Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse
Author: Various
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THIRD REX. Hail be Thou, Lord long looked for! I have brought Thee myrrh for mortality, In tokening Thou shalt mankind restore To life by Thy death upon a tree.

MARY. God have mercy, kings, of your goodness! By the guiding of the Godhead hither are ye sent. The prevision of my sweet Son your ways home redress, And ghostly reward you for your present! [As the KINGS go away, they say.]

FIRST REX. Sir kings, after our promise, Home by Herod I must needs go. SECOND REX. Now truly brethren, we can no less, But I am so for-watched I wot not what to do. THIRD REX. Right so am I; wherefore, I you pray, Let all us rest us awhile upon this ground. FIRST REX. Brethren, your saying is right well unto my pay. The grace of that sweet child save us all sound! [While they sleep the ANGEL appears.]

ANGEL. King of Taurus, Sir Jaspar, King of Araby, Sir Balthasar, Melchior, King of Aginar, To you now am I sent. For dread of Herod, go you west home; Into those parts when ye come down, Ye shall be buried with great renown; The Holy Ghost thus knowledge hath sent. [Exit.]

FIRST REX. Awake, sir Kings, I you pray! For the voice of an angel I heard in my dream. SECOND REX. That is full true that ye do say, For he rehearsed our names plain.

THIRD REX. He bade that we should go down by west, For dread of Herod's false betray. FIRST REX. So for to do it is the best; The Child that we have sought guide us the way!

Now farewell, the fairest, of shape so sweet! And thanked be Jesus of his sond, That we three together so suddenly should meet, That dwell so wide and in strange lond,

And here make our presentation Unto this King's Son, cleansed so clean, And to his Mother, for our salvation; Of much mirth now may we mean, That we so well have done this oblation.

SECOND REX. Now farewell, Sir Jaspar, brother, to you, King of Taurus, the most worthy! Sir Balthasar, also to you I bow, And I thank you both of your good company That we together have had. He that made us to meet on hill, I thank Him now, and ever I will; For now may we go without ill, And of our offering be full glad.

THIRD REX. Now sith that we must needly go, For dread of Herod that is so wroth, Now farewell brother, and brother also, I take my leave here at you both, This day on feet. Now He that made us to meet on plain, And offer to Mary in her jesayne, He give us grace in heaven again All together to meet. [They go out, and HEROD and his train occupy the pageant.]

NUNTIUS. Hail King, most worthiest in weed! Hail, maintainer of courtesy through all this world wide! Hail, the most mightiest that ever bestrode a steed! Hail, most manfullest man in armour man to abide! Hail in thine honour! These three kings that forth were sent, And should have come again before thee here present, Another way, lord, home they went, Contrary to thine honour.

HEROD. Another way! Out! out! out! Hath those false traitors done me this deed? I stamp! I stare! I look all about! Might I them take I should them burn at a gleed! I rend! I raw! and now run I wood! Ah! that these villain traitors hath marred this my mood! They shall be hanged if I may come them to! Here Herod rages in the pageant and in the street also.

Eh! and that kerne of Bethlehem, he shall be dead, And thus shall I fordo his prophecy.

How say you, sir Knights? is not this the best rede, That all young children for this should be dead, With sword to be slain? Then shall I Herod live in lede And all folk me doubt and drede, And offer to me both gold, riches and meed; Thereto will they be full fain.

FIRST MILES. My lord king, Herod by name, Thy words against my will shall be; To see so many young children die is shame, Therefore counsel thereto gettest thou none of me.

SECOND MILES. Well said, fellow, my truth I plight. Sir King, perceive right well you may, So great a murder to see of young fruit Will make a rising in thine own country.

HEROD. A rising? Out! out! out! [There Herod rages again and then saith thus:]

Out! villain wretches, haro upon you I cry! My will utterly look that it be wrought, Or upon a gallows both you shall die, By Mahound most mightiest, that me dear hath bought.

FIRST MILES. Now, cruel Herod, sith we shall do this deed, Your will needfully in this realm must be wrought; All the children of that age die they must need; Now with all my might they shall be upsought.

SECOND MILES. And I will swear here upon your bright swerd, All the children that I find, slain they shall be; That make many a mother to weep and be full sore aferd, In our armour bright when they us see.

HEROD. Now you have sworn, forth that ye go, And my will that ye work both by day and night, And then will I for fain trip like a doe; But when they be dead I warn you bring them before my sight. [HEROD and his train go away, and JOSEPH and MARY are, while asleep, addressed by an ANGEL.]

ANGEL. Mary and Joseph, to you, I say, Sweet word from the Father I bring you full right; Out of Bethlehem into Egypt forth go ye the way, And with you take the King, full of might, For dread of Herod's rede! JOSEPH. Arise up, Mary, hastily and soon; Our Lord's will needs must be done, Like as the angel us bade.

MARY. Meekly, Joseph, mine own spouse, Toward that country let us repair; At Egypt to some kind of house, God grant us His grace safe to come there! Here the women come in with their children, singing them; and MARY and JOSEPH go away clean.

FIRST WOMAN. I lull my child, wondrously sweet, And in mine arms I do it keep, Because that it should not cry. SECOND WOMAN. That Babe that is born in Bethlehem, so meek, He save my child and me from villainy!

THIRD WOMAN. Be still, be still, my little child! That Lord of lords save both thee and me! For Herod hath sworn with wordes wild That all young children slain they shall be.

FIRST MILES. Say ye, whither, wives, whither are ye away? What bear you in your arms needs must we see. If they be man-children, die they must this day, For at Herod's will all thing must be.

SECOND MILES. And I in hands once them hent, Them for to slay nought will I spare; We must fulfil Herod's commandement, Else be we as traitors and cast all in care.

FIRST WOMAN. Sir knights, of your courtesy, This day shame not your chivalry, But on my child have pity For my sake in this stead; For a simple slaughter it were to slo Or to work such a child woe, That can neither speak nor go, Nor never harm did.

SECOND WOMAN. He that slays my child in sight, If that my strokes on him may light, Be he squire or knight, I hold him but lost. See, thou false losenger, A stroke shalt thou bear me here, And spare for no cost.

THIRD WOMAN. Sit he never so high in saddle, But I shall make his brains addle, And here with my pot-ladle With him will I fight. I shall lay on him as though I wood were, With this same womanly gear; There shall no man steer, Whether that he be king or knight.

FIRST MILES. Who heard ever such a cry Of women that their children have lost? And greatly rebuking chivalry Throughout this realm in every coast, Which many a man's life is like to cost; For this great wreak that here is done I fear much vengeance thereof will come.

SECOND MILES. Eh! brother, such tales may we not tell; Wherefore to the king let us go, For he is like to bear the peril, Which was the causer that we did so. Yet must they all be brought him to, With wains and waggons fully freight; I trow there will be a careful sight. [They go to HEROD.]

FIRST MILES. Lo! Herod, King, here mayest thou see How many thousands that we have slain. SECOND MILES. And needs thy will fulfilled must be; There may no man say there-again. [Enter NUNTIUS.]

NUNTIUS. Herod, King, I shall thee tell All thy deeds is come to nought; This child is gone into Egypt to dwell. Lo! sir, in thine own land what wonders ben wrought!

HEROD. Into Egypt? alas for woe! Longer in land here I cannot abide; Saddle my palfrey, for in haste will I go, After yonder traitors now will I ride, Them for to slo. Now all men hie fast Into Egypt in haste! All that country will I taste Till I may come them to.

Finis ludi de tailors and shearmen.

This matter newly corrected by Robert Croo, the 14th day of March, finished in the year of our Lord God 1534, then being mayor Master Palmer; also Masters of the said Fellowship, Hugh Corbett, Randal Pinkard, and John Baggeley.

These songs belong to the Tailors' and Shearmen's Pageant. The first and the last the shepherds sing, and the second or middlemost the women sing.

Thomas Mawdycke, die decimo tertio Maii, anno domini millesimo quingentesimo nonagesimo primo. Praetor fuit civitatis Conventriae D. Matthaeus Richardson, tunc consules Johannis Whitehead et Thomas Cravener.


As I out rode this enderes night, Of three jolly shepherds I saw a sight, And all about their fold a star shone bright; They sang terli, terlow; So merrily the shepherds their pipes can blow.


Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child, By by, lully, lullay, thou little tiny child By by, lully, lullay!

O sisters two, How may we do, For to preserve this day This poor youngling, For whom we do sing By by, lully, lullay?

Herod the King, In his raging, Charged he hath this day His men of might, In his own sight All young children to slay,—

That woe is me, Poor child for thee, And ever mourn, and may, For thy parting, Neither say nor sing By by, lully, lullay.


Down from heaven, from heaven so high, Of angels there came a great company, With mirth and joy and great solemnity, They sang terli, terlow, So merrily the shepherds their pipes can blow.


[From JOHN SKOT's Editions, c. 1525.]


Here beginneth a treatise how the High Father of Heaven sendeth Death to summon every creature to come and give a count of their lives in this world, and is in manner of a moral play.

MESSENGER. I pray you all give your audience, And hear this matter with reverence, By figure a moral play. 'The summoning of Everyman' called it is, That of our lives and ending shows How transitory we be all day. This matter is wondrous precious, But the intent of it is more gracious And sweet to bear away. This story saith 'man, in the beginning Look well, and take good heed to the ending, Be you never so gay; Ye think sin in the beginning full sweet, Which in the end causeth thy soul to weep, When the body lieth in clay.' Here shall you see how fellowship and jollity, Both strength, pleasure, and beauty, Will fade from thee as flower in May; For ye shall hear how our heaven king Calleth every man to a general reckoning: Give audience, and hear what he will say.


GOD. I perceive here in my majesty How that all creatures be to me unkind, Living without dread in worldly prosperity. Of ghostly sight the people be so blind, Drowned in sin, they know me not for their God; In worldly riches is all their mind. They fear not my righteousness, that sharp rod; My law that I showed, when I for them died, They forget clean, and shedding of my blood so red. I hanged between two thieves, it cannot be denied, To get them life, I suffered to be dead; I healed their feet—with thorns hurt was my head— I could do no more than I did, truly. And now I see the people do clean forsake me; They use the seven deadly sins damnable; As pride, covetise, wrath, and lechery, Now in the world be made commendable; And thus they leave of angels the heavenly company. Every man liveth so after his own pleasure, And yet of their life they be not sure. I see the more that I them forbear The worse they are from year to year. All that liveth appaireth fast, Therefore I will in all the haste Have a reckoning of every man's person, For, and I leave the people thus alone In their life and wicked tempests, Verily they will become much worse than beasts, For now one would by envy another up eat; Charity they all do clean forget. I hoped well that every man In my glory should make his mansion, And thereto I had them all elect, But now I see that, like traitors deject, They thank me not for the pleasure that I to them meant, Nor yet for their being that I them have lent. I proffered the people great multitude of mercy, And few there be that asketh it heartily; They be so cumbered with worldly riches That needs on them I must do justice, On every man living without fear. Where art thou, Death, thou mighty messenger?

DEATH. Almighty God, I am here at your will, Your commandement to fulfil.

GOD. Go thou to Everyman And show him, in my name, A pilgrimage he must on him take, Which he in no wise may escape; And that he bring with him a sure reckoning, Without delay or any tarrying.

DEATH. Lord, I will in the world go run over all, And truly outsearch both great and small, Everyman I will beset that liveth beastly, Out of God's laws, and dreadeth not folly. He that loveth riches I will strike with my dart, His sight to blind, and from heaven depart, Except that alms-deeds be his good friend, In hell for to dwell, world without end. Lo, yonder I see Everyman walking! Full little he thinketh on my coming! His mind is on fleshly lusts, and his treasure, And great pain it shall cause him to endure Before the Lord, heaven king. Everyman, stand still! whither art thou going Thus gaily? Hast thou thy Maker forgot?

EVERYMAN. Why askest thou? Wouldest thou wot?

DEATH. Yea, sir, I will show you: In great haste I am sent to thee, From God out of his Majesty.

EVERYMAN. What! sent to me?

DEATH. Yea, certainly. Though thou hast forgot Him here, He thinketh on thee in the heavenly sphere, As, or we depart, thou shalt know.

EVERYMAN. What desireth God of me?

DEATH. That shall I shew thee: A reckoning he will needs have, Without any longer respite.

EVERYMAN. To give a reckoning longer leisure I crave; This blind matter troubleth my wit.

DEATH. On thee thou must take a long journey, Therefore thy book of count with thee thou bring— For turn again thou cannot by no way— And look thou be sure of thy reckoning; For before God shalt thou answer, and shew Thy many bad deeds, and good but a few— How thou hast sped thy life, and in what wise— Before the chief Lord of Paradise. Have ado that we were in that way, For wot thou well thou shalt make none attorney.

EVERYMAN. Full unready I am such reckoning to give, I know thee not; what messenger art thou?

DEATH. I am Death, that no man dreadeth, For every man I rest, and none spareth; For it is God's commandement That all to me should be obedient.

EVERYMAN. O Death, thou comest when I had thee least in mind! In thy power it lieth me to save; Yet of my good will I give thee, if ye will be kind, Yea, a thousand pound shalt thou have, And defer this matter till another day.

DEATH. Everyman, it may not be by no way: I set not by gold, silver, nor riches, Ne by pope, emperor, king, duke, ne princes; For, and I would receive giftes great, All the world I might get— All my custom is clean contrary; I give thee no respite; come hence and not tarry.

EVERYMAN. Alas! shall I have no longer respite? I may say Death giveth no warning. To think on thee it maketh my heart sick, For all unready is my book of reckoning. But twelve years, and I might have abiding, My counting book I would make so clear That my reckoning I should not need to fear; Wherefore, Death, I pray thee for God's mercy, Spare me, till I be provided of remedy.

DEATH. Thee availeth not to cry, weep, and pray, But haste thee lightly that thou were gone the journey, And prove thy friendes if thou can; For wot you well the tide abideth no man, And in the world each living creature, For Adam's sin, must die of Nature.

EVERYMAN. Death, if I should this pilgrimage take, And my reckoning surely make, Show me, for saint charity, Should I not come again shortly?

DEATH. No, Everyman; and thou be once there, Thou must never more come here, Trust me, verily!

EVERYMAN. Gracious God, in high seat celestial, Have mercy on me in this most need! Shall I have no company, from this vale terrestrial, Of mine acquaintance, that way me to lead?

DEATH. Yea, if any be so hardy That would go with thee, and bear thee company. Hie thee that thou were gone to God's Magnificence Thy reckoning to give before His presence! What! weenest thou thy life is given thee, And thy worldly goods also?

EVERYMAN. I had weened so, verily!

DEATH. Nay, nay! it was but lent thee; For as soon as thou art gone Another a while shall have it, and then go therefrom Even as thou hast done. Everyman, thou art mad! that hast thy wittes five, And here on earth will not amend thy life! For suddenly I do come!

EVERYMAN. Oh, wretched caitiff! whither shall I flee, That I might scape this endless sorrow? Now, gentle Death, spare me till to-morrow, That I may amend me With good advisement.

DEATH. Nay, thereto I will not consent, Nor no man will I respite, But to the heart suddenly I shall smite, Without any advisement. And now out of sight I will me hie; See thou make thee ready shortly, For thou may'st say this is the day That no man living may scape away.

EVERYMAN. Alas! I may well weep with sighes deep! Now have I no manner of company To help me in my journey, and me to keep; And also my writing is full unready. How shall I do now for to excuse me? I would to God I had never be gete! To my soul a great profit it had be, For now I fear pains huge and great. The time passeth—Lord, help, that all wrought! For though I mourn it availeth nought; The day passeth and is almost ago— I wot not well what to do— To whom were I best my complaint to make? What and I to Fellowship thereof spake, And showed him of this sudden chance? For in him is all mine affiance. We have in the world, so many a day, Been good friends in sport and play; I see him yonder certainly! I trust that he will bear me company; Therefore to him will I speak to ease my sorrow: Well met, good Fellowship, and good morrow!

FELLOWSHIP speaketh.

FELLOW. Everyman, good morrow! by this day, Sir, why lookest thou so piteously? If anything be amiss, I pray thee, me say, That I may help to remedy.

EVERYMAN. Yea, good Fellowship, yea, I am in great jeopardy!

FELLOW. My true friend, show to me your mind; I will not forsake thee unto my life's end— In the way of good company.

EVERYMAN. That is well spoken, and lovingly!

FELLOW. Sir, I must needs know your heaviness; I have pity to see you in any distress! If any have you wronged, ye shall revenged be, Though I on the ground be slain for thee, Though that I know before that I should die!

EVERYMAN. Verily, Fellowship, gramercy!

FELLOW. Tush! by thy thanks I set not a straw! Show me your grief, and say no more.

EVERYMAN. If I my heart should to you break, And then you to turn your mind from me, And would not me comfort, when you hear me speak, Then should I ten times sorrier be.

FELLOW. Sir, I say as I will do in deed.

EVERYMAN. Then be you a good friend at need! I have found you true here before.

FELLOW. And so ye shall evermore; For in faith, and thou go to hell I will not forsake thee by the way!

EVERYMAN. Ye speak like a good friend; I believe you well; I shall deserve it, and I may.

FELLOW. I speak of no deserving, by this day! For he that will say, and nothing do, Is not worthy with good company to go; Therefore show me the grief of your mind, As to your friend most loving and kind.

EVERYMAN. I shall show you how it is: Commanded I am to go a journey— A long way, hard and dangerous— And give a strait count, without delay, Before the high judge Adonay; Wherefore, I pray you, bear me company As ye have promised, in this journey.

FELLOW. That is matter indeed! promise is duty; But and I should take such a voyage on me, I know it well it should be to my pain; Also it maketh me afeard, certain. But let us take counsel here as we can, For your words would fear a strong man.

EVERYMAN. Why! ye said if I had need, Ye would me never forsake, quick ne dead, Though it were to hell, truly!

FELLOW. So I said, certainly; But such pleasures be set aside, the sooth to say, And also, if we took such a journey, When should we come again?

EVERYMAN. Nay, never again till the Day of Doom.

FELLOW. In faith, then will not I come there; Who hath you these tidings brought?

EVERYMAN. Indeed, Death was with me here.

FELLOW. Now, by God that all hath bought, If Death were the messenger, For no man that is living to-day I will not go that loathsome journey, Not for the father that begat me!

EVERYMAN. Ye promised me otherwise, pardie!

FELLOW. I wot well I said so, truly, And yet if thou wilt eat and drink and make good cheer, Or haunt to women, that lusty company, I would not forsake you while the day is clear, Trust me verily!

EVERYMAN. Yea, thereto ye would be ready, To go to mirth, solace, and play; Your mind to folly will sooner apply Than to bear me company in my long journey.

FELLOW. Nay, in good faith, I will not that way, But and thou wilt murder, or any man kill, In that I will help thee with a good will.

EVERYMAN. Oh, that is a simple advice, indeed! Gentle fellow, help me in my necessity! We have loved long, and now I need, And now, gentle Fellowship, remember me.

FELLOW. Whether ye have loved me or no, By Saint John I will not with thee go!

EVERYMAN. Yet, I pray thee, take the labour and do so much for me To bring me forward, for saint charity, And comfort me till I come without the town.

FELLOW. Nay, and thou would give me a new gown I will not one foot with thee go; But and thou had tarried I would not ha' left thee so. And as now, God speed thee in thy journey! For from thee I will depart as fast as I may.

EVERYMAN. Whither away, Fellowship? wilt thou forsake me?

FELLOW. Yea, by my fay; to God I betake thee!

EVERYMAN. Farewell, good Fellowship! for thee my heart is sore. Adieu! for I shall never see thee no more.

FELLOW. In faith, Everyman, farewell now at the end! For you I will remember that parting is mourning.

EVERYMAN. Alack! shall we thus depart indeed? Oh Lady, help! without any more comfort, Lo! Fellowship forsaketh me in my most need. For help in this world whither shall I resort? Fellowship here before with me would merry make, And now little sorrow for me doth he take. It is said, in prosperity men friends may find, Which in adversity be full unkind Now whither for succour shall I flee, Sith that Fellowship hath forsaken me? To my kinnesmen I will, truly, Praying them to help me in my necessity. I believe that they will do so, For kind will creep where it may not go. I will go say, for yonder I see them go: Where be ye now, my friends and kinnesmen?

KINDRED. Here be we now at your commandement: Cousin, I pray you, show us your intent In any wise, and do not spare.

COUSIN. Yea, Everyman, and us to declare If ye be disposed to go any whither, For wot ye well, we will live and die together.

KINDRED. In wealth and woe we will with you hold, For over his kin a man may be bold.

EVERYMAN. Gramercy! my friends and kinsmen kind: Now shall I show you the grief of my mind. I was commanded by a messenger, That is a high king's chief officer; He bade me go a pilgrimage to my pain, But I know well I shall never come again. Also I must give reckoning strait, For I have a great enemy that hath me in wait, Which intendeth me for to hinder.

KINDRED. What account is that which ye must render? That would I know.

EVERYMAN. Of all my works I must show, How I have lived and my dayes spent; Also of ill deeds that I have used In my time, sith life was me lent, And of all virtues that I have refused; Therefore, I pray you, go thither with me, To help to make mine account, for saint charity!

COUSIN. What! to go thither? is that the matter? Nay, Everyman, I had liefer fast, bread and water, All this five year and more.

EVERYMAN. Alas, that ever I was born! For now shall I never be merry If that you forsake me.

KINDRED. Ah, sir, what! ye be a merry man! Take good heart to you, and make no moan; But one thing I warn you—by Saint Anne, As for me, ye shall go alone!

EVERYMAN. My cousin, will you not with me go?

COUSIN. No, by our Lady! I have the cramp in my toe! Trust not to me, for so God me speed, I will deceive you in your most need!

KINDRED. It availeth not us to 'tice; Ye shall have my maid, with all my heart! She loveth to go to feasts, there to be nice, And to dance, and abroad to start; I will give her leave to help you in that journey, If that you and she may agree.

EVERYMAN. Now show me the very effect of your mind: Will you go with me or abide behind?

KINDRED. Abide behind? Yea, that will I, and I may, Therefore farewell, till another day!

EVERYMAN. How should I be merry or glad? For fair promises men to me do make, But when I have most need they me forsake. I am deceived—that maketh me sad.

COUSIN. Cousin Everyman, farewell now! For verily I will not go with you. Also of my own an unready reckoning I have to account, therefore I make tarrying. Now God keep thee! for now I go.

EVERYMAN. Ah, Jesus! is all come hereto? Lo! fair words maketh fools fain! They promise, and nothing will do, certain! My kinnesmen promised me faithfully For to abide with me steadfastly, And now fast away do they flee; Even so Fellowship promised me. What friend were best me of to provide? I lose my time here longer to abide. Yet in my mind a thing there is— All my life I have loved riches; If that my Good now help me might, It would make my heart full light. I will speak to him in this distress: Where art thou, my Goods and Riches?

GOODS. Who calleth me? Everyman? what! hast thou haste? I lie here in corners, trussed and piled so high, And in chests I am locked full fast, Also sacked in bags—thou mayst see with thine eye— I cannot stir; in packs low I lie. What would ye have? lightly me say.

EVERYMAN. Come hither, Good, in all the haste thou may, For of counsel I must desire thee.

GOODS. Sir, and ye in the world have trouble or adversity, Then can I help you to remedy shortly.

EVERYMAN. It is another disease that grieveth me; In this world it is not—I tell so— I am sent for, another way to go, To give a strait account general Before the highest Jupiter of all. And all my life I have had joy and pleasure in thee, Therefore, I pray thee, go with me; For peradventure thou mayest, before God Almighty, My reckoning help to clean and purify; For it is said, ever among, That money maketh all right that is wrong.

GOODS. Nay, Everyman, I sing another song! I follow no man in such voyages, For and I went with thee, Thou should'st fare much the worse for me; For because on me thou did set thy mind, Thy reckoning I have made blotted and blind, That thine account thou cannot make truly, And that hast thou for the love of me.

EVERYMAN. That would grieve me full sore, When I should come to that fearful answer. Up! let us go thither together!

GOODS. Nay, not so! I am too brittle, I may not endure; I will follow no man one foot, be thou sure.

EVERYMAN. Alas! I have thee loved, and had great pleasure All my life's days on good and treasure.

GOODS. That is to thy damnation, without leasing, For my love is contrary to the love everlasting; But if thou had me loved moderately, during, As to the poor to give part for me, Then shouldest thou not in this dolour be, Nor in this great sorrow and care.

EVERYMAN. Lo now! I was deceived or I was ware! And all I may wyte my spending of time.

GOODS. What! weenest thou that I am thine?

EVERYMAN. I had weened so.

GOODS. Nay, Everyman, I say no! As for a while I was lent thee, A season thou hast had me in prosperity. My conditions is man's soul to kill; If I save one, a thousand I do spill. Weenest thou that I will follow thee From this world? nay, verily!

EVERYMAN. I had weened otherwise.

GOODS. Therefore to thy soul Good is a thief; For when thou art dead, this is my guise— Another to deceive, in the same wise As I have done thee, and all to his soul's reprief.

EVERYMAN. Oh false Good, cursed thou be! Thou traitor to God, thou hast deceived me And caught me in thy snare!

GOODS. Marry! thou brought thyself in care, Whereof I am glad; I must needs laugh, I cannot be sad.

EVERYMAN. Ah, Good, thou hast had my heartly love! I gave thee that which should be the Lord's above. But wilt thou not go with me indeed? I pray thee truth to say.

GOODS. No, so God me speed! Therefore farewell, and have good day!

EVERYMAN. Oh, to whom shall I make my moan, For to go with me in that heavy journey? First Fellowship, he said he would with me go— His wordes were very pleasant and gay— But afterward he left me alone; Then spake I to my kinsmen, all in despair, And also they gave me wordes fair— They lacked no fair speaking— But all forsake me in the ending. Then went I to my Goods, that I loved best, In hope to have comfort, but there had I least, For my Goods sharply did me tell That he bringeth many in hell. Then of myself I was ashamed, And so I am worthy to be blamed: Thus may I well myself hate. Of whom shall I now counsel take? I think that I shall never speed Till that I go to my Good Deed, But alas! she is so weak That she can neither go nor speak, Yet will I venture on her now: My Good Deeds, where be you?

GOOD DEEDS. Here I lie, cold in the ground; Thy sins have me so sore bound That I cannot stir.

EVERYMAN. Oh, Good Deeds, I stand in fear! I must you pray of counsel, For help now should come right well.

GOOD DEEDS. Everyman, I have understanding That thou art summoned account to make Before Messias, of Jerusalem King; And you do by me, that journey with you will I take.

EVERYMAN. Therefore I come to you, my moan to make; I pray thee to go with me.

GOOD DEEDS. I would full fain, but I cannot stand, verily!

EVERYMAN. Why? is there anything on you fall?

GOOD DEEDS. Yea, sir; I may thank you of all. If ye had perfectly cheered me, Your book of account full ready now had be. Look! the books of your workes and deedes eke, Behold how they lie under the feet, To your soules heaviness!

EVERYMAN. Our Lord Jesus helpe me! For one letter herein can I not see.

GOOD DEEDS. There is a blind reckoning in time of distress.

EVERYMAN. Good Deeds, I pray you help me in this need, Or else I am for ever damned indeed; Therefore help me to make my reckoning Before the Redeemer of all thing, That King is, and was, and ever shall.

GOOD DEEDS. Everyman, I am sorry of your fall, And fain would I help you, and I were able.

EVERYMAN. Good Deeds, your counsel I pray you give me.

GOOD DEEDS. That shall I do, verily! Though that on my feet I may not go, I have a sister, that shall with you also, Called Knowledge, which shall with you abide, To help you to make that dreadful reckoning.

KNOWLEDGE. Everyman, I will go with thee and be thy guide, In thy most need to go by thy side.

EVERYMAN. In good condition I am now in everything And am wholly content with this good thing: Thanked be God, my Creator!

GOOD DEEDS. And when he hath brought thee there Where thou shalt heal thee of thy smart, Then go thou with thy reckoning and thy good deeds together, For to make thee joyful at the heart, Before the Blessed Trinity.

EVERYMAN. My good Deeds, I thank thee heartily; I am well content, certainly, With your wordes sweet.

KNOWLEDGE. Now go we thither, lovingly, To confession, that cleansing river.

EVERYMAN. For joy I weep! I would we were there! But I pray you to instruct me by intellection, Where dwelleth that holy virtue, Confession?

KNOWLEDGE. In the house of salvation; We shall find him, in that place, That shall us comfort, by God's grace. Lo! this is Confession; kneel down and ask mercy, For he is in good conceit with God Almighty.

EVERYMAN. Oh glorious fountain, that all uncleanness doth clarify, Wash from me the spots of vices unclean, That on me no sin may be seen! I come with Knowledge, for my redemption, Redeemed with heart, and full of contrition; For I am commanded a pilgrimage to take, And great accounts before God to make. Now I pray you, Shrift, mother of salvation, Help my Good Deeds, for my piteous exclamation!

CONFESSION. I know your sorrow well, Everyman; Because with Knowledge ye come to me I will you comfort, as well as I can, And a precious jewel I will give thee, Called penance, voider of adversity; Therewith shall your body chastised be, With abstinence, and perseverance in God's service. Here shall you receive that scourge of me Which is penance strong, that ye must endure, To remember thy Saviour was scourged for thee With sharp scourges, and suffered it patiently. So must thou, or thou scape that painful pilgrimage: Knowledge, keep him in this voyage, And by that time Good Deeds will be with thee; But in any wise be sure of mercy— For your time draweth fast—and ye will saved be; Ask God mercy and He will grant, truly. When with the scourge of penance man doth him bind, The oil of forgiveness then shall he find.

EVERYMAN. Thanked be God for His gracious work! For now I will my penance begin: This hath rejoiced and lighted my heart, Though the knots be painful and hard within.

KNOWLEDGE. Everyman, your penance look that ye fulfil, What pain that ever it to you be, And Knowledge will give you counsel at will, How your accounts ye shall make clearly.

EVERYMAN. Oh eternal God! Oh heavenly figure! O way of righteousness! Oh goodly vision! Which descended down in a virgin pure, Because He would every man to redeem, Which Adam forfeited by his disobedience; Oh blessed Godhead elect and high divine, Forgive me my grievous offence! Here I cry thee mercy in this presence. Oh Ghostly treasure! O Ransomer and Redeemer Of all the world! Hope and Conductor! Mirror of joy and Founder of mercy, Which illumineth heaven and earth thereby, Hear my clamorous complaint, though it late be! Receive my prayers, of thy benignity! Though I be a sinner most abominable, Yet let my name be written in Moses' table! Oh Mary! pray to the Maker of all thing, Me for to help at my ending! And save me from the power of my enemy, For death assaileth me strongly; And, Lady, that I may by means of thy prayer, Of thy Son's glory to be partaker, By the means of His Passion, I it crave: I beseech you, help my soul to save! Knowledge, give me the scourge of penance; My flesh therewith shall give a quittance— I will now begin, if God give me grace.

KNOWLEDGE. Everyman, God give you time and space! Thus I bequeath you in the hands of our Saviour; Thus may you make your reckoning sure.

EVERYMAN. In the name of the Holy Trinity, My body sore punished shall be! Take this, body, for the sin of the flesh, Also thou delightest to go gay and fresh, And in way of damnation thou did me bring, Therefore suffer now strokes and punishing! Now of penance I will wade the water clear, To save me from hell and from the fire.

GOOD DEEDS. I thank God, now I can walk and go! I am delivered of my sickness and woe; Therefore with Everyman I will go, and not spare; His good works I will help him to declare.

KNOWLEDGE. Now, Everyman, be merry and glad! Your Good Deeds do come, ye may not be sad. Now is your Good Deeds whole and sound, Going upright upon the ground.

EVERYMAN. My heart is light, and shall be evermore: Now will I smite faster than I did before.

GOOD DEEDS. Everyman, pilgrim, my special friend, Blessed be thou without end! For thee is prepared the eternal glory. Ye have me made whole and sound, Therefore I will abide with thee in every stound.

EVERYMAN. Welcome, my Good Deeds! now I hear thy voice I weep for very sweetness of love.

KNOWLEDGE. Be no more sad, but ever more rejoice; God seeth thy living in His throne above. Put on this garment to thy behove, Which with your tears is now all wet, Lest before God it be unsweet When you to your journey's end come shall.

EVERYMAN. Gentle Knowledge, what do ye it call?

KNOWLEDGE. It is the garment of sorrow— From pain it will you borrow— Contrition it is, That getteth forgiveness, It pleaseth God passing well.

GOOD DEEDS. Everyman, will you wear it for your heal?

EVERYMAN. Now blessed be Jesu, Mary's Son! For now have I on true contrition; And let us go now without tarrying. Good Deeds, have we clear our reckoning?

GOOD DEEDS. Yea, indeed, I have it here.

EVERYMAN. Then I trust we need not fear. Now friends, let us not part in twain.

KINDRED. Nay, Everyman, that will we not, certain!

GOOD DEEDS. Yet must thou lead with thee Three persons of great might.

EVERYMAN. Who should they be?

GOOD DEEDS. Discretion and Strength they hight, And thy Beauty may not abide behind.

KNOWLEDGE. Also ye must call to mind Your five wits, as for your councillors.

GOOD DEEDS. You must have them ready at all hours.

EVERYMAN. How shall I get them hither?

KINDRED. You must call them all together, And they will hear you, incontinent.

EVERYMAN. My friends, come hither and be present! Discretion, Strength, my Five Wits, and Beauty!

BEAUTY. Here are your will me be ready; What would ye that we should do?

GOOD DEEDS. That ye would with Everyman go, And help him in his pilgrimage. Advise you—will ye with him or not, in that voyage?

STRENGTH. We will bring him all thither, To his help and comfort, ye may believe me.

DISCRETION. So will we go with him all together.

EVERYMAN. Almighty God, loved may thou be! I give thee laud that I have hither brought Strength, Discretion, Beauty, and Five Wits,—lack I nought— And my Good Deeds, with Knowledge clear, All be in company at my will here; I desire no more to my business.

STRENGTH. And I, Strength, will stand by you in distress, Though thou wouldest in battle fight on the ground.

FIVE WITS. And though it were through the world round, We will not depart, for sweet nor sour.

BEAUTY. No more will I, unto death's hour, Whatsoever thereof befall.

DISCRETION. Everyman, advise you first of all; Go with a good advisement and deliberation. We all give you virtuous monition.

EVERYMAN. That all shall be well. My friendes, hearken what I will tell: I pray God reward you in His heavenly sphere! Now hearken, all that be here, For I will make my testament Here before you all present. In alms half my goods I will give with my handes twain In the way of charity, with good intent; And the other half still shall remain In quiet, to be returned there it ought to be. This I do in despite of the fiend of hell, To go quite out of his peril, Ever after and this day.

KNOWLEDGE. Everyman, hearken what I say: Go to priesthood, I you advise, And receive of him, in any wise, The Holy Sacrament and ointment together; Then shortly see ye turn again hither: We will all abide you here.

FIVE WITS. Yea, Everyman, hie you that ye ready were There is no emperor, king, duke, ne baron, That of God hath commission, As hath the least priest in the world being; For of the Blessed Sacraments, pure and benign, He beareth the keys and thereof hath he cure; For man's redemption it is ever sure, Which God, for our soul's medicine, Gave us out of his heart with great pain. Here in this transitory life, for thee and me, The Blessed Sacraments Seven there be; Baptism, Confirmation, with Priesthood good, And the Sacrament of God's precious flesh and blood; Marriage, the Holy Extreme Unction, and Penance. These seven be good to have in remembrance, Gracious sacraments of high divinity.

EVERYMAN. Fain would I receive that Holy Body, And meekly to my ghostly father I will go.

FIVE WITS. Everyman, that is the best that ye can do: God will you to salvation bring, For good priesthood exceedeth all other thing. To us holy scripture they do teach, And converteth man from sin, heaven to reach. God hath to them more power given Than to any angel that is in heaven. With five words he may consecrate, God's body in flesh and blood to make, And handleth his maker between his hands. The priest bindeth and unbindeth all bands Both in earth and in heaven. Thou ministers all the sacraments seven— Though we kiss thy feet thou were worthy— Thou art surgeon that cureth sin deadly. No remedy we find under God But all only priesthood. Everyman, God gave priests that dignity, And setteth them in his stead, among us to be; Thus be they above angels in degree.

KNOWLEDGE. If priests be good, it is so surely; But when Jesus hung on the cross with great smart, There he gave, out of his blessed heart, The same sacrament, in great torment; He sold them not to us, that Lord omnipotent: Therefore Saint Peter the Apostle doth say, That Jesus' curse hath all they Which God their Saviour do buy or sell, Or they for any money do take or tell. Sinful priests giveth the sinners example bad; Their children sitteth by other men's fires, I have heard, And some haunteth women's company, With unclean life, as lusts of lechery: These be with sin made blind.

FIVE WITS. I trust to God no such may we find! Therefore let us priesthood honour, And follow their doctrine for our souls' succour. We be their sheep, and they shepherds be, By whom we all be kept in surety. Peace! for yonder I see Everyman come, Which hath made true satisfaction.

GOOD DEEDS. Me-thinketh it is he indeed.

EVERYMAN. Now Jesus Christ be your alder speed! I have received the Sacrament for my redemption, And thou, mine Extreme Unction: Blessed be all they that counselled me to take it! And now, friends, let us go without longer respite— I thank God that ye have tarried so long— Now set, each of you, on this rod your hand, And shortly follow me: I go before there I would be; God be our guide!

STRENGTH. Everyman, we will not from you go Till ye have gone this voyage long.

DISCRETION. I, Discretion, will bide by you also.

KNOWLEDGE. And though this pilgrimage be never so strong, I will never part you from. Everyman, I will be as sure by thee As ever I did by Judas Macchabe.

EVERYMAN. Alas! I am so faint I may not stand! My limbs under me do fold. Friends, let us not turn again to this land, Not for all the worldes gold; For into this cave must I creep, And turn to the earth, and there to sleep.

BEAUTY. What! into this grave, alas!?

EVERYMAN. Yea, there shall you consume, more and less.

BEAUTY. And what! should I smother here?

EVERYMAN. Yea, by my faith, and never more appear. In this world live no more we shall. But in heaven, before the highest Lord of all.

BEAUTY. I cross out all this—adieu, by Saint John! I take my cap in my lap and am gone.

EVERYMAN. What, Beauty! whither will ye?

BEAUTY. Peace! I am deaf! I look not behind me! Not and thou would give me all the gold in thy chest.

EVERYMAN. Alas! whereto may I trust? Beauty goeth fast away and from me; She promised with me to live and die.

STRENGTH. Everyman, I will thee also forsake and deny; Thy game liketh me not at all.

EVERYMAN. Why! then ye will forsake me all! Sweet Strength, tarry a little space.

STRENGTH. Nay, sir, by the Rood of Grace! I will hie me from thee fast, Though thou weep till thy heart brast.

EVERYMAN. Ye would ever bide by me, ye said.

STRENGTH. Yea, I have you far enough conveyed: Ye be old enough, I understand, Your pilgrimage to take on hand— I repent me that I hither came.

EVERYMAN. Strength, you to displease I am to blame; Will you break promise, that is debt?

STRENGTH. In faith I care not. Thou art but a fool to complain— You spend your speech and waste your brain— Go, thrust thee into the ground!

EVERYMAN. I had weened surer I should you have, found: He that trusteth in his Strength, She him deceiveth at the length. Both Strength and Beauty forsaketh me, Yet they promised me, fair and lovingly.

DISCRETION. Everyman, I will after Strength be gone; As for me, I will leave you alone.

EVERYMAN. Why Discretion, will ye forsake me?

DISCRETION. Yea, in faith, I will go from thee, For when Strength goeth before I follow after, evermore.

EVERYMAN. Yet I pray thee, for the love of the Trinity Look in my grave once piteously!

DISCRETION. Nay, so nigh I will not come! Farewell, everyone!

EVERYMAN. Oh, all thing faileth save God alone— Beauty, Strength, and Discretion— For when Death bloweth his blast They all run from me full fast.

FIVE WITS. Everyman, of thee now my leave I take; I will follow the others, for here I thee forsake.

EVERYMAN. Alas! then may I wail and weep. For I took you for my best friend!

FIVE WITS. I will no longer thee keep; Now farewell, and there an end!

EVERYMAN. Oh Jesus, help! all hath forsaken me.

GOOD DEEDS. Nay, Everyman, I will bide with thee; I will not forsake thee, indeed— Thou shalt find me a good friend at need.

EVERYMAN. Gramercy, Good Deeds! now may I true friends see! They have forsaken me, everyone; I loved them better than my Good Deeds alone. Knowledge will ye forsake me also?

KNOWLEDGE. Yea, Everyman, when ye to death do go, But not yet, for no manner of danger.

EVERYMAN. Gramercy, Knowledge with all my heart!

KNOWLEDGE. Nay, yet I will not from hence depart Till I see where ye shall become.

EVERYMAN. Me-thinketh, alas, that I must be gone To make my reckoning, and my debtes pay, For I see my time is nigh spent away. Take example, all ye that this do hear or see, How they that I loved best do forsake me, Except my Good Deeds, that bideth truly.

GOOD DEEDS. All earthly thing is but vanity: Beauty, Strength, and Discretion do man forsake— Foolish friends and kinsmen that fair spake— All fleeth save Good Deeds, and that am I.

EVERYMAN. Have mercy on me, God most mighty! And stand by me, thou mother and maid, Holy Mary!

GOOD DEEDS. Fear not, I will speak for thee.

EVERYMAN. Here I cry God mercy!

GOOD DEEDS. Short our end and minish our pain! Let us go and never come again.

EVERYMAN. Into thy hands, Lord, my soul I commend! Receive it, Lord, that it be not lost: As thou me boughtest so me defend, And save me from the fiendes boast, That I may appear with that blessed host That shall be saved at the Doom, (In manus tuas) of mightes most, For ever (commendo spiritum meum).

KNOWLEDGE. Now hath he suffered that we all shall endure; The Good Deeds shall make all sure. Now hath he made ending— Me-thinketh that I hear angels sing, And make great joy and melody, Where Everyman's soul shall received be.

ANGEL. Come excellent elect spouse to Jesu! Here above thou shalt go Because of thy singular virtue. Now thy soul is taken thy body fro, Thy reckoning is crystal clear. Now shalt thou into the heavenly sphere, Unto the which all ye shall come That liveth well, before the day of Doom.

DOCTOR. This memorial men may have in mind: Ye hearears, take it of worth, old and young, And forsake pride, for he deceiveth you in the end; And remember beauty, five wits, strength and discretion, They all at the last do every man forsake, Save his good deeds, there doth he take. But beware! for and they be small, Before God he hath no help at all. None excuse may be there for every man, Alas! how shall he do then? For after death amends may no man make. For then mercy and pity doth him forsake. If his reckoning be not clear when he do come, God will say (ite maledicti in ignem eternum) And he that hath his account whole and sound, High in heaven he shall be crowned. Unto the which place God bring us all thither, That we may live, body and soul, together. Thereto help the Trinity! Say ye, for Saint Charity, Amen!

Pleadings in A Theatrical Lawsuit.


[From the Records of the Court of Requests.]

Pleadings in a Theatrical Lawsuit.

From the Records of the Court of Requests.


Court of Requests.

c. 1530.


Humbly complaineth unto your gracious Highness your poor orator and humble subject John Rastell, that where your said orator delivered to one Henry Walton certain parcels of stuff and goods to the value of 20 marks, safely to keep to the use of your said orator, that is to say, a player's garment of green sarcenet lined with red tuke and with roman letters stitched upon it of blue and red sarcenet, and another garment paned with blue and green sarcenet lined with red buckram, and another garment paned likewise and lined as the other, with a cape furred with white cats, and another garment paned with yellow, green, blue, and red sarcenet, and lined with red buckram. Another garment for a priest to play in, of red Say, and a garment of red and green Say, paned and guarded with gold skins, and fustians of Naples black, and sleeved with red, green, yellow, and blue sarcenet. And another garment, spangled, of blue satin of Bruges, and lined with green sarcenet. Also two old short garments, paned of satin Bruges and of sarcenet of divers colours in the bodies. Also a woman's garment of green and blue sarcenet, chequered and lined with red buckram, also two caps of yellow and red sarcenet, and two curtains of green and yellow sarcenet. Also two long broad pieces of blue linen cloth, with lyre in them. Also three pieces of open silvered linen cloths; also one long broad piece of red buckram. Which said stuff and goods the said Walton promised to deliver again to your said orator, whensoever he should be by your said orator thereto required. Which said stuff and goods, after the said delivery to him made, the said Walton occupied at his pleasure, by the space of half a year and more, during the time that your said orator was in the parts beyond the sea, in France. After whose coming home your said orator demanded of the said Walton relivery of the said stuff and goods, to whom the said Walton answered and said that he would bring him home the said goods and stuff, yet that notwithstanding he brought to him no part thereof, but drove him forth from time to time, by the space of two or three weeks, during which time the said Walton, unknown to your said orator, which was every day continually in the said city, and constantly in company with the said Walton, craftily, falsely, by the subtle advice and counsel of a clerk of the Mayor's Court in the City of London, and by a Sergeant of the same Court, entered a false feigned plaint, put in bill in the said Court, against your said orator, supposing that your said orator should owe to the said Walton 40 shillings stirling, wherein indeed your said orator owed him never a penny, and by the custom of the said City made attachment of the said goods and stuff being in his own hands, and caused that one John Wilkinson, plasterer, and one Thomas Curtis, were assigned to be pricers; which Wilkinson, at the request and desire of the said Henry, priced the said goods and stuff but to the value of 35s. 9d., which goods and stuff at that time were well worth 20 marks and above. Upon which pricement the said Henry had judgement to recover the said goods and stuff, for the which your said orator can never have remedy by course of the common law; and though your said orator within the year did put in surety to answer to the said plaint and bill, and to disprove the said action, yet your said orator could never, nor shall never by the order of the common law, there recover again the said stuff and goods, but shall recover no more for them but only the sum wherefor they were priced, which is but 35s. 9d. as is before said; and so hath and shall, by such falsehood, subtlety, and design of the said Walton, and of the said Wilkinson and Curtis which were pricers, lose 11 or 12 pounds or above, and is without remedy therefore for ever, except your gracious Highness be showed to him in this behalf. In consideration whereof it may please your Grace and your most honourable Council to command one of your officers of arms to go to the said Henry Walton and to the said John Wilkinson and Thomas Curtis, and to command them in your name to appear before your Grace and your honourable Council at Westminster, there to answer to the premises and there to be directed according to right and good conscience; and your said orator and subject shall daily pray for the preservation of your Royal estate, long to endure.



The answer of HENRY WALTON to the Bill of Complaint of JOHN RASTELL gentleman.

The said Henry Walton by protestation saith, that the said goods in the bill of complaint of the said John Rastell mentioned, be not of so great value as in his said bill of complaint is supposed. And saith that the said bill of complaint is uncertain, and insufficient in the law to be answered unto, and the matter therein contained feigned and craftily imagined, to the intent to put the said Henry Walton to great costs and expenses. Nevertheless, for answer and declaration of the truth, the said defendant saith that it appeareth by the bill of the said complainant that he hath no cause of action in this honourable court, for it appeareth by his bill of complaint that the said goods be recovered in the King's Court holden before the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, according to the custom of the said City. And further, the defendant saith that he brought an action of debt against the said John Rastell of 40s. in the said court; and he, the said Henry Walton, having in his own keeping the said goods in the said bill of complaint supposed, attached them in his own hands, according to the custom of the said City; which goods were afterwards, by the commandment of the said court, by the said John Wilkinson and Thomas Curtis, were praised at 35s. 9d. And where the said John Rastell, in his said bill of complaint, saith that the goods aforesaid were praised much under their value, the said Henry Walton saith that they were praised to as much as they at the time of the praisement were worth. And where the said complainant in his said bill of complaint saith that he oweth not the said defendant the said 40s. and is without remedy, the said Henry Walton will aver that the said John Rastell oweth him the said 40s. And also the said Henry saith that the said John Rastell might have come into the said court, holden before the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, within the year and the day according to the custom, and there to have put in sureties, and so to have dissolved the attachment, but hath suffered and s....psed his time. And the said Henry Walton shall aver that the said goods were of no more value than they were priced at, for they were rotten and torn players' garments. Without that that the said Henry Walton craftily or falsely, and by subtle advice of his counsel, commenced the said action against the said John Rastell, in manner and form as he in his said bill untruly hath alleged. And without that that anything being material or effectual in the said bill, otherwise than in the said answer of the said Henry, is alleged is true. And in as much as the said goods be lawfully recovered in the King's Court, holden before the Mayor and Aldermen in the City of London aforesaid, being a Court of Record, the which record cannot be undone without errer or attaint, therefore the said Henry Walton prayeth to be dismissed out of this honourable court, with his reasonable costs and expenses for his wrongful vexation, &c.


The replication of JOHN RASTELL to the Answer of HENRY WALTON.

The said John Rastell saith that his said bill is true, and certain, and sufficient to be answered unto, and matter determinable in this honourable court, and will aver everything to be true contained in the said bill of complaint; and that the said answer is uncertain and insufficient to be answered unto, and matter feighed and untrue. And further saith that the said John Rastell, as soon as he had knowledge that the said Walton had commenced the said action of debt of 40s. in the said Mayor's Court in London, the said Rastell came into the said court and there put in surety to the said action. Whereupon the said Walton declared against the said Rastell that the said Rastell should owe to the said Walton 40s., for that that the said Rastell confessed himself in the said City of London to owe to the said Walton 40s., to the which the said Rastell answered and tended his law, according to the custom of the said City, that he owed nothing to the said Walton in manner and form as the said Walton against him declared. Whereby the said Walton perceived that upon the said plea and tender his said action should be dissolved; demurred in law upon the same plea, which demurrer, what for lack that the Recorder of the said City and other Councillors can have no convenient time to argue the said matter, and also for lack that the counsel for the said Walton was not ready when the said matter of law should be argued, the said matter as yet doth depend there undiscussed. But yet the said John Rastell saith that if the said matter be discussed and judged for the said Rastell, as undoubtedly it will be, yet the said Rastell, by the custom of the said City, shall never recover again his said goods, nor stuff, but only 35s. 9d. for the said stuff, so that in the said court he hath no other remedy nor record to punish the said Walton nor the said praisers for their said deceit and falsehood in praising of the said goods and stuff at 35s. 9d., which were worth at that time 20 marks and above, as in the said bill of complaint is alleged; for the great part of the said goods were garments of silk and other stuff, fresh and newly made, with much workmanship done upon them, to the great cost and charge of your said orator, without that that the said goods were at the time of the said appraisement of no more value than they were praised at. And without that that they were gone rotten and torn players' garments, for the said Rastell saith that the said Walton hath letten them out to hire to divers stage-plays and interludes, and hath received and had for the hire of them since the said praisement of them the sum of 20 nobles and above. And without that that any other thing material or effectual in this said answer alleged necessary to be replied unto is true. All which matters your said orator is ready to prove and aver as this court will award, and prayeth as he prayed in his said bill.


The parcels confessed by Walton.

In primis. A player's garment of } green, lined with red tuke and } with Roman letters stitched upon } it, of blue and red sarcenet. } 8 yds. 22s.

FISHPOLE.—Item. One other garment, paned with } blue and green sarcenet, lined } with red buckram } 7 yds. 20s.

FISHPOLE.—Item. Another garment, paned } likewise, and lined as the } other, with a cape furred with } white cats } 7 yds. 20s.

FISHPOLE.—Item. Another garment, paned with } yellow, green, red, and blue } sarcenet, and lined with old } red buckram. } 8 yds. 22s.

Item. Another garment, for a priest } to play in, of red say. } 12 yds. 4s.

Item. A garment of red and green } say paned and guarded with } 12 yds. say, gold skins lined with red } and 7 yds. buckram. } buckram 8s.

Item. A short garment of gold skins } and fustian, of Naples black, } and sleeved with red, green, } yellow, and blue sarcenet }

Item. Another garment, spangled of } blue satin of Bruges, and } 20s. it hath lined with green sarcenet } cost Rastell.

Item. Two old short garments, paned } of satin of Bruges, and of } sarcenet of divers colours in } the bodies } 20s.

Item. A woman's garment, of green } and blue sarcenet, checked and } lined with red buckram } 24s.

Item. Two caps, of yellow and red } sarcenet } 3s. 4d.

Item. Two curtains, of green and } yellow sarcenet } 20 yds. 1s.

Item. Two pieces of blue linen cloth } with lyre in them } 67 yds.15s.

Item. Three pieces of old silvered } linen cloths } 10s.

Item. An old remnant of red buckram, } that was in a box in my Lord } 30 yds. Cardinal's great chamber } 6s. 8d.

Interrogatories for Fishpole.

Im primis.—Whether Fishpole know any of the said garments.

Item. Whether Fishpole made the two long garments of sarcenet down to the ground, and one green gown to the fall of the leg, with wide sleeves of sarcenet, and whether every of them contained not 7 or 8 yards of sarcenet, and whether every of them were not better than 20s. apiece, and whether if such garments were made of new stuff, would not have cost almost twice as much money.

Item. Whether that Fishpole made not a woman's gown of sarcenet of small pieces, and whether it was not worth 20s. and better.

Item. Whether he made not two other garments with wide sleeves of small pieces, and whether they were not worth 20s. or a mark apiece.

Item. How long Fishpole was a-making of them, and whether he had not the while 4d. a day and meat and drink, and whether Rastell's wife hath holp him to sew them.

Item. Whether Walton hath not the same garments lent to him by Rastell, and whether Walton hath not continually this 4 year let them to hire for stage-plays and interludes, above 3 or 4 score times, and what he used to have for a stage-play, and what for an interlude, and how much money he hath won thereby.

Item. What the short spangled garment of blue satin of Bruges was worth, and what every other garment and piece was worth.


Interrogatory ex parte RASTELL.

Item. Whether about 3 or 4 years now past, about which time the King's great banquet was at Greenwich, which this deponent saw, the said garments were occupied there, some in divers stage-plays and interludes, by the letting to hire by Walton, as it was reported, and at that time they were fresh and new, and seemed little the worse for any wearing of them before.


Depositions for the part of JOHN RASTELL against HENRY WALTON.

[Deposition of WILLIAM FISHPOLE.]

William Fishpole of London, tailor, of the age of 60 years and above, sworn and examined upon his oath, saith that he made two long gowns down to the ground, of sarcenet, one of them of blue and yellow sarcenet, lined with red tuke or red buckram, whether of the same lining he now remembereth not, and another of green sarcenet, but whether it were lined or not he remembereth not now, which gowns coming to him in pieces contained in every piece 6 ells or thereabouts. And also he saith that if he should have bought out of the mercer's shop, every ell would have cost 6s.; and he saith that every gown was worth 20s. and above. And also he saith that he made a garment for a gallant with wide sleeves, the one side of red and yellow sarcenet, and the other side blue and red lined with red tuke or red buckram, which was a costly garment, better than 20s. And if they had been bought of new stuff it would have cost much more money. And also he saith he made a woman's gown of sarcenet, blue and yellow, as he remembereth, and it was made in quarrels or lozenges, he remembereth not whether, and was a busy work, and Mistress Rastell did help to sew that, and part of the gallant's gown also. And it was lined with red tuke or buckram and garnished with gold skins, as he remembereth, and it was better than 20s. and it was worth a noble the making. And how long he was in making of them he remembereth not, but he had 4d. by the day, meat and drink. And further he saith that he hath heard say, that the said Rastell lent to Walton the said garments, and that he used them in stage-plays. And further he saith that there was a short spangled garment of blue satin of Bruges, and was lined with green sarcenet, which was better than any of the other garments; which he made not, but every one of them, one with another, were better than 20s., and more he knoweth not herein.

(Signed) per me WILLIAM FISHPOLE.


[Deposition of GEORGE MAYLER.]

George Mayler of London, merchant tailor, of the age of 40 years, sworn and examined upon his oath, saith that he knew the said garments, but how many there be in number he remembereth not, for he hath occupied and played in them by the lending of Walton, and he saith they were worth 20s. apiece and better. And he saith he knoweth well that he lent them out about 20 times to stage-plays in the summer and interludes in the winter, and used to take at a stage-play for them and others, sometimes 40d., sometimes 2s., as they could agree, and at an interlude 8d. for every time. But how many times he perfectly knoweth not, but by estimation 20 times a year in interludes. And he saith that he hath seen the curtains of sarcenet, but how many ells they contained he knoweth not, but it was worth 40d. every ell, and he saith that he had buckram and tuke, but how many yards he knoweth not, but it was better than 2d. a yard; and further he saith that the summer when the King's banquet was at Greenwich, he saw the same garments occupied in divers stage-plays, and occupied part of them himself by the lending of other players that Walton had lent them to hire, which then were fresh and little worse for the wearing; and more he knoweth not.

(Signed) per me GEORGE MAYLER.


[Deposition of GEORGE BIRCH.]

George Birch of London, carrier, of the age of 32 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined saith, that he knew well a player's garment lined with red tuke and stitched with Roman letters upon it of blue and red sarcenet; another garment paned with blue and green sarcenet, lined with red buckram, and another garment paned with yellow, green, red, and blue sarcenet, lined with old red buckram; another garment spangled of blue satin of Bruges, lined with green sarcenet, and a woman's gown or garment of green and blue sarcenet, checked and lined with red buckram; in which garments this deponent and his company played in while they remained in the hands of the said Rastell. And he saith that every garment, one with another, were worth 20s., and that Walton did let out the same garments to hire to stage plays and interludes sundry times, but how many times he knoweth not. And further he saith that the common custom is at an interlude 8d. for the garments, and at a stage play as the parties can agree. And he saith if they had been made of new stuff they had been much more worth. And he saith he saw the curtains of sarcenet, but how many ells they were he knoweth not, but every ell was worth 3s. And further he saith that 3 or 4 years past, when the King's banquet was at Greenwich that summer, he saw the said garments played in 3 or 4 times, by the lending of the said Walton, and at that time they seemed fresh and good garments, and more he knoweth not.

(Signed) per me GEORGE BIRCH.


[Deposition of JOHN REDMAN.]

John Redman of London, stationer, of the age of 22 years, sworn and examined upon his oath, saith that he knew the said garments, but how many was of them he remembreth not; and this deponent played in the same divers times when Walton had them, but what they were worth he knoweth not, but they were little worse than new. And this deponent saith that he knoweth that the said Walton divers times lent them out, but what hire he had for them he knoweth not, neither in stage-play nor in interludes; but as to the 6 garments, that is to say 4 gowns of sarcenet, a woman's gown, and a spangled garment, they were good, fresh, and little the worse for the occupying when he knew them first in Walton's hands, and by estimation they were worth 20s. apiece, for they were lined and guarded part with gilt leather; and the curtains of silk were fresh and new; and there were garments of dornyke and saye, which he well remembereth, and more he cannot say.



The interrogatories of HENRY WALTON against JOHN RASTELL, whereupon witnesses to be examined.

First, whether the said John Rastell did owe any such sum of money as within the answer of the said Walton is alleged and submitted.

Item.—Whether the said Walton made lawful attachment of such goods as are comprised within the bill of complaint of the said John Rastell.

Item.—Whether the said goods were indifferently appraised by indifferent persons elect and chosen by lawful officers within the City of London to be praisers there.

Item.—What and how much of value the said goods were appraised unto.

Item.—Whether the said goods were lawfully recovered by the custom and law of the said City of London.

Item.—Whether the said goods were delivered unto the above-named Henry Walton by lawful officers of the same City of London.

Item.—Whether the said goods were of any more value or substance than they were praised unto.

Item.—Whether the said goods were fresh and new, as is surmised unjustly by the bill of complaint of the said Rastell.


Depositions for the part of HENRY WALTON against JOHN RASTELL.

[Deposition of WILLIAM KNIGHT.]

William Knight of London, latten founder, of the age of 56 years, sworn or examined upon his oath, saith that Walton did make of new for stages and stage players as much as by estimation, esteemed by this deponent and William Sayer at 50s. in board, timber, lath, nail, sprig and daubing, which the said Rastell should have paid to the said Walton by their arbitrament, which were chosen indifferently by them both, and then Rastell said it was too much, and afterwards the said Rastell arrested the same Walton, and much business was between them.

And as to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th interrogatories, he knoweth nothing. And as to the 7th and last article, he saith that the said Rastell had certain garments for players, which were made of old sarcenet, but how many he knoweth not, nor he doth not esteem the value of them nor any of them, and more he knoweth not.

(Signed) per me WILLIAM KNIGHT.


[Deposition of NICHOLAS SAYER.]

Nicholas Sayer of London, skinner, of the age of 49 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined upon his oath, saith that he and William Knight were desired by the said Rastell and Walton, being at the Mitre in Cheap, to view such costs as the said Walton had done in making of stage for player in Rastell's ground beside Finsbury, in timber, board, nail, lath, sprig, and other things. Which they esteemed and judged at 50s. that Rastell should pay to the said Walton, and upon payment of the said 50s. the said Walton to render such garments as he had in his keeping to the said Rastell. And he saith he saw the garments, and there were none of them of new stuff to his knowledge, nor what the value of them were, and more he knoweth not.

(Signed) per me NICHOLAS SAYER.


[Deposition of ROGER TAYLOR.]

Roger Taylor of London, latten founder, of the age of 40 years, sworn and examined upon his oath, he saith he made part of the said players' garments, and some of them were made of saye and some of sarcenet, which were not at that time of new stuff, for they had been occupied in other business, and they were occupied three or four years in playing and disguisings, or they came to the hands of the said Walton, or before any variance was between them for the same; and as to the value of them he cannot esteem nor judge. And more he cannot say herein.

(Signed) per me ROGER TAYLOR.


[Deposition of THOMAS CURTIS.]

Thomas Curtis of London, glazier, of the age of 54 years, sworn and examined upon his oath, saith that the said Walton made attachment of 15 playing garments; and thereupon this deponent and one John Wilkinson were commanded by the Mayor's clerk, called John Edmay, to appraise the same garments indifferently. Which the said deponent and John Wilkinson, after their conscience, appraised to the uttermost value of them, and the value or sum amounted unto 35s. 9d., and he and the said Wilkinson delivered a bill thereof to the said clerk of the Mayor's Court; and he thinketh that after the custom of the City of London the said Walton lawfully recovered the same, but how they were delivered to the said Walton he knoweth not. And further he saith, that at the time of the said appraisement the said garments were old and torn, so that then they were not able to be worn nor occupied. And also he saith he would have been loath to have given so much for them as they were appraised at, and more he knoweth not.

S The Mark of Thomas Curtis.


[Deposition of JOHN WILKINSON.]

John Wilkinson of London, plasterer, of the age of 33 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined, saith that he was commanded by John Edmay, the Mayor's officer, to appraise certain old playing garments which were broken and torn, some of them of sarcenet and some of saye, and others which he now remembereth not; and that he and Thomas Curtis appraised the said garments and stuff at 35s. or 36s. 9d., which in his conscience were no better worth, nor he would not have gladly given so much for them, and more he knoweth not.



Aldermost, most of all. Also, so as, so. Anchor, hermit. Apaire, appaire, injure, wither. Appropred, appropriated. Arette, attribute, account. Astert, escape. Avoutry, adultery.

Bain, obedient. Battles, divisions of an army. Bear on hand, deceive. Bedene, bedeen, betimes. Behote, promise. Beme, tree. Betake, beteach, commit. Blee, countenance. Blin, departing. Blinne, cease. Blyve, quickly. Borrows, sureties. Bote, remedy. Brast, burst. Brenningly, burningly. Brere, briar. Brook, use. Busk, make ready. Buxom, obedient, pliant. Bydene, betimes.

Careful, sorrowful. Chevice, preserve. Clap, talk noisily, chatter. Cleped, called. Coresed, fit to be a courser [?] Corser, coffer [?] Courtepy, short coat. Covenable, suitable. Covetise, covetousness. Crach, creche, cradle. Crake, boast. Curteys, courteous.

Dearworthy, precious. Deem, judge. Delibered, deliberated. Derne, secret, remote. Dight, make ready. Digne, worthy. Discordeth, disagrees. Dislander, defame. Dooms, judgments. Dress, direct.

Eisell, vinegar. Empechement, hindrance. Emprised, undertaken. Encheson, cause. Enderes-night, former or other night. Everychone, everyone.

Fand, found. Farly, marvellous. Fay, faith. Fere, companion; in-fere, together. Fond, find, contrive. Fone, foon, foes. Fordo, make nought. Forlorn, lost. Forthy, therefore. Forwhy, because. Fremd, strange Frere, frier. Frese, make ready.

Gabbeth, talks foolishly. Gent, fair. Gin, begin. Gleed, spark. Grathly, readily. Gree, pleasure. Groom, man.

Halfendell, half part. Halk, corner. Hat, am called. Hend, courteous. Hent, seized. Hight, called. Hind, servant. Hipped, hobbled.

Idiots, unskilled persons. In-fere, together. i-, participial prefix. I-pight, pitched. I-wis, certainly.

Jesen, jesayne, place of childbirth.

Kay, meadow. Kithe, show. Knowledge, acknowledge, confess.

Lancegay, lance. Lang, long. Leasing, lying. Leer, cheek. Lede, following. Leme, shine. Lend, stay. Lere, learn. Let, (1) hinder; (2) cause. Letting, hindrance. Lewte, loyalty. Lithe, listen. Lo, meadow. Lore, lost. Losenger, rascal. Low, blaze. Lyre, a kind of stuff.

Mansuete, gentle. Maugre, despite. May, maiden. Meddled, mingled. Mees, houses. Mo, more. Myster, need.

Namely, specially. Nar, nearer. Nice, foolish. No force, no matter. Nombles, loins of a deer. Notoyrly, notoriously. Novels, news.

Okerer, usurer. Other, or.

Paned, slashed. Percase, perchance. Pirie, gust. Pludde, some kind of kettle. Postillators, preachers. Praised, appraised. Prime, six to nine A.M.

Quarrels, small squares. Queme, please. Quere, choir. Quit, requited.

Race, scratch. Ray, kind of cloth. Recheless, careless. Reprefe, reprief, reproof. Rown, whisper. Royaumes, realms.

Salued, saluted. Saws, sayings. Say, silk. Semblable, like. Shende, harm, spoil. Sicker, sure; sikerly, surely. Silly, innocent. Slee, slay. Slo, slone, slain. Somedeal, somewhat. Somers, baggage mules. Sond, messenger. Sowning into, tending to. Spill, destroy. Starven, die. Styed, mounted. Sue, pursue, follow. Supplye, supplicate. Stound, space of time. Sy, saw.

Tayd, tied. Teen, sorrow. Thee, thrive. Tho, then. Throw, space of time. Till, to. Tine, lose. To-coming, future. Train, treachery. Truage, tribute. Tuke, a dress material. Tynde, antlers.

Unketh, unknown, strange. Unneath, unnethis, hardly. Unwieldy, impotent.

Wed, pledge. Welt, wielded, disposed of. Werrey, make war on. Wight, man. Wight, strong. Witen, know. Wonder, wondrous. Wone, dwell. Woning wane, dwelling place. Wood, mad. Wyte, blame.

Y-, participial prefix. Yede, yode, went. Y-nocked, notched. Y-wis, certainly.

Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by underscore.

Passages in bold and gothic font are indicated by bold.

Sidenotes and top of the page notes are indicated by note.

Additional spacing after some of the quotes is intentional to indicate both the end of a quotation and the beginning of a new paragraph as presented in the original text.

The following misprints have been corrected: "yoeman" corrected to "yeoman" (twice on page 48) "now" corrected to "nor" (page 120) "and and" corrected to "and" (page 126) "replicacion" corrected to "replication" (page 196) "Atthur" corrected to "Arthur" (page 237) "Thesefore" corrected to "Therefore" (page 268) "the" corrected to "thee" (page 302) img. 336

Some quotes are opened with marks but are not closed. Obvious errors have been silently closed, while those requiring interpretation have been left open.

Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been retained.


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