Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: John Bale
Editor: Nicola Goshulak
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Kynge Johann (Old-spelling)

Played by one Actor.
ENGLAND, a widow.
Played by one Actor.
Played by one Actor.
.15Played by one Actor.
Played by one Actor.
1KYNGE JOHAN. To declare the powres and their force to enlarge
The scripture of God doth flow in most abowndaunce,
And of sophysters the cauteles to dyscharge
Bothe Peter and Pawle makyth plenteosse utterauns,
5How that all pepell shuld shew there trew alegyauns
To ther lawfull kyng, Christ Jesu dothe consent,
Whych to the hygh powres was ever obedyent.
To shew what I am, I thynke yt convenyent.
Johan Kyng of Ynglond the cronyclys doth me call:
10My granfather was an empowr excelent,
My father a kyng by successyon lyneall,
A kyng my brother, lyke as to hym ded fall:
Rychard curdelyon they callyd hym in Fraunce,
Whych had over enymyes most fortynable chaunce.
15By the wyll of god and his hygh ordynaunce
In Yerlond and Walys, in Angoye and Normandye,
In Ynglond also I have had the governaunce:
I have worne the crowne and wrowght vyctoryouslye,
And now do purpose by practyse and by stodye
20To reforme the lawes and sett men in good order
That trew justyce may be had in every border.
[Enter] YNGLOND vidua.
ENGLANDE. Than I trust yowr grace wyll waye a poore wedowes cause,
Ungodly usyd as ye shall know in short clause.
25KYNGE JOHAN. Yea that I wyll swere, yf yt be trew and just.
ENGLANDE. Lyke as yt beryth trewth so lett yt be dyscust.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than, gentyll wydowe, tell me what the mater ys.
ENGLANDE. Alas, yowr clargy hath done very sore amys
In mysusyng me ageynst all ryght and justyce,
30And for my more greffe therto they other intyce.
KYNGE JOHAN. Whom do they intyce for to do the injurye?
ENGLANDE. Soch as hath enterd by false hypocrysye,
Moch worse frutes havyng than hathe the thornes unplesaunt,
For they are the trees that God dyd never plant,
35And as Christ dothe saye blynd leaders of the blynd.
KYNGE JOHAN. Tell me whom thou menyst to satysfy my mynd.
ENGLANDE. Suche lubbers as hath dysgysed heads in their hoodes,
Whych in ydelnes do lyve by other menns goodes,
Monkes, chanons, and nones in dyvers coloure and shappe,
40Bothe whyght blacke and pyed, God send ther increase yll happe.
KYNGE JOHAN. Lete me know thy name or I go ferther with the.
ENGLANDE. Ynglond, syr, Ynglond my name is, ye may trust me.
KYNGE JOHAN. I mervell ryght sore how thow commyst chaungyd thus.
45SEDWSYON. What, yow ij alone? I wyll tell tales by Jesus,
And saye that I se yow fall here to bycherye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Avoyd, lewde person, for thy wordes are ungodlye.
SEDWSYON. I crye you mercy, sur, pray yow be not angrye,
Be me fayth and trowth I came hyther to be merye.
50KYNGE JOHAN. Thou canst with thy myrth in no wysse dyscontent me,
So that thow powder yt with wysdome and honeste.
SEDWSYON. I am no spycer, by the messe ye may beleve me.
KYNGE JOHAN. I speke of no spyce, but of cyvyle honeste.
SEDWSYON. Ye spake of powder, by the holy trynyte.
55KYNGE JOHAN. Not as thow takyst yt of a grosse capasyte,
But as seynt Pawle meanyth unto the Collessyans playne.
So seasyne yowr speche, that yt be withowt disdayne.
Now, Ynglond, to the; go thow forth with thy tale,
And showe the cawse why thow lokyst so wan and pale.
60ENGLANDE. I told yow before the faulte was in the clergye
That I, a wedow, apere to yow so barelye.
SEDWSYON. Ye are a wylly wat, and wander here full warelye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Why in the clargye do me to understande?
ENGLANDE. For they take from me my cattell, howse, and land,
65My wods and pasturs, with other commodyteys,
Lyke as Christ ded saye to the wyckyd Pharyseys,
Pore wydowys howsys ye grosse up by long prayers,
In syde cotys wandryng lyke most dysgysed players.
SEDWSYON. They are well at ese that hath soch soth sayers.
70KYNGE JOHAN. They are thy chylderne, thou owghtest to say then good.
ENGLANDE. Nay, bastardes they are, unnaturall by the rood.
Sens ther begynnyng they ware never good to me.
The wyld bore of Rome, God let hym never to thee,
Lyke pygges they folow in fantysyes dreames and lyes,
75And ever are fed with hys vyle cerymonyes.
SEDWSYON. Nay, sumtyme they eate bothe flawnes and pygyn pyes.
KYNGE JOHAN. By the bore of Rome, I trow, thou menyst the pope.
ENGLANDE. I mene non other but hym, God geve hym a rope.
KYNGE JOHAN. And why dost thow thus compare hym to a swyne?
80ENGLANDE. For that he and hys to such bestlynes inclyne.
They forsake Gods word, whych is most puer and cleane,
And unto the lawys of synfull men they leane;
Lyke as the vyle swyne the most vyle metes dessyer,
And hath gret plesure to walowe them selvys in myre,
85So hath this wyld bore with his church unyversall,
His sowe with hyr pygys, and monstros bestyall,
Dylyght in mennys draffe and covytus lucre all,
Yea, aper de sylva the prophet dyd hym call.
SEDWSYON. Hold yowr peace, ye whore, or ellys by masse, I trowe,
90I shall cawse the pope to curse the as blacke as a crowe.
KYNGE JOHAN. What art thow, felow, that seme so braggyng bolde?
SEDWSYON. I am Sedycyon, that with the pope wyll hold
So long as I have a hole within my breche.
ENGLANDE. Command this felow to avoyd, I you beseche,
95For dowghtles he hath done me great injury.
KYNGE JOHAN. A voyd, lewd felow, or thou shalt rewe yt truly.
SEDWSYON. I wyll not a waye for that same wedred wytche,
She shall rather kysse where as it doth not ytche.
Quodcunque ligaveris, I trow, wyll playe soch a parte,
100That I shall abyde in Ynglond, magry yowr harte.
Tushe, the pope ableth me to subdewe bothe kyng and keyser.
KYNGE JOHAN. Off that thow and I wyll common more at leyser.
ENGLANDE. Trwly of the devyll they are that do ony thyng
To the subdewyng of any christen kyng;
105For be he good or bade, he is of godes apoyntyng,
The good for the good, the badde ys for yll doyng.
KYNGE JOHAN. Of that we shall talke here after: say forth thy mynd now,
And show me how thou art thus be cum a wedowe.
ENGLANDE. Thes vyle popych swyne hath clene exyled my hosband.
110KYNGE JOHAN. Who ys thy husbond, telme, good gentyll Ynglond.
ENGLANDE. For soth God hym selfe, the spowse of every sort
That seke hym in fayth to the sowlys helth and comfort.
SEDWSYON. He is scant honest that so many wyfes wyll have,
KYNGE JOHAN. I saye hold yowr peace, and stand asyde lyke a knave.
115Ys God exylyd owt of this regyon tell me?
ENGLANDE. Yea that he is, ser, yt is the much more pete.
KYNGE JOHAN. How commyth yt to passe that he is thus abusyd?
ENGLANDE. Ye know he abydyth not where his word ys refusyd,
For God is his word, lyke as seynt John dothe tell
120In the begynnyng of his moste blyssyd gospell.
The popys pyggys may not abyd this word to be hard,
Nor knowyn of pepyll, or had in anye regard:
Ther eyes are so sore they may not abyd the lyght,
And that bred so hard ther gald gummes may yt not byght.
125I, knowyng yowr grace to have here the governance
By the gyft of God, do knowlege my allegeance,
Desyeryng yowr grace to waye suche injuryes
As I daylye suffer by thes same subtyll spyes,
And lett me have ryght, as ye are a ryghtfull kyng
130Apoyntyd of God to have such mater in doyng.
For God wyllyth yow to helpe the pore wydowes cause,
As he by Esaye protesteth in this same clause,
Querite judicium, subvenite oppresso,
Judicate pupillo, defendite viduam:
135Seke ryght to poore, to the weake and faterlesse,
Defende the wydowe whan she is in dystresse.
SEDWSYON. I tell ye, the woman ys in great hevynes.
KYNGE JOHAN. I may not in nowyse leve thi ryght undyscuste,
For God hath sett me by his apoyntment just
140To further thy cause, to mayntayne thi ryght,
And therfor I wyll supporte the daye and nyght:
So long as my symple lyffe shall here indewer
I wyll se the haue no wrong, be fast and swer.
I wyll fyrst of all call my nobylyte,
145Dwkis, erlyes and lords, yche one in ther degre;
Next them the clargy, or fathers spirituall,
Archebysshopes, bysshoppes, abbottes, and pryers all;
Than the great Juges and lawers every chone,
So opynyg to them thi cause and petyfull mone,
150By the meanys wherof I shall their myndes vnderstande:
Yf they helpe the not, my selfe wyll take yt in hande,
And sett such a waye as shall be to thi comforte.
ENGLANDE. Than, for an answere I wyll shortly ageyne resort.
KYNGE JOHAN. Do, Ynglond, hardly, and thow shalt have remedy.
155ENGLANDE. God reward yowr grace, I beseche hym hartely,
And send yow longe dayes to governe this realme in peace.
KYNGE JOHAN. Gramercy, Ynglond, and send the plentyus increse.
Go owt YNGLOND, and drese for CLARGY.
SEDWSYON. Of bablyng matters, I trow, yt is tyme to cease.
160KYNGE JOHAN. Why dost thow call them bablyng maters, tell me?
SEDWSYON. For they are not worth the shakyng of a pertre,
Whan the peres are gone: they are but dyble dable.
I marvell ye can abyd suche byble bable.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thow semyst to be a man of symple dyscrescyon.
165SEDWSYON. Alas, that ye are not a pryst to here confessyon.
KYNGE JOHAN. Why for confessyon? lett me know thi fantasye.
SEDWSYON. Becawse that ye are a man so full of mercye,
Namely to women that wepe with a hevy harte
Whan they in the churche hath lett but a lytyl farte.
170KYNGE JOHAN. I perseyve well now thow speakyst all this in mockage,
Becawse I take parte with Englandes ryghtfull herytage.
Say thu what thow wylt her maters shall not peryshe.
SEDWSYON. Yt is joye of hym that women so can cheryshe.
KYNGE JOHAN. God hathe me ordeynned in this same princely estate
175For that I shuld helpe such as be desolate.
SEDWSYON. Yt is as great pyte to se a woman wepe
As yt is to se a sely dodman crepe,
Or, as ye wold say, a sely goose go barefote.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thou semyste by thy wordes to have no more wytt than a coote.
180I mervell them arte to Englond so unnaturall,
Beyng her owne chyld: thou art worse than a best brutall.
SEDWSYON. I am not her chyld, I defye hyr by the messe.
I her sone, quoth he! I had rather she were hedlesse.
Thowgh I sumtyme be in Englond for my pastaunce,
185Yet was I neyther borne here, in Spayne, nor in Fraunce,
But under the pope in the holy cyte of Rome,
And there wyll I dwell unto the daye of dome.
KYNGE JOHAN. But what is thy name, tell me yett onys agayne?
SEDWSYON. As I sayd afore, I am Sedycyon playne:
190In euery relygyon and munkysh secte I rayne,
Havyng yow prynces in scorne, hate and dysdayne.
KYNGE JOHAN. I pray the, good frynd, tell me what ys thy facyon?
SEDWSYON. Serche and ye shall fynd in euery congregacyon
That long to the pope, for they are to me full swer,
195And wyll be so long as they last and endwer.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yff thow be a cloysterer, tell of what order thow art?
SEDWSYON. In euery estate of the clargye I playe a part.
Sumtyme I can be a monke in a long syd cowle,
Sumtyme I can be a none and loke lyke an owle:
200Sumtyme a chanon in a syrples fayer and whyght,
A chapterhowse monke sumtyme I apere in syght.
I am ower syre John sumtyme with a new shaven crowne,
Sumtyme the person and swepe the stretes with a syd gowne:
Sumtyme the bysshoppe with a myter and a cope;
205A graye fryer sumtyme with cutt shoes and a rope:
Sumtyme I can playe the whyght monke, sumtyme the fryer,
The purgatory prist and euery mans wyffe desyer.
This cumpany hath provyded for me morttmayne,
For that I myght ever among ther sort remayne:
210Yea, to go farder, sumtyme I am a cardynall;
Yea, sumtyme a pope and than am I lord over all,
Bothe in hevyn and erthe and also in purgatory,
And do weare iij crownes whan I am in my glorye.
KYNGE JOHAN. But what doeste thow here in England, tell me shortlye?
215SEDWSYON. I hold upp the pope, as in other places many,
For his ambassador I am contynwally,
In Sycell, in Naples, in Venys and Ytalye,
In Pole, Spruse, and Berne, in Denmarke and Lumbardye,
In Aragon, in Spayne, in Fraunce and in Germanye,
220In Ynglond, in Scotlond, and in other regyons elles;
For his holy cawse I mayntayne traytors and rebelles,
That no prince can have his peples obedyence,
Except yt doth stond with the popes prehemynence.
KYNGE JOHAN. Gett the hence, thow knave, and moste presumptuows wreche,
225Or as I am trew kyng thow shalt an halter streche.
We wyll thow know yt, owr power ys of God,
And therfore we wyll so execute the rod
That no lewde pryst shall be able to mayneteyne the.
I se now they be at to mych lyberte:
230We wyll short ther hornys, yf God send tyme and space.
SEDWSYON. Than I in Englond am lyke to have no place.
KYNGE JOHAN. No, that thow arte not, and therfor avoyd apace.
SEDWSYON. By the holy masse, I must lawgh to here yowr grace.
Ye suppose and thynke that ye cowd me subdewe:
235Ye shall never fynd yowr supposycyon trewe,
Thowgh ye wer as strong as Hector and Diomedes,
Or as valyant as ever was Achylles.
Ye are well content that bysshoppes contynew styll?
KYNGE JOHAN. We are so in dede, yf they ther dewte fullfyll.
240SEDWSYON. Nay than, good inowgh, yowr awtoryte and power
Shall passe as they wyll, they have sawce bothe swet and sower.
KYNGE JOHAN. What menyst thow by that? shew me thy intente this hower.
SEDWSYON. They are Godes vycars, they can both save and lose.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ah, thy meening ys that they maye a prynce depose.
245SEDWSYON. By the rood they may, and that wyll appere by yow.
KYNGE JOHAN. Be the helpe of God we shall se to that well inow.
SEDWSYON. Nay, ye can not, thowgh ye had Argus eyes,
In abbeyes they haue so many suttyll spyes;
For ones in the yere they have secret vysytacyons,
250And yf ony prynce reforme ther ungodly facyons,
Than ij of the monkes must forthe to Rome by and by
With secrett letters to avenge ther injury.
For a thowsand pownd they shrynke not in soch matter.
And yet for the tyme the prynce to his face they flater.
255I am ever more ther gyde and ther advocate.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than with the bysshoppes and monkes thu art checke mate.
SEDWSYON. I dwell among them and am one of ther sorte.
KYNGE JOHAN. For thy sake they shall of me have but small comforte.
Loke wher I fynd the, that place wyll I put downe.
260SEDWSYON. What yf ye do chance to fynd me in euery towne
Where as is fownded any sect monastycall?
KYNGE JOHAN. I pray God I synke yf I dystroye them not all.
SEDWSYON. Well, yf ye so do, yett know I where to dwell.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thow art not skoymose thy fantasy for to tell.
265SEDWSYON. Gesse, at a venture ye may chance the marke to hytt.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thy falssed to shew no man than thy selfe more fytt.
SEDWSYON. Mary, in confessyon under nethe benedicite.
KYNGE JOHAN. Nay tell yt agayne, that I may understond the.
SEDWSYON. I say I can dwell, whan all other placys fayle me.
270In ere confessyon undernethe benedicite;
And whan I am there, the pryst may not bewray me.
KYNGE JOHAN. Why wyll ere confesshon soch a secret traytor be?
SEDWSYON. Whan all other fayle he is so sure as stele.
Offend holy churche and I warrant ye shall yt fele,
275For by confessyon the holy father knoweth
Throw owt all Christendom what to his holynes growyth.
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh, where ys Nobylyte, that he myght knowe thys falshed?
SEDWSYON. Nay he is becum a mayntener of owr godhed.
I know that he wyll do holy chyrche no wronge,
280For I am his gostly father and techear amonge.
He belevyth nothyng but as holy chyrch doth tell.
KYNGE JOHAN. Why, geveth he no credence to Cristes holy gospell?
SEDWSYON. No, ser, by the messe, but he callyth them heretyckes
That preche the gospell, and sedycyows scysmatyckes,
285He tache them, vex them, from prison to prison he turne them,
He indygth them, juge them, and in conclusyon he burne them.
KYNGE JOHAN. We rewe to here this of owr nobylyte.
But in this be halfe what seyst of the spretuallte?
SEDWSYON. Of this I am swer to them to be no stranger,
290And spesyally, whan ther honor ys in dawnger.
KYNGE JOHAN. We trust owr lawers have no such wyckyd myndes.
SEDWSYON. Yes, they many tymys are my most secrett fryndes.
With faythfull prechers they can play leger demayne,
And with false colores procure them to be slayne.
295KYNGE JOHAN. I perseyve this worlde is full of iniquite.
As God wold have yt here cummyth Nobylyte.
SEDWSYON. Doth he so in dede, by owr lord than wyll I hence.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thow saydest thu woldyst dwell where he kepyth resydence.
SEDWSYON. Yea, but fyrst of all I must chaunge myn apparell
300Unto a bysshoppe, to maynetayene with my quarell;
To a monke or pryst, or to sum holy fryer.
I shuld never elles accomplych my dysyre.
KYNGE JOHAN. Why art thow goyng? naye, brother, thow shalte not hence.
SEDWSYON. I wold not be sene as I am for fortye pence.
305Whan I am relygyouse I wyll returne agayne.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thow shalt tary here, or I must put the to payne.
SEDWSYON. I have a great mynd to be a lecherous man:
A wengonce take yt, I wold saye a relygyous man.
I wyll go and cum so fast as evyr I can.
310KYNGE JOHAN. Tush, dally not with me. I saye thow shalt abyde.
SEDWSYON. Wene yow to hold me that I shall not slyppe asyde?
KYNGE JOHAN. Make no more prattyng, for I saye thu shalt abyde.
SEDWSYON. Stoppe not my passage, I must over see at the next tyde.
KYNGE JOHAN. I will ordeyne so, I trowe, thow shalt not over.
315SEDWSYON. Tush, tush, I am sewer of redy passage at Dover.
KYNGE JOHAN. The devyll go with hym: the unthryftye knave is gone.
Her go owt SEDWSION and drese for CYVYLL ORDER.
NOBELYTE. Treble not yowr sylfe with no such dyssolute persone;
320For ye knowe full well very lyttell honeste
Ys gote at ther handes in every commynnalte.
KYNGE JOHAN. This is but dallyaunce: ye do not speke as ye thynke.
NOBELYTE. By my trowthe I do, or elles I wold I shuld synke.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than must I marvell at yow of all men lyvynge.
325NOBELYTE. Why mervell at me? tell me yowr very menyng.
KYNGE JOHAN. For no man levynge is in more famylyerite
With that wycked wrech, yf it be trew that he told me.
NOBELYTE. What wrech speke ye of, for Jesus love intymate?
KYNGE JOHAN. Of that presumtous wrech that was with me here of late,
330Whom yow wyllyd not to vexe my selfe with all.
NOBELYTE. I know hym not I, by the waye that my sowll to shall.
KYNGE JOHAN. Make yt not so strange, for ye know hym wyll inow.
NOBELYTE. Beleve me yff ye wyll: I know hym not I assuer yow.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ware ye never yett aquantyd with Sedission?
335NOBELYTE. Syns I was a chyld both hym and his condycyon
I ever hated for his iniquite.
KYNGE JOHAN. A clere tokyn that is of trew nobelyte,
But I pray to God we fynde yt not other wyse.
Yt was never well syns the clargy wrowght by practyse,
340And left the scripture for mens ymagynacyons,
Dyvydyng them selvys in so many congrygacyons
Of monkes, chanons, and fryers of dyvers colors and facyons.
THE CLARGY. I do trust yowr grace wyll be as lovyng now
345As yowr predysessowrs have bene to us before yow.
KYNGE JOHAN. I wyll suer wey my love with yowr be havers,
Lyke as ye deserve, so wyll I bere yow favers.
Clargy, marke yt well, I have more to yow to say
Than, as the sayeng is, the prest dyd speke a sonday.
350THE CLARGY. Ye wyll do us no wrong, I hope, nor injurye.
KYNGE JOHAN. No, I wyll do yow ryght in seyng yow do yowr dewtye.
We know the cawtelles of yowr sotyll companye.
THE CLARGY. Yf ye do us wrong we shall seke remedy.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yea, that is the cast of all yowr company.
355Whan kynges correcte yow for yowr actes most ungodly,
To the pope, syttyng in the chayer of pestoolens,
Ye ronne to remayne in yowr concupysens.
Thus sett ye at nowght all princely prehemynens,
Subdewyng the order of dew obedyens.
360But with in a whyle I shall so abate yowr pryde
That to yowr pope ye shall noyther runne nor ryde,
But ye shall be glad to seke to me yowr prynce
For all such maters as shall be with in this provynce,
Lyke as God wyllyth yow by his scripture evydente.
365NOBELYTE. To the church, I trust, ye wyll be obedyent.
KYNGE JOHAN. No mater to yow whether I be so or no.
NOBELYTE. Yes, mary is yt, for I am sworne therunto.
I toke a great othe whan I was dubbyd a knyght
Ever to defend the holy churches ryght.
370THE CLARGY. Yea, and in her quarell ye owght onto deth to fyght.
KYNGE JOHAN. Lyke backes in the darke ye always take yowr flyght,
Flytteryng in fanseys and ever abhorre the lyght.
I rew yt in hart that yow, Nobelyte,
Shuld thus bynd yowr selfe to the grett captyvyte
375Of blody Babulon, the grownd and mother of whordom,
The Romych churche I meane, more vyle than ever was Sodom,
And to say the trewth a mete spowse for the fynd.
THE CLARGY. Yowr grace is fare gonne: God send yow a better mynd.
KYNGE JOHAN. Hold yowr peace, I say, ye are a lytyll to fatte:
380In a whyle, I hope, ye shall be lener sumwhatte.
We shall loke to yow and to Sivyll Order also:
Ye walke not so secrett but we know wher a bowght ye goo.
CYVYLL ORDER. Why, yowr grace hath no cawse with me to be dysplesyd.
385KYNGE JOHAN. All thyngs consyderyd, we have small cause to be plesyd.
CYVYLL ORDER. I besech yowr grace to graunt me a word or too.
KYNGE JOHAN. Speke on yowr pleasure, and yowr hole mynd also.
CYVYLL ORDER. Ye know very well to set all thynges in order
I have moche ado, and many thynges passe fro me
390For yowr common welth, and that in euery border
For offyces, for londes, for lawe and for lyberte,
And for transgressors I appoynt the penalte;
That cytes and townes maye stand in quiotose peace,
That all theft and murder, with other vyce maye seace.
395Yff I have chaunsed for want of cyrcumspeccyon
To passe the lymytes of ryght and equite,
I submyte my selfe unto yowr graces correccyon,
Desyryng pardon of yowr benygnyte.
I wot I maye fall throwgh my fragylyte,
400Therfore I praye yow tell me what the mater ys,
And amends shall be where as I have done amyse.
KYNGE JOHAN. Aganste amendement no resonnable man can be.
NOBELYTE. That sentence rysyth owt of an hygh charyte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Now that ye are here assembled all to gether,
405Amongeste other thynges ye shall fyrst of all consyder
That my dysplesure rebonnyth on to yow all.
THE CLARGY. To yow non of us ys prejudycyall.
KYNGE JOHAN. I shall prove yt; yes, how have ye usyd Englond?
NOBELYTE. But as yt becommyth us, so fare as I understond.
410KYNGE JOHAN. Yes, the pore woman complayneth her grevosly,
And not with owt a cawse, for she hath great injurye.
I must se to yt, ther ys no remedy,
For it ys a charge gevyn me from God all myghtye.
How saye ye, Clargye, apperyth it not so to yow?
415THE CLARGY. Yf it lykyth yowr grace all we know that well ynow.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than yow, Nobelyte, wyll affyrme yt I am suer.
NOBELYTE. Ye, that I wyll, sur, so long as my lyfe indure.
KYNGE JOHAN. And yow, Cyvyll Order, I thynke wyll graunte the same?
CYVYLL ORDER. Ondowghted, sir, yea, elles ware yt to me gret shame.
420KYNGE JOHAN. Than for Englondes cawse I wyll be sume what playne.
Yt is yow, Clargy, that hathe her in dysdayne,
With yowr latyne howrs, serymonyes, and popetly playes:
In her more and more Gods holy worde decayes;
And them to maynteyn unresonable ys the spoyle
425Of her londs, her goods, and of her pore chylders toyle.
Rekyn fyrst yowr tythis, yowr devocyons, and yowr offrynges,
Mortuaryes, pardons, bequests, and other thynges,
Besydes that ye cache for halowed belles and purgatorye,
For juelles, for relyckes, confessyon, and cowrts of baudrye,
430For legacyes, trentalls, with scalacely messys,
Wherby ye have made the people very assys.
And over all this ye have browght in a rabyll
Of latyne mummers and sects desseyvabyll,
Evyn to dewore her and eat her upp attonnys.
435THE CLARGY. Yow wold have no churche, I wene, by thes sacred bones.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yes, I wold have a churche not of dysgysyd shavelynges,
But of faythfull hartes and charytable doynges;
For whan Christes Chyrch was in her hyeste glory
She knew neyther thes sectes nor their ipocrysy.
440THE CLARGY. Yes, I wyll prove yt by David substancyally.
Astitit Regina a dextris tuis in vestitu
Deaurato, circumdata varietate.
A quene, sayth Davyd, on thy ryght hand, Lord, I se
Apparrellyd with golde and compassyd with dyversyte.
445KYNGE JOHAN. What ys yowr meanyng by that same scripture, tell me?
THE CLARGY. This quene ys the Chyrch, which thorow all cristen regions
Ys beawtyfull dectyd with many holy relygyons,
Munks, chanons and fryers, most excellent dyvynis,
As Grandy Montensers and other Benedictyns,
450Primostratensers, Bernards, and Gylbertynys,
Jacobytes, Mynors, Whyght Cannes, and Augustynis,
Sanbenets, Cluniackes, with holy Carthusyans,
Heremytes and Ancors, with most myghty Rodyans;
Crucifers, Lucifers, Brigettis, Ambrosyanes,
455Stellifers, Ensifers, with Purgatoryanes,
Sophyanes, Indianes and Camaldulensers,
Clarynes and Cohimbynes, Templers, newe Ninivytes,
Rufyanes, Tercyanes, Lorytes and Lazarytes,
Hungaryes, Teutonykes, Hospitelers, Honofrynes,
460Basyles and Bonhams, Solanons and Celestynes,
Paulynes, Hieronymytes, and Monkes of Josaphathes Valleye,
Fulygynes, Flamynes, with bretherne of the black alleye,
Donates and Dimysynes, with Canons of S. Marke,
Vestals and Monyals, a worlde to heare them barke;
465Abbotts and doctors, with bysshoppes and cardynales,
Archedecons and pristes, as to ther fortune falles.
CYVYLL ORDER. Me thynkyth yowr fyrst text stondeth nothyng with yowr reson,
For in Davydes tyme wer no such sects of relygyon.
KYNGE JOHAN. Davyd meanyth vertuys by the same diversyte,
470As in the sayd psalme yt is evydent to se,
And not munkysh sects; but it is ever yowr cast
For yowr advauncement the scripturs for to wrast.
THE CLARGY. Of owr holy father in this I take my grownd,
Which hathe awtoryte the scripturs to expond.
475KYNGE JOHAN. Nay, he presumyth the scripturs to confownd.
Nowther thow nor the pope shall do pore Englond wronge,
I beyng governor and kyng her peple amonge:
Whyle yow for lucre sett forth yowr popysh lawys
Yowr selvys to advaunce, ye wold make us pycke strawes.
480Nay, ipocryts, nay, we wyll not be scornyd soo
Of a sort of knavys, we shall loke yow otherwyse too.
NOBELYTE. Sur, yowr sprytes are movyd, I persayve by yowr langage.
KYNGE JOHAN. I wonder that yow for such veyne popych baggage
Can suffyr Englond to be impoveryshyd
485And mad a begger: yow are very yll advysyd.
NOBELYTE. I marvell grettly that ye say thus to me.
KYNGE JOHAN. For dowghtles ye do not as becummyth Nobelyte.
Ye spare nouther lands nor goods, but all ye geve
To thes cormerants: yt wold any good man greve
490To se yowr madnes, as I wold God shuld save me.
NOBELYTE. Sur, I suppose yt good to bylde a perpetuite
For me and my frendes to be prayed for evermore.
KYNGE JOHAN. Tush, yt is madnes all to dyspayre in God so sore,
And to thynke Christs deth to be unsufficient.
495NOBELYTE. Sur, that I have don was of a good intent.
KYNGE JOHAN. The intente ys nowght whych hath no sewer grounde.
THE CLARGY. Yff yow continue, ye wyll Holy Chyrch confunde.
KYNGE JOHAN. Nay, no Holy Chyrch, nor feythfull congregacyon,
But an hepe of adders of antecrists generacyon.
500CYVYLL ORDER. Yt pyttyth me moche that ye are to them so harde.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yt petyeth me more that ye them so mych regarde.
They dystroye mennys sowlls with damnable supersticyon,
And decaye all realmys by meyntenaunce of sedycyon.
Ye wold wonder to know what profe I have of this.
505NOBELYTE. Well, amenment shalbe wher anythyng is amysse;
For undowtted God doth open soche thyngs to prynces
As to none other men in the crystyen provynces,
And therfor we wyll not in this with yowr grace contend.
CYVYLL ORDER. No, but with Gods grace we shall owr mysededes amend.
510THE CLARGY. For all such forfets as yowr pryncely mageste
For yowr owne person or realme can prove by me
I submytte my selfe to yow bothe body and goods.
KYNGE JOHAN. We pety yow now consyderyng yowr repentante modes,
515And owr gracyous pardone we grawnte yow upon amendment.
THE CLARGY. God preserve yowr grace and mageste excelent.
KYNGE JOHAN. Aryse, Clargy, aryse, and ever be obedyent,
And as God commandeth yow take us for yowr governer.
THE CLARGY. By the grace of God the pope shall be my ruler.
520KYNGE JOHAN. What saye ye, Clargy, who ys yowr governer?
THE CLARGY. Ha! ded I stomble? I sayd my prynce ys my ruler.
KYNGE JOHAN. I pray to owr Lord this obedyence maye indewre.
THE CLARGY. I wyll not breke yt, ye may be fast and suer.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than cum hether all thre: ye shall know more of my mynde.
525THE CLARGY. Owr kyng to obeye the scriptur doth us bynde.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ye shall fyrst be sworne to God and to the crowne
To be trew and juste in every cetye and towne,
And this to performe set hand and kysse the bocke.
CYVYLL ORDER. With the wyffe of Loth we wyll not backeward locke,
530Nor turne from owr oth, but ever obeye yowr grace.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than wyll I gyve yow yowr chargys her in place,
And accepte yow all to be of owr hyghe councell.
THE CLARGY, NOBELYTE & CYVYLL ORDER. To be faythfull, than, ye us more streytly compell.
KYNGE JOHAN. For the love of God loke to the state of Englond.
535Leate non enemy holde her in myserable bond:
Se yow defend her as yt becummyth Nobilite;
Se yow instrutte her acordyng to yowr degre;
Fournysh her yow with a cyvyle honeste:
Thus shall she florysh in honor and grett plente.
540With godly wysdom yowr matters so conveye
That the commynnalte the powers maye obeye,
And ever be ware of that false thefe Sedycyon,
Whych poysenneth all realmes and bryng them to perdycyon.
NOBELYTE. Sur, for soche wrecches we wyll be so circumspecte,
545That neyther ther falsed nor gylle shall us infecte.
THE CLARGY. I warrant yow, sur, no, and that shall well apere.
CYVYLL ORDER. We wyll so provyde, yff anye of them cum here
To dysturbe the realme, they shall be full glad to fle.
KYNGE JOHAN. Well, yowr promyse includeth no small dyffyculte,
550But I put the case that this false thefe Sedycyon
Shuld cum to yow thre, and call hym selfe Relygyon,
Myght he not under the pretence of holynes
Cawse yow to consent to myche ungodlynes?
NOBELYTE. He shall never be able to do yt veryly.
555KYNGE JOHAN. God graunt ye be not deceyvyd by hypocresye.
I say no more I: in shepes aparell sum walke,
And seme relygeyose that deceyvably can calke.
Be ware of soche hypocrites as the kyngdom of hevyn fro man
Do hyde for a wantage, for they deceyve now and than.
560Well, I leve yow here: yche man consyder his dewtye.
NOBELYTE. With Gods leve no faute shall be in this companye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Cum, Cyvyle Order, ye shall go hence with me.
CYVYLL ORDER. At your commandmente: I wyll gladlye wayte upon ye.
Here KYNG JOHAN and SIVILE ORDER go owt, and SYVILE ORDER drese hym for SEDWSYON.
565NOBELYTE. Me thynke the Kyng is a man of a wonderfull wytt.
THE CLARGY. Naye, saye that he is of a vengeable craftye wytt,
Than shall ye be sure the trewth of the thyng to hytt.
Hard ye not how he of the Holy Church dyd rayle?
His extreme thretynyngs shall lytyll hym avayle:
570I wyll worke soch wayes that he shall of his purpose fayle.
NOBELYTE. Yt is meet a prince to saye sumwhat for his plesure.
THE CLARGY. Yea, but yt is to moch to rayle so withowt mesure.
NOBELYTE. Well, lett every man speke lyke as he hathe a cawse.
THE CLARGY. Why, do ye say so? yt is tyme for me than to pawse.
575NOBELYTE. This wyll I saye, sur, that he ys so noble a prynce
As this day raygneth in ony cristyen provynce.
THE CLARGY. Mary, yt apereth well by that he wonne in Fraunce.
NOBELYTE. Well, he lost not there so moche by martyall chaunce,
But he gate moche more in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
580THE CLARGY. Yea, God sped us well, crystmes songes are mery tales.
NOBELYTE. Ye dysdayne soche mater as ye know full evydent.
Are not both Ireland and Wales to hym obedyent?
Yes, he holdyth them bothe in pessable possessyon,
And by cause I wyll not from yowr tall make degressyon,
585For his lond in Fraunce he gyveth but lytell forsse,
Havyng to Englond all his love and remorse;
And Angoye he gave to Artur his nevy in chaunge.
THE CLARGY. Our changes are soch that an abbeye turneth to a graunge.
We are so handled we have scarce eyther horse or male.
590NOBELYTE. He that dothe hate me the worse wyll tell my tale.
Yt is yowr fassyon soche kyngs to dyscommend
As yowr abuses reforme or reprehend.
You pristes are the cawse that Chronycles doth defame
So many prynces, and men of notable name,
595For yow take upon yow to wryght them evermore.
And therfore Kyng Johan ys lyke to rewe yt sore,
Whan ye wryte his tyme, for vexyng of the Clargy.
THE CLARGY. I mervell ye take his parte so ernestlye.
NOBELYTE. Yt be comyth Nobelyte his prynces fame to preserve.
600THE CLARGY. Yf he contynew, we are lyke in a whyle to starve.
He demaundeth of us the tenth parte of owr lyvyng.
NOBELYTE. I thynke yt is then for sum nessessary thyng.
THE CLARGY. Mary, to recover that he hath lost in Fraunce,
As Normandy dewkedom, and his land beyond Orleaunce.
605NOBELYTE. And thynke ye not that a mater nessesary?
THE CLARGY. No, sur, by my trowth, he takyng yt of the Clergy.
NOBELYTE. Ye cowde be content that he shuld take yt of us.
THE CLARGY. Yea, so that he wold spare the Clargy, by swet Jesus.
This takyng of us myght sone growe to a custom,
610And than Holy Churche myght so be browght to thraldom,
Whych hath ben ever from temporall prynces free,
As towchyng trybute or other captyvyte.
NOBELYTE. He that defendeth yow owght to have parte of yowr goodes.
THE CLARGY. He hath the prayers of all them that hathe hoodes.
615NOBELYTE. Why, ys that inowgh to helpe hym in his warre?
THE CLARGY. The churche he may not of lyberte debarre.
NOBELYTE. Ded not Crist hym selfe pay trybutt unto Ceser?
Yf he payd trybute, so owght his holy vycar.
THE CLARGY. To here ye reson so ondyscretlye I wonder.
620Ye must consyder that Crist that tyme was under;
But his vycar now ys above the prynces all,
Therfor be ware ye do not to herysy fall.
Ye owght to beleve as Holy Chyrche doth teche yow,
And not to reason in soche hygh maters now.
625NOBELYTE. I am vnlernyd: my wytts are sone confowndyd.
THE CLARGY. Than leve soch maters to men more depely growndyd.
NOBELYTE. But how wyll ye do for the othe that ye have take?
THE CLARGY. The keyes of the Church can all soche maters of shake.
NOBELYTE. What call ye those keyes, I pray yow hartly tell me?
630THE CLARGY. Owr holy fathers power, and hys hygh autoryte.
NOBELYTE. Well, I can no more say; ye are to well lernyd for me.
My bysynes ys soche that here now I must leve ye.
THE CLARGY. I must hence also so fast as ever maye be
To sewe vn to Rome for the Churches lyberte.
Here SEDYCYON cummyth in.
SEDYSYON. Haue in onys a geyne in spyght of all my enymyes,
For they cannot dryve me from all mennys companyes,
And thowgh yt were so that all men wold forsake me,
640Yet dowght I yt not but sume good women wold take me,
I loke for felowys that here shuld make sum sporte:
I mervell yt is so longe ere they hether resorte.
By the messe, I wene the knaves are in the bryers,
Or ells they are fallen into sum order of fryers.
645Naye, shall I gesse ryght? they are gon into the stues;
I holde ye my necke, anon we shall here newes.
Seyng the leteny.
Lyst for Gods passyon: I trow her cummeth sum hoggherd
Caliyng for his pygges. Such a noyse I neuer herd.
Here cum DYSSYMULACYON syngyng of the letany.
DYSSYMULACYON. (syng.) Sancte Dominice, ora pro nobis.
SEDYSYON. (syng.) Sancte pyld monache, I be shrow vobis.
DYSSYMULACYON. (syng.) Sancte Francisse, ora pro nobis.
SEDYSYON. Here ye not? cocks sowle, what meaneth this ypocrite knaue?
655DYSSYMULACYON. Pater noster, I pray God bryng hym sone to his grave,
Qui es in celis, with an vengeable sanctificetur,
Or elles Holy Chyrche shall neuer thryve by saynt Peter.
SEDYSYON. Tell me, good felowe, makyste thu this prayer for me?
DYSSYMULACYON. Ye are as ferce as thowgh ye had broke yowr nose at the buttre.
660I medyll not with the, but here to good sayntes I praye
Agenst soch enmyes as wyll Holy Chyrche decaye.
Here syng this.
A Johanne Rege iniquo, libera nos, domine.
SEDYSYON. Leve, I saye, or by messe I wyll make yow grone.
665DYSSYMULACYON. Yff thow be jentyll, I pray the, leate me alone,
For with in a whyle my devocyon wyll be gone.
SEDYSYON. And wherfor dost thou praye here so bytterly,
Momblyng thy pater noster and chauntyng the letany?
DYSSYMULACYON. For that Holy Chyrch myght save hyr patrymonye,
670And to haue of Kyng Johan a tryumphant vyctorye.
SEDYSYON. And why of Kyng Johan? doth he vexe yow so sore?
DYSSYMULACYON. Bothe chyrchys and abbeys he oppressyth more and more,
And take of the clergye yt is onresonable to tell.
SEDYSYON. Owte with the popys bulles than, and cursse hym downe to hell.
675DYSSYMULACYON. Tushe, man, we haue done so, but all wyll not helpe.
He regardyth no more the pope than he dothe a whelpe.
SEDYSYON. Well lett hym alone, for that wyll I geve hym a scelpe.
But what arte thu callyd of thyn owne munkych nacyon?
DYSSYMULACYON. Kepe yt in counsell, dane Davy Dyssymulacyon.
680SEDYSYON. What, Dyssymulacyon! coks sowle, myn old aquentence.
Par me faye, mon amye, Je tote ad voutre plesaunce.
DYSSYMULACYON. Gramercyes, good frend, with all my very hert:
I trust we shall talke more frely or we deperte.
SEDYSYON. Why, vylayn horson, knowyst not thi cosyn Sedycyon?
685DYSSYMULACYON. I have ever loved both the and thy condycyon.
SEDYSYON. Thow must nedes, I trowe, for we cum of ij bretherne:
Yf thu remeber owr fathers were on mans chylderne.
Thow comyst of Falsed and I of Prevy Treason.
DYSSYMULACYON. Than Infydelyte owr granfather ys by reason.
690SEDYSYON. Mary, that ys trewe and his begynner Antycrist,
The great pope of Rome, or fyrst veyne popysh prist.
DYSSYMULACYON. Now welcum, cosyn, by the waye that my sowle shall to.
SEDYSYON. Gramercy, cosyn, by the holy bysshope Benno.
Thow kepyst thi old wont, thow art styll an abbe man.
695DYSSYMULACYON. To hold all thynges vp I play my part now and than.
SEDYSYON. Why what manere of offyce hast thu with in the abbey?
DYSSYMULACYON. Of all relygyons I kepe the chyrch-dore keye.
SEDYSYON. Than of a lykelyhod thow art ther generall porter?
DYSSYMULACYON. Nay, of munks and chanons I am the suttyl] sorter.
700Whyle sum talke with Besse, the resydewe kepe sylence:
Thowgh we playe the knavys we must shew a good pretence.
Where so ever sum eate, a serten kepe the froyter;
Where so ever sum slepe, sum must nedes kepe the dorter.
Dedyst thu never know the maner of owr senyes?
705SEDYSYON. I was never with them aqueynted, by seynt Denyes.
DYSSYMULACYON. Than never knewyst thu the knavery of owr menyes.
Yf I shuld tell all, I cowd saye more than that.
SEDYSYON. Now of good felowshyppe, I beseche the, shew me what.
DYSSYMULACYON. The profytable lucre cummyth ever in by me.
710SEDYSYON. But by what meane? tell me I hartely pray the.
DYSSYMULACYON. To wynne the peple I appoynt yche man his place,
Sum to syng latyn, and sum to ducke at grace;
Sum to go mummyng, and sum to beare the crosse;
Sum to stowpe downeward as the heades ware stopt with mosse;
715Sum rede the epystle and gospell at hygh masse,
Sum syng at the lectorne with long eares lyke an asse;
The pawment of the chyrche the aunchent faders tredes,
Sum tyme with a portas, sumtyme with a payre of bedes;
And this exedyngly drawt peple to devoycyone,
720Specyally whan they do se so good relygeone.
Than have we imagys of seynt Spryte and seynt Savyer:
Moche is the sekynge of them to gett ther faver.
Yong whomen berfote, and olde men seke them brecheles.
The myracles wrought there I can in no wyse expresse.
725We lacke neyther golde nor sylwer, gyrdles nor rynges,
Candelles nor taperes, nor other customyd offerynges.
Thowgh I seme a shepe I can play the suttle foxe:
I can make latten to bryng this gere to the boxe.
Tushe, latten is alone to bryng soche mater to passe:
730There ys no Englyche that can soche slyghtes compasse,
And therfor we wyll no servyce to be songe,
Gospell nor pystell, but all in latten tonge.
Of owr suttell dryftes many more poyntes are behynde;
Yf I tolde you all we shuld never have an ende.
735SEDYSYON. In nomine patris, of all that ever I hard
Thow art alone yet of soche a dremyng bussard.
DYSSYMULACYON. Nay, dowst thu not se how I in my colours jette?
To blynd the peple I have yet a farther fette.
This is for Bernard, and this is for Benet,
740This is for Gylbard, and this is for Jhenet:
For Frauncys this is, and this is for Domynyke,
For Awsten and Elen, and this is for seynt Partryk.
We haue many rewlles, but never one we kepe:
Whan we syng full lowde our harts be fast aslepe.
745We resemble sayntes in gray, whyte, blacke, and blewe,
Yet vnto prynces not one of owr nomber trewe,
And that shall kyng Johan prove shortly by the rode.
SEDYSYON. But in the meane tyme yowr selves gett lytyll good.
Yowr abbeys go downe, I heresaye, every where.
750DYSSYMULACYON. Yea, frynd Sedysyon, but thow must se to that gere.
SEDYSYON. Than must I have helpe, by swete saynt Benetts cuppe.
DYSSYMULACYON. Thow shalt have a chylde of myn owne bryngyng uppe.
SEDYSYON. Of thy bryngyng uppe? coks sowle, what knave is that?
DYSSYMULACYON. Mary, Pryvat Welth; now hayve I tolde the what.
755I made hym a monke and a perfytt cloysterer,
And in the abbeye he began fyrst celerer,
Than pryor, than abbote of a thowsand pownd land no wors,
Now he is a bysshoppe and rydeth with an hondryd hors,
And, as I here say, he is lyke to be a Cardynall.
760SEDYSYON. Ys he so in dede, by the masse than have att all.
DYSSYMULACYON. Nay, fyrst Pryvat Welth shall bryng in Usurpyd Power
With hys autoryte, and than the gam ys ower.
SEDYSYON. Tush, Usurpyd Power dothe faver me of all men,
For in his trobles I ease his hart now and then.
765Whan prynces rebell agenste hys autoryte,
I make ther commons agenst them for to be.
Twenty Md men are but a mornyng breckefast
To be slayne for hym, he takyng his repast.
DYSSYMULACYON. Thow hast I persayve a very suttyll cast.
770SEDYSYON. I am for the pope, as for the shyppe the mast.
DYSSYMULACYON. Than helpe, Sedycyon, I may styll in Englond be:
Kyng John hath thretned that I shall ouer see.
SEDYSYON. Well, yf thow wylte of me have remedy this ower,
Go seche Pryvat Welth and also Usurpyd Power.
775DYSSYMULACYON. I can bryng but one, be Mary Jesus mother.
SEDYSYON. Bryng thow in the one, and let hym bryng in the other.
Here cum in USURPYD POWER and PRIVATE WELTH, syngyng on after another.
Super flumina Babilonis suspendimus organa nostra.
780PRIVATE WELTHsyng this.
Quomodo cantabimus canticum bonum in terra aliena?
SEDYSYON. By the mas, me thynke they are syngyng of placebo.
DYSSYMULACYON. Peace, for with my spectables vadam et videbo.
Coks sowll, yt is they: at the last I have smellyd them owt.
Her go and bryng them.
SEDYSYON. Thow mayst be a sowe, yf thow hast so good a snowt.
Surs, marke well this gere, for now yt begynnyth to worke.
False Dyssymulacion doth bryng in Privat Welth,
And Usurpyd Power, which is more ferce than a Turke,
790Cummeth in by hym to decaye all spyrytuall helth;
Than I by them bothe as clere experyence telth.
We iiij by owr crafts Kyng Johan wyll so subdwe,
That for iij C yers all Englond shall yt rewe.
DYSSYMULACYON. Of the clergy, frynds, report lyke as ye se,
795That ther Privat Welth cummyth ever in by me.
SEDYSYON. But by whom commyst thu? by the messe, evyn by the devyll,
For the grownd thow art of the cristen peplys evyll.
DYSSYMULACYON. And what are yow, ser? I pray yow say good by me.
SEDYSYON. By my trowth I cum by the and thy affynyte.
800DYSSYMULACYON. Feche thow in thy felow so fast as ever thow can.
PRIVATE WELTH. I trow, thow shalt se me now playe the praty man.
Of me, Privat Welth, cam fyrst Usurpyd Power:
Ye may perseyve yt in pagent here this hower.
SEDYSYON. Now welcum, felowys, by all thes bonys and naylys.
805USURPYD POWER. Among companyons good felyshyp never faylys.
SEDYSYON. Nay, Usurpid Power, thu must go backe ageyne,
For I must also put the to a lytyll payne.
USURPYD POWER. Why, fellaue Sedysyon, what wylt thu have me do?
SEDYSYON. To bare me on thi backe and bryng me in also,
810That yt may be sayde that fyrst Dyssymulacion
Browght in Privat Welth to every cristen nacion;
And that Privat Welth browght in Usurpid Power,
And he Sedycyon in cytye, towne, and tower,
That sum man may know the feche of all owr sorte.
815USURPYD POWER. Cum on thy wayes than, that thow mayst make the fort.
DYSSYMULACYON. Nay, Usurped Power, we shall bare hym all thre,
Thy selfe, he, and I, yf ye wyll be rewlyd by me,
For ther is non of us but in hym hath a stroke.
PRIVATE WELTH. The horson knave wayeth and yt were a croked oke.
Here they shall bare hym in, and SEDYCYON saythe
SEDYSYON. Yea, thus it shuld be, mary, now thu art alofte;
I wyll be shyte yow all yf ye sett me not downe softe.
In my opynyon, by swete saynt Antony,
Here is now gatheryd a full honest company.
825Here is nowther Awsten, Ambrose, Hierom nor Gregory,
But here is a sorte of companyons moch more mery.
They of the chirch than were fower holy doctors,
We of the chirch now are the iiij generall proctors.
Here ys fyrst of all good father Dyssymulacion,
830The fyrst begynner of this same congregacion;
Here is Privat Welthe, which hath the chyrch infecte
With all abusyons, and brought yt to a synfull secte:
Here ys Usurpid Power that all kyngs doth subdwe
With such autoryte as is neyther good ner trewe,
835And I last of all am evyn sance pere Sedycyon.
USURPYD POWER. Under hevyn ys not a more knave in condycyon.
Wher as thu dost cum that commonwelth cannot thryve:
By owr lord I marvell that thow art yet alyve.
PRIVATE WELTH. Wher herbes are pluckte upp the wedes many tymes remayne.
840DYSSYMULACYON. No man can utter an evydence more playn.
SEDYSYON. Yea, ye thynke so yow, now Gods blyssyng breke yowr heade,
I can do but lawgh to here yow, by thys breade.
I am so mery that we are mett, by saynt John
I fele not the ground that I do go uppon.
845For the love of God lett us have sum mery songe.
USURPYD POWER. Begyne thy self than, and we shall lepe in amonge.
Here syng.
SEDYSYON. I wold ever dwell here to have such mery sporte.
PRIVATE WELTH. Thow mayst have yt, man, yf thow wylt hether resorte,
850For the holy father ys as good a felowe as we.
DYSSYMULACYON. The holy father, why, pray the whych is he?
PRIVATE WELTH. Usurped Power here, which, thowgh he apparaunt be
In this apparell, yet hathe he autoryte
Bothe in hevyn and erth, in purgatory and in hell.
855USURPYD POWER. Marke well his saynges, for a trew tale he doth tell.
SEDYSYON. What, Usurpid Power? cocks sowle, ye are owr pope.
Where is yowr thre crounnys, yowr crosse keys, and yowr cope?
What meanyth this mater? me thynke ye walke astraye.
USURPYD POWER. Thow knowest I must have sum dalyaunce and playe,
860For I am a man lyke as an other ys;
Sumtyme I must hunt, sumtyme I must Alyson kys.
I am bold of yow, I take ye for no straungers,
We are as spirituall, I dowght in yow no daungers.
DYSSYMULACYON. I owght to conseder yowr holy father hode:
865From my fyrst infancy ye have ben to me so good.
For Godes sake wytsave to geve me yowr blyssing here
A pena et culpa, that I may stand this day clere.
SEDYSYON. From makyng cuckoldes? mary, that were no mery chere.
870DYSSYMULACYON. A pena et culpa: I trow thow canst not here.
SEDYSYON. Yea, with a cuckoldes wyff ye have dronke dobyll bere.
DYSSYMULACYON. I pray the, Sedycyon, my pacyens no more stere.
A pena et culpa I desire to be clere,
And than all the devylles of hell I wold not fere.
875USURPYD POWER. But tell me one thyng: dost thu not preche the gospell?
DYSSYMULACYON. No, I promyse yow, I defye yt to the devyll of hell.
USURPYD POWER. Yf I knewe thow dydest, thu shuldest have non absolucyon.
DYSSYMULACYON. Yf I do abjure me, or put me to execucyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. I dare say he brekyth no popyshe constytucyon.
880USURPYD POWER. Soche men are worthy to have owr contrybucyon.
I assoyle the here behynde and also beforne:
Now art thu as clere as that daye thow wert borne.
Ryse, Dyssymulacion, and stond uppe lyke a bold knyght:
Dowght not of my power, thowgh my aparell be lyght.
885SEDYSYON. A man, be the masse, can not know yow from a knave;
Ye loke so lyke hym, as I wold God shuld me save.
PRIVATE WELTH. Thow art very lewde owr father so to deprave.
Thowgh he for his plesure soche lyght apparell have,
Yt is now sommer and the heate ys withowt mesure,
890And among us he may go lyght at his owne plesure.
Felow Sedycyon, thowgh thu dost mocke and scoffe,
We have other materes than this to be commyned of.
Frynd Dyssymulacion, why dost thu not thy massage,
And show owt of Englond the causse of thi farre passage.
895Tush, blemysh not, whoreson, for I shall ever assyst the.
SEDYSYON. The knave ys whyght leveryd, by the holy trynyte.
USURPYD POWER. Why so, Privat Welth, what ys the mater, tell me?
PRIVATE WELTH. Dyssymulacion ys a massanger for the clargy:
I must speke for hym, there ys no remedy.
900The clargy of Ynglond which ys yowr specyall frynde,
And of a long tyme hath borne yow very good mynde,
Fyllyng yowr coffers with many a thowsande pownde,
Yf ye sett not to hand, he ys lyke to fall to the grownde.
I do promyse yow truly his hart ys in his hose:
905Kyng Johan so usyth hym that he reconnyth all to lose.
USURPYD POWER. Tell, Dyssymulacion, why art thow so asshamed
To shewe thy massage? thow art moche to be blamed.
Late me se those wrytyngs: tush, man, I pray the cum nere.
DYSSYMULACYON. Yowr horryble holynes putth me in wonderfull fere.
910USURPYD POWER. Tush, lett me se them, I pray the hartely.
Here DISSIMULACYON shall delever the wrytynges to USURPYD POWER.
I perseyve yt well, thow wylt lose no ceremony.
SEDYSYON. Yet is he no lesse than a false knave veryly.
I wold thow haddyst kyst hys ars, for that is holy.
915PRIVATE WELTH. How dost thow prove me that his arse ys holy now?
SEDYSYON. For yt hath an hole, evyn fytt for the nose of yow.
PRIVATE WELTH. Yowr parte ys not elles but for to playe the knave,
And so ye must styll contynew to yowr grave.
USURPYD POWER. I saye leve yowr gawdes, and attend to me this hower.
920The bysshoppes writeth here to me, Usurped Power,
Desyryng assystence of myne auctoryte
To save and support the Chyrches lyberte.
They report Kyng Johan to them to be very harde,
And to have the Church in no pryce nor regarde.
925In his parliament he demaundeth of the clargy
For his warres the tent of the Chyrches patrymony.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye wyll not consent to that, I trow, by saynt Mary.
SEDYSYON. No, drawe to yow styll, but lett none from yow cary.
USURPYD POWER. Ye know yt is cleane agenst owr holy decrees
930That princes shuld thus contempne owr lybertees.
He taketh uppon hym to reforme the tythes and offrynges,
And intermedleth with other spyrytuall thynges.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye must sequester hym, or elles that wyll mare all.
USURPYD POWER. Naye, besydes all this, before Juges temporall
935He conventeth clarkes of cawses crymynall.
PRIVATE WELTH. Yf ye se not to that the Churche wyll haue a fall.
SEDYSYON. By the masse than pristes are lyke to have a pange;
For treson, murder, and thefte they are lyke to hange.
By cocks sowle, than I am lyke to walke for treasone,
940Yf I be taken: loke to yt therfore in seasone.
PRIVATE WELTH. Mary, God forbyd that ever yowr holy anoynted
For tresone or thefte shuld be hanged, racked, or joynted,
Lyke the rascall sorte of the prophane layete.
USURPYD POWER. Naye, I shall otherwyse loke to yt, ye may trust me.
945Before hym selfe also the bysshopps he doth convent,
To the derogacyon of ther dygnyte excelent,
And wyll suffer non to the court of Rome to appele.
DYSSYMULACYON. No, he contemnyth yowr autoryte and seale,
And sayth in his lond he wyll be lord and kyng,
950No prist so hardy to enterpryse any thyng.
For the whych of late with hym ware at veryaunce
Fower of the bysshopps, and in maner at defyaunce,
Wyllyam of London, and Eustace bysshope of Hely,
Water of Wynchester, and Gylys of Hartford trewly.
955Be yowr autoryte they have hym excommunycate.
USURPYD POWER. Than have they done well, for he is a reprobate:
To that I admytt he ys alwayes contrary.
I made this fellow here the arche bysshope of Canterbery,
And he wyll agree therto in no condycion.
960PRIVATE WELTH. Than hath he knowlege that his name ys Sedycyon.
DYSSYMULACYON. Dowtles he hath so, and that drownnyth his opynyon.
USURPYD POWER. Why do ye not saye his name ys Stevyn Langton?
DYSSYMULACYON. Tush, we haue done so, but that helpyth not the mater:
The bysshope of Norwych for that cawse doth hym flater.
965USURPYD POWER. Styke thow to yt fast, we have onys admytted the.
SEDYSYON. I wyll not one jote from my admyssyon fle:
The best of them all shall know that I am he.
Naye, in suche maters lett men be ware of me.
USURPYD POWER. The monkes of Canterbery ded more at my request
970Than they wold at his concernyng that eleccyon.
They chase Sedycyon, as yt is now manyfest,
In spytt of his harte: than he for ther rebellyon
Exyled them all, and toke ther hole possessyon
In to his owne hands, them sendyng over see
975Ther lyvyngs to seke in extreme poverte.
This custum also he hath, as it is tolde me:
Whan prelates depart, yea bysshope, abbott, or curate,
He entreth theyr lands with owt my lyberte,
Takyng the profyghts tyll the nexte be consecrate,
980Instytute, stallyd, inducte, or intronyzate,
And of the pyed monkes he entendeth to take a dyme.
All wyll be marryd yf I loke not to yt in tyme.
DYSSYMULACYON. Yt is takyn, ser: the some ys unresonnable,
A nynne thowsand marke; to lyve they are not able.
985His suggesteon was to subdew the Yrysh men.
PRIVATE WELTH. Yea that same peple doth ease the Church, now and then.
For that enterpryse they wold be lokyd uppon.
USURPYD POWER. They gett no mony, but they shall have clene remyssion,
For those Yrysh men are ever good to the Church:
990Whan kynges dysobeye yt, than they begynne to worch.
PRIVATE WELTH. And all that they do ys for indulgence and pardon.
SEDYSYON. By the messe, and that is not worth a rottyn warden.
USURPYD POWER. What care we for that? to them yt is venyson.
PRIVATE WELTH. Than lett them haue yt, a Gods dere benyson.
995USURPYD POWER. Now, how shall we do for this same wycked kyng?
SEDYSYON. Suspend hym and curse hym, both with yowr word and wrytyng.
Yf that wyll not holpe, than interdyght his lond
With extreme cruellnes; and yf that wyll not stond,
Cawse other prynces to revenge the Churchys wronge,
1000Yt wyll profytte yow to sett them aworke amonge.
For clene remyssyon one kyng wyll subdew a nother,
Yea, the chyld sumtyme wyll sle both father and mother.
USURPYD POWER. This cownsell ys good: I wyll now folow yt playne.
Tary thow styll here tyll we returne agayne.
POWER shall drese for the POPE: PRIVAT WELTH for a CARDYNALL; and SEDYCYON for a MONKE. The CARDYNALL shall bryng in the crose, and STEVYN LAUNTON [the Monke] the booke, bell, and candell.
DYSSYMULACYON. This Usurpid Power, whych now is gon from hence,
For the Holy Church wyll make such ordynance,
That all men shall be under his obedyens,
1010Yea, kyngs wyll be glad to geve hym their alegyance,
And than shall we pristes lyve here withowt dysturbans.
As Godes owne vyker anon ye shall se hym sytt,
His flocke to avaunse by his most polytyke wytt.
He shall make prelates, both byshopp and cardynall,
1015Doctours and prebendes with furdewhodes and syde gownes.
He wyll also create the orders monastycall,
Monkes, chanons, and fryers with graye coates and shaven crownes,
And buylde them places to corrupt cyties and townes.
The dead sayntes shall shewe both visyons and myracles;
1020With ymages and rellyckes he shall wurke sterracles.
He wyll make mattens, houres, masse and evensonge;
To drowne the scriptures for doubte of heresye,
He wyll sende pardons to save mennys sowles amonge,
Latyne devocyons with the holye rosarye:
1025He wyll apoynt fastynges, and plucke downe matrimonye;
Holy water and bredde shall dryve awaye the devyll;
Blessynges with blacke bedes wyll helpe in every evyll.
Kynge Johan of Englande, bycause he hath rebelled
Agaynst Holy Churche, usynge it wurse than a stable,
1030To gyve up his crowne shall shortly be compelled,
And the Albygeanes, lyke heretykes detestable,
Shall be brent bycause agaynst our father they babble.
Through Domynyckes preachynge an xviij thousande are slayne,
To teache them how they shall Holye Churche disdayne.
1035All this to performe he wyll cawse a generall cowncell
Of all cristendom to the church of Laternense.
His intent shall be for to supprese the gospell,
Yet wyll he glose yt with a very good pretens
To subdwe the Turkes by a cristen vyolens.
1040Under this coloure he shall grownd ther many thynges,
Whych wyll at the last be cristen mennys undoynges.
The popys power shall be abowe the powers all,
And care confessyon a matere nessessary;
Ceremonys wyll be the ryghtes ecclesyastycall:
1045He shall sett up there both pardowns and purgatory.
The gospell prechyng wyll be an heresy.
Be this provyssyon, and be soch other kyndes,
We shall be full suere allwaye to have owr myndes.
[Enter] THE POPE.
1050THE POPE. Ah, ye are a blabbe; I perseyve ye wyll tell all:
I lefte ye not here to be so lyberall.
DYSSYMULACYON. Mea culpa, mea culpa, gravissima mea culpa.
Geve me yowr blyssyng pro Deo et sancta Maria.
Knele and knoke on the bryst.
1055THE POPE. Thow hast my blyssyng. Aryse now, and stond a syde.
DYSSYMULACYON. My skyn ys so thyke, yt wyll not throw glyde.
THE POPE. Late us goo abowght owr other materes now.
Say this all thre. We wayte her upon the greate holynes of yow.
1060THE POPE. For as moch as kyng Johan doth Holy Church so handle,
Here I do curse hym wyth crosse, boke, bell and candle.
Lyke as this same roode turneth now from me his face,
So God I requyre to sequester hym of his grace.
As this boke doth speare by my worke mannuall,
1065I wyll God to close uppe from hym his benefyttes all.
As this burnyng flame goth from this candle in syght,
I wyll God to put hym from his eternall lyght.
I take hym from Crist, and after the sownd of this bell,
Both body and sowle I geve hym to the devyll of hell.
1070I take from hym baptym, with the other sacramentes
And sufferages of the churche, bothe amber dayes and lentes.
Here I take from hym bothe penonce and confessyon,
Masse of the v wondes, with sensyng and processyon.
Here I take from hym holy water and holy brede,
1075And never wyll them to stande hym in any sted.
This thyng to publyshe I constytute yow thre,
Gevyng yow my power and my full autoryte.
Say this all thre. With the grace of God we shall performe yt than.
THE POPE. Than gett yow foreward so fast as ever ye can
1080Uppon a bone vyage: yet late us syng meryly.
SEDYSYON. Than begyne the song, and we shall folow gladly.
Here they shall syng.
THE POPE. To colour this thyng [To PRIVATE WELTH] thow shalte be callyd Pandulphus,
[To SEDWSYON] Thow Stevyn Langton, [To DYSSYMULACYON] thy name shall be Raymundus.
1085Fyrst thou Pandolphus shall opynly hym suspend
With boke, bell, and candle: yff he wyll not so amend,
Interdycte his lande, and the churches all up speare.
PRIVATE WELTH. I have my massage; to do yt I wyll not feare.
Here go owt and drese for NOBYLYTE.
1090THE POPE. And thow, Stevyn Langton, cummand the bysshoppes all
So many to curse as are to hym benefycyall,
Dwkes, erles and lords, wherby they may forsake hym.
SEDWSYON. Sur, I wyll do yt, and that I trow shall shake hym.
THE POPE. Raymundus, go thow forth to the crysten princes all:
1095Byd them in my name that they uppon hym fall
Bothe with fyre and sword, that the Churche may hym conquarre.
DYSSYMULACYON. Yowr plesur I wyll no longar tyme defarre.
THE POPE. Saye this to them also: Pope Innocent the thred
Remyssyon of synnes to so many men hath granted,
1100As wyll do ther best to slee hym yf they may.
DYSSYMULACYON. Sur, yt shall be don with owt ony lenger delay.
THE POPE. In the meane season I shall soch gere avaunce,
As wyll be to us a perpetuall furderaunce.
Fyrst eare confessyon, than pardons, than purgatory,
1105Sayntes worchyppyng than, than sekyng of ymagery,
Than Laten servyce, with the cerymonyes many,
Wherby owr bysshoppes and abbottes shall gett mony.
I wyll make a law to burne all herytykes,
And kyngs to depose whan they are sysmatykes.
1110I wyll all so reyse up the fower beggyng orders,
That they may preche lyes in all the cristen borders.
For this and other I wyll call a generall cownsell
To ratyfye them in lyke strength with the gospell.
1115THE INTERPRETOUR. In thys present acte we have to yow declared,
As in a myrrour, the begynnynge of Kynge Johan,
How he was of God a magistrate appoynted
To the governaunce of thys same noble regyon,
To see mayntayned the true faythe and relygyon;
1120But Satan the Devyll, whych that tyme was at large,
Had so great a swaye that he coulde it not discharge.
Upon a good zele he attempted very farre
For welthe of thys realme to provyde reformacyon
1125In the Churche therof, but they ded hym debarre
Of that good purpose; for by excommunycacyon
The space of vij yeares they interdyct thy nacyon.
These bloudsuppers thus of crueltie and spyght
Subdued thys good kynge for executynge ryght.
In the second acte thys wyll apeare more playne,
Wherin Pandulphus shall hym excommunycate
Within thys hys lande, and depose hym from hys reigne.
All other princes they shall move hym to hate.
1135And to persecute after most cruell rate.
They wyll hym poyson in their malygnyte,
And cause yll report of hym alwayes to be.
This noble Kynge Johan, as a faythfull Moyses,
1140Withstode proude Pharao for hys poore Israel,
Myndynge to brynge yt owt of the lande of darkenesse,
But the Egyptyanes did agaynst hym so rebell,
That hys poore people ded styll in the desart dwell,
Tyll that duke Josue, whych was our late Kynge Henrye,
1145Clerely brought us in to the lande of mylke and honye.
As a strong David, at the voyce of verytie,
Great Golye, the pope, he strake downe with hys slynge,
Restorynge agayne to a Christen lybertie
1150Hys lande and people, lyke a most vyctoryouse Kynge;
To hir first bewtye intendynge the Churche to brynge,
From ceremonyes dead to the lyvynge wurde of the Lorde.
Thys the seconde acte wyll plenteously recorde.
Here the Pope go owt, and SEDYCYON and NOBYLYTE cum in and say:
NOBELYTE. It petyeth my hart to se the controvercye
That now a dayes reygnethe betwyn the Kyng and the clargy.
All Cantorbery monks are now the realme exyled,
The prysts and bysshopps contymeally revyled,
1160The Cystean monkes are in soche perplexyte
That owt of Englond they reken all to flee.
I lament the chaunce, as I wold God shuld me save.
SEDWSYON. Yt is gracyously sayd; Godes blyssyng myght ye have.
Blyssyd is that man that wyll graunte or condyssend
1165To helpe relygyon, or Holy Churche defend.
NOBELYTE. For ther mayntenance I have gevyn londes full fayer;
I have dysheryted many a laufull ayer.
SEDWSYON. Well, yt is yowr owne good: God shall reward yow for ytt,
And in hevyn full hyghe for soch good workes shall ye sytt.
1170NOBELYTE. Yowr habyte showyth ye to be a man of relygeon.
SEDWSYON. I am no worse, sur: my name is Good Perfectyon.
NOBELYTE. I am the more glad to be aquented with ye.
SEDWSYON. Ye show yowr selfe here lyke a noble man, as ye be.
I perseyve ryght well yowr name ys Nobelyte.
1175NOBELYTE. Yowr servont and umfrey; of trewthe, father, I am he.
SEDWSYON. From Innocent, the pope, I am cum from Rome evyn now.
A thowsand tymes I wene he commendyth hym unto yow,
And sent yow clene remyssyon to take the Chyrches parte.
NOBELYTE. I thanke his holynes, I shall do yt with all my harte.
1180Yf ye wold take paynes for heryng my confessyon,
I wold owt of hand resayve this cleane remyssyon.
SEDWSYON. Mary, with all my hart I wyll be full glad to do ytt.
NOBELYTE. Put on yowr stolle then, and I pray yow in Godes name sytt.
Here sett downe, and NOBELYTE shall say benedycyte.
1185NOBELYTE. Benedicite.
SEDWSYON. Dmns: In nomine Domini Pape amen. Say forth yowr mynd in Godes name.
NOBELYTE. I have synnyd a gaynst God, I knowlege my selfe to blame.
In the vij dedly synnys I have offendyd sore:
Godes ten commandyments I have brokyn ever more:
1190My v boddyly wytes I have ongodly kepte:
The workes of charyte in maner I have owt slepte.
SEDWSYON. I trust ye beleve as Holy Chyrch doth teache ye,
And from the new lernyng ye are wyllyng for to fle.
NOBELYTE. From the new lernyng, mary, God of hevyn save me!
1195I never lovyd yt of a chyld, so mote I the.
SEDWSYON. Ye can say yowr crede, and yowr laten Ave Mary?
NOBELYTE. Yea, and dyrge also, with sevyn psalmes and letteny.
SEDWSYON. Do ye not beleve in purgatory and holy bred?
NOBELYTE. Yes, and that good prayers shall stand my soule in stede.
1200SEDWSYON. Well than, good enowgh; I warant my soulle for yowr.
NOBELYTE. Than execute on me the holy fatheres power.
SEDWSYON. Naye, whyll I have yow here underneth benedicite,
In the popes behalfe I must move other thynges to ye.
NOBELYTE. In the name of God, saye here what ye wyll to me.
1205SEDWSYON. Ye know that Kyng Johan ys a very wycked man,
And to Holy Chyrch a contynuall adversary.
The pope wyllyth yow to do the best ye canne
To his subduyng for his cruell tyranny;
And for that purpose this privylege gracyously
1210Of clene remyssyon he hath sent yow this tyme,
Clene to relesse yow of all yowr synne and cryme.
NOBELYTE. Yt is clene agenst the nature of Nobelyte
To subdew his kyng with owt Godes autoryte;
For his princely estate and power ys of God.
1215I wold gladly do ytt, but I fere his ryghtfull rode.
SEDWSYON. Godes holy vycare gave me his whole autoryte.
Loo, yt is here, man; beleve yt, I beseche the,
Or elles thow wylte faulle in danger of damnacyon.
NOBELYTE. Than I submyt me to the chyrches reformacyon.
1220SEDWSYON. I assoyle the here from the kynges obedyence
By the auctoryte of the popys magnifycence.
Auctoritate Roma in pontyficis ego absolve te.
From all possessyons gevyn to the spiritualte,
In nomine Domini Pape, amen.
1225Kepe all thynges secrett, I pray yow hartely.
NOBELYTE. Yes, that I wyll, sur, and cum agayne hether shortly.
Here enter CLARGY and CYVYLL ORDER together, and SEDYSYON shall go up and down a praty whyle.
THE CLARGY. Ys not yowr fatherhod Archbysshope of Canterbery?
1230SEDWSYON. I am Stevyn Langton. Why make ye here inquyry?
Knele and say both.
[Both]. Ye are ryght welcum to this same regyon trewly.
SEDWSYON. Stond up, I pray yow: I trow, thu art the Clargy.
1235THE CLARGY. I am the same, sur, and this is Cyvyle Order.
SEDWSYON. Yf a man myght axe yow, what make yow in this border?
THE CLARGY. I herd tell yester daye ye were cum in to the land:
I thowght for to se yow sum newes to understand.
SEDWSYON. In fayth thow art welcum: ys Cyvyll Order thy frynd?
1240THE CLARGY. He is a good man, and beryth the Chyrch good mynd.
CYVYLL ORDER. Ryght sory I am of the great controvarsy
Betwyn hym and the kyng, yf I myght yt remedy.
SEDWSYON. Well, Cyvyll Order, for thy good wyll gramercy:
That mater wyll be of an other facyon shortly.
1245Fyrst to begyne with, we shall interdyte the lond.
CYVYLL ORDER. Mary, God forbyde we shuld be in soche bond.
But who shall do yt, I pray yow hartyly?
SEDWSYON. Pandulphus and I: we have yt in owr legacy.
He went to the kyng for that cawse yester daye,
1250And I wyll folow so fast as ever I maye.
Lo, here ys the bull of myn auctoryte.
THE CLARGY. I pray God to save the popes holy maieste.
SEDWSYON. Sytt downe on yowr kneys, and ye shall have absolucion
A pena et culpa, with a thowsand dayes of pardon.
1255Here ys fyrst a bone of the blyssyd trynyte,
A dram of the tord of swete seynt Barnabe.
Here ys a fedder of good seynt Myhelles wyng,
A toth of seynt Twyde, a pece of Davyds harpe stryng,
The good blood of Haylys, and owr blyssyd ladys mylke;
1260A lowse of seynt Frauncis in this same crymsen sylke.
A scabbe of seynt Job, a nayle of Adams too,
A maggot of Moyses, with a fart of saynt Fandigo.
Here is a fygge leafe and a grape of Noes vyneyearde,
A bede of saynt Blythe, with the bracelet of a berewarde.
1265The devyll that was hatcht in maistre Johan Shornes bote,
That the tree of Jesse did plucke up by the roote.
Here ys the lachett of swett seynt Thomas shewe,
A rybbe of seynt Rabart, with the huckyll bone of a Jewe.
Here ys a joynt of Darvell Gathyron,
1270Besydes other bonys and relyckes many one.
In nomine Domini Pape, amen.
Aryse now lyke men, and stande uppon yowr fete,
For here ye have caught an holy and a blyssyd hete.
Ye are now as clene as that day ye were borne,
1275And lyke to have increase of chylderne, catell, and corne.
CYVYLL ORDER. Chyldryn he can have non, for he ys not of that loade.
SEDWSYON. Tushe, thowgh he hath non at home, he may have sume abroade.
Now, Clargy, my frynd, this must thow do for the pope,
And for Holy Chyrch: thow must mennys conscyence grope,
1280And as thow felyst them so cause them for to wurke:
Leat them show Kyng Johan no more faver than a Turke.
Every wher sture them to make an insurreccyon.
THE CLARGY. All that shall I do, and to provoke them more
This interdyccyon I wyll lament very sore
1285In all my prechyngs, and saye throwgh his occasyon
All we are under the danger of dampnacyon.
And this wyll move peple to helpe to put hym downe,
Or elles compell hym to geve up septur and crowne.
Yea, and that wyll make those kynges that shall succede
1290Of the Holy Chyrche to stond evermore in drede.
And by sydes all this, the chyrch dores I wyll up scale,
And closse up the bells that they ryng never a pele:
I wyll spere up the chalyce, crysmatory, crosse and all,
That masse they shall have non, baptym nor beryall,
1295And thys I know well wyll make the peple madde.
SEDWSYON. Mary, that yt wyll; soche sauce he never had.
And what wylte thow do for Holy Chyrche, Cyvyll Order?
CYVYLL ORDER. For the clargyes sake I wyll in every border
Provoke the gret men to take the commonys parte.
1300With cautyllys of the lawe I wyll so tyckle ther hart,
They shall thynke all good that they shall passe upon,
And so shall we cum to ower full intent anon;
For yf the Church thryve than do we lawers thryve,
And yf they decay ower welth ys not alyve.
1305Therfore we must helpe yowr state masters to uphold,
Or elles owr profyttes wyll cache a wynter colde.
I never knew lawer whych had ony crafty lernyng
That ever escapte yow with owt a plentyows levyng,
Therfore we may not leve Holy Chyrchys quarell,
1310But ever helpe yt, for ther fall ys owr parell.
SEDWSYON. Gods blyssyng have ye: this gere than wyll worke I trust.
CYVYLL ORDER. Or elles sum of us are lyke to lye in the dust.
SEDWSYON. Let us all avoyde: be the messe, the Kyng cummyth here.
THE CLARGY. I wold hyde my selfe for a tyme yf I wyst where.
1315CYVYLL ORDER. Gow we hence apace, for I have spyed a corner.
Here go owt all, and KYNG JOHN cummyth in.
KYNGE JOHAN. For non other cawse God hath kyngs constytute
And gevyn them the sword, but forto correct all vyce.
I have attempted this thyng to execute
1320Uppon transgressers accordyng unto justyce;
And be cawse I wyll not be parcyall in myn offyce
For theft and murder to persones spirytuall,
I have ageynst me the pristes and the bysshoppes all.
A lyke dysplesure in my fathers tyme ded fall.
1325Forty yeres ago, for ponyshment of a clarke:
No cunsell myght them to reformacyon call,
In ther openyon they were so stordy and starke,
But ageynst ther prynce to the pope they dyd so barke,
That here in Ynglond in every cyte and towne
1330Excommunycacyons as thonder bolts cam downe.
For this ther captayn had a ster apared crowne,
And dyed upon yt with owt the kynges consent.
Than interdiccyons were sent from the popes renowne,
Whych never left hym tyll he was penytent,
1335And fully agreed unto the popes apoyntment
In Ynglond to stand with the Chyrches lyberte,
And suffer the pristes to Rome for appeles to flee.
They bownd hym also to helpe Jerusalem cyte
With ij hundrid men the space of a yere and more,
1340And thre yere after to maynteyne battell free
Ageynst the Sarazens whych vext the Spanyards sore.
Synce my fathers tyme I have borne them groge therfore,
Consyderyng the pryde and the capcyose dysdayne,
That they have to kyngs whych oughte over them to rayne.
PRIVAT WELTH cum in lyke a Cardynall.
PRIVATE WELTH. God save you, sur Kyng, in yowr pryncly mageste.
KYNGE JOHAN. Frynd, ye be welcum: what is yowr plesure with me?
PRIVATE WELTH. From the holy father, Pope Innocent the thred,
As a massanger I am to yow dyrectyd,
1350To reforme the peace betwyn Holy Chyrch and yow.
And in his behalfe I avertyce yow here now
Of the Chyrchys goods to make full restytucyon,
And to accepte also the popes holy constytucyon
For Stevyn Langton, archebysshop of Canturbery,
1355And so admytt hym to his state and primacy:
The monkes exilyd ye shall restore agayne
To ther placys and londes, and nothyng of thers retayne.
Owr holy fatheres mynde ys that ye shall agayne restore
All that ye have ravyshyd from Holy Chyrche with the more.
1360KYNGE JOHAN. I reken yowr father wyll never be so harde,
But he wyll my cawse as well as theres regarde.
I have done nothyng but that I may do well,
And as for ther taxe I have for me the gospell.
PRIVATE WELTH. Tushe, gospell or no, ye must make a recompens.
1365KYNGE JOHAN. Yowr father is sharpe and very quycke in sentence,
Yf he wayeth the word of God no more than so;
But I shall tell yow in this what Y shall do.
I am well content to receyve the monkes agayne
Upon amendement, but as for Stevyn Langton playne
1370He shall not cum here, for I know his dysposycyon.
He is moche inclyned to sturdynesse and sedycyon.
There shall no man rewle in the lond where I am kyng
With owt my consent, for no mannys plesure lyvyng.
Never the lesse, yet upon a newe behaver
1375At the popys request here after I may hyrn faver,
And graunt hym to have sum other benyfyce.
PRIVATE WELTH. By thys I perseyve ye bare hym groge and malyce.
Well, thys wyll I say by cause ye are so blunte,
A prelate to dyscharge Holy Chyrche was never wont,
1380But her custome ys to mynyster ponyshment
To kynges and princes beyng dyssobedyent.
KYNGE JOHAN. Avant, pevysh prist: what, dost thow thretten me?
I defye the worst both of thi pope and the.
The power of princys ys gevyn from God above,
1385And, as sayth Salomon, ther harts the Lord doth move.
God spekyth in ther lyppes whan they geve jugement:
The lawys that they make are by the Lordes appoyntment.
Christ wylled not his the princes to correcte,
But to ther precepptes rether to be subjecte.
1390The offyce of yow ys not to bere the sword,
But to geve cownsell accordyng to Gods word.
He never tawght his to weare nowther sword ne sallett,
But to preche abrode with owt staffe, scrypp or walett;
Yet are ye becum soche myghty lordes this hower,
1395That ye are able to subdewe all princes power.
I can not perseyve but ye are becum Belles prystes,
Lyvyng by ydolls, yea, the very antychrysts.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye have sayd yowr mynd, now wyll I say myn also.
Here I cursse yow for the wrongs that ye have do
1400Unto Holy Churche, with crosse, bocke, bell and candell;
And by sydes all thys I must yow other wyse handell.
Of contumacy the pope hath yow convyt:
From this day forward yowr lond stond interdytt
The bysshope of Norwyche and the bysshope of Wynchester,
1405Hath full autoryte to spred it in Ynglond here.
The bysshope of Salysbery and the bysshope of Rochester
Shall execute yt in Scotland every where.
The bysshope of Landaffe, seynt Assys, and seynt Davy
In Walles and in Erlond shall puplyshe yt openly,
1410Throwgh owt all crystyndom the bysshopps shall suspend
All soche as to yow any mayntenance pretend;
And I cursse all them that geve to yow ther harte,
Dewks, erlls and lordes so many as take yowr parte:
And I assoyle yowr peple from yowr obedyence,
1415That they shall owe yow noyther sewte nor reverence.
By the popys awctoryte I charge them yow to fyght
As with a tyrant agenst Holy Chyrchys ryght;
And by the popes auctoryte I geve them absolucyon
A pena et culpa, and also clene remyssyon.
SEDYCYON extra locum.
SEDWSYON. Alarum! Alarum! tro ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro!
Thomp, thomp, thomp, downe, downe, downe, to go, to go, to go!
KYNGE JOHAN. What a noyse is thys that without the dore is made.
PRIVATE WELTH. Suche enmyes are up as wyll your realme invade.
1425KYNGE JOHAN. Ye cowde do no more and ye cam from the devyll of hell,
Than ye go abowt here to worke by yowr wyckyd cownsell.
Ys this the charyte of that ye call the Churche?
God graunt Cristen men not after yowr wayes to worche.
I sett not by yowr curssys the shakyng of a rod,
1430For I know they are of the devyll and not of God.
Yowr curssys we have that we never yet demaundyd,
But we can not have that God hath yow commandyd.
PRIVATE WELTH. What ye mene by that I wold ye shuld opynly tel
KYNGE JOHAN. Why know ye it not? the prechyng of the gospell.
1435Take to ye yowr traysh, yowr ryngyng, synyg, pypyng,
So that we may have the scryptures openyng:
But that we can not have, yt stondyth not with yowr avantage.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ahe, now I fell yow for this heretycall langage;
I thynke noyther yow nor ony of yowres, iwys,
1440We wyll so provyd, shall ware the crowne after this.
[PRIVATE WELTH] Go owt and drese for NOBYLYTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yt becum not the Godes secret workes to deme.
Gett the hence, or elles we shall teche the to blaspheme.
Oh Lord, how wycked ys that same generacyon
1445That never wyll cum to a godly reformacyon.
The prystes report me to be a wyckyd tyrant
Be cause I correct ther actes and lyfe unplesant.
Of thy prince, sayth God, thow shalt report non yll,
But thy selfe applye his plesur to fulfyll.
1450The byrdes of the ayer shall speke to ther gret shame,
As sayth Ecclesyastes, that wyll a prince dyffame.
The powers are of God, I wot Powle hath soch sentence,
He that resyst them agenst God maketh resystence.
Mary and Joseph at Cyryus appoyntment
1455In the descripcyon to Cesar were obedyent.
Crist ded paye trybute for hymselfe and Peter to,
For a lawe prescrybyng the same unto pristes also.
To prophane princes he obeyed unto dethe;
So ded John Baptyst so longe as he had brethe.
1460Peter, John, and Powle, with the other apostles all,
Ded never withstand the powers imperyall.
Prystes are so wycked they wyll obeye no power,
But seke to subdewe ther prynces day and hower,
1465As they wold do me; but I shall make them smart,
Yf that Nobelyte and Law wyll take my parte.
CYVYLL ORDER. Dowghtles we can not tyll ye be reconsylyd
Unto Holy Chyrche, for ye are a man defylyd.
KYNGE JOHAN. How am I defylyd? telme, good gentyll mate.
1470CYVYLL ORDER. By the popes hye power ye are excomynycate.
KYNGE JOHAN. By the word of God, I pray the, what power hath he?
CYVYLL ORDER. I spake not with hym, and therfore I cannot tell ye.
KYNGE JOHAN. With whom spake ye not? late me know yowr intent.
CYVYLL ORDER. Mary, not with God sens the latter weeke of Lent.
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh mercyfull God, what an unwyse clawse ys this,
Of hym that shuld se that nothyng ware amys.
That sentence or curse that scriptur doth not dyrect
In my opynyon shall be of non effecte.
1480THE CLARGY. Ys that yowr beleve? Mary, God save me from yow.
KYNGE JOHAN. Prove yt by scriptur, and than wyll I yt alowe.
But this know I well, whan Baalam gave the curse
Uppon Godes peple they ware never a whyt the worse.
THE CLARGY. I passe not on the Scriptur; that is I now for me,
1485Whyche the holy father approvyth by his auctoryte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Now, alas, alas! what wreched peple ye are,
And how ygnorant yowr owne wordes doth declare.
Woo ys that peple whych hath so wycked techeres.
THE CLARGY. Naye, wo ys that peple that hathe so cruell rewlars.
1490Owr holy father, I trow, cowd do no lesse,
Consyderyng the factes of yowr owtragyosnes.
NOBELYTE. Com awaye for shame, and make no more ado:
Ye are in gret danger for commynyng with hym so.
1495He is accursyd, I mervell ye do not waye yt.
THE CLARGY. I here by his wordes that he wyll not obeye yt.
NOBELYTE. Whether he wyll or no, I wyll not with hym talke
Tell he be assoyllyd. Com on, my frynds, wyll ye walke?
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh, this is no tokyn of trew Nobelyte
1500To flee from yowr kyng in his extremyte.
NOBELYTE. I shall dyssyer yow as now to pardone me.
I had moche rather do agaynst God veryly,
Than to Holy Chyrche to do any injurye.
KYNGE JOHAN. What blyndnes is this? On this peple, Lord, have mercy!
1505Ye speke of defylyng, but ye are corrupted all
With pestylent doctryne or leven pharesyacall.
Good to faythfull Susan sayd that yt was moche better
To fall in daunger of men than do the gretter,
As to love Godes lawe, whych ys his word most pure.
1510THE CLARGY. Ye have nothyng yow to allege to us but scripture.
Ye shall fare the worse for that ye may be sure.
KYNGE JOHAN. What shulde I allege elles, thu wycked pharyse?
To yowr false lernyng no faythfull man wyll agree.
Dothe not the Lord say, nunc reges intellege,
1515The kyngs of the erthe that worldly cawses juge,
Seke to the scriptur, late that be yowr refuge?
CYVYLL ORDER. Have ye nothyng elles but this? than God be with ye.
KYNGE JOHAN. One questyon more yet ere ye departe from me.
I wyll fyrst demaund of yow, Nobelyte,
1520Why leve ye yowr prince and cleave to the pope so sore?
NOBELYTE. For I toke an othe to defend the Chyrche ever more.
KYNGE JOHAN. Clergy, I am sure than yowr quarell ys not small.
THE CLARGY. I am professyd to the ryghtes ecclesyastycall.
KYNGE JOHAN. And yow, Cyvyle Order, oweth her sum offyce of dewtye.
1525CYVYLL ORDER. I am hyr feed man: who shuld defend her but I?
KYNGE JOHAN. Of all thre partyes yt is spoken resonably,
Ye may not obeye becawse of the othe ye mad;
Yowr strong professyon maketh yow of that same trad;
Yowr fee provokyth yow to do as thes men do,
1530Grett thyngs to cawse men from God to the devyll to go.
Yowr othe is growndyd fyrst uppon folyshenes,
And yowr professyon uppon moche pevyshenes;
Yowr fee last of all ryseth owt of covetusnes,
And thes are the cawses of yowr rebellyosnes.
1535THE CLARGY. Cum, Cyvill Order, lett us departe from hence.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than are ye at a poynt for yowr obedyence.
CYVYLL ORDER. We wyll in no wysse be partakers of yowr yll.
Here go owt CLARGY and dresse for YNGLOND, and CYVYLL ORDER for COMMYNALTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. As ye have bene ever, so ye wyll contynew styll.
1540Thowgh they be gone, tarye yow with me a whyle:
The presence of a prynce to yow shuld never be vyle.
NOBELYTE. Sur, nothyng grevyth me but yowr excomynycacion.
KYNGE JOHAN. That ys but a fantasy in yowr ymagynacyon.
The Lord refuse not soch as hath his great cursse,
1545But call them to grace, and faver them never the worsse.
Saynt Pawle wyllyth you whan ye are among soch sort,
Not to abhore them but geve them words of comfort.
Why shuld ye than flee from me yowr lawfull kyng,
For plesure of soch as owght to do no suche thyng?
1550The Chyrches abusyons, as holy seynt Powle do saye,
By the princes power owght for to be takyn awaye:
He baryth not the sword withowt a cawse (sayth he).
In this neyther bysshope nor spirituall man is free,
Offendyng the lawe they are under the powers all.
1555NOBELYTE. How wyll ye prove me that the fathers sprytuall
Were under the princes ever contynewally?
KYNGE JOHAN. By the actes of kynges I wyll prove yt by and by.
David and Salomon the pristes ded constitute,
Commandyng the offyces that they shuld execute.
1560Josaphat the kyng the mynysters ded appoynt,
So ded kyng Ezechias whom God hymselfe ded anoynt.
Dyverse of the princes for the pristes ded make decrees,
Lyke as yt is pleyn in the fyrst of Machabees.
Owr prists are rysyn throwgh lyberte of kyngs
1565By ryches to pryd and other unlawfull doynges,
And that is the cawse that they so oft dysobeye.
NOBELYTE. Good Lord, what a craft have you thes thynges to convaye!
KYNGE JOHAN. Now, alas, that the false pretence of superstycyon
Shuld cawse yow to be a mayntener of Sedycyon!
1570Sum thynkyth Nobelyte in natur to consyst
Or in parentage; ther thowght is but amyst:
Wher habundance is of vertu, faith, and grace,
With knowlage of the Lord, Nobelyte is ther in place,
And not wher as in the wylfull contempte of thyngs
1575Pertaynyng to God in the obedyence of kynges.
Beware ye synke not with Dathan and Abiron
For dysobeyng the power and domynyon.
NOBELYTE. Nay, byd me be aware I do not synke with yow here:
Beyng acurssyd, of trowth ye put me in fere.
1580KYNGE JOHAN. Why, are ye gone hence and wyll ye no longar tarrye?
NOBELYTE. No, wher as yow are in place, by swete seynt Marye.
Here NOBELYTE go owt and dresse for the CARDYNALL. Here enter YNGLOND and COMMYNALTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. Blessed Lord of Heaven, what is the wretchednesse
Of thys wycked worlde? An evyll of all evyls doubtlesse.
1585Perceyve ye not here how the Clergye hath rejecte
Their true allegeaunce to maynteyne the popysh secte?
See ye not how lyghte the lawyers sett the poure,
Whanne God commandyth them to obeye yche daye and howre?
Nobylyte also, whych ought hys prynce to assyste,
1590Is vanyshed awaye as it we[re] a wynter myste.
All they are from me: I am now left alone,
Knd God wote knowe not to whome to make my mone.
Oh, yet wolde I fayne knowe the mynde of my Commynalte,
Whether he wyll go with them or abyde with me.
1595ENGLANDE. He is here at hond, a symple creature as may be.
KYNGE JOHAN. Cum hether, my frynde; stand nere: ys thy selfe he?
COMMYNALTE. Yf it lyke yowr grace, I am yowr pore Commynalte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thou art poore inowgh, yf that be good God helpe the.
Me thynke thow art blynd: tell me, frynde, canst thu not see?
1600ENGLANDE. He is blynd in dede: yt is the more rewth and pytte.
KYNGE JOHAN. How cummyst thow so blynd, I pray the, good fellow, tell me?
COMMYNALTE. For want of knowlage in Christes lyvely veryte.
ENGLANDE. This spirituall blyndnes bryngeth men owt of the waye,
And cause them oft tymes ther kynges to dyssobaye.
1605KYNGE JOHAN. How sayst thow, Commynalte; wylt not thu take my parte?
COMMYNALTE. To that I cowd be contented with all my hart,
But, alas, in me are two great impedymentes.
KYNGE JOHAN. I pray the shew me what are those impedymentes.
COMMYNALTE. The fyrst is blyndnes, wherby I myght take with the pope
1610Soner than with yow; for, alas, I can but grope,
And ye know full well ther are many nowghty gydes.
The nexte is poverte, whych cleve so hard to my sydes,
And ponych me so sore that my power ys lytyll or non.
KYNGE JOHAN. In Godes name tell me how cummyth thi substance gone?
1615COMMYNALTE. By pristes, channons, and monkes, which do but fyll ther bely
With my swett and labour for ther popych purgatory.
ENGLANDE. Yowr grace promysed me that I shuld have remedy
In that same mater whan I was last here trewly.
KYNGE JOHAN. Dowghtles I ded so, but, alas, yt wyll not be.
1620In hart I lament this great infelycyte.
ENGLANDE. Late me have my spowse and my londes at lyberte,
And I promyse you my sonne here, your Commynallte,
I wyll make able to do ye dewtyfull servyce.
KYNGE JOHAN. I wold I ware able to do to the that offyce;
1625But alas, I am not, for why my Nobelyte,
My Lawers, and Clargy hath cowardly forsake me,
And now last of all, to my most anguysh of mynd,
My Commynalte here I fynd both poore and blynde.
ENGLANDE. Rest upon this, ser, for my governor ye shall be
1630So long as ye lyve: God hath so apoynted me.
His owtward blyndnes ys but a sygnyficacion
Of blyndnes in sowle for lacke of informacyon
In the word of God, which is the orygynall grownd
Of dyssobedyence, which all realmes doth confund.
1635Yf yowr grace wold cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly,
And subdew those pristes that wyll not preche yt trewly,
The peple shuld know to ther prynce ther lawfull dewty;
But yf ye permytt contynuance of ypocresye
In monkes, chanons, and pristes, and mynysters of the clargy,
1640Yowr realme shall never be with owt moch traytery.
KYNGE JOHAN. All that I perseyve, and therfore I kepe owt fryers,
Lest they shuld bryng the moch farder into the bryers.
They have mad labur to inhabytt this same regyon:
They shall for my tyme not enter into domynyon.
1645We have to many of soch vayne lowghtes all redy.
I beshrew ther harts they have made you ij full nedy.
Here enter PANDULPHUS, the CARDYNALL, and sayth
PRIVATE WELTH. What, Commynalte, ys this the connaunt kepyng?
Thow toldyst me thu woldest take hym no more for thi kyng.
1650COMMYNALTE. Peccavi, mea culpa: I submyt me to yowr holynes.
PRIVATE WELTH. Gett the hence than shortly, and go abowt thi besynes.
Wayet on thy capttaynes, Nobelyte and the Clargy,
With Cyvyll Order, and the other company.
Blow owt yowr tromppettes and sett forth manfully.
1655The Frenche kyng Phelype by sea doth hether apply
With the power of Fraunce to subdew this herytyke.
KYNGE JOHAN. I defy both hym and the, lewde scysmatyke.
Why wylt thu forsake thy prince or thi prince leve the?
COMMYNALTE. I must nedes obbay whan Holy Chirch commandyth me.
ENGLANDE. Yf thow leve thy kyng take me never for thy mother.
PRIVATE WELTH. Tush, care not thu for that, I shall provyd the another.
Yt ware fytter for yow to be in another place.
ENGLANDE. Yt shall becum me to wayte upon his grace,
1665And do hym servyce where as he ys resydente,
For I was gevyn hym of the Lord omnypotente.
THE CLARGY. Thow mayst not abyde here, for whye we have hym curssyd.
ENGLANDE. I be shrow yowr hartes, so have ye me onpursed.
Yf he be acurssed than are we a mete cuppell,
1670For I am interdyct: no salve that sore can suppell.
THE CLARGY. I say gett the hence, and make me no more pratyng.
ENGLANDE. I wyll not a waye from myn owne lawfull kyng,
Appoynted of God, tyll deth shall us departe.
THE CLARGY. Wyll ye not in dede? well than ye are lyke to smarte.
1675ENGLANDE. I smarte all redy throw yowr most suttell practyse,
And am clene ondone by yowr false merchandyce,
Yowr pardons, yowr bulles, yowr purgatory pyckepurse,
Yowr lent fastes, yowr schryftes, that I pray God geve yow his cursse.
PRIVATE WELTH. Thu shalt smart better or we have done with the,
1680For we have this howr great navyes upon the see
In every quarter with this Loller here to fyght,
And to conquarre hym for the Holy Chyrchis ryght.
We have on the northe Alexander, the kyng of Scotts,
With an armye of men that for their townnes cast lottes.
1685On the sowthe syde we have the French kyng with his power.
Which wyll sle and burne tyll he cum to London Tower.
In the west parts we have kyng Alphonso with the Spanyards,
With sheppes full of gonepowder now cummyng hether towards,
And on the est syde we have Esterlynges, Danes and Norways,
1690With soch power landynge as can be resystyd nowayes.
KYNGE JOHAN. All that is not true that yow have here expressed.
PRIVATE WELTH. By the masse, so true as I have now confessed.
KYNGE JOHAN. And what do ye meane by such an hurly burlye?
PRIVATE WELTH. For the Churches ryght to subdue ye manfullye.
SEDYSYON. To all that wyll fyght I proclame a Jubyle
Of cleane remyssyon thys tyrant here to slee,
Destroye hys people, burne up both cytie and towne
That the Pope of Rome maye have hys scepture and crowne.
1700In the Churches cawse to dye thys daye be bolde:
Your sowles shall to heaven ere your fleshe and bones be colde.
KYNGE JOHAN. Most mercyfull God, as my trust is in the,
So comforte me now in this extremyte.
As thow helpyst David in his most hevynes,
1705So helpe me this hour of thy grace, mercye and goodnes.
PRIVATE WELTH. This owtward remorse that ye show here evydent
Ys a grett lykelyhod and token of amendment.
How say ye, kyng Johan, can ye fynd now in yowr hart
To obaye Holy Chyrch and geve ower yowr froward part?
1710KYNGE JOHAN. Were yt so possyble to hold thes enmyes backe,
That my swete Ynglond perysh not in this sheppewracke.
PRIVATE WELTH. Possyble quoth he! yea, they shuld go bake in dede,
And ther gret armyse to some other quarters leade,
Or elles they have not so many good blyssyngs now,
1715But as many cursyngs they shall have, I make God avowe.
I promyse yow, sur, ye shall have specyall faver
Yf ye wyll submyt yowr sylfe to Holy Chyrch here.
KYNGE JOHAN. I trust than ye wyll graunt some delyberacyon
To have an answere of thys your protestacyon.
1720SEDYSYON. Tush, gyve upp the crowne, and make no more a do.
KYNGE JOHAN. Your spirytuall charyte wyll be better to me than so.
The crowne of a realme is a matter of great wayght;
In gyvynge it upp we maye not be to slayght.
SEDYSYON. I saye gyve it up: lete us have no more a do.
1725PRIVATE WELTH. Yea, and in our warres we wyll no farder go.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ye wyll gyve me leave to talke first with my Clergye?
SEDYSYON. With them ye nede not: they are at a poynt alreadye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than with my lawers, to heare what they wyll tell.
SEDYSYON. Ye shall ever have them as the Clergye gyve them counsell.
1730KYNGE JOHAN. Then wyll I commen with my Nobylyte.
SEDYSYON. We have hym so jugled he wyll not to yow agree.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yet shall I be content to do as he counsell me.
PRIVATE WELTH. Than be not to longe from hence I wyll advyse ye.
1735SEDYSYON. Is not thys a sport? by the messe it is, I trowe.
What welthe and pleasure wyll now to owr kyngedom growe!
Englande is our owne whych is the most plesaunte grounde
In all the rounde worlde: now may we realmes confounde.
Our holye father maye now lyve at hys pleasure,
1740And have habundaunce of wenches, wynes, and treasure.
He is now able to kepe downe Christe and his gospell,
True fayth to exyle, and all vertues to expell.
Now shall we ruffle it in velvetts, gold, and sylke,
With shaven crownes, syde gownes, and rochettes whyte as mylke.
1745By the messe, Pandulphus, now may we synge Cantate,
And crowe Confitebor with a joyfull Jubilate.
Holde me, or els for laughynge I must burste.
PRIVATE WELTH. Holde thy peace, whorson; I wene thu art accurst.
Kepe a sadde countenaunce: a very vengeaunce take the,
1750SEDYSYON. I can not do it by the messe, and thu shuldest hange me.
If Solon were here, I recken that he woulde laugh
Whych never laught yet, yea, lyke a whelpe he would waugh.
Ha, ha, ha, laugh quoth he? yea, laugh and laugh agayne:
We had never cause to laugh more free, I am playne.
1755PRIVATE WELTH. I pray the, no more, for here come the kynge agayne.
Ye are at a poynt wherto ye intende to stande.
SEDYSYON. Yea, hardely, sir, gyve up the crowne of Englande.
KYNGE JOHAN. I have cast in my mynde the great displeasures of warre,
1760The daungers, the losses, the decayes both nere and farre;
The burnynge of townes, the throwynge downe of buyldynges,
Destructyon of corne and cattell with other thynges;
Defylynge of maydes, and shedynge of Christen blood,
With suche lyke outrages, neythar honest, true, nor good.
1765These thynges consydered, I am compelled thys houre
To resigne up here both crowne and regall poure.
ENGLANDE. For the love of God yet take some better advysement.
SEDYSYON. Holde your tunge, ye whore, or by the messe ye shall repent.
1770Downe on yowr marry bones, and make no more a do.
ENGLANDE. If ye love me, sir, for Gods sake do never so.
KYNGE JOHAN. O Englande, Englande! showe now thyselfe a mother,
Thy people wyll els be slayne here without nomber.
As God shall judge me, I do not thys of cowardnesse,
1775But of compassyon in thys extreme heavynesse.
Shall my people shedde their bloude in suche habundaunce?
Naye, I shall rather gyve upp my whole governaunce.
SEDYSYON. Come of apace than, and make an ende of it shortly.
ENGLANDE. The most pytiefull chaunce that hath bene hytherto surely.
1780KYNGE JOHAN. Here I submyt me to pope Innocent the thred,
Dyssyering mercy of hys holy fatherhed.
PRIVATE WELTH. Geve up the crowne than, yt shalbe the better for ye:
He wyll unto yow the more favorable be.
Here the KYNG delevyr the crowne to the CARDYNALL.
1785KYNGE JOHAN. To hym I resygne here the septer and the crowne
Of Ynglond and Yrelond with the power and renowne,
And put me wholly to his mercyfull ordynance.
PRIVATE WELTH. I may say this day the Chyrch hath a full gret chaunce.
This v dayes I wyll kepe this crowne in myn owne hande
1790In the Popes behalfe, upseasyng Ynglond and Yerlond.
In the meane season ye shall make an oblygacyon
For yow and yowr ayers in this synyficacyon:
To resayve yowr crowne of the pope for ever more
In maner of fefarme; and for a tokyn therfore
1795Ye shall every yere paye hym a thowsand marke
With the Peter pens, and not agenst yt barke.
Ye shall also geve to the bysshoppe of Cantorbery
A thre thowsand marke for his gret injury.
To the Chyrch besydes, for the great scathe ye have done,
1800Forty thowsand marke ye shall delyver sone.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ser, the taxe that I had of the hole realme of Ynglond
Amownted to no more but unto xxxti thowsand;
Why shuld I then paye so moche unto the clargy?
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall geve yt them: ther is no remedy.
1805KYNGE JOHAN. Shall they pay no tribute yf the realme stond in rerage?
PRIVATE WELTH. Sir, they shall pay none: we wyll have no soch bondage.
KYNGE JOHAN. The Pope had at once thre hundred thowsand marke.
PRIVATE WELTH. What is that to you? ah, styll ye wyll be starke.
Ye shall pay yt, sur: ther is no remedy.
1810KYNGE JOHAN. Yt shall be performed as ye wyll have yt trewly.
ENGLANDE. So noble a realme to stande tributarye, alas,
To the devylls vycar! suche fortune never was.
SEDYSYON. Out with thys harlot: cocks sowle, she hath lete a fart.
ENGLANDE. Lyke a wretche thu lyest. Thy report is lyke as thu art.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall suffer the monks and chanons to make reentry
In to ther abbayes and to dwell ther peaceably;
Ye shall se also to my great labur and charge:
For other thyngs elles we shall commen more at large.
1820KYNGE JOHAN. Ser, in every poynt I shall fulfyll yowr plesur.
PRIVATE WELTH. Than plye yt apace, and lett us have the tresur.
ENGLANDE. Alacke for pyte that euer ye grantyd this.
For me, pore Ynglond, ye haue done sore amys;
Of a fre woman ye haue now mad a bonde mayd.
1825Yowr selfe and heyres ye haue for euer decayd.
Alas, I had rether be vnderneth the Turke
Than vnder the wynges of soch a thefe to lurke.
KYNGE JOHAN. Content the, Ynglond, for ther ys no remedy.
ENGLANDE. Yf yow be plesyd, than I mvst consent gladly.
1830KYNGE JOHAN. If I shoulde not graunt here woulde be a wondrefull spoyle:
Every where the enemyes woulde ruffle and turmoyle.
The losse of people stycketh most unto my harte.
ENGLANDE. Do as ye thynke best, yche waye is to my smarte.
PRIVATE WELTH. Are ye at a poynt with the same oblygacyon?
1835KYNGE JOHAN. Yt is here redye at yowr interrogacyon.
Here kyng Iohn shall delevr the oblygacyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. Wher is the mony for yowr full restytucyon?
KYNGE JOHAN. Here, ser, accordyng to yowr last constytucyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. Cum hether, my lorde. By the popys autoryte
1840Assoyll this man here of irregularyte.
Here the bysshop STEVYN LANGTON cum in.
KYNGE JOHAN. Me thynke this bysshope resembleth moch Sedycyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. I cownsell yow yet to be ware of wrong suspycyon.
This is Stevyn Langton, yowr meteropolytan.
1845KYNGE JOHAN. Than do the offyce of the good samarytan
And pore oyle and wyne in my old festerd wownd.
Releace me of synne that yt doth not me confownd.
Confiteor domino pape et omnibus cardinalibus eius et vobis, quia peccaui nimis exigendo ab ecclesia tributum, mea culpa. Ideo precor sanctissimum dominum papam et omnes prelatos eitis et vos, orare pro me.
SEDYSYON. Misereatur tui omnipotens papa, et dimittat tibi omnes erratus tuos, liberetque te a suspencione, excominicacione et interdicto, et restituat te in regnum tuum.
1850KYNGE JOHAN. Amen.
SEDYSYON. Dominus papa noster te absoluat, et ego absoluo te auctoritate eius, et apostolorum Petri et Pauli in hac parte mihi comissa, ab omnibus impietatibus tuis, et restituo te corone et regno, in nomine domini pape, amen.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye are well content to take this man for yowr primate?
KYNGE JOHAN. Yea, and to vse hym accordyng to his estate.
I am ryght sory that euer I yow offended.
1855SEDYSYON. And I am full gladde ye are so welle amended.
Unto Holy Churche ye are now an obedyent chylde,
Where ye were afore with heresye muche defyelde.
ENGLANDE. Sir, yonder is a clarke whych is condempned for treason.
The shryves woulde fayne knowe what to do with hym thys season.
1860KYNGE JOHAN. Come hyther, fellawe. What, me thynke, thu art a pryste.
[Enter] TREASON.
TREASON. He hath ofter gessed that of the truthe have myste.
KYNGE JOHAN. A pryste and a traytour? how maye that wele agree?
TREASON. Yes, yes, wele ynough, underneth Benedicite.
1865Myself hath played it, and therfore I knowe it the better.
Amonge craftye cloyners there hath not bene a gretter.
KYNGE JOHAN. Tell some of thy feates; thu mayest the better escape.
SEDYSYON. Hem; not to bolde yet: for a mowse the catte wyll gape.
TREASON. Twenty thousande traytour I have made in my tyme,
1870Undre Benedicite, betwyn hygh masse and pryme.
I have made Nobylyte to be obedyent
To the church of Rome, whych most kynges maye repent.
I have so convayed that neyther priest nor lawer
Wyll obeye Gods wurde, nor yet the gospell faver.
1875In the place of Christe I have sett up supersticyons,
For preachynges ceremonyes, for Gods wurde mennys tradicyons.
Come to the temple and there Christe hath no place;
Moyses and the Paganes doth utterly hym deface.
ENGLANDE. Marke wele, sir. Tell what we have of Moyses.
1880TREASON. All your ceremonyes, your copes and your sensers doubtlesse,
Your fyers, your waters, your oyles, your aulters, your ashes,
Your candlestyckes, your cruettes, your salte, with suche lyke trashes.
Ye lacke but the bloude of a goate, or els a calfe.
ENGLANDE. Lete us heare sumwhat also in the Paganes behalfe.
1885TREASON. Of the Paganes ye have your gylded ymages all,
In your necessytees upon them for to call;
With crowchynges, with kyssynges and settynge up of lyghtes,
Bearynge them in processyon and fastynges upon their nyghtes.
Some for the tothe ake, some for the pestylence and poxe,
1890With ymages of waxe to brynge moneye to the boxe.
ENGLANDE. What have they of Christe in the churche, I praye the tell?
TREASON. Marry, nothynge at all, but the epystle and the gospell,
And that is in Latyne that no man shoulde it knowe.
SEDYSYON. Peace, noughty whoreson, peace: thu playest the knave I trowe.
1895KYNGE JOHAN. Has thu knowne suche wayes, and sought no reformacyon?
TREASON. It is the lyvynge of my whole congregacyon.
If supersticyons and ceremonyes from us fall,
Farwele monke and chanon, priest, fryer, byshopp, and all.
My conveyaunce is suche that we haue both moneye and ware.
1900SEDYSYON. Our occupacyon thu wylt marre. God gyve the care.
ENGLANDE. Very fewe of ye wyll Peters offyce take.
TREASON. Yes, the more part of us our maistre hath forsake.
ENGLANDE. I meane for preachynge. I pray God thu be curste.
TREASON. No, no, with Judas we love wele to be purste.
1905We selle owr maker so sone as we have hym made,
And as for preachynge we meddle not with that trade,
Least Annas, Cayphas, and the lawers shulde us blame,
Callyng us to reckenynge for preachynge in that name.
KYNGE JOHAN. But tell to me, person, whie wert thu cast in preson?
1910TREASON. For no great matter; but a lyttle petye treason:
For conjurynge, calkynge, and coynynge of newe grotes,
For clippynge of nobles, with suche lyke pratye motes.
ENGLANDE. Thys is hygh treason, and hath bene evermor.
KYNGE JOHAN. It is suche treason as he shall sure hange for.
1915TREASON. I have holy orders: by the messe, I defye your wurst.
Ye can not towche me but ye must be accurst.
KYNGE JOHAN. We wyll not towche the; the halter shall do yt alone.
Curse the rope therfor whan thu begynnest to grone.
TREASON. And sett ye no more by the holy ordre of prestehode?
1920Ye wyll prove your selfe an heretyke by the rode.
KYNGE JOHAN. Come hyther, Englande, and here what I saye to the.
ENGLANDE. I am all readye to do as ye commaunde me.
KYNGE JOHAN. For so much as he hath falsefyed our coyne,
As he is worthie, lete hym with an halter joyne.
1925Thu shalt hange no priest, nor yet none honest man,
But a traytour, a thefe, and one that lyttle good can.
PRIVATE WELTH. What, yet agaynst the Churche? gett me boke, belle, and candle:
As I am true priest, I shall ye yett better handle.
Ye neyther regarde hys crowne nor anoynted fyngers,
1930The offyce of a priest, nor the grace that therin lyngers.
SEDYSYON. Sir, pacyent yourselfe, and all thynge shall be well.
Fygh, man, to the Churche that ye shulde be styll a rebell.
ENGLANDE. I accompt hym no priest that worke such haynouse treason.
SEDYSYON. It is a worlde to heare a folysh woman reason.
1935PRIVATE WELTH. After thys maner ye used Peter Pomfrete,
A good symple man, and as they saye a profete.
KYNGE JOHAN. Sir, I did prove hym a very supersticyouse wretche,
And blasphemouse lyar, therfor did the lawe hym upstretche.
He prophecyed first I shulde reigne but xiiij years,
1940Makynge the people to beleve he coulde bynde bears;
And I have reigned a seventene yeares, and more.
And anon after he grudged at me very sore,
And sayde I shulde be exyled out of my realme
Before the ascencyon, whych was turned to a fantastycall dreame,
1945Saynge he woulde hange if hys prophecye were not true.
Thus hys owne decaye hys folyshnesse did brue.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shuld not hange hym whych is a frynde to the Churche.
KYNGE JOHAN. Alac, that ye shoulde counte them fryndes of the Churche,
That agaynst all truthe so hypocritycally lurche.
1950An yll Churche is it that hath such fryndes in dede.
ENGLANDE. Of maister Morres suche an other fable we reade,
That in Morgans fyelde the sowle of a knyght made verses,
Apearynge unto hym, and thys one he rehearses,
Destruat hoc regnum Rex regum duplici plaga,
1955Whych is true as God spake with the Ape at Praga.
The sowles departed from thys heavye mortall payne
To the handes of God returneth never agayne.
A marvelouse thynge that ye thus delyght in lyes.
SEDYSYON. Thys queane doth not els but mocke the blessed storyes.
1960That Peter angred ye whan he called ye a devyll incarnate.
KYNGE JOHAN. He is now full sure no more so uncomely to prate.
Well, as for thys man, because that he is a priste
I gyve hym to ye: do with hym what ye lyste.
PRIVATE WELTH. In the Popes behalfe I wyll sumwhat take upon me.
1965Here I delyver hym to the Churches lyberte,
In spyght of your hart, make of it what ye lyste.
KYNGE JOHAN. I am pleased, I saye, because he ys pryste.
PRIVATE WELTH. Whether ye be or no, it shall not greatly force.
Lete me see those cheanes: go thy waye and have remorce.
1970TREASON. God save your Lordeshypps; I trust I shall amende,
And do no more so, or els, sir, God defende.
SEDYSYON. I shall make the, I trowe, to kepe thy benefyce.
By the Marye messe, the knave wyll never be wyse.
ENGLANDE. Lyke Lorde, lyke chaplayne; neyther barrell better herynge.
1975SEDYSYON. Styll she must trattle: that tunge is alwayes sterynge.
A wurde or two, sir, I must tell yow in your eare.
PRIVATE WELTH. Of some advauntage I woulde very gladly heare.
SEDYSYON. Releace not Englande of the generall interdictyon,
Tyll the kynge hath graunted the dowrye and the pencyon
1980Of Julyane the wyfe of kynge Richard Cour de Lyon:
Ye knowe very well she beareth the Churche good mynde.
Tush, we must have all, manne, that she shall leave behynde.
As the saynge is, he fyndeth that surely bynde.
It were but folye suche louce endes for to lose:
1985The lande and the monye wyll make well for our purpose.
Tush, laye yokes upon hym, more then he is able to beare,
Of Holy Churche so he wyll stande ever in feare.
Suche a shrewe as he it is good to kepe undre awe.
ENGLANDE. Woo is that persone whych is undreneth your lawe.
1990Ye may see, good people, what these same merchantes are:
Their secrete knaveryes their open factes declare.
SEDYSYON. Holde thy peace, callet. God gyve the sorowe and care.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ere I releace yow of the interdyctyon heare,
In the whych yowr realme contynued hath thys seven yeare,
1995Ye shall make Julyane, your syster in lawe, thys bande,
To gyve her the thirde part of Englande and of Irelande.
KYNGE JOHAN. All the worlde knoweth, sir, I owe her no suche dewtye.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall gyve it to hir; there is no remedye.
Wyll ye styll withstande our holy fathers precepte?
2000SEDYSYON. In peyne of dampnacyon hys commaundement must be kepte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh, ye undo me, consyderynge my great paymentes.
ENGLANDE. Sir, disconfort not, for God hath sent debatementes.
Yowr mercyfull maker hath shewed upon ye hys powere,
From thys heavye yoke delyverynge yow thys howre.
2005The woman is dead: suche newes are hyther brought.
KYNGE JOHAN. For me a synnar thys myracle hath God wrought.
In most hygh paryls he ever me preserved,
And in thys daunger he hath not from me swerved.
In genua procumbens Deum adorat, dicens,
2010As David sayth, Lorde, thu dost not leave thy servaunt
That wyll trust in the, and in thy blessyd covenaunt.
SEDYSYON. A vengeaunce take it! by the messe, it is unhappye
She is dead so sone. Now is it past remedye:
So must we lose all now that she is clerely gone.
2015If that praye had bene ours, oh, it had bene alone!
The chaunce beynge suche, by my trouth, even lete it go:
No grote no pater noster, no penye no placebo.
The devyll go with it, seynge it wyll be no better.
ENGLANDE. Their myndes are all sett upon the fylthie luker.
2020PRIVATE WELTH. Than here I releace yow of yowr interdictyons all,
And strayghtly commaunde yow upon daungers that may fall
No more to meddle with the Churches reformacyon,
Nor holde men from Rome whan they make appellacyon,
By God and by all the contentes of thys boke.
2025KYNGE JOHAN. Agaynst Holy Churche I wyll nomore speake nor loke.
SEDYSYON. Go, open the churche dores and let the belles be ronge,
And through out the realme see that Te Deum be songe.
Pryck upp your candels before saynt Loe and saynt Legearde:
Lete saynt Antonyes hogge be had in some regarde.
2030If yowr ale be sowre, and yowr breade moulde certayne,
Now wyll they waxe swete, for the pope hath blest ye agayne.
ENGLANDE. Than within a whyle I trust ye wyll preache the Gospell.
SEDYSYON. That shall I tell the, kepe thu it in secrete counsell:
It shall neyther come in churche nor yet in chauncell.
2035PRIVATE WELTH. Goo your wayes a pace, and see my pleasure be done.
KYNGE JOHAN. As ye have commaunded all shall be perfourmed sone.
[Exit John and England]
PRIVATE WELTH. By the messe, I laugh to see thys cleane conveyaunce:
He is now full glad as our pype goeth to daunce.
2040By cockes sowle, he is now become a good parrysh clarke.
SEDYSYON. Ha, ha, wylye whoreson, dost that so busyly marke?
I hope in a whyle we wyll make hym so to rave,
That he shall become unto us a commen slave,
And shall do nothynge but as we byd hym do.
2045If we byd hym slea, I trowe he wyll do so;
If we byd hym burne suche as beleve in Christe,
He shall not say naye to the byddynge of a priste.
But yet it is harde to trust what he wyll be,
He is so crabbed: by the holy Trinyte,
2050To save all thynges up I holde best we make hym more sure,
And gyve hym a sawce that he no longar endure.
Now that I remembre we shall not leave hym thus.
PRIVATE WELTH. Whye, what shall we do to hym els, in the name of Jesus?
SEDYSYON. Marry, fatche in Lewes, Kynge Phylyppes sonne, of Fraunce,
2055To falle upon hym with his menne and ordynaunce,
With wyldefyer, gunpouder, and suche lyke myrye trickes,
To dryve hym to holde and scarche hym in the quyckes.
I wyll not leave hym tyll I brynge hym to hys yende.
PRIVATE WELTH. Well, farwele, Sedicyon, do as shall lye in thy myende.
SEDYSYON. I mervele greatly where Dissymulacyon is.
DYSSYMULACYON. I wyll come anon, if thu tarry tyll I pysse.
SEDYSYON. I beshrewe your hart, where have ye bene so longe?
2065DYSSYMULACYON. In the gardene, man, the herbes and wedes amonge;
And there have I gote the poyson of toade.
I hope in a whyle to wurke some feate abroade.
SEDYSYON. I was wonte sumtyme of thy prevye counsell to be:
Am I now adayes become a straunger to the?
2070DYSSYMULACYON. I wyll tell the all, undreneth Benedicite,
What I mynde to do, in case thu wylte assoyle me.
SEDYSYON. Thu shalt be assoyled by the most holy fathers auctoryte.
DYSSYMULACYON. Shall I so in dede? by the masse, than now have at the.
2075SEDYSYON. In nomine papæ, amen.
DYSSYMULACYON. Sir, thys is my mynde. I wyll gyve Kynge Johan thys poyson,
So makynge hym sure that he shall never have foyson.
And thys must thu saye to colour with the thynge,
That a penye lofe he wolde have brought to a shyllynge.
2080SEDYSYON. Naye, that is suche a lye as easely wyll be felte.
DYSSYMULACYON. Tush, man, amonge fooles it never wyll be out smelte.
Though it be a foule lye, set upon it a good face,
And that wyll cause men beleve it in every place.
SEDYSYON. I am sure, than, thu wylt geve it hym in a drynke.
2085DYSSYMULACYON. Marry, that I wyll and the one half with hym swynke,
To encourage hym to drynke the botome off.
SEDYSYON. If thu drynke the halfe, thu shalt fynde it no scoff:
Of terryble deathe thu wylt stacker in the plashes.
DYSSYMULACYON. Tush, though I dye, man, there wyll ryse more of my ashes.
2090I am sure the monkes wyll praye for me so bytterlye,
That I shall not come in helle, nor in purgatorye.
In the popes kychyne the scullyons shall not brawle,
Nor fyght for my grese. If the priestes woulde for me yawle,
And grunt a good pace placebo with requiem masse,
2095Without muche tarryaunce I shulde to paradyse passe,
Where I myght be sure to make good cheare and be myrye,
For I can not awaye with that whoreson purgatorye.
SEDYSYON. To kepe the from thens thu shalt have five monkes syngynge
In Swynsett abbeye, so longe as the worlde is durynge:
2100They wyll daylye praye for the sowle of father Symon,
A Cisteane monke whych poysened Kynge John.
DYSSYMULACYON. Whan the worlde is done, what helpe shall I have than?
SEDYSYON. Than shyft for thy self so wele as ever thu can.
DYSSYMULACYON. Cockes sowle, he cometh here. Assoyle me that I were gone then.
2105SEDYSYON. Ego absolvo te in nomine papæ, amen.
KYNGE JOHAN. No prince in the worlde in suche captivyte
As I am thys howre, and all for ryghteousnesse.
2110Agaynst me I have both the lordes and commynalte,
Byshoppes and lawers, whych in their cruell madnesse
Hath brought in hyther the Frenche kynges eldest sonne Lewes.
The chaunce unto me is not so dolourrouse,
But my lyfe thys daye is muche more tedyouse.
2115More of compassyon for shedynge of Christen blood,
Than any thynge els. My sceptre I gave up latelye
To the Pope of Rome, whych hath no tytle good
Of jurisdycyon, but of usurpacyon onlye,
And now to the Lorde I woulde resygne up gladlye
Flectit genua.
Both my crowne and lyfe, for thyne owne ryght it is,
If it would please the to take my sowle to thy blys.
ENGLANDE. Sir, discomfort ye not: in the honour of Christe Jesu
God wyll never fayle yow, intendynge not els but vertu.
2125KYNGE JOHAN. The anguysh of sprete so pangeth me every where
That incessantly I thyrst tyll I be there.
ENGLANDE. Sir, be of good chere, for the pope hath sent a legate,
Whose name is Gualo, your foes to excommunycate;
Not only Lewes, whych hath wonne Rochestre,
2130Wynsore and London, Readynge and Wynchestre,
But so many els as agaynst ye have rebelled
He hath suspended and openly accursed.
KYNGE JOHAN. They are all false knaves; all men of them be ware:
They never left me tyll they had me in their snare.
2135Now have they Otto, the emproure, so wele as me,
And the French kynge, Phylypp, undre their captivyte.
All Christen princes they wyll have in their handes:
The pope and his priestes are poyseners of all landes.
All Christen people be ware of trayterouse pristes,
2140For of truthe they are the pernicyouse Antichristes.
ENGLANDE. Thys same Gualo, Sir, in your cause doth stoughtly barke.
KYNGE JOHAN. They are all nought, Englande, so many as weare that marke.
From thys habytacyon, swete Lorde, delyver me,
And preserve thys realme of thy benygnyte.
2145DYSSYMULACYON. Wassayle, wassayle out of the mylke payle,
Wassayle, wassayle, as whyte as my nayle,
Wassayle, wassayle in snowe froste and hayle,
Wassayle, wassayle with partriche and rayle,
Wassayle, wassayle that muche doth avayle,
2150Wassayle, wassayle that never wyll fayle.
KYNGE JOHAN. Who is that, Englande? I praye the stepp fourth and see.
ENGLANDE. He doth seme a farre some relygyous man to be.
DYSSYMULACYON. Now Jesus preserve your worthye and excellent grace,
2155For doubtlesse there is a very angelyck face.
Now forsoth and God, I woulde thynke my self in heaven,
If I myght remayne with yow but yeares alevyn.
I woulde covete here none other felicyte.
KYNGE JOHAN. A lovynge persone thu mayest seme for to be.
2160DYSSYMULACYON. I am as gentle a worme as ever ye see.
KYNGE JOHAN. But what is thy name, good frynde, I praye the tell me?
DYSSYMULACYON. Simon of Swynsett my very name is per dee.
I am taken of men for monastycall Devocyon,
And here have I brought yow a marvelouse good pocyon,
2165For I harde ye saye that ye were very drye.
KYNGE JOHAN. In dede I wolde gladlye drynke. I praye the come nye.
DYSSYMULACYON. The dayes of your lyfe never felt ye suche a cuppe,
So good and so holsome, if ye woulde drynke it upp:
It passeth malmesaye, capryck, tyre, or ypocras;
2170By my fay the I thynke a better drynke never was.
KYNGE JOHAN. Begynne, gentle monke: I pray the drynke half to me.
DYSSYMULACYON. If ye dronke all up, it were the better for ye.
It woulde slake your thirst and also quycken your brayne:
A better drynke is not in Portyngale nor Spayne,
2175Therfore suppe it of, and make an ende of it quycklye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Naye, thu shalte drynke half, there is no remedye.
DYSSYMULACYON. Good lucke to ye than! have at it by and bye:
Halfe wyll I consume, if there be no remedye.
KYNGE JOHAN. God saynt the, good monke, with all my very harte!
2180DYSSYMULACYON. I have brought ye half; conveye me that for your parte.
Where art thu, Sedicyon? by the masse I dye, I dye.
Helpe now at a pynche! Alas, man, cum awaye shortlye.
SEDYSYON. Come hyther apace, and gett thee to the farmerye;
2185I have provyded for the, by swete saynt Powle,
Fyve monkes that shall synge contynually for thy sowle,
That, I warande the, thu shalt not come in helle.
DYSSYMULACYON. To sende me to heaven goo rynge the holye belle,
And synge for my sowle a masse of Scala Celi,
2190That I maye clyme up aloft with Enoch and Heli:
I do not doubte it but I shall be a saynt.
Provyde a gyldar myne image for to paynt.
I dye for the Churche with Thomas of Canterberye:
Ye shall fast my vigyll and upon my daye be merye.
2195No doubt but I shall do myracles in a whyle,
And therfore lete me be shryned in the north yle.
SEDYSYON. To the than wyll offer both crypple, halte, and blynde,
Mad men and mesels, with such as are woo behynde.
2200KYNGE JOHAN. My bodye me vexeth: I doubt much of a tympanye.
ENGLANDE. Now, alas, alas! your grace is betrayed cowardlye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Where became the monke that was here with me latelye?
ENGLANDE. He is poysened, sir, and lyeth a dyenge surelye.
KYNGE JOHAN. It can not be so, for he was here even now.
2205ENGLANDE. Doubtlesse, sir, it is so true as I have tolde yow:
A false Judas kysse he hath gyven and is gone.
The halte, sore, and lame thys pitiefull case wyll mone.
Never prynce was there that made to poore peoples use
So many masendewes, hospytals and spyttle howses,
2210As your grace hath done yet sens the worlde began.
KYNGE JOHAN. Of priestes and of monkes I am counted a wycked man.
For that I never buylte churche nor monasterye,
But my pleasure was to helpe suche as were nedye.
ENGLANDE. The more grace was yours, for at the daye of judgment
2215Christe wyll rewarde them whych hath done hys commaundement.
There is no promyse for voluntarye wurkes,
No more than there is for sacrifyce of the Turkes.
KYNGE JOHAN. Doubtlesse I do fele muche grevaunce in my bodye.
ENGLANDE. As the Lorde wele knoweth, for that I am full sorye.
2220KYNGE JOHAN. There is no malyce to the malyce of the clergye:
Well, the Lorde God of heaven on me and them have mercye.
For doynge justyce they have ever hated me.
They caused my lande to be excommunycate,
And me to resygne both crowne and princely dygnyte,
2225From my obedyence assoylynge every estate;
And now last of all they have me intoxycate.
I perceyve ryght wele their malyce hath none ende:
I desyre not els but that they maye sone amende.
I have sore hungred and thirsted ryghteousnesse
2230For the offyce sake that God hath me appoynted,
But now I perceyve that synne and wyckednesse
In thys wretched worlde, lyke as Christe prophecyed,
Have the overhande: in me it is verefyed.
Praye for me, good people, I besych yow hartely,
2235That the Lorde above on my poore sowle have mercy.
Farwell noble men, with the clergye spirytuall,
Farwell men of lawe, with the whole commynalte.
Your disobedyence I do forgyve yow all,
And desyre God to perdon your iniquyte.
2240Farwell, swete Englande, now last of all to the:
I am ryght sorye I coulde do for the nomore.
Farwell ones agayne, yea, farwell for evermore.
ENGLANDE. With the leave of God I wyll not leave ye thus,
But styll be with ye tyll he do take yow from us,
2245And than wyll I kepe your bodye for a memoryall.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than plye it, Englande, and provyde for my buryall.
A wydowes offyce it is to burye the deade.
ENGLANDE. Alas, swete maistre, ye waye so heavy as leade.
Oh horryble case, that euer so noble a kynge
2250Shoulde thus be destroyed and lost for ryghteouse doynge,
By a cruell sort of disguysed bloud-souppers,
Unmercyfull murtherers, all dronke in the bloude of marters!
Report what they wyll in their most furyouse madnesse,
Of thys noble kynge muche was the godlynesse.
[Enter] VERYTE.
VERYTE. I assure ye, fryndes, lete men wryte what they wyll,
Kynge Johan was a man both valiaunt and godlye.
What though Polydorus reporteth hym very yll
2260At the suggestyons of the malicyouse clergye,
Thynke yow a Romane with the Romans can not lye?
Yes; therfore, Leylonde, out of thy slumbre awake,
And wytnesse a trewthe for thyne owne contrayes sake.
For hys valiauntnesse many excellent writers make,
2265As Sigebertus, Vincentius, and also Nauclerus,
Giraldus and Mathu Parys with hys noble vertues take;
Yea, Paulus Phrigio, Johan Major, and Hector Boethius.
Nothynge is allowed in hys lyfe of Polydorus
Whych discommendeth hys ponyshmentes for trayterye,
2270Advauncynge very sore hygh treason in the clergye.
Of hys godlynesse thus muche report wyll I:
Gracyouse provysyon for sore, sycke, halte and lame
He made in hys tyme, he made both in towne and cytie,
Grauntynge great lyberties for mayntenaunce of the same,
2275By markettes and fayers in places of notable name.
Great monymentes are in Yppeswych, Donwych and Berye,
Whych noteth hym to be a man of notable mercye.
The cytie of London, through his mere graunt and premye,
Was first privyleged to have both mayer and shryve,
2280Where before hys tyme it had but baylyves onlye.
In hys dayes the brydge the cytizens ded contryve.
Though he now be dead, hys noble actes are alyve,
Hys zele is declared, as towchynge Christes religyon,
In that he exyled the Jewes out of thys regyon.
NOBELYTE. Whome speake ye of, sir, I besyche ye hartelye?
VERYTE. I talke of Kynge Johan, of late your prynce most worthye.
NOBELYTE. Sir, he was a man of a very wycked sorte.
VERYTE. Ye are muche to blame your prynce so to reporte.
2290How can ye presume to be called Nobilyte,
Diffamynge a prynce in your malygnyte?
Ecclesiastes sayth, If thu with an hatefull harte
Misnamest a kynge, thu playest suche a wycked parte
As byrdes of ayer to God wyll represent,
2295To thy great parell and exceedynge ponnyshment.
Saynt Hierome sayth also that he is of no renowne,
But a vyle traytour, that rebelleth agaynst the crowne.
THE CLARGY. He speaketh not agaynst the crowne, but the man per dee.
VERYTE. Oh, where is the sprete whych ought to reigne in the?
2300The crowne of it selfe without the man is nothynge.
Learne of the Scriptures to have better undrestandynge.
The harte of a kynge is in the handes of the Lorde,
And he directeth it, wyse Salomon to recorde,
They are abhomynable that use hym wyckedlye.
2305THE CLARGY. He was never good to us, the sanctifyed Clergye.
VERYTE. Wyll ye know the cause, before thys worshypfull cumpanye?
Your conversacyon and lyves are very ungodlye.
Kynge Salomon sayth, Who hath a pure mynde,
Therin delyghtynge, shall have a kynge to frynde.
2310On thys wurde Cleros, whych signyfieth a lott,
Or a sortynge out into a most godly knott,
Ye do take your name, for that ye are the Lordes
Select, of hys wurde to be the specyall recordes.
As of saynt Mathias we have a syngular mencyon,
2315That they chose hym owt anon after Christes ascencyon.
Thus do ye recken; but I feare ye come of Clerus,
A very noyfull worme, as Aristotle sheweth us,
By whome are destroyed the honycombes of bees,
For poore wydowes ye robbe, as ded the Pharysees.
2320CYVYLL ORDER. I promyse yow it is uncharytably spoken.
VERYTE. Trouthe ingendereth hate: ye shewe therof a token.
Ye are suche a man as owght every where to see
A godly order, but ye loose yche commynalte.
Plato thowght alwayes that no hygher love coulde be
2325Than a man to peyne hymself for hys own countreye.
David for their sake the proude Philistian slewe:
Aioth mad Eglon hys wyckednesse to rewe.
Esdras from Persye for hys owne countreys sake
Came to Hierusalem their stronge holdes up to make.
2330But yow lyke wretches cast over both contreye and kynge:
All manhode shameth to see your unnaturall doynge.
Ye wycked rulers, God doth abhorre ye all;
As Mantuan reporteth in hys Egloges pastorall,
Ye fede not the shepe, but ever ye pylle the flocke,
2335And clyppe them so nygh that scarsely ye leve one locke.
Your judgementes are suche that ye call to God in vayne,
So longe as ye have yowr prynces in disdayne.
Chrysostome reporteth that nobilyte of fryndes
Avayleth nothynge, except ye have godly myndes.
2340What profiteth it yow to be called spirytuall,
Whyls yow for lucre from all good vertues fall?
What prayse is it to yow to be called cyvylyte,
If yow from obedyence and godly order flee?
Anneus Seneca hath thys most provable sentence,
2345The gentyll free hart goeth never from obedyence.
CYVYLL ORDER. Sir, my bretherne and I woulde gladly knowe your name.
VERYTE. I am Veritas, that come hyther yow to blame
For castynge awaye of our most lawfull kynge:
Both God and the worlde detesteth your dampnable doynge.
2350How have ye used Kynge Johan here now of late?
I shame to rehearce the corruptyons of your state.
Ye were never wele tyll ye hym cruelly slayne,
And now, beynge dead, ye have hym styll in disdayne.
Ye have raysed up of hym most shamelesse lyes,
2355Both by your reportes and by your written storyes.
He that slewe Saul throwgh fearcenesse vyolent
Was slayne sone after at Davids just commaundement;
For bycause that Saul was anoynted of the Lorde:
The seconde of Kynges of thys beareth plenteouse recorde.
2360He was in those dayes estemed wurthie to dye
On a noynted Kynge that layed handes violentlye.
Ye are not ashamed to fynde fyve priestes to synge
For that same traytour that slewe your naturall kynge.
A trayterouse knave ye can set upp for a saynte,
2365And a ryghteouse kynge lyke an odyouse tyrant paynte.
I coulde shewe the place where you most spyghtfullye
Put out your torches upon hys physnomye.
In your glasse wyndowes ye whyppe your naturall kynges:
As I sayde afore, I abhorre to shewe your doynges.
2370The Turkes, I dare say, are a thowsande tymes better than yow.
NOBELYTE. For Gods love no more. Alas, ye have sayde ynough.
THE CLARGY. All the worlde doth knowe that we have done sore amys.
CYVYLL ORDER. Forgyve it us, so that we never heare more of thys.
VERYTE. But are ye sorye for thys ungodly wurke?
2375NOBELYTE. I praye to God else I be dampned lyke a Turke.
VERYTE. And make true promyse ye wyll never more do so?
THE CLARGY. Sir, never more shall I from true obedyence goo.
VERYTE. What say you, brother? I must have also your sentence.
CYVYLL ORDER. I wyll ever gyve to my prynce due reverence.
2380VERYTE. Well than, I doubt not but the Lorde wyll condescende
To forgyve yow all, so that ye mynde to amende.
Adewe to ye all, for now I must be gone.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Abyde, Veryte; ye shall not depart so sone.
2385Have ye done all thynges as we commanded yow?
VERYTE. Yea, most gracyouse prynce, I concluded the whole even now.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And how do they lyke the customs they have used
With our predecessours whome they have so abused,
Specyally Kynge Johan? thynke they they have done well?
2390VERYTE. They repent that ever they folowed sedicyouse counsell,
And have made promes they wyll amende all faultes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And forsake the pope with all hys cruell assaultes?
VERYTE. Whie do ye not bowe to Imperyall Majeste?
Knele and axe pardon for yowr great enormyte.
2395NOBELYTE. Most godly governour, we axe your gracyouse pardon,
Promysynge nevermore to maynteyne false Sedicyon.
THE CLARGY. Neyther Pryvate Welthe, nor yet Usurped Poure
Shall cause me disobeye my prynce from thys same houre.
False Dissymulacyon shall never me begyle,
2400Where I shall mete hym I wyll ever hym revyle.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I perceyve, Veryte, ye have done wele your part,
Refowrmynge these men: gramercyes with all my hart.
I praye yow take paynes to call our Commynalte
To true obedyence, as ye are Gods Veryte.
2405VERYTE. I wyll do it, sir; yet shall I have muche a doo
With your popish prelates, they wyll hunte me to and fro.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. So longe as I lyve they shall do yow no wronge.
VERYTE. Than wyll I go preache Gods wurde your commens amonge.
But first I desyre yow their stubberne factes to remytt.
2410IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I forgyve yow all, and perdon your frowarde wytt.
Omnes una. The heavenly Governour rewarde your goodnesse for it.
VERYTE. For Gods sake obeye, lyke as doth yow befall,
For in hys owne realme a kynge is judge over all,
By Gods appoyntment, and none maye hym judge agayne,
2415But the Lorde hymself: in thys the scripture is playne.
He that condempneth a kynge condempneth God without dought;
He that harmeth a kynge to harme God goeth abought.
He that a prynce resisteth doth dampne Gods ordynaunce,
And resisteth God in withdrawynge hys affyaunce.
2420All subjectes offendynge are undre the kynges judgement:
A kynge is reserved to the Lorde omnypotent.
He is a mynyster immedyate undre God,
Of hys ryghteousnesse to execute the rod.
I charge yow, therfore, as God hath charge me,
2425To gyve to your kynge hys due supremyte,
And exyle the pope thys realme for evermore.
Omnes una. We shall gladly doo accordynge to your loore.
VERYTE. Your grace is content I shewe your people the same.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Yea, gentle Veryte, shewe them their dewtye in Gods name.
2430To confyrme the tale that Veryte had now
The seconde of Kynges is evydent to yow.
The younge man that brought the crowne and bracelett
Of Saul to David, saynge that he had hym slayne,
David commaunded, as though he had done the forfett,
2435Strayght waye to be slayne: Gods sprete ded hym constrayne
To shewe what it is a kynges bloude to distayne.
So ded he those two that in the fyelde hym mett,
And unto hym brought the heade of Isboset.
Consydre that Christe was undre the obedyence
2440Of worldly prynces so longe as he was here,
And alwayes used them with a lowly reverence,
Payinge them tribute, all his true servauntes to stere
To obeye them, love them, and have them in reverent feare.
Dampnacyon it is to hym that an ordre breake
2445Appoynted of God, lyke as the Apostle speake.
No man is exempt from thys, Gods ordynaunce,
Bishopp, monke, chanon, priest, cardynall nor pope:
All they by Gods lawe to kynges owe their allegeaunce.
Thys wyll be wele knowne in thys same realme I hope.
2450Of Verytees wurdes the syncere meanynge I grope:
He sayth that a Kynge is of God immedyatlye;
Than shall never Pope rule more in thys monarchie.
THE CLARGY. If it be your pleasure we wyll exyle hym cleane,
That he in thys realme shall nevermore be seane;
2455And your grace shall be the supreme head of the churche.
To brynge thys to passe, ye shall see how we wyll wurche.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Here is a nyce tale! he sayth, if it be my pleasure
He wyll do thys acte to the popes most hygh displeasure:
As who sayth I woulde for pleasure of my persone,
2460And not for Gods truthe have suche an enterpryse done.
Full wysely convayed: the crowe wyll not chaunge her hewe.
It is marvele to me and ever ye be trewe.
I wyll the auctoryte of Gods holy wurde to do it.
And it not to aryse of your vayne slypper wytt.
2465That scripture doth not is but a lyght fantasye.
THE CLARGY. Both Daniel and Paule calleth hym Gods adversarye,
And therfore ye ought as a devyll hym to expell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Knewe ye thys afore, and woulde it never tell?
Ye shoulde repent it, had we not nowforgyven ye.
2470Nobylyte, what say yow? Wyll ye to thys agree?
NOBELYTE. I can no lesse, sir, for he is wurse than the Turke,
Whych none other wayes but by tyrannye doth wurke.
Thys bloudy bocher with hys pernycyouse bayte
Oppresse Christen princes by frawde, crafte and dissayte,
2475Tyll he compell them to kysse hys pestylent fete,
Lyke a levyathan syttynge in Moyses sete.
I thynke we can do unto God no sacrifyce
That is more accept, nor more agreynge to justyce,
Than to slea that beaste and slauterman of the devyll,
2480That Babylon boore, whych hath done so muche evyll.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. It is a clere sygne of a true Nobilyte,
To the wurde of God whan your conscyence doth agree:
For as Christe ded saye to Peter, Caro et sanguis
Non revelavit tibi, sed Pater meus celestis:
2485Ye have not thys gyfte of carnall generacion,
Nor of noble bloude, but by Gods owne demonstracyon.
Of yow, Cyvyle Order, one sentence woulde I heare.
CYVYLL ORDER. I rewe it that ever any harte I ded hym beare.
I thynke he hath spronge out of the bottomlesse pytt,
2490And in mennys conscyence in the stede of God doth sytt,
Blowynge fourth a swarme of grassopers and flyes,
Monkes, fryers and priestes, that all truthe putrifyes.
Of the Christen faythe playe now the true defendar,
Exyle thys monster and ravenouse devourar,
2495With hys venym wormes, hys adders, whelpes and snakes,
Hys cuculled vermyne that unto all myschiefe wakes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than in thys purpose ye are all of one mynde?
THE CLARGY. We detest the pope, and abhorre hym to the fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And ye are wele content to disobeye hys pryde?
2500NOBELYTE. Yea, and his lowsye lawes and decrees to sett asyde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than must ye be sworne to take me for your heade.
CYVYLL ORDER. We wyll obeye yow as our governour in Gods steade.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Now that ye are sworne unto me your pryncypall,
I charge ye to regarde the wurde of God over all,
2505And in that alone to rule to speake and to judge,
As ye wyll have me your socour and refuge.
THE CLARGY. If ye wyll make sure, ye must exyle Sedicyon,
False Dyssymulacyon, with all vayne superstycyon,
And put Private Welthe out of the monasteryes,
2510Than Usurped Power maye goo a birdynge for flyes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Take yow it in hande, and do your true dilygence:
Iche man for hys part; ye shall wante no assystence.
THE CLARGY. I promyse yow here to exyle Usurped Powre,
And yowr supremyte to defende yche daye and howre.
2515NOBELYTE. I promyse also out of the monasteryes
To put Private Welthe, and detect hys mysteryes.
CYVYLL ORDER. False Dissymulacyon I wyll hange up in Smythfylde,
With suche supersticion as your people hath begylde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than I trust we are at a very good conclusyon,
2520Vertu to have place, and vyce to have confusyon.
Take Veryte wyth ye for every acte ye doo,
So shall ye be sure not out of the waye to goo.
SEDICYON intrat.
SEDYSYON. [Sing] Pepe I see ye, I am glad I have spyed ye
2525NOBELYTE. There is Sedicyon: stand yow asyde a whyle,
Ye shall see how we shall catche hym by a wyle.
SEDYSYON. No noyse amonge ye? where is the mery chere,
That was wont to be with quaffynge of double bere?
The worlde is not yet as some men woulde it have.
2530I have bene abroade, and I thynke I have playde the knave.
CYVYLL ORDER. Thu canst do none other, except thu change thy wunte.
SEDYSYON. What myschiefe ayle ye that ye are to me so blunte?
I have sene the daye ye have favoured me, Perfectyon.
THE CLARGY. Thy selfe is not he, thu art of an other complectyon.
2535Sir, thys is the thiefe that first subdued Kynge John,
Vexynge other prynces that sens have ruled thys regyon,
And now he doth prate he hath played the knave,
That the worlde is not yet as some men woulde it have.
It woulde be knowne, sir, what he hath done of late.
2540IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. What is thy name, frynde, to us here intymate?
SEDYSYON. A sayntwary! a sayntwary! for Gods dere passion, a sayntwarye!
Is there none wyll holde me, and I have made so manye?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Tell me what thy name is? Thu playest the knave I trowe.
SEDYSYON. I am wyndelesse, good man, I have muche peyne to blowe.
2545IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I saye tell thy name, or the racke shall the constrayne.
SEDYSYON. Holy Perfectyon my godmother called me playne.
NOBELYTE. It is Sedicyon, God gyve hym a very myschiefe.
CYVYLL ORDER. Under heaven is not a more detestable thiefe.
SEDYSYON. By the messe ye lye: I see wele ye do not knowe me.
2550IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Ah, brother, art thu come? I am ryght glad we have the.
SEDYSYON. By bodye, bloude, bones, and sowle, I am not he.
THE CLARGY. If swearynge myghte helpe he woulde do wele ynough.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. He scape not our handes so lyghtly I warande yow.
THE CLARGY. Thys is that thiefe, Sir, that all Christendome hath troubled,
2555And the pope of Rome agaynst all kynges maynteyned.
NOBELYTE. Now that ye have hym, no more, but hange hym uppe.
CYVYLL ORDER. If ye so be content, it shall be done ere I suppe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Loo, the Clergye accuseth the, Nobylyte condempneth the,
And the lawe wyll hange the. What sayst now to me?
2560SEDYSYON. I woulde I were now at Rome at the sygne of the cuppe,
For heavynesse is drye. Alas, must I nedes clymbe uppe?
Perdon my lyfe, and I shall tell ye all,
Both that is past, and that wyll herafter fall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Aryse; I perdon the, so that thu tell the trewthe.
2565SEDYSYON. I wyll tell to yow suche treason as ensewthe.
Yet a ghostly father ought not to bewraye confessyon.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. No confessyon is but ought to discover treason.
SEDYSYON. I thynke it maye kepe all thynge save heresye.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. It maye holde no treason, I tell the verelye,
2570And therfore tell the whole matter by and bye.
Thu saydest now of late that thu haddest played the knave,
And that the worlde was not as some men woulde it have.
SEDYSYON. I coulde playe Pasquyll, but I feare to have rebuke.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. For utterynge the truthe feare neyther byshopp nor duke.
2575SEDYSYON. Ye gave injunctyons that Gods wurde myghte be taught;
But who observe them? full manye a tyme have I laught
To see the conveyaunce that prelates and priestes can fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And whie do they beare Gods wurd no better mynde?
SEDYSYON. For if that were knowne, than woulde the people regarde
2580No heade but their prynce: with the churche than were it harde;
Than shoulde I lacke helpe to maynteyne their estate,
As I attempted in the Northe but now of late,
And sens that same tyme in other places besyde,
Tyll my setters on were of their purpose wyde.
2585A vengeaunce take it, it was never well with me
Sens the cummynge hyther of that same Veryte;
Yet do the byshoppes for my sake vexe hym amonge.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Do they so in dede? well, they shall not do so longe.
SEDYSYON. In your parlement, commaunde yow what ye wyll,
2590The popes ceremonyes shall drowne the Gospell styll.
Some of the byshoppes at your injunctyons slepe,
Some laugh and go bye, and some can playe boo pepe.
Some of them do nought but searche for heretykes,
Whyls their priestes abroade do playe the scysmatykes.
2595Tell me in London how manye their othes discharge
Of the curates there, yet is it muche wurse at large.
If your true subjectes impugne their trecheryes,
They can fatche them in, man, for Sacramentaryes,
Or Anabaptystes: thus fynde they subtyle shyfte
2600To proppe up their kyngedome, suche is their wyly dryfte.
Get they false wytnesses, they force not of whens they be,
Be they of Newgate, or be they of the Marshallsee.
Paraventure a thousande are in one byshoppes boke,
And agaynst a daye are readye to the hooke.
2605IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Are those matters true that thu hast spoken here?
SEDYSYON. What can in the worlde more evydent wytnesse bere?
First of all consydre the prelates do not preache,
But persecute those that the holy scriptures teache:
And marke me thys wele, they never ponnysh for popery,
2610But the Gospell readers they handle very coursely;
For on them they laye by hondred poundes of yron,
And wyll suffer none with them ones for to common.
Sytt they never so longe, nothynge by them cometh fourthe
To the truthes furtherance that any thynge ys wourthe.
2615In some byshoppes howse ye shall not fynde a testament,
But yche man readye to devoure the innocent.
We lyngar a tyme and loke but for a daye
To sett upp the pope, if the Gospell woulde decaye.
THE CLARGY. Of that he hath tolde hys selfe is the very grounde.
2620IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Art thu of counsell in this that thu hast spoken?
SEDYSYON. Yea, and in more than that, if all secretes myght be broken.
For the pope I make so muche as ever I maye do.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I praye the hartely tell me why thu doest so?
SEDYSYON. For I perceyve wele the pope is a jolye fellawe,
2625A trymme fellawe, a ryche fellawe, yea and myry fellawe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. A jolye fellawe how dost thu prove the pope?
SEDYSYON. For he hath crossekeyes with a tryple crowne and a cope,
Trymme as a trencher, havynge his shoes of golde,
Ryche in hys ryalte and angelyck to beholde.
2630IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. How dost thu prove hym to be a fellawe myrye?
SEDYSYON. He hath pipys and belles with kyrye, kyrye, kyrye,
Of hym ye maye bye both salt, creame, oyle and waxe,
And after hygh masse ye may learne to beare the paxe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Yea, and nothynge heare of the pystle and the gospell?
2635SEDYSYON. No, Sir, by the masse, he wyll gyve no suche counsell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Whan thu art abroade where doest thy lodgynge take?
SEDYSYON. Amonge suche people as God ded never make:
Not only cuckoldes, but suche as folow the Popes lawes
In disgysed coates, with balde crownes lyke Jacke Dawes.
2640IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than every where thu art the popes altogyther.
SEDYSYON. Ye had proved it ere thys, if I had not chaunced hyther.
I sought to have served yow lyke as I ded Kynge John,
But that Veryte stopte me, the devyll hym poyson.
NOBELYTE. He is wurthie to dye and there were men nomore.
2645CYVYLL ORDER. Hange up the vyle knave, and kepe hym no longar in store.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Drawe hym to Tyburne: lete hym be hanged and quartered.
SEDYSYON. Whye, of late dayes ye sayde I shoulde not be so martyred.
Where is the pardon that ye ded promyse me?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. For doynge more harme thu shalt sone pardoned be.
2650Have hym fourth, Cyvyle Ordre, and hang hym tyll he be dead,
And on London brydge loke ye bestowe hys head.
CYVYLL ORDER. I shall see it done and returne to yow agayne.
SEDYSYON. I beshrewe your hart for takynge so muche payne.
Some man tell the pope, I besyche ye with all my harte,
2655How I am ordered for takynge the Churches parte,
That I maye be put in the holye letanye
With Thomas Beckett, for I thynke I am as wurthye.
Praye to me with candels, for I am a saynt alreadye.
O blessed saynt Partryck, I see the I verylye.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I see by thys wretche there hath bene muche faulte in ye:
Shewe your selves herafter more sober and wyse to be.
Kynge Johan ye subdued for that he ponnyshed treason
Rape, theft, and murther in the holye spirytualte:
2665But Thomas Beckett ye exalted without reason,
Because that he dyed for the Churches wanton lyberte,
That the priestes myght do all kyndes of inyquyte,
And be unponnyshed: Marke now the judgement
Of your ydle braynes, and for Gods love repent.
2670NOBELYTE. As God shall judge me I repent me of my rudenesse.
THE CLARGY. I am ashamed of my most vayne folyshenesse.
NOBELYTE. I consydre now that God hath for Sedicyon
Sent ponnyshmentes great: examples we have in Brute,
In Catilyne, in Cassius, and fayer Absolon,
2675Whome of their purpose God alwayes destytute,
And terryble plages on them ded execute
For their rebellyon. And therfore I wyll be ware,
Least his great vengeaunce trappe me in suche lyke snare.
2680THE CLARGY. I pondre also that sens the tyme of Adam
The Lorde evermore the governours preserved:
Examples we fynde in Noe and in Abraham,
In Moyses and David, from whome God never swerved.
I wyll therfor obeye least he be with me displeased.
2685Homerus doth saye that God putteth fourth hys shyelde
The prynce to defende whan he is in the fyelde.
CYVYLL ORDER. Thys also I marke: whan the priestes had governaunce
Over the Hebrues, the sectes ded first aryse
As Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essees, whych wrought muche grevaunce
2690Amonge the people by their most devylysh practyse,
Tyll destructyons the prynces ded devyse,
To the quyetnesse of their faythfull commens all,
As your grace hath done with the sectes papistycall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. That poynt hath in tyme fallen in your memoryes.
2695The Anabaptystes, a secte newe rysen of late,
The scriptures poyseneth with their subtle allegoryes,
The heades to subdue after a sedicyouse rate.
The cytie of Mynster was lost through their debate.
They have here begunne their pestilent sedes to sowe,
2700But we trust in God to increace they shall not growe.
THE CLARGY. God forbyd they shoulde, for they myght do muche harme.
CYVYLL ORDER. We shall cut them short if they do hyther swarme.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. The adminystracyon of a princes governaunce
Is the gifte of God and hys hygh ordynaunce,
2705Whome with all your power yow thre ought to support
In the lawes of God to all hys peoples confort.
First yow, the Clergye, in preachynge of Gods worde,
Than yow, Nobilyte, defendynge with the sworde,
Yow, Cyvyle Order, in executynge justyce.
2710Thus, I trust, we shall seclude all maner of vyce,
And after we have establyshed our kyngedome
In peace of the Lorde and in hys godly fredome,
We wyll confirme it with wholesom lawes and decrees,
To the full suppressynge of Antichristes vanytees.
Hic omnes rex osculatur.
Farwele to ye all; first to yow, Nobilyte,
Than to yow, Clergye, than to yow Cyvylyte;
And above all thynges remembre our injunctyon.
Omnes una. By the helpe of God yche one shall do hys functyon.
NOBELYTE. By thys example ye may see with your eyes
How Antichristes whelpes have noble princes used.
Agayne ye may see how they with prodigyouse lyes
And craftes uncomely their myschiefes have excused:
2725Both nature, manhode and grace they have abused,
Defylynge the lawe and blyndynge Nobilyte;
No Christen regyon from their abusyons free.
THE CLARGY. Marke wele the dampnable bestowynge of their masses,
With their foundacyons for poysenynge of their kynge;
2730Their confessyon driftes all other traytery passes:
A saynt they can make of the moste knave thys daye lyvynge,
Helpynge their market. And to promote the thynge
He shall do myracles; but he that blemysh their glorye
Shall be sent to helle without anye remedye.
2735CYVYLL ORDER. Here was to be seane what ryseth of Sedicyon,
And howe he doth take hys mayntenaunce and grounde
Of ydle persones, brought upp in supersticyon,
Whose daylye practyse is alwayes to confounde
Such as myndeth vertu and to them wyll not be bounde.
2740Expedyent it is to knowe their pestylent wayes,
Consyderynge they were so busye now of late dayes.
NOBELYTE. Englande hath a quene, thankes to the Lorde above,
Whych maye be a lyghte to other princes all
For the godly wayes whome she doth dayly move
2745To her liege people, through Gods wurde specyall.
She is that Angell, as saynt Johan doth hym call,
That with the Lordes scale doth marke out his true servauntes,
Pryntynge in their hartes his holy wourdes and covenauntes.
THE CLARGY. In Danyels sprete she hath subdued the papistes,
2750With all the ofsprynge of Antichristes generacyon;
And now of late dayes the sect of Anabaptistes
She seketh to suppresse for their pestiferouse facyon.
She vanquysheth also the great abhomynacyon
Of supersticyons, witchecraftes, and hydolatrye,
2755Restorynge Gods honoure to hys first force and bewtye.
CYVYLL ORDER. Praye unto the Lorde that hir grace may contynewe
The dayes of Nestor to our sowles consolacyon,
And that hir ofsprynge may lyve also to subdewe
The great Antichriste, with hys whole generacyon,
2760In Helias sprete to the confort of thys nacyon:
Also to preserve hir most honourable counsel,
To the prayse of God and glorye of the Gospell.
Thus endeth the .ij. playes of Kynge Johan.