient, what metes and drynkes be vnholsome, whiche be leuitiues and helpeth his medicine. Also whan he perceiueth hym to be faynte or discomforted, than with swete wordes and faire promisis he reuiueth his courage. If he be dis­obedient or riottouse / he rebuketh hym, and do aggrauate the daunger to make the sickenes more greuous. The same is the office of a good con­fessour, [Page] where he perceiuith mannes soule to be wounded with viciouse affections / syns that a confessoure serueth for none other pourpose / but to cure mannes soule of deedly synnes, whiche be hyr mortalle diseases: but can he do that without speakynge? Also ye sayde / where mought be no longer resistence / spe­che nothynge auaylled: I wene ye said truer than ye were ware. For whan Gnatho with his flateri / and ye with youre silence haue ones roo­tid in your maisters hart false opini­ons, & vicious affectis, whiche is the poylon, that we so moche spake of, though ye perceue the daunger, and than sore repent you, yet shall it per­chance be impossible with speche to remoue those opinions, & cure those affectis, except ye loued to well your maister, that for his helthe ye wolde confesse your owne errours.

GNA.

Nay goddis body, to mought we [Page 27] get for our selfe a payre of tariars.

PAS.

Well it were better tary, than runne to the dyuel with youre mai­ster / or that good renoume shulde runne away from hym. But tell me Harpocrates as thou thinkest, were not speche nowe expedient? or howe mought thy maister be otherwise curid? with silence trowist thou?

HAR

It semeth that silence shuld nothing profite / nor speche shulde any thinge auaille / if the opinions and affectes be so impressed / that they can not be remoued.

PAS.

Yet agayne / if ye speke no wiseliar to your maister / than ye do me / he hathe of you a worshypful coūsayloure, I demande of you remedie to cure wronge opinions and vicious affectes: and ye answere me, that neyther speche nor silence is profitable. Like as if I had asked counsayl of a phisition what thinge wold hele me, of my sickenes / & he wold say / that giuing to me medicine [Page] or giuynge me none, shuld not auayle me.

HARP.

Spake I not welle / where I fynde no remedie?

PAS.

No / and ye loke wisely. For and if ye remembre, I dyd not affir­me expressely / that it shulde be im­possible to remoue false oppinions or vicious affectes, wher they were impressed: but I ioyned therto per­aduenture / and also an exception, if ye that induced them / confessed not your owne errour. Than if your confession moughte cure them, speche were than not vnprofitable. And if youre owne confession auaylid not, sens I affirmed not expressely, that the sayd diseases were incurable: if neyther silence / nor speche shulde be profitable, what shulde than be the remedye?

HARPOCRAT.

I make god a vowe / I can not tell / ex­cepte it were grace.

PAS.

I herde the neuer speke so wysely. But yet supposest thou / that grace wyll so [Page 28] lyghtly entre / where false opinion and viciouse affectes be so depely imprinted / excepte they be fyrste some what remoued by good perswasiō? onles thou thinkest, that euery man shall be called of god, as saint Paule was / who was elected. And yet now I remēbre me / at his conuersiō Christe spake vnto hym, and tolde hym, that it was harde to spurne a­gayne the pricke: where if Christe had holde his peace, Saule whiche was thanne beaten downe to the grounde / moughte haue happened neuer to haue ben calledde sayncte Paule: but if he hadde escaped, he wold by likelihode haue continued styll in his errour.

HAR.

It is not for vs Pasquill to inserche the impe­netrable iugementes of god: but the grace of god hath happened farre aboue mennes expectation: & where all other remedie lacked. For than the puissance of all myghty god is [Page] specially proued.

PAS.

But tru­stinge onely therin to leue our owne indeuour, I thynke it presumption. And what indeuour maye be in sy­lence? Wherfore speche is not onely profitable but also of necessite muste be vsed in healing the diseases / both of the soule & also the bodie.

HAR.

I can not denie that, if I say truly.

PAS.

Than whan is your silence in season?

HAR.

I can not shortly tel / I am so abashed at thy froward re­son.

PAS.

Than wyll I helpe you to knowe your owne vertue, wher­in ye haue suche delectatiō. I trowe ye herde not, howe I did expounde the sentence of Aeschylus, whiche Gnatho rehersed to me for a coun­sayle?

HAR.

Yes that I dydde / for I stode all that whyle at the wyn­dowe herkenynge of the.

PAS.

Se howe full the world is of suche false ymages, that do here all, whan they seme to here nothyng: as I truste to [Page 29] be saued / with suche felowes hit is perillous dealing. But yet that shal not cause Pasquill to leaue his bab­linge. Nowe Harpocrates / beare away the sayde sentence with myne exposition / and vse it.

HAR.

So I wyll, as moche as pertayneth to sy­lence.

PAS.

Ye god a vow and also to spekynge / or els all the counsayle is not worth thre halfpens. Thinke ye to be a counsaylour / and speake not? What were the Emper our the better, if instede of counsaylours he had set in his chambre the ymages of Cato, Metellus, Lelius, Cicero, and suche other persones, who ly­uinge / ferre excelled in witte, experi­ence / and lerninge, them, whiche be nowe about hym? be men that sytte and speake nothynge, any better than they? No, but rather moche warse: for they serue for nothynge, yet the ymages do that, wherfore they be ordeyned / that is to saye / [Page] bringe to mens remēbrance the wisedom and vertu of them, whom they represented. But dūme coūsailours do not theyr office / wherfore they be called to counsayll / but by theyr si­lence they cause many thynges to be broughte to an vnlucky conclusion.

HAR.

And thou that art nat called to counsayle, arte full of bablynge.

PAS.

But ones in a yere: and wo­tist thou why that is?

HAR.

Nay, tell me I pray the.

PAS.

Mary if they that be called, wolde alwaye playe the partis of good Counsay­lours: And bothe spiritual and tem­porall gouernours wolde banysshe the and Gnatho out of theyr Cour­tes, except ye amende youre condici­ons / I wolde speake neuer a worde, but sit as styll as a stone, like as ye se me: But for as moche as it hapneth all contrary / and that thynges be so farre out of frame, that stones doo grutche at it (remembrest thou nat [Page 30] what a clatteryng they made at the laste warres in Italy?) and yet counsailours be spechelesse: I that am set in the citie of Rome, whiche is the heed of the worlde / ones in the yere shal here of the state of all prīcis and regions. And bicause in the moneth of Maie men be all set in pleasure / & than they take merili suche wordes as be spoken agayne them: thanne boldly I put forth my verdicte / and that openly.

HAR.

There thou doest folyshely: for thou shuldest do more good, if thou spakest priuily.

PAS.

Tusshe man, my playnnes is so well knowen, that I shall neuer come vnto priuie chambre or galeri.

HAR.

Sens thou profitest so lyttel, why arte thou so busy?

PAS.

To thintent that men shal perceiue / that theyr vices / whiche they thinke to be wonderfull secrete, be knowen to all men. And that I hope alwaye, that by moche clamoure / and open [Page] repentance, whan they see the thing not succede to theyr purpose / they wyl be ashamed.

HAR.

Yet mayst thou happen to be deceiued.

PAS.

But they moche more, whan they know not who loueth them truely.

GN.

Harpocrates, it is time that we repaire to the court / leste we be bla­med. And let vs leue Pasquill with his pratery.

PAS.

And I wyllcue you both with your slatery. Yet I truste in god to see the daye, that I wyll not set by the best of you both a butterflye. As greatte a wonder haue I seneer this tyme.

HARP.

Fare well Pasquill, and thinke on silence.

PAS.

Fare well Harpocra­tes / and thinke on thy conscience. I wene I mought bie as moche of the costerde monger for two pence.

Nowe whanne these two felowes come to theyr maister / they wyll tell al that they haue herde of me / it ma­kith no mater. For I haue sayd no­thynge [Page 31] / but by the waye of aduer­tisement / withoute reprochynge of any one person, wherwith no good man hath cause to take any displea­sure. And he that doeth / by that whiche is spoken he is soone spied, to what part he leaneth, Iuge what men lyst, my thought shall be free. And god / who shall iudge all men / knoweth / that I desire all thynges to be in good poynt, on the con­dicion that I moughte euer be specheles / as it is my very nature to be. A dieu gentill herers, and saye well by Pasquill, whan he is from you.

CVM PRIVILEGIO.

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